This blog is going to begin with a game. It requires strong attention to detail and high levels of intelligence in order to win. Assuming you possess these very qualities please read on and use your talents to answer the following question:
Of these four swimsuits, which one is made from recycled fishing nets?
Well it’s a trick question, because they all are. They are all made from the fabric ECONYL® by British brand Auria. ECONYL® is a nylon fibre which is made from recycled fishing nets, and other debris that is thrown into our ocean every day. Through an extraction procedure the nylon from the ocean waste can be regenerated and thus be reused. You can’t stop people buying clothes, but you can get people to start buying clothes that are environmentally friendly.
This youtube video goes into the production process.
One of the first to use this particular fabric is Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion graduate, Diana Auria. Diana runs her own online store where you can purchase her designs. She has also been working on projects with UK retailer Selfridges and tech giants Sony to promote the importance of eco friendly approaches to production in the world of retail. Her innovative collection for Sony involved creating a collection of clothing, accessories and handbags all made from recycled headphones. Chatting to her has been an insight into what the fashion industry could be like in Britain and all over the world, if we as the consumers decide to buy more responsibly. I would highly recommend one of her swimsuits for bikini season this year, invest and treat yourself to some guilt free, and high-quality threads for sunbathing (or outdoor showers if you’re staying in Britain). I got a quick chat with Diana to find out more about her brand and its message.
Are you the designer? And if not who is?
“Yes I am, I studied Fashion Contour at London College of Fashion, which is a degree specialising in swimwear and lingerie design.”
How long has the company been going? And where did the inspiration come from?
“I launched my first collection in 2013, so over 5 years now. However, it doesn’t feel like that long! I was fascinated with the idea of pushing boundaries in an industry that at the time, felt very stale and saturated. The idea of sustainability was not progressive and was associated with words such as ‘upcycling’ or ‘hemp’. I wanted to make these ethical elements more dynamic and contemporary.”
Did you find out about the recycled fabrics and go from there?
“When I was at university doing my graduate collection, I knew I wanted to make it as sustainable as possible. This meant researching fabrics. Luckily a company called ECONYL launched at the exact same time as I was looking. I was one of the first people to use their fabric, which is made from regenerated nylon waste, from items such as fishing nets and even carpets. Now big brands such a Speedo and Volcom use this same fabric.”
What are your views on H&M/Newlook/Primark and the High street in general?
“I have mixed views about the high street, as it causes some of the worst waste and pollution out of any industry. However, there has to be a balance of stores having responsibility on what they are producing, with the consumers being conscious about what they are consuming. I know H&M and Zara have their own ‘sustainable’ collections, which is great to make it more accessible to the mainstream. I hope one day, everyone will have a ‘sustainable’ collection and choose ‘slow’ fashion over ‘fast’ fashion.”
What do you say to people who think you can’t stay on trend and be good to the environment?
“It depends how you classify ‘trend’. I think being conscious and green is a trend that will hopefully become the norm one day.”
What is your favourite piece at the moment and when can we expect some new additions?
“My favourite swimsuit is this pink and blue rainbow hand crocheted one piece that I made in collaboration with Katie Jones. I am launching my new collection on my online store this week.”
Who is your favourite British designer?
“There are a bunch of amazing young, independent women designers that are doing amazing things, including Katie Jones, Kitty Joseph and Clio Peppiatt.”
And where would you say is THE place to wear a Bikini this summer?
“I would say the place is the Philippines, a place where I am proud to call the motherland. It is just a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. I dream about being there most nights. El Nido in Palawan is my favourite place there.
Auria is a new brand that is not only made sustainable but looks and feels amazing too. Diana turns seaworthy rags in to gorgeous, luxury beachwear and is setting the bar high for her competitors. Cheap prices mean dangerous working conditions and unfair pay, this is the exact opposite of that and is not just a business idea, but a world wide initiative to make our planet a better place. Please take the time to look at these amazing collections and look into what Auria is all about, I have included a link to their YouTube video which goes into the production process and the history of the brand, not to name drop but Eliza Doolittle and Rihanna have both been spotted wearing Auria so don’t be too late to the party to avoid serious FOMO syndrome.