This winter we’ve stashed our knee-high boots and turtlenecks and instead have cycled through only our most cosy and comfortable pieces. While this isn’t usually like us, Sydney’s longest lockdown has had us socially distanced and staying home, meaning there hasn’t been much use for party clothes and dressy shoes. As a result, instead of investing in wool coats this winter we’ve been building our loungewear wardrobes, and our latest go-to’s have been from South Australian label West Essential.
West Essential pride themselves on not just selling supremely soft and comfortable clothing. They’re shaking up the athleisure game by creating a new niche that fits exactly what they are: ethleisure. This clever play on words means exactly what you think it does – all West Essential’s pieces are ethically produced using sustainable processes and exclusively from organic fabrics. Rather than these just being empty words put on a website by a big brand, West Essential actually follow through on their promise of being ethical by having all their apparel crafted in a verified ethical factory in Southern India, powered solely by renewable green energy from solar and wind power. From beginning to end their production meets the labour standards of the International Labour Organisation. West Essential’s transparency about their entire production line is a breath of fresh air in a retail space overrun with fast fashion labels, and we’re here for it.
West Essential’s ethical stance isn’t just for the planet though – its kindness extends to people too. To cheer up some NSW residents through our never-ending lockdown, they packaged up a few gifts to send to people and put some smiles on their faces. We were some of the lucky people given some West Essential love, and from the first time we put on these wardrobe staples we’ve been obsessed.
Kristen’s new favourite thing in her wardrobe is the Essential Hoodie in black, so much so it’s become her ‘good’ hoodie and she won’t wear it around the house anymore for fear of somehow ruining it (a lot of food has been dropped on clothes this lockdown). Trips to the supermarket and walks around Centennial Park are our fancy outings these days, and this is usually when Kristen whips out her hoodie and pairs it with some black leggings. After lockdown is over though she can see herself wearing it under her oversized McQ trench with some black pants for an effortlessly cool daytime look.
On warmer days is when the Essentials Tee in off white will come out. This unisex t-shirt is one of those tees that’s cut so nicely and made of such lush fabric it sits perfectly and hangs in all the right places. Like any essential t-shirt, this is one piece that can literally go with anything, and Kristen will be pairing it with everything from flared jeans to patterned skirts this summer when we can (hopefully) leave the house again.
Mel loves her matching sets, and she’s been living in her Ethleisure Sweatpant and Ethleisure Hoodie both in and outside the house. The internal fleece lining of this set makes it ridiculously soft and comfy to wear, while the front kangaroo pocket on the hoodie is great for popping your phone and keys in while out for your lockdown-approved exercise of the day (within the 5km radius, of course). Once lockdown is over Mel’s keen to pair the sweatpants with a fitted leotard à la Kim K, and pair the hoodie with leggings on off-duty days.
If you’re ready to upgrade your athleisure to ethleisure, you can shop West Essential online.