Since November 2019, fans of The Royal Ballet School can support the iconic institution by purchasing exclusive merchandise through its pop-up store and e-commerce site Covent Garden. The school offers a range of unique clothing, dance equipment and commemorative items, carefully developed through student feedback and external customer surveys.
In 2022, the School expanded its online store with the addition of a range of eco-responsible dancewear and sportswear in partnership with Dansez, one of the UK’s leading designers and producers of sustainable dancewear.
The Royal Ballet School’s position on sustainability
The Royal Ballet School is not new to going green, and sustainability has been a key part of its retail offering from the start. The school first opened its shop with high quality products from suppliers with strong ethical and sustainable credentials. Take the child from school and hoodies for adults of AM Clothing, the first print shop in the UK to introduce fair trade Neutral® clothing, or its branded tote bags, made from thick cotton, Fairtrade and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The Bag It Don’t Bin It accredited company provides these bags.
When it came to adding an eco-friendly dancewear line, the school turned to Dansez. This company has been a market leader in dancewear for 45 years, designing and manufacturing exceptionally high quality products that are handcrafted in the company’s UK studio and trusted by dancers around the world.
Dansez works with organizations that “seek excellence, artistic innovation and social/environmental responsibility in all they do”. The designer’s collaboration with the Royal Ballet School represents a forward-looking partnership between two leaders in the fields of dance and sustainable apparel production.
Development of the Dancewear range
The development process began with the school and Dansez surveying students to better understand their dance and sportswear needs. The survey included questions on style, fabric preference and opinions on sustainable production. The survey showed that the vast majority of students felt it was important that their clothes were made in a sustainable way.
It was essential that function and style go hand in hand with durability when producing the range. The initial samples, designed with support from Royal Ballet School alumnus and Dansez collaborator Brandon Lawrence, went through a product testing phase. During this testing phase, a focus group of Royal Ballet School students provided feedback on quality, comfort and reassurance when moving. The clothes went through a final stage of modification to refine the designs. Each piece features the Royal Ballet School logo and incorporates accents of the school’s hallmark gold color on sleek black designs.
The resulting range features sophisticated leotards, tops, shorts and tights, perfect for the gym, yoga or Pilates classes, and any dance style, including ballet.
The recycling power of ECONYL®
As part of the company’s commitment to positive change, Dansez is the first UK dancewear producer to use ECONYL®, a regenerated fabric derived from ocean and landfill nylon waste , such as the discarded fishing nets the Healthy Seas Initiative has recovered from waters around the world. .
ECONYL® is an infinitely recyclable fiber that offers a quick, disposable fashion alternative and proves that you can always enjoy new products while contributing to a better environment. ECONYL®’s regenerated nylon is identical to new nylon and never loses its recycling potential, which means creating new products without using new resources.
Dansez has created the Royal Ballet School range of dancewear by combining ECONYL® with the finest Italian fabrics, resulting in high quality garments that look great, perform fantastically and benefit the planet.
The Royal Ballet School’s expanded Christmas line-up
The Royal Ballet School has also expanded its retail offering in time for this year’s festive shopping. Latest seasonal items include Christmas’ balls which feature a golden silhouette of two former pupils of the Royal Ballet School dancing a pas de deux by Paquita. These alumni are Hanna Park, who now dances with the Royal Ballet, and Davi Ramos, who now dances with the Dutch National Ballet.
The newly expanded festive range also includes two Christmas cards, each designed exclusively for the Royal Ballet School by Njeri Illustrated of London. A map features high school students walking under the Christmas lights of Covent Garden to their class. The second card shows young pupils from the Royal Ballet School having a playful snowball fight on the grounds of White Lodge. These cards are available in packs of six.
About the Royal School of Ballet
Since its founding in 1926, The Royal Ballet School has contributed enormously to the rich heritage of the Royal Ballet and the art form as a whole. With its distinguished classical ballet training, the celebrated dance institution has produced a star-studded alumni roster that includes acclaimed performers like Margot Fonteyn, David Wall, Darcey Bussell, Steven McRae, Marianela Nuñez and Christopher Wheeldon.
Select talented young ballet dancers who progress through the school’s eight-year full-time course. Students receive first-class dance instruction and extensive academic training, exceptional pastoral care, and state-of-the-art nutritional and fitness counseling delivered through the Healthy Dancer program by a dedicated team of medical professionals. Prepared for successful futures in the world of classical ballet and beyond, many of the school’s graduates go on to careers with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other major international dance companies.
Young talents outside of full-time studies and dance teachers from all over the world can also benefit from the School’s classical ballet training expertise thanks to its numerous Training and Access programs.