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ballet dancers from Northern ballet dressed in imperfect pointes sustainable dancewear

Behind the Seams

Our dancewear Story

pink dancer graphic

Helen Banks - Owner and CEO

I founded Imperfect Pointes in 2020, out of frustration at the lack of dancewear brands focusing on sustainability. Most big dancewear brands exist to make as much profit as they can. So they churn out hundreds of new leotards each season, to get dancers to buy as much as possible. I have to ask what’s behind these brands? How and where are their leotards made? Where do they end up once discarded? Most dancewear is made from virgin nylon – and is having an enormous negative impact on our environment. 

After working in fast fashion brands such as Boohoo and Misspap, and seeing the darker side of the fashion industry, I was disturbed by the huge mountains of waste going to landfill. I was outraged hearing about the working conditions in some factories where dancewear is made. To support this brand journey, I studied Sustainable Business Leadership at the University of Cambridge and  I'm on a mission to bring about a dancewear revolution

Our Imperfect Journey

How we STarted

Several years ago, when I was in a corporate role in the fashion industry. I'm no ballet dancer, as you can probably tell. Back then I didn’t know much about the dance world. I was busy trying to prove myself, in the world of fashion and sportswear. Little did I know, since I was often out working, that, my then 9 year old daughter, had been teaching herself ballet from YouTube videos.
It turned out she was not quite Marianella Nunez, but she was actually pretty good! She begged for ‘’proper’’ dance lessons and one day she was spotted by a prestigious ballet school. We didn't find ballet, ballet found us!

Our 3 main aims

Inclusion & Diversity

Make sure we create a place where everyone who loves ballet can feel included – diversity and representation is what we strive for. We aim for body positivity. You can expect to see all skin tones, body shapes and abilities in our community.


Make sure that, with our premium leotards, we are not adding to landfills and helping to keep plastic waste out of the oceans. We repair, reuse and recycle as much as we can. We aim for zero waste.

Make an impact

Encourage the ballet community to make a change - the planet can’t wait! We encourage all dancewear brands to join us and switch to sustainable production practices.

Where did our Products get their fancy names?

Why plastic's not so fantastic.

A World Wide Fund for Nature report, called out the most plastic polluted coastal areas in the Mediterranean. As a sustainable, eco-friendly brand, we decided to name all of our products after these plastic pollution hot-spots to raise awareness of the problem. We figured if our leotards, unitards and tights are made of ECONYL® yarn from recycled ocean plastics, we should highlight the issue.

From the ocean to the barre.