How London-based co-founders turn ocean plastic into swimwear

In her column for the Evening Standard, each month Wonderoom’s Mairead Cahill shines a spotlight on the UK’s most innovative sustainable brands. Here she sits down with co-founders Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk, to hear how they built Stay Wild with sustainability at the heart of the business, breaking norms within the fashion industry, and co-creating their designs and brand along with their community and social media audience. Along with our focus on being a sustainable and ethical brand, we were also clear from thebeginning that we wanted to serve all women and all body shapes. We’ve partnered with Econyl in Italy which collects ocean plastic and waste and turn it into a regenerated nylon that we buy and use to produce our swimwear in our factory in London. We’re a slow fashion brand which means rather than following seasonal collections, we’re focused on creating and releasing pieces as and when there are styles missing and we respond to customer needs. We chose to have our factory in London andthereby supportlocal British industry, and selected one whose values and principles on sustainability are aligned with our own. On the design side, every piece we make is kind to the planet as well as timeless and flattering. We have also focused on making our photoshoots and imagery of women inclusive and diverse, so that our audience seesthemselves reflected on our website and social. To pioneer and innovate on sustainability in the fashion industry and to help demonstrate to the larger brands what is possible. We would like to help be part of a positive shift and momentum on sustainable and ethical fashion. Then lastly and importantly, our audience inspires us, particularly in terms of style and what they’re looking for on the product side. To have been able to participate and engage in London Fashion Week, and share what we’re doing, as well as be represented in Selfridges is fantastic. Ultimately our goal is to become a fully circular swimwear brand, and to help inspire and be part of a positive shift in the industry.