SPORTSWEAR brand Animalia Apparel creates clothing designed to inspire confidence and promote healthy living.

The brand was founded by Bellshill-born Tony O’Neill, who studied health, fitness and exercise.

After completing his course, O’Neill spent his summer working at Camp America, then went on to complete an degree in sport and active lifestyle promotion at Glasgow Caledonian University.

After graduating, he started working with the charity Royston Youth Action, where he was the sport development worker. After three years there, he took the plunge and in 2016 left to launch Animalia Apparel as a full-time operation.

The National:

The Animalia concept came to life in 2012 after O’Neill’s father passed away following a heart attack.

He explains: “Animalia Apparel started as Animalia Sport and Fitness around the summer of 2012. I set it up to help others not end up like my dad. My father was only 53 when he passed, which to me is far too young.”

Through his brand, O’Neill offers a range of fitness and sports clothing and fight wear designed to suit a variety of disciplines. The current range includes hoodies, zippers, leggings, rashguards and hats.

O’Neill’s ultimate aim is to inspire customers and clients to become more confident in themselves, follow an active lifestyle and pursue their ambitions, undeterred of whatever challenges come their way.

Additionally, he endorses an inclusive approach to sportswear.

He says: “At Animalia we believe in supporting people from all walks of life. We believe in healthy living, both mental and physical, and do our utmost to support sport and fitness in local communities.”

The National:

Mental health plays a large part in the brand’s ethos. As the sport and fitness aspect of his business grew, O’Neill shared videos of his own experiences with mental health, grief and general struggles in life. Not only did this help his own mental wellbeing, but allowed him to remind people that they are never alone.

O’Neill has worked with various athletes including professional boxer Michael McGurk; world champion kickboxer Jamie McGowan and Commonwealth judo gold medalist Kimberley Renicks. He has also worked in partnership with Hamilton Accies Women’s FC, the Charlie Miller Football Academy and Glasgow Caledonian University.

More recently, Animalia have begun working with Police Scotland, the Wheatley Foundation and Glasgow Housing Association on a youth development project aimed at children from Glasgow’s Govan aged between 10 and 18 years old.

The ultimate goal is to extend this project to reach out to more areas across Scotland, grow the team to deliver youth work and build the brand.

O’Neill continues: “We want to contribute to making a difference and want to support people as much as we can. Animalia means groups of living things, we know we are part of a group and look forward to making a difference together.”