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A Heart to Reduce Waste

Once everyone had convinced me enough to sell my swimsuits, I was torn because I knew how much the fashion industry creates waste. Living here in Hawai'i and seeing first hand how much of a toll plastic takes on our environment, I knew I couldn't create more waste. I did my research on recycled fabrics. There are larger companies in Italy that have great options, but I had seen companies use them and I wanted to be different. So I looked up and down on Etsy and finally found a shop that had some amazing options. Prints I would have never even thought to put on a swimsuit, prior. The best part is that the fabrics were composed of recycled materials like plastic bottles, fishing mesh, yarn, and recycled Lycra Spandex. I talked with the Etsy shop owner for quite a while and realized she also had a heart for sustainablity, so I decided she would be our distributor. We have been working together ever since, and have some very exciting things planned for the future.

My next thought was thread, holy crap I didn't realize how much thread I would go through even just in the trial period. Not long after, I had the thought that if I can buy 100s of years of recycled fabrics then there must be an alternative for normal polyester thread. My mom had told me Gutermann thread was one of the best quality threads, so I litterally googled eco-friendly Gutermann Thread, and what do you know? It's a thing. It's made up of 100% recycled polyester from old plastic bottles. So I then had two materials that were made up of recycled post consumer products. Even though my suits were now made from recyled materials I kept having the same thought.. waste waste waste. I just wasn't convinced that I was going to just throw away all of my scraps.

One day I was talking to my roommate Luna about wanting to possibly make scrunchies or something from my scraps. She had sent me a Instagram account- @rubytoblue. They're based out of San Diego and create beautiful handmade jewelry, including earrings from swimsuit scraps. I had a feeling I would be in well over my head with just swimsuits, so the thought of going into a whole other industry freaked me out. I decided that instead of making something from my scraps, I would reach out to Ruby to Blue, and ask her if I could instead donate my scraps to her. She was overly excited to partner with ADA SWIM and was more than inviting! You can now purchase them via her website

Packaging was my next thought. I order from amazon frequently and always am blown away at the amount of plastic and waste that can fit in such a little box. I did some research and found biodegradable poly-mailers.. HOW COOL. They are made up of corn starch and 100% non-toxic compostable resin. They break down within 45 days in an ideal compost environment and within 6 months in home compost. The idea blew my mind, and I knew that is what ADA SWIM would be using. Yes they are little more pricey, compared to other non eco-friendly ones, but to me its 100% worth it. I want to make sure that ADA SWIM is a part of sustainable fashion, from the beginning till the end.

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