The CBF Clothing Story

It started as a joke. I would go and see my Personal Trainer, and she would ask me how I'm going.  "Can't be fucked, but I'm here so let's do this". Oh, she would make me pay for my apathy, but it was always worth it.  Those endorphines would kick in and I could take on the world again.

Sports and fitness is sometimes just so serious and it's hard work. You go to the gym or the sports store and see all the motivational tag lines, telling you to do this, you should be that, go harder, be faster, get stronger. Yet most of us aren’t elite athletes, and don’t particularly aspire to be.  We just want to take better care of ourselves.  

At the time I told family and friends my idea for an activewear and sports clothing range, but it was never really taken seriously.  Feedback would range for a dismissive laugh to an outright retort. It's a silly idea, would never take off.  It's not the first time that has happened.  I have had a few attempts at businesses in the past, but mostly hobbies and pocket money side hustles.  Why would I, or anyone else think this would be any different?

Flash Forward to 2020. I was reeling from another failed relationship and significant self esteem issues. Yet still there was something in me that wanted more. I had dreams and aspirations of starting my own business, owning my own bar, but with no idea how or where to start.

I saw an ad for a Entrepreneur Seminar, and decided to check it out.  That's where the fire started.  I saw the potential, I saw the steps to get started. I saw my "silly" business idea of wearing CBF on my t-shirt as my first step to my Entrepreneurial Empire.  I still hear those nay-sayers in my head, telling me that it was a silly idea, that it wouldn't get off the ground, and I use that as fuel to keep going when times get a bit tough.  I have to prove them wrong. I'm stubborn like that.

CBF was born right at the start of the pandemic, and saved my sanity.  It gave me purpose, it gave me something to strive for. It gave me a reason to get out of bed and gave me something to keep me busy while on lockdown.  It was during this whole process, and also with the creation and development of business networks, that I honed in on the message for CBF and what it would truly stand for.  What's more, people actually resonated with the message, and I realised how important it was to share this with others, and to create our Tribe.  I surrounded myself "virtually" (due to lockdowns) and physically with people who encouraged me, supported me and championed my passion. They truly want me to succeed.

We all have days when we CBF. It’s ok to have a bad day. We can't always be on fire, highly motivated, the ultimate athlete, the perfect performer.  We wanted to have a bit of fun with the fact that sometimes you just CBF, but you get your ass out there and do it anyway, and if you don't it doesn't matter. There's always tomorrow.  CBF Fitwear is aiming to change the way people think and feel about health and wellbeing.  It's not just about the perfect aesthetic or being insta-worthy. It should be about self care and self love in equal parts. It should absolutely NOT about how you look. We are here to promote inclusivity and body positivity. Most importantly, loving life and being unapologetically you.

Can’t be fucked?  OWN IT, and look good doing it with our Activewear.

 

Meet Tracy

I'm Tracy, the owner of CBF.  I'm that crazy weirdo lip-syncing on the TikToks on our socials.  I have a son, who has made it to adulthood with only slight trauma and cynicism, so I consider my role as a mother a success.
I have never really felt like I "fit in".  I wasn't a cool kid, wasn't one of the popular girls, didn't feel comfortable in the new baby/mums group, not one of the soccer moms, sit on the outer when the girls separated from the guys at parties, etc etc.  I have seen myself as the rebel, the renegade, the rule-breaker.  I realised that CBF Clothing is my way of finding my tribe.  Putting my authentic self out there and see who connects with the message.
I have been critical of the skin that I am in, and have been criticised for the way that I look, and the way I am.  Self deprecation became a coping mechanism. If I point out the bad stuff before anyone else it can't hurt as much.  I was a chubby baby, bullied at school for my weight, and have struggled with weight issues as long as I can remember.
Yep, that's me. The before, the after, and then more recently, when I started the business.  On my 35th birthday, a work colleague told me that if I hadn't lost my weight, then I wouldn't be able to do it at all.  I had to prove them wrong. As I said before, I'm stubborn like that.
I joined a zumba class.  I enjoyed it and I was good at it.  Soo good in fact, that I was recruited as an assistant for the Instructor.  12 months later I was doing 7 zumba classes a week.  At first I felt great... and everyone was telling me how great I looked. I was encouraged to become a personal trainer.  I started doing bootcamps at 6am in addition to the classes, and got my own personal trainer.  I also started running.  All on top of working full time.  Slowly but surely all that hard work took it's toll.  I hardly saw my son, I was exhausted all the time and I wasn't as happy as I thought I would be.
But I had lost over 30kgs, so why wasn't I happy?
I was in burnout.  Physically and emotionally exhausted.
Society has conditioned to believe that being skinny, the six pack abs, or the tight booty, is the picture of health and desire, and I have wasted so much time and energy trying to achieve that.  Countless diets, exercise plans, and money spent on treatments, programs and equipment. 
I have been the fat girl, then the skinny girl, then the fat girl again.
These days I have come to accept I will never be "the perfect 10" (whatever that means). But there are still some residual hang ups and assumptions that I haven’t yet mastered. The fact that I use the word "achieve", like it is a desired goal to aim for, is a limiting belief that I still carry. Healthy Eating and exercise still has an important role to play in my life, but now I use it to assist with my mental and physical health, and not just a focus on the number on the scales.
That's where CBF Clothing comes in. I want to challenge these things we have accepted as what we "should" be, what we "have" to do. Your size shouldn't matter, but your health does. What you bring to the world, and how you choose to present yourself, is what truly matters. I'm choosing to enjoy my life, to live it to it's absolute best and to try and make a difference. I can enjoy my life AND be fit and healthy.  Hopefully with CBF Activewear I can inspire others to find their own fit, tread their own path, and enjoy self care and self worth as well as health and fitness.

Who We Support

Help CBF Clothing create a mentally healthier world

At CBF, we know that it's OK not to be OK sometimes.  If that feeling lingers, then it can be a sign of a more serious problem, and it's important that you feel safe and supported during that difficult time. Unfortunately for some it can still be a difficult topic to talk about. People with mental health issues can feel dismissed, rejected and alone, and can be met with disbelief and suspicion.

It's also important to note that most people have no idea how to help or support a friend or family member who has mental health concerns. We are standing up to join Team Black Dog to turn ground breaking research into life saving action. We are donating 5% of all profits from our Rebel range to Black Dog Institute.

Your mental health and wellbeing is just as important as your physical health, and we want to encourage people to acknowledge their self care, promote self love, and live life on their own terms. It's Ok to be only OK sometimes. If it persists, then you may need the help of the services, supports and research funded by Black Dog Institute. It's OK to accept help. It's OK to utilise services to help. Help normalise mental health and mental support. You may also show your support by clicking the donate button below.

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Our Values

 

Inclusivity

I will confess, before starting CBF, it had never even occurred to me to question having separate mens activewear and womens activewear ranges. I mean, why would it? I'm a heterosexual woman who has been exposed to a heteronormative life. Imagine the light bulb moment when I realised, if you are gender neutral, which do you look at when you are online shopping? 

When researching and sourcing our styles, it became more and more apparent that labelling a garment a mens or a womens style just wasn't really all that necessary, and it’s for these reasons we chose to add “for everyone” in our categories. Let’s face it, really, does it matter what you identify as? 

Really, whether you look at the menswear, womenswear, or the everyone section, you will find something that suits who YOU are.  The only labels we care about are the ones in the back of our clothing.  That’s what we are about.. finding YOUR fit.

Body Positivity

The language around sizing is really challenging sometimes.  When in those changing rooms, do you blame the sizing of the clothes or do you go straight to blaming yourself and your size?  It can be tricky to change the thought pattern from “ I was the problem” to “that clothing isn’t right for me”. 

Obviously, we have to use something.  It is just a way of finding your fit. It doesn’t matter how many XXXXX are in front of your S or L, as long as you feel great in what you wear.

Once again when it came to finding inclusive sizing, we struggled to find gym wear and sports clothes suppliers or manufacturers who catered for the bigger, more luscious form. We still have a way to go, and as our business grows we will continue to focus on ensuring that our workout clothing caters for everyone, no matter your size or shape.  We hope that with our current collaborations and collections you can find something that caters to your required function and size, but if we don't, please let us know. We will do our best to change that.

Normalising Mental Health Issues

We sometimes get asked why we are encouraging people to CBF. Shouldn’t we be encouraging them to exercise and to eat better? In my view, that is the same as telling someone with depression to just get over it. It’s just not that easy. It’s like trying to drive on a flat tyre. Yes, the car will go forward, you might feel like you are getting somewhere, but it won’t get you very far, and you are at risk of making things a lot worse. Until one day you can’t go any further.⁠


One person’s experience of mental health can be totally different from the next. Why do some people find it easier to overcome life’s challenges? It’s usually because they have been given the tools early on to handle it. They have had role models or experiences to show them how to cope. They developed their own strategies to build resilience or just have determination.⁠


It’s also worth considering that they might not be handling it that well… they are just better at hiding it.⁠ 


We are not romanticising CBF. We are trying to just normalise it. It’s OK not to be OK sometimes.⁠

We all CBF sometimes.⁠

 

Ethical & Responsible Sourcing

We are conscious of working with manufacturers, suppliers and collaborators who support our values.  We do our best to assure that our products are ethically made, aim to reduce our impact on the environment, and promote fair and healthy conditions.  Where possible we are utilising recycled or recyclable packaging, and are actively encouraging our supply chain to do the same.  We hope to continue to do more in the future as we improve our processes and products.

Globally, 87% of all disposed textiles are sent to landfill or incinerated; 12% is mechanically recycled by cutting it or shredding it into fibre, insulation material or rags; and less than 1% is chemically recycled back to reusable raw materials.

A 2019 Pulse Of The Fashion Industry report stated that fashion generates 4% of the world’s waste each year, 92 million tons, which is more than toxic e-waste. A lot of that comes from off-cuts from the production process.

CBF Clothing aims to minimise excess stock and avoid over production for our activewear.  Currently we print on demand all our tees, singlets, sweatshirts and hoodies, which is why sometimes our purchases take a little longer to arrive in the post. We believe we are worth the wait, to avoid the waste.  Other products are stocked in low quantities, so if we are sold out, feel free to message us and we can give you an ETA for re-stock and email when your products come in.

Find Your Fit

We are constantly bombarded with "the right" way to stay healthy. You need cardio, but then you need to lift weights. You need to do HIIt sessions, but you need Yoga to combat stress, or is it boxing? CBF Clothing has one rule for fitness. You HAVE to enjoy it, because if you don't, you won't do it. Find what works for you. Be a game changer and play by your own rules. This is the approach we take to designing our activewear and workout clothing.

This also rings true for who we are in this world. We are not insta-perfect all of the time, and we all have days when we CBF. It's OK to wear Ugg boots to the supermarket, to not wear makeup out in public, to be cranky just coz, to skip leg day, whatever.You are allowed to make your own decisions without seeking validation or permission from anyone else. 

It’s Ok to say no, it’s Ok to disagree, it's Ok to not conform to societal expectations and high pressure demands we all place on ourselves and our community. It's Ok to be the rebel, the renegade, the rule-breaker, in fact, it should be actively encouraged, because that's how we evolve, how we grow.  We are all perfectly imperfect.

Finding your fit in this world is about finding your Tribe, finding the people who accept you for who you are, flaws and all. I hope you have found that place here. You are more than welcome to join our Community.

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