We’re all trying to reduce our impact on the environment and make better choices. So naturally if someone on Instagram you admire is trumpeting how sustainable and ethical their clothing brand is it’s very tempting to buy into and think you’re spending your money to help workers and the planet.
However scratch the surface and all is not what it seems. One brand I’ll be exploring today is TALA fronted by Grace Beverley. It preys on the good faith of young followers of Grace who know no better and think they’re making good choices. There’s countless bending of the truth to greenwash this brand.
Grace asks media organisations to call her a CEO.
If you just read the editorials on Grace Beverley it’s hard not to admire her; a self made young woman achieving big things and using her power to create groundbreaking sustainable and affordable gym wear.
When something sounds so good it’s easy to believe it and buy into it. However greenwashing is used more and more these days to brand ordinary items as something special to make big money by selling the ordinary with a huge markup.
Is TALA Ethical?
TALA states that many of their items are “hand-finished” in Portugal. This is meaningless as all it could be is that a label is stitched on or an item is put into a new plastic packet in Portugal. Yes, this sustainable clothing company sends out items in single-use plastic.
The lack of disclosure about where TALA items are manufactured leads me to believe they often come from the far east.
TALA owns no facilities and everything is subcontracted. Meaning the supply chain is very difficult to guarantee that good practices are adhered to at every level. During outsourcing like this, the contract will state certain practices.
However as the factories are hundreds or even thousands of miles away from brands, like TALA, cost-cutting measures are used by the owners as they know the brand won’t visit or inspect. The company ordering the items often couldn’t show up unannounced to inspect as they have no idea where the manufacturing is taking place. If even Apple have problems ensuring their supply chain meets the standards they claim it’s unsurprising that an influencer clothing brand would be unaware of everything in their supply chain.
Good on you rates TALA as “good” and “it’s a start”, sadly nothing groundbreaking or exemplary. The wages and working conditions of the people subcontracted by TALA are not transparent.
I’d like to believe TALA is ethical, but there’s little evidence to back it up. What it states on their own website doesn’t show they are going above what most high street brands are doing these days.
Why Recycled Doesn’t Automatically Equal Good
TALA proudly proclaim that 92% of many of their items are made from recycled materials (mainly plastic).
It may sound good to say something is largely recycled however with plastic this can do more harm than good. Plastic can’t actually be recycled, more accurately it can be downcycled for a limited number of uses. Unlike glass that can be melted down thousands of times and used as new.
Downcylcing plastic into clothes does make use of the plastic. But the new plastic clothes will continually shed microplastics into the environment, especially when washed. There’s a worrying amount of microplastics polluting our planet so an increasing number of people are wanting to avoid all plastic.
Many environmental experts think it’s better to not recycle/downcycle plastic into clothing because that will generate ever more smaller pieces of plastic pollution. These small plastics from clothes are far more damaging and near impossible to remove once released into the environment.
A much better choice than plastic clothing is to wear clothes from natural fibres that will not pollute and fibres released into the environment can naturally biodegrade.
In 2019 the National Trust said they were looking to ditch their once highly touted recycled fleece as plastic clothes were identified as the main source of microplastics in rivers and oceans.
TALA Quality Issues
TALA has been dogged with issues with low quality items that don’t last long for years. Over half of the reviews for TALA on trust pilot are 1 or 2 stars.
Most of the negative reviews are centred around low-quality clothes that don’t last long, not as ethical or sustainable as the marketing suggests and receiving items in a bad state. Even some of the 5-star reviews say tala clothes are bad quality, but because they consider CEO Grace the social media influencer their friend they feel compelled to still give a high rating.
It’s not sustainable to constantly market and sell clothes that come from all over the earth that last a matter of weeks.
Grace is very quick to call out companies on twitter with low-quality items, but the moment someone questions one of her own brands’ numerous failings she refuses to accept it and calls people trolls or haters.
Being unable to take constructive criticism means that there are many of her fans that wouldn’t even dare leave an honest review of the company as they think it would be personally attacking Grace, even though they paid over the odds for substandard products.
TALA keeps doing launches encouraging people to buy more and more, can that really be called sustainable?
Created by GenFlow
Many of Graces brands have been created by GenFlow. This is a company that in their own words “build brands for influencers”. It’s a quick and easy way for an influencer to launch a brand as another company does all the heavy lifting and the influencer can just do the fun bits.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but Grace does often call herself a hard working CEO when in fact she just employes a couple of friends and a separate company does the bulk of the work. The success of Grace’s brands is because of having over a million followers that can be influenced.
For her young followers it would be far more beneficial to admit all the help shes had and tell the truth that you really can’t do everything yourself (and spend half of your life on holiday).
Grace seems to just be the face of TALA as the trademark for class 25 (sportswear) is owned by Group Seventy One Limited and Grace is not a director or person of significant control for this limited company. The same company makes other influencer items such as Anna Saccone PJs. This might explain the lacking of real sustainable credentials; if it’s owned by a company that’s more interested in merch than TALA’s apparent mission statement of changing the world with ethical and sustainable practices.
Other items created by the owners of TALA are these Portuguese made 95% Polyester 5% Elastane influencer PJs:
Hugely Overpriced and Unoriginal
TALA seems to brand existing products and sells for a large markup.
There’s precious little to separate it from the marketplace and similar items are easy to source from wholesalers.
Now many high street fashion retailers like Primark have a range of recycled gym ware and TALAs unique selling point ceases to exist.
TALA are selling a £25 single set of wooden cutlery which compared to the wholesalers below shows a huge markup. It also illustrates how TALA isn’t a sportswear focused company and will spread it’s self thinly to sell numerous varied items that they’re able to get a manufacturer to brand.
The identical set can be found on Chinese wholesalers for 51p:
Does Being Born Into Money and Power Make You Self Made?
Grace Beverley comes from a wealthy family, nothing wrong with that alone however it becomes problematic when she’s selling the idea of how anyone can become a CEO to her young followers. Sadly it’s a myth that you can work hard to achieve whatever you want, there’s only room for a few at the top of the pyramid. It’s always been about having the right connections and opportunities, mixed in with far more luck than many millionaires would care to admit.
It does set people up for failure by claiming it’s easy to be a wealthy business owner, and if they don’t reach it then it was their own fault for not working hard enough, sleeping too much and not making a to-do list.
Her mother has a net worth of £17 million in 2020. Her knighted grandfather (often credited as one of Margret Thatcher’s favourites) owned businesses worth over £56 million along with many other assets.
Grace was working as an intern for an investment bank when she was 16 (that doesn’t have a work experience programme), these opportunities aren’t available to people outside of the elites.
The nursery Grace attended before going to a top public school was £10’000 a year. Nothing wrong with coming from old money, but if your thing is about being real and honest on social media it’s a good idea to be transparent and own it.
Some of Grace’s retweets do show a huge lack of awareness:
Is Grace Beverley Vegan and Sustainable?
Grace has claimed to be vegan, but it does appear she’s another one jumping on a trend and doesn’t actually care about avoiding exploitation and cruelty of animals as she often shares on social media, non-vegan sweets, advertises honey, wears leather, shows non-vegan perfume and seafood.
Also it’s very questionable if Grace Beverley practices sustainability in her own life. After she bought a large expensive house in central London it was all refurbished with brand new items with no focus on sustainability. Grace does have the time and money to source vintage items for her home to reuse and reduce if she wanted to, and you think she would given the image and core statement she portrays on social media.
Grace continues to say people should buy her clothes as fast fashion is slavery, but keeps buying and wearing fast fashion herself.
Final Thoughts On Grace Beverley And TALA
Grace comes from a very wealthy background and has had all the tools to succeed.
Instead of creating a real brand to make a change, she took the easy option and partnered with influencer company GenFlow to quicky create mediocre products that aren’t nearly as ethical or sustainable as people are led to believe.
All while projecting an image of working hard as a CEO and succeeding against the odds.
Grace spreads herself very thinly between projects and goes from fitness apps and supplements, to loungewear and cutlery.
Grace is very successful at shouting loud and influencing people to buy her products. When her products fall well short of expectations many fans feel unable to express their dissatisfaction as they would with a normal company as it feels like criticising a friend. Rather than admitting shortcomings or failing her modus operandi reply is “I’m trying my best” to silence any valid critiques.
Discuss Grace Beverly on our Gossip forum, much of this article was written with the knowledge gathered from there.
Grace Beverley net worth
Grace Beverley net worth is estimated to be around £6 million in 2020.