Q&A With the Gen Z Founder of Playground Active

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Kyslee Greve, a 24-year-old Laguna Beach resident, created Playground Active hoping to bring a fashion element to activewear. But she didn’t stop there—she also incorporated sustainable and ethical elements into the brand. “I wanted to have a mission that stood deeper than the product, because the fashion space can be so wasteful,” Greve says. “I wanted to create a brand that was going to give back to people and the Earth.”

How did you come up with the idea for Playground Active?
I had the idea to create Playground when I saw a gap in the market for activewear in your everyday. It’s really marketed to sports, but people are wearing these products to go to the grocery store, not necessarily to run a marathon. (Other activewear) products didn’t have the fun fashion element that people want in their everyday wear.

What inspires you when designing?
I really look to the everyday girl—what she’s wearing, wanting, doing, and buying. I mostly look to the ready-to-wear market and forward-thinking brands and see how I can incorporate those things into the active space to help fill out that girl’s closet, so she’s able to have the fashion trends she’s seeing with the comfort and confidence that activewear gives you.

How would you describe the style?
It’s very fun and playful. I’ve had multiple people say you can’t put on Playground and not feel happy. I think what you put on your body is what shapes your mood, and if you’re putting on something that makes you feel and look great, it’ll stimulate a happy mindset.

What makes your brand sustainable?
All our secondary materials are recycled and compostable—the bag that the garment is in, as well as the hangtags and all paper supplies are printed using a water-based vegetable dye and made of recycled and recyclable materials. It’s the bare minimum of what you need, packaging-wise. Every order that’s placed, we plant a tree. We partnered with Trees for the Future to help us offset our carbon emissions. I feel that it’s so important to give back to this Earth that has provided us so much.

How is your brand ethically made?
When I was picking my supplier, it was very important to me that the people manufacturing my clothes were treated fairly. Our factories in China are owned by an Australian company, and their entire labor force and staff is very well paid. Their labor standards fit so many codes. At the end of the day, to me the most important thing is the quality of life of my workers.

What do you want other Gen Z women to know?
I funded my whole business with (money) that I saved through college and COVID-19. I had this idea, quit my day job, and I’ve really loved every minute of it. It’s just so exciting to own a small business; every time I make a sale, I get a notification on my phone and I celebrate every single one. I just want to (encourage) other women to go out and follow their dreams.

playgroundactive.com

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