My ECO STORIES with Georgia Braithwaite
Updated: Feb 15
Welcome to My ECO STORIES our interview series, where we chat to different practitioners within the fashion and textile industry about their thought 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 both independent start-ups to leading high street retailers. Using the change of pace, from the pandemic, to follow her passion for swimwear and launching her own collection.
Can you talk a bit about your practice?
We create sustainable swimwear, that is of a 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 that allow 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, right through from the in-house design process, to production, marketing and packaging, the list goes on! To reviewing all the aspects of a business that contributes 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 no doubt 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 right through from our design process, to sourcing zero-waste packaging and modelling for shoots. We also encourage our consumers to purchase for longevity rather than 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 mention, Google sure will be your best friend. Having experience within the fashion buying field had really 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 difficult –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 both 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 a number of challenges, that has really 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, it was our fascination with the seasonal association with swimwear that built our foundations of the brand. As a part of our “emission-less” mission, we hope that we can work towards running a successful brand as sustainability as possible.
Written by Bethan and Georgia @theecostories