A new world has called for a new routine. To keep fit is both needed physically and mentally – to survive the current climate we are killing the home work outs like never before. And why can’t we look great at home whilst doing it? we interviewed Danielle King the creator of KIHT the innovating new fitness label that everyone is talking about. KIHT represents sisterhood the messages behind the brand are cute and we cannot get enough – we sat down with Danielle to get the low down.
Tell about you! Who are you? Your story with fashion
Hi! I am Danielle, a designer, fitness lover and founder of the brand KIHT Collective. I am massively enthusiastic, annoyingly positive and a massive foodie!
My fashion story is so long I could probably write a book (I just might!)
From a really young age I was always drawing clothes and outfits that I’d love to wear, I went on to making them and customising things, taking sewing classes when I was in college and then onto Uni where I specialised in knitwear.
Fast forward quite a few years, I worked my way up in the industry to an up and coming company called Missguided. It was at the start of fast fashion and it was ace working to carve out that path that was so different from traditional retailers. My last role before I set up on my own was heading up the design team at PrettyLittleThing. Again when I started it was small and offered cheap basics. In a few short years, I’d built a design team, launched a ton of successful ranges and worked with some incredible people.
But it just never quite fit for me. The waste, the factories in China VS the shiny campaigns with celebs and models. I always knew I wanted my own business at some point and I knew it would be clothing but I didn’t know what. Up until this point I hadn’t felt ready.
One day the idea hit me and that was it! I took the leap, quit my job and started working full time on setting up KIHT.
Working out in the heat or the cold?
I enjoy both
Your brand reflects empowering women how important is that you?
So important! The brand is a reflection of a lot of my own beliefs and values.
How are you being sustainable?
The goal with KIHT is to become as sustainable as possible. Right now we are doing the following:
We manufacture near east out of a small town called Porto in Portugal, this keeps our carbon footprint low. Unlike most businesses we also buy our ‘2nds’, this is stock that doesn’t pass the strict controls, but is still wearable. We do this as it is normally destroyed or ends up in a landfill.
All our packing is either from recycled sources or can be recycled. We have also partnered with the charity TreeSisters, for every transaction we donate a tree to be planted. They are an incredible charity that supports women in reforestation projects around the world.
What’s your go to workout?
Right now my workouts have changed ALOT because of lockdown. Normally I would say it’s weight training, but right now it is spinning. I luckily bought a spin bike just before we went into lockdown and honestly it’s been one of the best purchases I have ever made!
Long baths or long runs?
Right now defo long baths!
Here at house of coco we love all things travel, what is your go to item from your collection that would be perfect for work out abroad?
For working out abroad and in nicer weather it would be the Myah bike shorts in pink and the matching top Olivia, plus they look so good you could easily wear them all day before you work out!
How have you dealt with the lockdown? Tell us about your home routine
I feel a little guilty admitting this, but I have actually quite enjoyed it! It’s been really good for solidifying my routine. I have definitely simplified my routine and life, which I aim to continue once we move out of lockdown.
The biggest game changers in my routine have been two things:
- My bedtime routine, as I made the decision that I wanted to really prioritise my sleep. I put my phone on to night mode from 9pm so I don’t look at it. I watch less TV and ensure I wear my blue blocking glasses if I do. I cannot tell you how much this has changed my sleep quality! I now go to bed and fall asleep easily and sleep right through the night. In the morning I tend to wake naturally feeling refreshed! (it’s so unsexy, but omg its such a huge revelation for me!)
- Meal planning, (not meal prep) this has made my life so much simpler and saved so much time! We shop less often and eat so much better. We sit down, normally on a Sunday and plan out our meals for the next two weeks, make lists and head out Monday morning to the local greengrocers and butchers/fishmongers. We stock up, freeze all the meat/fish, we have a little white board on the inside of the cupboard with our meals planned out, that’s basically it! We hardly use any plastic as nothing comes pre-packed, we never have food waste and it’s sooo much quicker than the supermarket! O, we also have a shared shopping list on our phones so we can easily add to it – that has been game changing!
What is go to holiday destination and why?
I’m going to say for me it’s variety! I don’t really go to the same place twice. I love to travel and explore, I’m not a sunbather, I’d much rather be doing something, whether that’s skiing, exploring a city or learning to kite surf, give me adventure!
How was Kiht born? What made you go down the route of a fitness brand?
KIHT came to life when I was really struggling to find trend led gym wear that didn’t cost a fortune! The only things on offer at the time were not really feminine and covered in awful logos, unless you could afford to spend £100 on a pair of leggings.
It wasn’t long after this I quit my job and started working full time on KIHT. It’s taken a lot to get the business off the ground. From day 1 I was adamant that it needed to be high quality, affordable and produced near east (not china) as I wanted a high ethical standard. All of those things together are extremely difficult for a small business!
KIHT has perfectly married all of my passions together in one! Before this my active and fitness life was almost separate from my job, but now they feel like they are in total harmony! I love it.
What inspired you with your debut collection?
I took alot of my inspiration from the catwalks, necklines, detailing and colours. I wanted the collection to feel current so it would slot into your wardrobe and be really wearable. I spent time testing the fits too, I wanted them to make you feel great, support you and also perform. The whole range is also designed to be mix and match so you can really get the most out it! Something I defo took from my own gym wardrobe struggles!
Life had somewhat changed since covid 19 how have you adapted and what do you see the future for fitness being like?
I walk a lot more, which I am absolutely loving and something I will definitely continue to do. Getting outside in nature everyday has been great and it’s been so lovely seeing so many people out running, cycling and exercising outdoors. It would be great to see this continue.
My hope for fitness is that people will see it more as a blended and long term approach. Rather than the view that you can only be fit if you go to the gym, count macros and HIIT train. (all of which are great). Fitness is unique to everyone, it needs to be firstly what you enjoy and secondly something you can stick to longer term.
Looking at fitness as a long game and not as a weight loss hack is honestly one of the biggest changes I’d love to see.
Would you agree that keeping fit is key for great mental health? How do you deal with a bad day?
100% there is literally no downside to moving your body at all! It is so good for your mental health, mindset and wellbeing!
If I’ve had a bad day I need that endorphin hit! I always go for something high intensity. I am really into VO2 max training at the min, so it will be a 45 min spin session that involves Tabata training. It totally clears my head as I literally cannot think about anything else except breathing! I absolutely love it
If you want a serious dose of positivity then head to @kihtcollective on instagram
and if you like what you see head to www.kiht.co.uk
Photographer | Narita Savoor
Beauty | Drew Suleman
Models | Myah Eve Serena Zara @ Jadore