By Lucy Roberts 

When Hannah Younis and Amy Kenworthy returned to the court after being stuck inside during the first Covid-19 lockdown they didn’t want to choose between black, white or navy when deciding what to wear – they wanted to look stylish while also doing their bit for the environment.

Hannah Younis and Amy Kenworthy

Hannah Younis and Amy Kenworthy

The two women could either stick it out by wearing boring colours, wait for someone to bring out a fashion forward tennis wear collection or they could do it themselves – and that’s exactly what they did.

They launched Pokita and they spoke to Female First about how they took their idea from concept to product, why they wanted to be a sustainable company and revealed where they get their design inspiration from.

Q) What is Pokita?

A) Pokita is a sustainable tennis and activewear brand. Our clothing is designed to be multi-disciplinary - it can take you from spinning, to tennis, to the golf course and for a G&T (or green juice!) on the terrace afterwards. All of our products are made from repurposed plastic waste as is our packaging. We strive to make beautiful sportswear that packs a punch on the course, court or studio but doesn’t harm the planet.

Q) How did it come about?

A) When we decided to pick up our rackets again for a long overdue friendly tennis match post the first lockdown of 2020, we really noticed that there was a lack of stylish new kit on the market. We both felt that there was a stark absence of ethically made tennis wear that fitted well and looked good; with choices limited to ill-fitting or badly cut garments in standard plain white, black or navy.

So, rather than wait for our ideal collection to drop, we took matters into our own hands! We designed our own range. We envisaged a portfolio of practical sporting separates in vibrant, funky designs, and worked hard to make this vision a reality. In 2021 - Pokita was born. We launched with a capsule collection of coordinated sets (think skorts and tanks, shorts and crop tops) as well as eye-catching separates that can be mixed and matched.

Our backgrounds were in investor relations (Hannah), and online travel business (Amy), so we embraced the challenge to venture into uncharted territory, becoming the founders of a stylish and sustainable activewear company in just a matter of months. We are extremely proud of our achievements to date!!

Q) Is there a meaning behind the name?

A) We wanted a name that incorporated the word ‘pocket’ (our leggings, skorts, skeggings and shorts have them), and also the word ‘kit’. We also wanted a name that was short, sharp and punchy. After much deliberating, discussions on and off the court, and testing it out in a few trusted focus groups - Pokita was born!

Q) How important is being a sustainable and environmentally friendly company to you?

A) 100% One of the key motivators for us was the lack of sustainable tennis wear on the market - and this is something we wanted to change. Fabric is as important for Pokita as design. All our tops and cycling shorts are made from regenerated yarns from leftover materials and waste garments, with the leggings and skeggings being from made repreve (recycled plastic bottles) - putting sustainability firmly at the heart of our brand. We have designed our packaging from recycled plastics and paper that can be repurposed for alternative use or recycled again. All materials are sweat wicking, absorbent and quick drying to aid maximum performance.

Q) What do you draw on for design inspiration?

A) Our own market research revealed that there was a gap for vibrant, well-fitting activewear for women. Created with tennis at its core, Pokita’s collection now spans activities such as running and yoga, with designs that are practical to wear and exciting to see - think longer lengths and higher waists in eye-catching prints.

As well as coming up with the idea of Pokita as a brand - we actually designed all garments ourselves. We were really inspired by the likes of Serena Williams for her iconic looks and Mary Pierce’s memorable kit from the 2000 French Open. Pokita’s range is designed to spark interest, and our prints now include red leopard and navy zebra across a collection of tops, leggings, base layers, accessories and what are fast becoming the hero products - skorts - (a nifty two-in-one combo of shorts and a skirt) and skeggings (skirt and leggings all-in-one).

Q) Do you have a list of tennis/sports stars who you’d love to wear your products on court?

A) Of course, we would love to see Pokita take over Wimbledon one day - it’s the absolute dream! What we have seen is lots of lovely fitness professionals across multiple disciplines wear our kit on their stories and posts which fills us with joy! Our red leopard is proving a real insta-hit of late - the colour really pops out - no filter required!

Q) Do you have anything in the works for the future?

A) We are constantly talking to our fans and followers on instagram to see what they want to see in the future - it’s proved to be invaluable market research for us! We’re looking at expanding our popular designs into broader colour palettes or adding new products to the Pokita family. Watch this space!

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