According to co-founders Geoff Gates and Anneline Helms, the swimwear range uses fabric made from recycled plastic bottles with offcuts from the production process, which are then upcycled into matching accessories, like hair scrunchies. The brand’s accessories collection will be released online next month.
“The premium brand is designed to appeal to an ethically conscious consumer who still has a passion for fine design and individuality,” Gates said.
Cinnamon Swan’s collection is designed in New Zealand but the company is also working with a sustainable manufacturing firm in Bali.
Gates said the level of consideration and detail that goes into the brand’s packaging decisions are just as important as those needed for the clothing itself.
“The ethos of the brand lies in both sustainability and luxury and the market we are targeting are looking for an ethically holistic approach to the design, as well as the packaging and distribution of their clothing,” he says.
“While the swimwear material contains plastic bottles, the export packaging has been carefully designed to be entirely free of plastic.”
Gates says Cinnamon Swan uses a refined, drawer-style cardboard box to present the product, which can be reused by the customer as a jewellery box. Meanwhile, the bag is made from biodegradable material.
“Even the hang tags don’t use plastic attachments and thanks to another locally sourced innovation, we also have a recycled, water-activated tape to seal our boxes,” he explains.
“The shipping boxes have also been downsized by half their original design to further reduce our carbon footprint.”
In the near future, Cinnamon Swan plans to expand beyond just swimwear and into luxe beachwear, loungewear and accessories, sold both in New Zealand and overseas.
Gates says they timed their launch during the summer season in New Zealand and Australia but they will also soon focus on the European, US and Chinese markets.
Gates says pricing decisions were being carefully worked through to meet the needs of the Northern Hemisphere export market.
“There is a lot of demand for New Zealand luxury brands in China and we have begun working with a specialist company to help us establish a presence in that market,” he said.
“In some countries such as those in the European Union, the import duties paid by customers can be a significant barrier to purchase from overseas retailers.”
Gates says to meet the needs of this market, they have reached a price point which can best be described as the ‘low end of the high end’ of luxury swimwear.
Gates, who previously designed multi-million dollar interiors of private jets as well as Boeing, Airbus and Air New Zealand aircraft, said his design experience complements Helm’s skills, who is also the brand’s director of fashion.
“Anneline had years of experience as an international model for labels such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Swarovski before focusing on pursuing a career in cardiology and her insights from the fashion world have helped shape the new accessorised clothing line,” he said.
Founders: Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd
Launch date: February 2017
Here’s what you need to know: Since it launched in 2017, Londre has recycled 100,000 plastic bottles from the streets and beaches of Taiwan and turned them into a sustainable swimwear offering.
“Creating a positive change in our global community is at the heart of Londre,” said Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd, the brand’s co-founders.
“We use our small business to raise awareness and funds for women’s health and environmental initiatives.”
The swimwear brand not only creates items made of recycled plastic bottles, it also uses a sustainable chitosanté fibre, a material made from crab and shrimp shells. Chitosanté, which is also known for its anti-bacterial and odor-resistant qualities, is created when chitosan is combined with textile fibers during the dyeing process of the pieces.
A minimum of six recycled plastic bottles were used for every piece of swimwear, which include styles such as a versatile suit that can be worn in six different ways, an asymmetrical top with an adjustable tie, and the high-waisted bikini bottom, which includes a removable belt.
According to Londre, all the water used in the process of creating the suits can be reused as they are free from chemicals and the dyes used in production don’t harm the environment and have a natural PH. The fabrics used in creating the suits are produced at a textile facility in Taiwan — OEKO Tex 100 certified — that has the highest eco certification standard possible for textile production.
Londre also offers a repair program where compensation is given to customers to have suits repaired within its first year after purchase.
Founder: Leila Veerasamy
Launch date: September 2018
Here’s what you need to know: When PA.NI founder Leila Veerasamy thought of creating her brand, she knew that her biggest challenges would be sourcing the right materials and finding reliable partners.
After thorough research, Veerasamy picked partners and manufacturers based on their compliance with ethical and environmental standards.
“We use high-grade Italian fabric made from recycled fishing nets,” Veerasamy explained on her site. “With more than 12.7 million tons of plastic waste found in our ocean every year, we believe it is our duty to help clean the oceans.”
“Through our materials and processes, we induce sustainability in our value chain and deliver a product that uses waste as a resource.”
Although the fabric is sourced in Italy, production of PA.NI’s swimwear is done in Sri Lanka and artisanal embellishments from both a village in Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai.
PA.NI is a high-end swimwear brand made for different types of Indian women’s bodies and made from econyl, a type of fabric upcycled from nylon fishing nets and other wastes made of plastic found in the ocean.
“PA.NI is an Indian swimwear brand that wants to empower women, by catering to different body types and opening conversations about body positivity,” Veerasamy said. “One of the reasons why we started PA.NI was to help women who felt like they had to compromise on either style or comfort when it came to buying swimsuits.”
Veerasamy said it was her aim to create a body-positive swimwear line with a minimal impact on the environment, while also empowering factory workers.
Before she designed the first collection, the brand surveyed more than 100 women in Mumbai about their relationships with their bodies and swimwear.
“Our objective was not to create a one-size-fit-all brand,” Veerasamy said in an interview with MinistryOfNew.in, adding that she has been overwhelmed by the amount of positive customer feedback the brand has received from India, Singapore and Mauritius.
“We found that people could really connect to both our commitment to sustainability and accessible product line.”