Meet Justine Rouch, Founder & CEO at Luxury Sustainable Lifestyle Company: La Pochette

La Pochette is a luxury sustainable lifestyle company.

We design bags and accessories for the way people live and move today. During a given day, you could be going to the office, meeting a colleague for a coffee, taking a spinning class, flying to New York on a business trip, taking a dip in the pool, or joining friends for dinner. Combining intelligent design with super functionality, every item is carefully considered to be the best fit for your lifestyle.

Wherever your day takes you, there’s a La Pochette to help you transition seamlessly from one activity to the next.
 
 
La Pochette - Luxury Accessories for Active Life on the Go
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
I would often avoid working out during the day, as it meant having to carry a heavy gym bag, as well as a handbag and laptop. Who wants to look like a packhorse on the tube?!? The light bulb moment came was in a changing room after a sweaty spin class. I didn’t need a gym bag!! All I needed was a bag to put my clean or sweaty kit in, and a few post class essentials like moisturiser.

Everything else was provided. Cleats, towels, hairdryers, deodorant, shampoo, shower gel. Most studios and gyms at the time provided a plastic bag for dirty kit, but I knew this wasn’t the solution, (not only from an environmental point of view, but who wants a plastic bag in their new handbag?!?). I went on a search to find a suitable bag and realised it didn’t exist! When I spoke to friends, they agreed that it was a great idea, and requested that if I found one, could I buy one for them too!

The bag needed to be big enough to fit my kit in, lightweight, washable, and stylish that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if it was seen outside of my handbag. However, it also made sense for it to be anti-microbial, and deodorising. Finally, to be as sustainable as possible, the fabric should be made from recycled plastic bottles.

Having spent twenty years in the sports and luxury fashion world, I saw the huge rise in the athleisure market. However, accessories were usually overlooked. They were either functional or attractive, but rarely both. So, I decided to create a brand that would cater to both, and La Pochette was born.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
The brand’s strap line used to be, “let’s go anywhere.” Whether that was to the gym, office, or beach. Unfortunately, during lockdown, nobody was going anywhere! We made the decision early on during the first wave that although we wouldn’t try and sell products, that we would continue to have a dialogue with our audience. They were used to us talking about the latest studio that had opened, the new class they should try, or ways they could relax. The conversation turned to what online classes to try, podcasts to listen to whilst out on a walk, or meditation apps to help alleviate stress.

However, for years people spoke about wanting more of a work/life balance with the flexibility to be able to work both from the office and remotely. Of course, successive lockdowns proved that this was possible. La Pochette’s brand ethos has always been about being able to get as much as you can out of your day, and as we transition to a hybrid lifestyle, the ability to “pack up your day” has become even more relevant. Thankfully La Pochette have the products to be able to do this effortlessly.

Although the pandemic was incredibly difficult for La Pochette, I believe we are now in a much stronger position and have solidified what we represent as a brand.
 

What can we hope to see for La Pochette in the future?

 
The future is incredibly exciting. We are launching new products this year that we have been working on since before the pandemic.

In addition to new products, we are also expanding internationally.