Having worked in the Lingerie, Swimwear and Intimates industry my whole career, for both large international brands and small start ups, I've seen a lot of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to garment production, ethics in work places (and with treating suppliers) and waste, so much waste. Starting this brand in 2016, and launching in 2017 - I knew there were things I wanted to do differently.
Slowing the fashion down was one of them. Taking away the desire to manufacture 100's if not 1000's of the same design and to make them as cheaply as possible. I wanted to flip it on its head and return to well made garments that will last a long time. Made locally and ethically; upskilling Australians and proving that things don't NEED to be made overseas. Returning to quality made garments that will last a long time, not be thrown away at the beginning of the next season due to 'trends' changing.
When planning out and designing our first Swimwear collection, I had needs and wants that the garments had to offer before I would be willing to make them. My non-compromise list so to speak. Much of this came down to the fabric that I would be using.
Without question, Swimwear to me should be:
1. Saltwater Resistant* - so you can play in the sea freely like the mermaid that you are
2. Chlorine Resistant* - a durable fabric that means the chemicals in chlorine wont break it down. Ever worn swimwear a few times and noticed it doesn't stretch so well any more?
3. UV Resistant - Generally when applying sun cream we put it on our exposed skin - but UV rays can penetrate fabrics. It was important for me to provide you with a fabric which will protect you as much as possible
4. Quick drying - no one wants their bathers to be soggie hours later, or even the next morning when you want to put them on again!
5. Ethical to the environment. Now this was going to be a challenge, as when working with Swimwear for previous brands I hadn't had this element combined with all of the others, but taking into consideration the grounding of this business I felt it an important criteria aim to include
So I set to work locating a supplier for my fabrics, a task I thoroughly enjoy when designing garments. I love connecting with suppliers and finding out the different technical capabilities of fabrics (technical fabrics and technical pattern making make my heart sing!)
When speaking with the supplier that I am now proudly working with, they informed me of an amazing fabric which literally was able to tick all of these boxes! What was this wonder fabric I asked excitedly!!
Well, its made of 100% regenerated nylon fiber's, taken from pre and post consumer materials - basically plastics being pulled from the oceans - like fishing nets, fishing lines and ropes right through to items like carpets, clothing, plastic rings from cans... the list goes on. This excited me beyond words, but I had to order sampling before I would commit to it. We need the fabric to be soft and actually wearable as well as being this amazing Eco Recycled Plastics fabric, fit and test samples had to be made.
I'm happy and proud to report that we are using a fabric which ticks all of my requirements and more.
Its a sustainable fabric, made from recycled plastics. Finding out that they are quite literally cleaning up the oceans (more information on why this is so important coming in a future blog) to create this is incredible. The fabric is smooth and soft - with everyone that's tried on or purchased garments commenting on how wearable it is! Who'd have thought that could be possible with recycled plastics?!
The fabric is strong, and very flat - it doesn't feel bulky and when the garments are lined they are still smooth to the skin. You know how swimwear can feel quite bulky on the body sometimes, well this fabric when combined with our unique ways for constructing garments ensures that they are smooth to your body - great for if you want to throw a summer dress (or the Sprite Lace Bomber) over the top and wear your swimwear out and about through the day.
The fabric offers great shape retention and has been created with athletic sports swimwear in mind. If you like playing in water parks or diving in pools - this fabric will live up to those situations - I know, I tested it on my size 14F bust on some crazy water slides while we were in Bali shooting. (For Reference, I wore the Amphitrite Closed Front Halter and didnt have any accidents of it shooting up or me popping out at the ends of the water slides!).
I previously mentioned Sun protection was important for me... it offers SPF 50+, one of the highest ratings possible for a swimwear fabric - and certainly higher than the sun cream I use on my exposed skin! If your prone to burning, wearing one of our Nixie Bomber Jackets could be a great option as a cover up for you this summer.
Not only is this fabric Chlorine Resistant*, it is 5 times more than average swimwear fabrics. What that means to you and me, is that you can play in the pool for up to 240 hours without the chlorine affecting the fabrics integrity. This means if you pop on the Nixie Mini Crop you can be playing water volley ball for hours, or the Amphitrite Bandeau will be perfect for hanging out on your Inflatable Unicorn in the pool with cocktails <3
To summarise, we've launched the Mystique of the Sea collection using fabric that we couldn't have imagined being able to. The future is NOW with technological fabric advances. It has all of the features and benefits (and more) that I feel your swimwear needs to have to be competently classified as true swimwear, while feeling soft to touch and exceptionally wearable all at the same time, what a perfect combination to prepare us for summer!
With love and thanks for your time
The Lioness / Ariane
*Saltwater and Chlorine Resistant means that they can withstand these conditions and that the structural integrity of the fabric is not affected. The garments must be rinsed with fresh water after use for them to not break down quicker than intended.