ICIW Gym wear | Be the Best Dressed in the Gym

Today I'm going to talk to you about ICIW, an athleisure brand out of Stockholm that have sent on a few garments for me to wear to my KOBOX sessions. 

I'm always keen to champion the brands that share the same belief system as I. That have a similar narrative that often includes starting from nothing, taking a leap of faith. 

When I read the backstory of founder Gustaf Ollas and learned how he too switched paths from full time employment and pursued his vision of creating training clothes that he would like to wear. 

Gustaf worked as Personal Trainer and sold dietary training courses online, but knew very little about the textile industry when he began his journey with ICIW in 2012. 

I think at everyone at some point in their lives have ideas on setting up their own tee shirt company right? They get fixated on a theme or slogan, order up about 1000 and then have to deal with boxes of unsold tee shirts clogging up their garage 2 years down the line. 

For anyone that has had any modicum of success in starting up their own brand they'll know the process for producing new garments generally takes between 6-12 months, from idea to prototype and finally to finished product. If you're interested 

It's a tricky business especially as trends and fashion waves move quicker than seasons in today’s current retail climate. ICIW offer high quality training clothes at a competitive price. Most products are manufactured in limited edition to make the customer feel unique.

SOCIAL MEDIA PHENONMENON 

Again, for budding entrepreneurs, take time to familiarise yourself with the ICIW website. It's clean, easy to use, strong imagery and they empower influencers and leverage their social media accounts in very creative ways. 

For example the Hashtag #icaniwill has been used more than 1,600,000 times in writing.

Today, ICIW are a team of seven. A close knit community that provide awesome training apparel and generate positivity and health through the medium of fashion.



Introducing Burton Menswear Sport Athleisure Collection

Athleisure or sportswear is one of the largest if not the largest clothing growth market in the UK and Burton Menswear have just launched their first collection, entering this marketplace. As a home worker or coffee shop worker who loves the gym, I spend a lot of time in sportswear and this collection ticks all of the boxes. 

I particularly love the chevron designs , which reminds me of my perfect interior design feature....wood chevron flooring, the dream! The range is comfortable, casual, stylish, practical and perfectly fit for purpose.

The t-shirts are in the price range of £15, the zip up tops £25, shorts £16 and the zipped hoodies around £30. This price range for the on trend designs and quality, comfortable fabrics is right on-point, so if you don't fancy breaking the bank for some new sportswear, go check out the Burton range below.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Why Keeping Fit Is So Important - My Heart Operation

No my fitness routine is not putting on some new adidas gear, finding the nearest brick wall and pose, although it does look like it from the images! I tend to keep myself relatively fit all year round, I'm not really one of these fitness part-timers who only keep fit during January; for the two months leading up to their next holiday; because they decided to sign-up for a 5K run or maybe some hot female instructor who you matched with on Happn works at your gym. 

Not many of you would know, but a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (meaning I've had it since birth, although undetected). The defect was a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Before a baby is born, the fetus's blood does not need to go to the lungs to get oxygenated. The ductus arteriosus is a hole that allows the blood to skip the circulation to the lungs. However, when the baby is born, the blood must receive oxygen in the lungs and this hole is supposed to close. If the ductus arteriosus is still open (or patent) oxygenated blood from the lungs via the aorta mix with deoxygenated blood from the pulmonary artery, causing the two to mix. This puts strain on the heart and increases blood pressure in the lung arteries. In my case my left ventricle was enlarged as it had been working overtime pumping that blood around the body for 33 years of it's life. The heart is a muscle after all - the harder it has to work the larger it will become to compensate for that extra work.

It was actually diagnosed during a checkup that I had when I found a lump on one of my testicles, which itself turned out to be nothing - however I was treated with a heart operation instead! The operation itself was pretty scary, I had full trust in the surgeons and put a brave face on things but when someone says to you that they have to operate on your heart, in the back of your head you cant help thinking you are not going to wake up from it. 

The surgery itself wasn't intrusive at all...they simply took a tube with a camera and shoved it up an artery in my groin all the way up to my heart. Where they simply plugged the PDA with what I describe as a bit of cotton wool, champagne cork or science gauze - which stops all blood flow across the ductus arteriosus. Within hours and certainly days, tissue forms over the 'plug' and my left ventricle returned to within normal size range. Winner, does that mean I can now be an olympic athlete?!

This heart defect isn't that uncommon...well in children it isn't, but in 30+ year old men it is rare. It is rare that such a defect that you live with 100% of the time remains undetected. Thats where my fitness comes into play. If I was an unfit slob, over indulging on trans fatty foods whilst sitting on my arse playing Playstation with my online pals kinda guy - I would probably of had a heart attack or stroke by now or something worse. I put the reason down to not having any major symptoms to keeping myself fit and healthy.

It really is SO important to keep fit all of the time not just 1 month on 3 months off...so why not try something new this week. What about some personal training, group fitness with British Military Fitness or yoga?

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer