Trade for prosperity

Two inspiring female founders challenging fashion industry norms, while putting the planet first

Encouraging customers to send back their old swimwear for recycling is key to building a cleaner, greener business for Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk, co-founders of fashion brand Stay Wild.

Natalie explains why they started the London-based fashion brand and how sustainability is woven into every element of the brand.

“Both of us are incredibly passionate about protecting our planet and we have been incorporating positive changes into our personal lives for years, but we wanted to do something bigger.

“We saw a gap in the market for exquisite, timeless swimwear which not only flattered all bodies, but could be created in a sustainable way which was kind to the environment.”

Natalie explains how they wanted to create a brand with a purpose and a story to tell, but with “a slower, more conscious ethos” which would reduce the company’s carbon footprint to Net Zero.

“We have made conscious choices at every step of our business to be able to help contribute towards the UK’s goal of Net Zero by 2050. Which is why this year we have launched our new circularity project, to take back people’s old swimwear they can no longer wear from any brand and recycle and repurpose them to keep clothes out of landfill.

“Sustainability is at our core. We don’t do seasons, but take a slow fashion capsule collection model approach and only launched one collection in the first two years compared to an average of 52 collections per year in the industry.

“We take pre-orders to minimise any wastage, utilise deadstock in our collection, make high quality pieces that last longer to encourage buying less but better. We produce our items at a small zero waste factory in London and use a small independent distribution centre with carbon neutral shipping”.

Stay Wild launched in 2019, using sustainable materials and local production, with a small team of ten staff. Zanna says there are simple steps every business can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

“This is a crucial time in our global fight against climate change and we encourage all business owners to factor sustainability into their choices. A great place to start is packaging. Reduce the need for new materials and switch to reusable, recyclable or compostable options and look at offsetting your shipping. We hope to pave the way for more emerging conscious brands and inspire others to think in a more sustainable way.”

Natalie and Zanna are excited at the UK hosting the UN climate change talks in Glasgow this November.

Zanna says: “COP26 is set to be the most significant climate change event since the 2015 Paris Agreement. It is incredibly important that we have it here in the UK, as it provides us with an opportunity to show the world the progress we have made, share resources and information with other nations. Hosting such an event will give the UK motivation to continue being a world leader in fighting climate change”.

For information on Stay Wild visit https://staywildswim.com/

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