So there we were one sunny day in the summer of 2023, in the thick of our usual hustle - packing orders, laughing, and sending off our beachwear to all the sun chasers like us... when it hit me.
Our little shop born from the love of the sea, our dream turned reality, was also turning into a bit of a plastic bag factory. We had generated over hundreds plastic bags that month!
That stung, especially for a bunch of ocean lovers like us. But while the realization hurt, it was a turning point that we knew we had to take action on.
We pored over options, from biodegradables to recyclables, only to realize that some of these 'green' solutions were neither as eco-friendly nor as practical as they promised.
Some sustainable options were more than 200-300% more pricey and for our small, mother-daughter operation, these costs were just too steep to take on.
So it was back to the drawing table.
We went back to square one, brainstorming and researching. Our next stop? Cardboard packaging. It initially seemed promising with its recyclability and reusability. However, we soon uncovered a different set of issues – bulkier shipments, more storage space, and the potential for higher carbon emissions.
It was a complex puzzle, balancing our environmental aspirations with the practicalities of running a small business. But giving up wasn't in our nature. We started exploring creative alternatives, tapping into a blend of innovation and simplicity. Could we perhaps design our own packaging that was both functional and environmentally conscious?
This led us to experiment with minimal packaging designs. We began testing lighter, recycled materials that could still protect our products but with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. We reached out to our community, gathering feedback, and involving them in our journey towards sustainability.
The result was a packaging solution that resonated with our values – reduced in size and impact, yet effective and practical for our community. It felt like we had finally caught the right wave, aligning our love for the ocean with our business practices.
We started collaborating with suppliers who shared our vision, ensuring that every piece of beachwear we created was not only beautiful but also kind to the planet which resulted in us obtaining certification under the Global Recycled Standard.
Reflecting on this journey, we realized that the challenge we faced was a blessing in disguise. It pushed us to think outside the box, literally and figuratively. We learned that being a small business didn't mean our impact had to be small. With this new inspiration in heart, it was the perfect time to work on our brand.
We teamed up with an incredible Italian designer for a rebrand with the aim of not just looking good, but reflecting what we stand for – ethical, vibrant, totally beach-obsessed, and earth-friendly.
In spring 2023, we took a trip to India. We wanted to find the best cotton and viscose, making sure everything was high-quality and ethically made, without child labor.
We met with local makers and learned a lot from them. That summer, we even ran a workshop in Thailand, searching for the perfect organic cotton. Seeing our designs come to life, woven with care and thought, was really special. Each piece felt like it was telling its own story of making thoughtful, responsible choices.
As we move forward, we are more committed than ever to our mission of merging style with sustainability. Our little shop by the sea has become a beacon of eco-conscious fashion, and we're excited to see where this current will take us next.