As you have hopefully seen across my social media, my business parter Natalie and I just launched our own swimwear company; Stay Wild Swim which you can follow on instagram here. I am very aware that this all came completely out the blue for you guys and I feel like I have some explaining to do, so lets delve right in.
Australia is owning the swimwear market. There are hundreds of huge, successful and beautiful brands, many of which are using recycled ocean plastic for their fabrics. They’re leading the way. However, the UK market severely lacks in this area. In fact, there really aren’t many/any brands that I have heard of which are UK based, ethical and sustainable on the swimwear front. And those that do exist? They’re not really my style. I saw a gap and I wanted to fill it.
Natalie and I have spoken before about our love for the oceans and how we both want to be a part of positive change. When I brought up my dreams of a swimwear range made of recycled marine plastic Natalie told me she had always wanted to do the same. She even had branding documents and ideas from when she has brainstormed months beforehand. It seemed like fate that we work together on this project.
That was that, we decided then and there to start working on our own joint company. Bear in mind neither of us had any idea what the hell we were doing. We ended up emailing everyone we knew who had even a slither of experience in clothing production and asking to pick their brain. We soon realised that when most people start a brand they are guessing their way through it, you just learn as you go. So that is exactly what we did.
We researched factories, fabrics and designs. We discovered elements of clothing production which we didn’t even know existed; hang tags, brand books, fulfilment and handling. We learnt about what fabrics work best in swimwear, what elastics you need for straps, how thick linings should be and how to draw fashion sketches. And lets not even get started on business finances and funding! It was all completely new to us, but with a bit of research, the support of others and a whole host of spreadsheets we managed to make some headway.
We realised that if we want to make a swimwear brand focused on turning ocean plastic into swimwear, we needed to be sustainable in all elements of our company. We made special effort to ensure all stages of our production process focus on small, local and start up businesses where possible. Our factory is based in London and trains those from disadvantages backgrounds in cutting, sewing and clothing production. Our hang tags are hand printed in the UK. Our shipping is carbon neutral. Our packaging is recycled and recyclable. We are stocking Guppy Friend microfibre catching bags to wash the swimwear in so no micro plastics enter the water system; not to mention we are supporting ocean charities.
Basically, we want Stay Wild Swim to be a part of the solution to marine plastic pollution. People often think of “eco brands” as being old fashioned and inaccessible. By turning threat into thread in an ethical and stainable manner, we hope to provide an example of a modern eco-conscious company. We want to prove that you can build a successful brand which is kind to the planet without compromising on quality or style; and hopefully lead the way for more sustainable organisations to enter the market.
If you want to hear more about Stay Wild Swim then you can visit our website and follow us on instagram. We still have a long way to go, from finalising our samples through to shooting lookbooks and throwing a launch party; and we want to share it all with you. You can follow our experiences of building the brand across our social media, and we will be listening to your feedback along the way, so please do get involved!
Finally, thank you. Thank you for the all the support on this new venture. As you can probably tell, its pretty damn scary for me. It is well and truly out of my comfort zone and I am terrified of failing. However, I am determined to be a part of positive change. I want to support the oceans, be a force for good and build a brand which reflects this. I hope that you will support me along the way.