The vacation season is officially here! While you are all armed up to travel green with founder Mirela’s tips on eco-travel, if you are headed to zone out at the beach, without doubt you are hunting for some swimwear. Look no further! Itsy-bitsy fun bikinis may seem the last thing that harm the planet, but just like the rest of fashion products, they too follow the same process of raw material sourcing, manufacturing, packaging & retailing which can be terribly unsustainable. So just like we helped you with tips on how to refashion your wardrobe to remain stylish yet sustainable, we help you with your beach wardrobe! We introduce you to a cheeky (pun intended) and yet sustainable swimwear brand!
Say hello to Breakfast Swim & founder Katie Martello!
Sustainable swimwear brand Breakfast Swim was founded by Katie Martello. An upbringing by parents that cultivated a love of the earth in Katie from an early age (hiking trips, chores that included taking out the compost, and 3am wake-ups to watch meteor showers) can easily be termed the starting point of her sustainable swimwear label! Katie graduated from Syracuse University in 2012 with a degree in illustration, and moved from there to the NYC area to work in the design world. She loved her job and her coworkers, but something in her itched to build something of her own. She had always envisioned life as a freelance illustrator, but her job in the apparel industry nurtured a sparkly new love for fashion. And what better place to explore that than NYC? She signed up for a weekend class at FIT to test the waters, and was immediately hooked. This was definitely the dream: build a company that hit all the right creative notes fashion, design, branding – and tether it to one of her biggest personal values: sustainability.
She completed the Sustainable Design Entrepreneur program with FIT, growing the concept for Breakfast along the way. She wanted to create a brand that was driven by sustainability, but presented fashion-first. Something that was equal style-wise to fast fashion brands, but had the added benefit of not being terrible for our planet… because the more she learned about fashion’s devastating impact, the more she wanted her company to be part of the solution. She built Breakfast Swim with the intention for sustainability at every level.
So how’s Breakfast Swim sustainable?
All of their swimsuits are made with Econyl, a recycled fiber made from 100% regenerated nylon waste. Items such as ghost fishing nets (hooray for cleaning up the ocean!) are collected from all over the world, and processed at Econyl’s closed-loop regeneration facility into useable fibers. These fibers are then woven into the fabric that we use for all our bikinis. Their custom fabric prints (hand-designed by her!) are transferred onto the fabric using digital printing – a process that side-steps all the waste created by traditional dyeing methods, and saves thousands of gallons of water.
Their factory in Bali was a gem to find. Katie believes ethical manufacturing is a core component of sustainability, and was so happy to find a manufacturer who let seamstresses set their own pace and paid them livable wages. They have ethics and sustainability baked into their company values, so Katie is confident that Breakfast Swim will be able to grow together as they discover more ways to make their process an eco-friendly one.
Now on the style front!
Breakfast Swim styles for 2017 were designed to fit a range of support and coverage needs -because as a woman, Katie knows bikini shopping can be an -ahem- trying experience. One special thing to note – all their bottoms are designed to show atleast a little cheek! This is a deliberate design move so that the edges skim the curviest part of your bottom to give a figure-flattering, body-lifting line.
1. The style with the most coverage and support- Rumrunner
The top was inspired by a simple sports bra, with clean lines, minimal design, and wider straps that won’t dig into your shoulders. The neckline is scooped, with enough support to both hold you in and perk you up. The Rumrunner bottoms are boyfriend cut, sitting low on the hips with wider sides. They offer the most rear coverage of our bottoms, showing just enough cheek to be flattering.
2. Style which runs middle-of-the-road in terms of support and coverage-Margarita
The top features a completely adjustable band, which you can customize to prevent digging and keep it securely fastened in rough surf. The straps can be worn straight up and down, or crossed in the back for a more supportive fit. The Margarita bottoms have moderate coverage in front, and are fairly cheeky in the back. They can either be worn at the hips, or pulled up higher for a 90 ’s beach babe look.
3. The “Itsy-est” bikini this season- Mai-Tai
The top features fixed-triangle cups with fully adjustable straps, and was designed with minimal tan lines in mind. The Mai-Tai bottoms are our take on the classic string bikini, with minimal front and back coverage. Instead of strings, we have fixed straps that are wide enough to avoid digging into your hips, but thin enough to show off your tan lines.
For 2017 color-ways, each option is an exclusive print hand-drawn by Katie (tapping into the illustration background here) and backed by a solid color. This means you’re basically getting two-for-one – it cuts down on the need to buy more, and takes up less suitcase space. Each style comes in size small through extra-large, and fits true to size (similarly to Frankie’s Bikinis, Acacia, and L*Space). Everything is mix-and-match between colors, sizes, and styles.
- First there’s “Lunchbox”, a yummy print that’s basically everything you want for lunch, which reverses to a soft candy pink.
- Next, there’s “Sweetie”, because it’s not summer without ice cream, which reverses to a classic white.
- And finally, there’s “Toast”, the avocado brunch dish that will never die. This one reverses to a pale cloud gray.
Shop this sustainable swimwear delight – support them!
Breakfast Swim is releasing its first collection on Kickstarter, which is where you all come in! They need your help in getting the word out to back them. Katie has worked with our factory the past few months perfecting the samples and ironing out production details, but they need additional funding to meet the factory’s minimum order quantity. So get yourself one of there cheeky styles right below (and pre-order a bikini, if you feel so inclined)!
- Instagram: @Breakfast_Swim
- Pinterest: @breakfastswim
- Twitter: @Breakfast_Swim
- Website: breakfastswim.co
So go ahead and support them. If you are looking for some equally sustainable yet sexy beach fashion items, checkout the brand Milo+Nick on UrbanMeisters!
And don’t forget to stay green while on your holiday by not using plastic! Especially, say no to single-use plastic like straws! Here are more tips on how to stay plastic-free by Mirela!