The main aim for our swimwear is to be zero waste and functional with a perfect fit. We don't make anything for pure aesthetics. We don't follow trends. We cut every style back to it's basic necessities. We would never add an extra strap or frill to make the garment prettier. We would only do so, in order to make the garment function better or to use any fabric that would otherwise become waste.
Pattern making & cutting.
We use recycled paper collected from the local supermarket to mark our patterns. We would like to use CAD and send our lay plans directly from the computer to the fabric cutting machine but we haven't the machines nor the know how so far. Plus we find working with paper patterns super therapeutic.
Each style is cut from a tessellating pattern which leaves no waste. We are left with a perfect line to work from after the cutting of each lay plan. In order to achieve zero waste 2 different styles or sizes are often placed together in the same lay plan. Below you can see the cutting of the small High Wasters with the Mangia Fuoco top small
We cut everything by hand but when the business grows we would like to be using a large laser cutting machine in order to lower our labour costs and become more affordable for everyone.
Composition: 65% recycled nylon , 35% elastane
Please check this post for further information on this subject
Fluffy nylon yarn - made in China by Meilun This a high stretch thread which must be used because otherwise the stitching will break when the garment is worn. After many months of searching, this was the first supplier who would offer us the low minimum order quantity we required.
100% polyester thread bought from the local merceria Camagni Roberto Small businesses supporting small businesses.
HD tape - made in China by Yunze Garment Accessories We use this as little as possible but is a must for strengthening any seams which will be placed under a lot of preassure. Again, after searching for many months, this was the first supplier who would offer us the low minimum order quantity we required.
Obviously we would like to use no plastic at all (recycled or not) but the technology of swimwear fabrics is still developing and only in the last few years sustainable swimwear fabrics have begun appearing on the market. Soon we will be experimenting with hemp fabrics to see if they can withstand our test of durability.
We need to make the garment last for as many years as possible in order to slow down fashion production and waste. The fluffy nylon yarn is an absolute must in swimwear production as is the elastic tape. The elastic tape could be made of natural rubber instead of plastic but in our past experiences this biodegraded faster than the swimsuit wore out. Besides ordering small quantities, We have yet to find sustainable alternatives for the threads and elastic tape.
If you have any questions or information for us on this subject please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All thread and elastic tape ends are recuperated and used as cushion filler.
Above image shows the amount of waste left from 2 years of work. These are small triangles mainly left over from trial and error. Instead of being thrown away they will be used as frills in the childrens swimsuits.
Packaging & Shipping.
The swimwear or other item will be placed in a recycled plastic bag to protect it from the weather. These plastic bags usually come from parcels that have arrived by courier and therefore, are recycleable. Others come from our grandparents who aren't quite quick enough to say no to a plastic bag (usually the biodegradable type).
It is then placed in a brown paper bag and closed with metal staples.
Our hangtags are attached with a thin strip of our fabric which is sometimes left to the side of a zero waste lay plan due to slightly varying widths between colours.