The rapidly growing activewear market is constantly looking for new clothing that is not only practical and beautiful, but also increasingly more sustainable. Zola Eve, an exciting activewear brand inspired by Africa and created by entrepreneur Ncheta Dasilva, harnesses her Nigerian heritage to produce a memorable, eco-driven clothing range.
LoA learned more about this unique activewear brand this month that is exciting lovers of yoga and exercise everywhere.
What does your company do?
Zola Eve is an African print inspired activewear brand with a conscience. Our products are sustainably made from recycled materials. We're ethically manufactured in London, ensuring fair treatment and wages for workers. We love to empower women, and this year 10% of all sale proceeds are donated to women survivors of war.
“We want ladies who wear Zola Eve garments to feel fearless, bold and confident in their skin.”
What inspired you to start your company?
My love of yoga and the therapeutic benefits I gained during periods of high stress in my corporate career, inspired me to start the activewear brand Zola Eve. Being of Nigerian descent, I was also inspired to incorporate some Ankara-esque prints into the brand identity. With my background originally in Finance, it was a steep learning curve learning about the polluting affects of modern fashion practices, so it was important that the garments were made from sustainable materials. In this first collection, we use recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets. Opening my eyes to the fact that the textiles industry is notorious for modern slavery practices, another important feature of the business was to ensure the people who made Zola Eve's garments were paid and treated fairly. Hence production was sourced in London in a factory with compliant treatment practices. Finally, I've always loved helping women and have grown up with the notion of giving back. My late father used to drill into me: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” So the proceeds supporting women's empowerment initiatives was a given.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
The garments are high quality, soft to touch, comfortable, and keep you cool during your workouts. We want ladies who wear Zola Eve garments to feel fearless, bold and confident in their skin. Be the peaceful goddess that you are, feel good while doing some good in the world.
“My plan is to expand the Zola Eve brand into the wellness sphere, by running immersive health and fitness retreats.”
Tell us a little about your team
Zola Eve is currently a solo venture, run and founded by myself, Ncheta Dasilva. We love collaborating with fabulous females and brands, for pop-ups, exhibitions and events.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Throughout 2018 while Zola Eve was being tested, sampled, manufactured and launched, I was working full-time at my corporate role in Finance. It was extremely hard to juggle a demanded role and set-up my first business, but I was determined to see it through, supported by friends, family and networking community. I decided to take a career break at the start of 2019, to invest in myself and of course immerse myself in the world of running a business.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My plan is to expand the Zola Eve brand into the wellness sphere, by running immersive health and fitness retreats. In time, I plan to expand the clothing range to include items such as t-shirts and funds-permitting, expanding the sizing options.
“We love to empower women, and this year 10% of all sale proceeds are donated to women survivors of war.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Celebrating the small wins along the journey. Running a business, solo, is HARD. There will be times when you question your sanity, your purpose, your bank balance, but it takes something as small as a heart-felt comment from a customer, that makes it all worthwhile.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Test your idea before a full launch. Create samples, solicit feedback, build a community and incorporate their feedback into your final offering. Your WHY has to be strong (the reason you started your business), as people need to know, like and trust you before they'll part with their money. After all that, go for it - you have nothing to lose!
Contact or follow Zola Eve
Why LoA loves it….
Breaking out of the corporate world and into the highly competitive world of entrepreneurship can be tough, but hugely rewarding for those who follow their passions. For Ncheta Dasilva, that passion comes in the form of an exciting new range of activewear clothing for all those women out there who want to both feel and look good. The Zola Eve activewear clothing range created by Ncheta ticks all the boxes for fitness fundis everywhere who want to celebrate their uniqueness whilst they are getting into great shape. This is definitely one of our designers to watch in 2019. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa