HIGH: ExoticAthletica started in Noosa.
HIGH: ExoticAthletica started in Noosa.

Local gym gear range cuts labels down to size

PEAR, apple, carrot... it might sound like ingredients to a salad, but these are just some of the "body shapes” women - apparently - come in.

But a local label is challenging this status quo, proving that our bodies aren't that simple, not at all.

ExoticAthletica started in Noosa a couple of years ago as an activewear range for women that didn't fit the traditional sizings available on the retail racks.

"Originally, it was about trying to offer something that was more suitable for a woman that's more curvy or more muscular, women that don't have a standard shape,” ExoticAthletica founder Leilani Chandler said.

"People might have bigger quads or legs or booty. And then also offering something a bit more edgy, a bit more colourful.”

Today, the brand stocks a wide range of get up and go gear in funky colours and prints, as well as offering a tailor-made option for that extra comfort.

"Originally, it was about trying to offer something that was more suitable for a woman that's more curvy or more muscular, women that don't have a standard shape,” Leilani said.

"That's why we moved in to the made-to-measure stuff because it's for everybody, it's not any size or shape that gets excluded.”

Some of the top sellers are the slogan leggings, with a matching pair for your kids.
Slogan leggings and matching outfits are top sellers.

With a firm grip on making sure no woman is left behind, body positivity and self-love is all part of ExoticAthletica's identity.

"Just because you don't look like size eight or 10, it doesn't mean you're not fit and strong,” Leilani said.

"We have a ten day self love challenge, in the next few months we'll be launching it.

"It's free, it's about different ways of thinking about your body, food and fitness. So people are more confident to wear leggings, or a bikini or booty shorts.”

Leilani said she's had women almost in tears after learning their gym clothes will fit perfectly.

"We had one lady, she had swelling in her legs and around her ankles.

"When she rang and we said we can make it to whatever size you need, she was nearly crying on the phone she was so happy.

"When it's something you can actually wear, and they can go to the gym instead of just wearing tracksuit pants, it's something people get really emotional about it and really excited about.

"And having something that makes them feel better, something a bit trendy, a bit modern, motivates them to try even more.”

Founder Leilani Chandler likes to model the clothes to promote bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Leilani Chandler.

Leilani said having the stock made in Australia and selling an unseasonal staple has helped build the extensive range.

"Because we can do made to measure, we don't have to carry heaps of stock or stuff made,” she said.

"We can have one print and make it in to booty shorts or capris or leggings, that's what enables us to have a bigger collection.

"We don't have to carry all that stock and be stuck - we can take a few more risks, release a collection. It just keeps growing.”

Leilani and her team have even started labelling their bottoms "squat proof” after listening to the concerns of their customers.

"I didn't realise how important it is to people to have their leggings so they're virtually not see through at all times, if they're bending over or doing squats,” Leilani said.

"That was something we realised is really important. Virtually all of our stuff is squat proof.”