Outsite Guests Hannah Todd and Ainsley Rose Make Waves With Sustainable Swimwear Brand Londre Bodywear
Get to know the co-founders of Londre Bodywear and how they are making the future of swimwear sustainable.
Outsite Guests Hannah Todd and Ainsley Rose are making waves in the swimwear industry with their sustainable brand Londre Bodywear. In a world where fast fashion dominates, we need motivated people who care about the environment to make a change in the industry.
Sustainability means a lot to us at Outsite, so we are completely on board with Londre's mission. We spoke with co-founder Hannah Todd to learn more about their commitment to being a sustainable fashion brand, how the brand started, and how Londre create's their eco-friendly materials.
Where are you both from, and what is your background? Did you work in fashion before this?
Ainsley is from North Vancouver, BC, and I am originally from Whitehorse, Yukon. Neither of us have a background in fashion per say however, I previously worked for Lululemon, which helped give us some directional insights out of the gate and Ainsley is a destination wedding photographer with work published in Martha Stewart, and British Vogue to name a few, who had some incredible connections for us to work with right off the bat. Even though we were diving into an area we’d never fully ventured before, we felt incredibly confident in our concept, and now, 3 years later we are so happy we went ahead with it.
How did you both meet and decide to work together?
We met about 7 years ago through a mutual friend who knew we would hit it off, and she was right. Shortly after meeting we became roommates, traveled together and eventually came up with the concept for Londre. Travel was definitely an interest that brought us together as we both have a huge passion for adventure. Between the two of us we have traveled to over 49 countries and counting.
How did you create your startup? What were the first steps, and how did you decide that you wanted to be in the sustainable world?
We came up with the concept for Londre while in Sayulita, Mexico in 2017, a few spicy margarita deep. At the time, there were next to no companies that offered sustainable swim options, so we got to work, and 9 months later, our “brain child" Londre Bodywear was born. Sustainability has been number one for us from the beginning, from our packaging right down to our tags. We source and utilize the most sustainable options available without ever compromising on style. We’ve now taken over 70,000 plastic bottles from the beaches and streets of Taiwan and turned them into high quality, versatile and timeless pieces that can be worn from day to night (and fit perfectly into a carry on!)
Can you talk a bit about your recycled plastic material?
Our fabric is made from the collection of plastic bottles from the beaches and streets of Taiwan, deep cleaned and melted into pellets. It is then melted again and spun into fibers that are woven in the fabric. We also add Chitosante as a finish to our textile, which is a byproduct of the shellfish industry, which helps to ensure our suits are incredibly soft and gives them an anti bacterial property.
How do you hold yourselves accountable to being sustainable in the industry where fast fashion dominates?
In terms of holding ourselves accountable for sustainable practices, sustainability has been a non negotiable for us from the beginning. It is one of our core values, and in that, any decisions that are being made, big or small, always stem from the curiosity of how we can make the most sustainably informed choice. For one example, our packaging is compostable and biodegradable, and we never add any additional clutter to our shipments in order to reduce our footprint as much as possible. Our items have an incredibly long life, however, for clients that may have outgrown a specific style for any reason, can take part in our recycling program, where if they ship back their old suit, we offer them a 20% discount on a future order and give their previous suit new life in a different way, so nothing is ever being thrown out.
How do you ensure your supply line is sustainable?
We work with a fabric supplier here in Vancouver BC that has an A+ business rating with the Better Business Bureau and has a commitment to finding and working with the most sustainable textile mills out there. Our factory itself, has an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified rating, which is the highest sustainability rating possible for factories overseas. This means our factory uses the least amount of water during production possible, and that the water on the other side of production is PH balanced, with no trace of heavy metals or dyes to pollute the local waterways. For our actual garment manufacturing, we work with two factories here in Vancouver, BC, with fairly paid, very skilled workers, that we are lucky enough to visit often. Our factories are always finding ways to cut excess fabric waste and we’ve also repurposed the scraps that we do have to create our super cute scrunchies.