Today's mission - under strict parental guidance - has been to learn about greenwash in the swimsuit industry. So where to begin?
Google, of course!
Our first step was to understand what the term greenwashing actually means. Is it about dying your clothes?
Ah … no.
Greenwashing is where a brand or industry says they're eco-friendly, but are in fact not at all. Often, they'll say that they are 'natural' or 'conscious', but won't give any back up information to show how and why. We found that a lot of so called 'sustainable fabrics' aren't actually always as green as people think. For instance, cotton, as a natural fibre, sounds pretty great - right? But did you know it's actually one of the least sustainable or ethical materials around? And many of the swimwear fabrics made from recycled plastic water bottles actually introduce MORE plastic during the production process, which sort of defeats the purpose.
We also learnt that there is a difference between 'ethical' and 'sustainable'. Your swimsuit may be recycled and the most eco-friendly swimsuit there is out there, but that doesn't mean it isn't made by people in sweatshops earning close to nothing for the work they do. That's one of the reasons we're so thankful we've been able to have our swimsuits manufactured here in Newcastle. We go to the workshop on an almost daily basis and we can tell you for sure that there are no poor working conditions here, and very little waste either!
But choosing the right fabric is much harder.
For our first swimsuit design we're using Carvico and I have to say, we're happy with this choice right now. It's made of ECONY yarn, which is 100% regenerated nylon from waste such as fishing nets that have been discarded in the ocean. Eight million tons of waste clogs our oceans every year, and around 640 THOUSAND tons of fishing nets are abandoned. Isn't it amazing that we can take this waste and turn it into something beautiful to wear?
The other thing we like about Carvico is its quality. The fabric we use is made all the way in Italy- it's high-end, supportive and should last for years. Quite often we found swimwear that had thinned around certain areas after only a few months of wear, and we wanted swimmers that could last us for as long as we wanted them to.
And the colours are beautiful.
We can't wait til we can show you. Just four more sleeps to go and we can share our first design with you!