Athleisure fashion has completely changed the way we integrate fashion into our daily lives.

It used to be that multitasking women had to go through several outfits through out the day—work out gear in the morning, corporate wear for a full day of meetings and a more playful cocktail number for dinner and drinks. A commitment to leading a healthier and more active lifestyle, however, demands for pieces that are functional and stylish. Thus saw the birth of athleisure wear. Function and performance are the driving elements that inspire this new fashion movement. Innovation in colorways, patterns, prints and other trimmings allow wearers to take these pieces from the gym to a chic speakeasy.

A particular lifestyle also informs design sensibilities that distinguish athleisure wear. A preference for eating clean, spending a good amount of time at the gym or studio, yoga retreats, spa treatments, smoothie runs and dining in chic bistros serving up organic fare is closely associated with the athleisure trend. Luxury lifestyle choices anchored on wellness wears athleisure. When you have a sustainable active wear company operating from conflict-stricken Caracas, Venezuela the equation changes all together and new perspectives are born.

“Venezuela has been running without power and water for many days now. That means no manufacturing, no food, no transportation, no Internet, no access to the outside world…”read an email from the team of Venezuelan-based sustainable athleisure label, Port de Bras. Its founder, Clarissa Egana continues, “ Caracas is a very beautiful city surrounded by nature… it is also filled with people who have never had the opportunity to learn or work and become part of something meaningful. Twenty years of populism does that to a country where poverty and conformism describes 90 percent of the population. My dream has been to provide genuine life-changing opportunities for women in my country: teach them a new trade, value them, show then a different way of life.”

The desire to uplift women is at the heart of Port de Bras. At its very core, the company subscribes to creating pieces with soul. Its business model follows the anti-thesis to fast-fashion. “My team and I work for months on every piece, testing everything that’s good and bad about each garment so that it’s closest to perfect as can be. There’s a lot of genuineness in our work… the good energy in each piece is simply magical,” explains Clarissa. The company is uncompromising when it comes to the principles applied to running the business. “It’s locally made-ethical, fair trade, biodegradable and even the packaging and customer service is up close and personal,” declares the mother, entrepreneur and advocate for women’s empowerment.

Designs from the Port de Bras studio are distinctly feminine despite it being intended for activity. As the name suggests, the label draws from the elegance and fluidity of ballet. “A ballerina’s look is timeless, classy and fierce—exactly what our clothes are meant to be.” The company works with state-of-the-art 100 percent biodegradable polyamide. Fabrics are dry fit, toxin-free and anti bacterial. “We study fibers, colors and lines in order to maintain the purity of the body’s energy flow… w e even incorporate certain crystals to our workshop to infuse positive vibrations into our fabrics. ”

A new collection from Port de Bras called Life in the Tropics brings wearers to the lush greenery of Latin America. The concept for the assembly was to create swimwear and workout pieces that can be mixed and matched so that they can easily be incorporated into other looks. Flounce details on the bodice or shoulders imply femininity while mesh stripes reverberate the collection’s sportif spirit. Black and white palette make each piece versatile and timeless. Key pieces from the collection include ruffled leotards, a striped vest and a color blocked bra tops.

“We identify ourselves as a movement, not just a brand. Through their pieces and company’s on going journey, Port de Bras is able to create awareness about sustainability, empower other women entrepreneurs and encourage others to practice mindfulness. Clarissa affirms, “We have a purpose in communicating positive habits. It’s not all about selling clothes. We believe in the power of influence. Sustainability, kindness and positivity must be passed along so that it can actually become meaningful, and that it our movement and true mission.” That, right there, is how an inspiring movement thrives despite circumstances of conflict.

To find out more about Port de Bras, click here.
source:forbes images:elestimulo, forbes

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