It's surprisingly hard to find high-quality athletic wear that's manufactured responsibly from environmentally friendly materials. That’s why Fort Worth entrepreneurs Sarah Ross and Missy Johnson launched Fitted, a new online boutique for workout and athleisure wear that customers can feel good about buying from in more ways than one.
“We use the tagline, ‘feel good about your fit,’” says Ross, a former medical sales professional. “We want you to feel good about what you're buying but also feel good in the clothes you're buying.”
Friends since middle school, competitive tennis players, and both moms to two young sons, Ross and Johnson wanted to find clothing that would comfortably take them from the gym to school pick-up — without looking like everyone else.
“We're around a bunch of women who are always working out. We were finding that everyone was buying from the same two retailers, and there weren't a lot of comparable brands around,” says Johnson, who has a background in management, real estate, and recruiting. “When we started looking into the clothing industry, we realized how environmentally unfriendly it can be. Both of us didn't want to be involved in that.”
Ross and Johnson wanted to help women find unique, durable clothing that fit well and didn’t contribute to unethical manufacturing practices and athletic wear pollution. (An example: microscopic plastics from some athletic brands are increasingly ending up in oceans.) The duo researched hundreds of brands before deciding on three that met their standards.
“Dharma Bums is an Australian brand. When I see their prints and patterns, it just reminds me of happiness and beauty and what I envision the Australian coast to be like,” says Ross. “We were extremely impressed with their quality and customer care.”
Ross was also attracted to Nux, a Los-Angeles-based brand engineered to truly fit a woman’s body, she says. “They meet labor standards and manufacturing certifications that we can stand behind and feel good about sharing with our customers,” she adds.
Fitted customers will also find several bras, tops, and leggings from Manduka, a brand primarily known as a leader in yoga props.
“All of their fabrics are made from recycled polyester, organic cotton, and plant-based materials,” says Ross. “They feel so good on the body. Their props and mats are equally top notch.”
The variety of cuts, styles, and patterns offered by Fitted is different from the big-box retailers, Ross adds.
“And all of the fabrics are amazing and incredibly soft,” says Johnson. “They're going to have longevity to help cut down on fashion that ends up in landfills.”
Because shopping online for clothing can be daunting, Ross and Johnson are happy to connect with customers directly to help them find the right item with the perfect fit, and exchanges are always welcome. Instead of using only manufacturers’ model photos, the duo is also posting to Instagram and Facebook photos of real customers wearing their pieces.
“(The manufacturer models) are all skinny and a size zero, and we realize that's just not reality,” says Johnson. “We want everyone to feel comfortable wearing these clothes. They really are suited for any size and they look great on any size. We're going to continue to put out pictures of real customers wearing these clothes.”
Prices for Fitted items range from $38 for a sleeveless tank to $99 for high-waisted leggings with rib-textured jacquards and sculpting-shaped waistband. As they continue to research more brands around the world, Johnson and Ross plan to regularly rotate inventory.
“It's felt really good to step into a consultative role with many of our customers,” Ross says. “Some we know and some we don't. They are reaching out to us and asking for advice, and we've been able to guide them.”