My ECO STORIES with Georgia Braithwaite
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Welcome to My ECO STORIES, our interview series, where we chat to different fashion and textile industry practitioners about their thoughts on sustainability and the future of fashion.
Georgia Braithwaite is the founder of RE.BORN a forward-thinking, sustainable swimwear brand focusing on recycled and repurposed fabric. Georgia has a wealth of experience after working in fashion buying for independent start-ups and leading high street retailers and using the change of pace from the pandemic to follow her passion for swimwear and launching her collection.
Can you talk a bit about your practice?
We create sustainable swimwear that is of premium quality yet affordable. Our pieces are crafted from recycled plastic bottles diverted from landfill. The materials we use are offcuts/dead stock generated by large mass-market retailers, allowing start-ups like ourselves to utilise their “waste” product.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means so much more than the composition of the product, whether this is recycled or not. There are so many considerations when building a sustainable business to think about, from the in-house design process to production, marketing and packaging; the list goes on! To review all the aspects of a business contributing to its global footprint.
Fashion, as we know it, is an incredibly “disposable” industry making it one of the most damaging to our planet. Google will undoubtedly be your best friend along the way, along with hours and hours of extensive research.
How do you make your practice sustainable?
Our collection, as you know is crafted from recycled bottles using excess materials generated by fast-fashion retailers. That otherwise would be slumped into our beautiful oceans or landfill sites. This allows us to utilise off cuts to RE.CYCLE and RE.PURPOSE. We support local freelancers and small businesses from our design process to sourcing zero-waste packaging and modelling for shoots. We also encourage our consumers to purchase for longevity rather than a trend, through less “seasonal” ranges and more “season-less” promoting timeless pieces all year round.
What advice would you give to someone starting a responsible brand?
Research. Research. Research! Be prepared for weeks (even months) of sleepless nights! As I mentioned, Google sure will be your best friend. Having experience in the fashion buying field has benefited me, seeing the industry through the eyes of a buying team, and incorporating sourcing responsibly.
Stick at it- that is another piece of advice I’d give to anyone toying with the idea. Along the way, you will have setbacks, and you will have to be prepared for that. I’ve been so lucky to have such an incredible support system around me, friends and family at times when things get complicated –tell me to STICK AT IT.
Which small businesses are you loving at the moment, and would like to give a shout out to?
Squeeze Collective - An all-inclusive fashion brand designed and made locally in Nottingham, UK. Business owner Evie has built her business with the belief everyone with a disability should be able to express themselves through fashionable clothing. The driving force behind creating a brand, Squeeze wants to unite fashion and function, designing inclusive clothing for everyone men, women, and children. Evie and I have been a part of the same support network group targeted at emerging fashion brands.
What is your hope for the future of fashion and textiles?
2020 has presented us with many challenges that has forced us to rethink our strategy and responsibilities as an emerging brand. We want to encourage a slower, more considered approach to our consumers. Which retrospectively reduces the demand for fast-fashion retailers and over time, reduces the need for mass-produced synthetic fabrics. Initially, our fascination with the seasonal association with swimwear built the foundations of the brand. As a part of our “emission-less” mission, we hope that we can work towards running a successful brand as sustainable as possible.
Written by Bethan and Georgia @theecostories