We interviewed Tina Ishak, the designer behind Baythe Swim. The brand is all about minimalist and easily wearable swimwear designs that focus on quality sustainable fabrics but are affordable and, of course, look and feel good on the body!
Baythe is strongly influenced by the laid back yet cool Bondi Beach summer vibes and all that it encompasses – beach, waves, sand, sun, active lifestyle and easy care free nature. Baythe speaks to women all over the world of all ages but primarily our demographic is women ages 18-35 years old.
What motivated you towards sustainable fashion? Why is sustainability important for you personally?
It’s an area that I’ve personally been interested in for a while with all areas of my life, I’m very health conscious, and naturally that started to unfold into other areas fashion, interiors, food and basic shopping needs. I’m always conscious with the choices I make when I purchase products and the factors I consider are what is the product made from in terms of materials, where it’s made, is there a better alternative e.g regular cotton or organic cotton? When you can understand what these differences mean you start to make better choices.
Why did you choose to use ECONYL® fiber?
I love the idea that the fibers were made from recyclable materials and cleaning up our oceans. The sustainability factor was very important to me when starting Baythe Swim as I didn’t want to create another product that would only add to all the waste, I wanted a product that was made from quality material, clever in its technology having multi use with active and swim combination it was the perfect choice for Baythe Swim and one I feel proud of.
Is there a difference between the Australian market and the rest of the world when it comes to people’s acceptance of sustainability/sustainably produced fashion?
I think sustainability and fashion is an important factor globally and Australians are definitely working towards this and we’re seeing designers embrace this concept more and more. Australians on the whole are health conscious people and that is starting to translate into all areas of their lives including sustainable fashion.
What is in your experience that consumers ask to brand? Has this changed lately?
Most consumers are interested in what’s on trend with styles, fabrics and colors, more and more are making better choices in the quality they’re purchasing but there’s still a way to go here and education and accessibility are factors here which is why I’ve worked hard to make the Baythe range at an accessible price without the huge markups.
Where do you find inspiration for new collections?
I find it everywhere whether it is fashion, interiors, art, social media, local Bondi hot spots and real people. I also practice yoga and meditation as I find this really grounds me and helps me think clearer and with better intention so I can absorb and translate everything happening around me into a product that is stylish, innovative, useful and contributes to something better in the world.
What would you say are the upcoming trends in swimwear?
Active swim as I call it, is an emerging concept and one that I think will continue to grow over the years and was one of the main reasons Baythe Swim was born. The idea of living close to the beach and the Australia active lifestyle means we can combine the two quite easily, you can be doing a soft sand run, coastal walk, yoga or barre in the nearby studios and head straight into the water afterwards for a cool down, you can’t beat that feeling!
In terms of trends we’re seeing a mix of fabric textures and an array of color choices and ones that are currently outdoing the basic blacks. A wide variety of yellows and oranges will continue to lead the way, as well earthy tones like nudes, sand and terracotta and more cooler tones of blues and purples making their way in.
What is the revolution you are hoping for in the fashion industry?
I’m hoping that businesses make better choices in the way they manufacture products and a move away from fast fashion. As most already are now aware, this is contributing to an enormous amount of waste and it doesn’t need to be that way. We need to make better choices, buy less, choose well and really try to get the most out of a product so when you’re buying a product there’s longevity in it. Once you’re done with it, pass it onto someone or look at ways to recycle.
What’s next for your brand?
I’m currently working on my next collection and exploring ways to play with recyclable textures and colors so I can continue to produce sustainable products in new and innovative ways.
Do you have any social or environmental initiative running?
Currently I’m focusing on producing quality swimwear in the sustainable area at an accessible price, I think it’s important to make products accessible to a wider number of people, however as time goes on I hope to be able to contribute to more initiatives but it definitely feels great to work with a product like ECONYL® because I already feel like I’m helping make a better future.
What are the most interesting sources of info on sustainable fashion in Australia?
The sources I go to include Fashion Revolution who are doing amazing things to increase awareness in this area and make the production of the products consumers receive more personal.
The Australian Fashion Council and Ethical Fashion organizations are also leading the way as sources to turn to for best practice.
And then we have a number of online publications such as Ecowarrior Princess and Ethical Made Easy that are more translatable for the everyday.
What are the most important events in Australia for sustainable fashion?
The most recent and significant event held was the Australian Circular Fashion, Australia’s first, exclusive, industry-only fashion sustainability conference. There’s more to be done in this area to raise awareness and hope to see that in the near future.
What are the most conscious VIP people or influencers to follow in Australia?
I like to follow Ecowarrior Princess and Your Zen Life by Australian actress Teresa Palmer these are two of my favorites as they have a stylish take on conscious living.
Influencers definitely have a role to play in encouraging more sustainable choices, particularly the fashion influencers as they generally have big cult followings. It would be nice to see more ownership in this area so we can better educate consumers on their purchases and also to change the image that sustainable/eco is more daggy or hippie.
Do you have a favorite piece of garment that has been with you for very long time? What is it and what is the story behind it?
My favourite item is a very large wool/cashmere blend wrap I bought in Firenze when on holiday many years ago. I have used it every winter since and now use it for my baby boy as a blanket when he’s sleeping. It’s a piece I thoroughly enjoy and has meaning to me and one that I’ve gotten a lot of use out and that makes me happy because it’s not just a seasonal item that I’ve forgotten about.
Where are your products available in the world?
We’ve made Baythe Swim available worldwide and we hope women globally embrace the Bondi influenced swimwear.