After months of research, a factory visit to Bali (well, someone had to do it!), product testing, our first photoshoot and getting our website up and running, LB Swim has finally launched! So we thought we’d sit down with Elli, our Founder, to talk all about our new collection of luxurious swimwear for girls. How and where it’s made, what it’s made of, the story behind the colours and design, and how Elli’s kids influenced pretty much every step in our journey to launch!
Can you tell us the story behind LB Swim?
I have 4 children, children who love being in and around the water. They swim, surf, sail, wakeboard, jet ski, paddleboard! If the sea, lake or swimming pool is involved I know my kids will be first in line. Over the years I have tried so many swimwear brands to match up to the tough needs of my kids. So I thought why not look into designing my own brand?
What does LB stand for?
My two youngest daughters are called Lexi-Rae and Lola-Bella. So LB stands for Lexi-Bella. A mix of both names. The first collection is named after each of my kids – they’re my chief product testers so it’s only fair!
As a parent, have you found any challenges while buying your kids swimwear in the past? And how has this affected the design of your own range?
I’ve always struggled to find quality and luxurious feeling swimwear that my girly girls love wearing, but that is also tough and stylish enough for long days of water sports in the sun. No brands came close – they either weren’t very pretty or they were pretty but not robust enough to last.
You’re using a fabric called ECONYL®, can you explain what ECONYL® is and why you’re using it for LB Swim?
The fabric we use is made from regenerated yarn produced by ECONYL®. As a family we absolutely love the ocean so it was a natural choice to use a fabric that is made from recycled ocean plastic and landfill waste. When I first heard about ECONYL® I instantly resonated with their mission – they’re making something out of materials which are polluting our oceans and are ruining the earth.
I’ve always wanted my kids, and my kids kids to experience the world as my husband and I have been lucky enough to – but I know with the way things are going this won’t be the case. I hope by using a regenerated material, we can inspire families to make small changes which will help sustain our environment. Aside from its environmentally friendly aspects, ECONYL® is hard wearing, has a factor 50 SPF, is chlorine resistant and sunscreen resistant. What more could you ask for in Children’s swimwear? It ticked all the boxes for LB Swim!
You recently visited Bali which is where the swimwear is made. Why did you choose a factory in Bali?
I’d been doing a lot of research into the fabric and the more research I did, the more I realised that working with a manufacturer that gives back to its workers and community was also very important.
Many factories don’t like producing Children’s swimwear because it costs the same to make one swimsuit for a child as it does for an adult, which made the already strict production requirements a challenge.
We ended up finding a fantastic factory in Bali which treats their workers really well. Many of their staff have been working with them for over 10 years, and it’s not difficult to see why! They’re paid twice the legal working wage (and more!), and the company also ensures that not only the workers have medical cover, but their families too.
Our manufacturer also uses Eco dyes from DyStar for the fabrics. I wanted my children to learn to make better decisions for our world from a young age so that they can help ensure our world is better for their children for many years to come.
Your designs are so gorgeous, did anything in particular inspire the colours you chose and the designs?
You can probably sense a recurring theme here, but the colours were actually chosen by my children, luckily they did a great job! I wanted to incorporate them in the entire process, as they are the ones wearing them! Not only did they help choose the colours, but my girls are dancers so they chose the design features like our signature tutu style bottoms and frilled sleeves. They also visited our manufacturer in Bali with us, we are on this journey together.
What are your ambitions for LB Swim?
It might sound cliché but I would love to be on a beach somewhere and see one of our pieces on a little girl enjoying the beach like my children. But I also hope that parents might take inspiration from our sustainable and ethical message and make changes to their own life to ensure a better world for our children to grow up in and enjoy.
Our first collection is now available to buy online! Join the #LBswimclub by tagging us in your LB Swim snaps. Here’s some of our favourite styles….