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Two Women Are Bringing Public Awareness to the Fashion Industry’s Environmental Impact Through Their Sustainable Brand.
Julie Stine and Rosie Mueller of Koru Swimwear introduce Koru Swimwear’s new UP Collection to help educate consumers and lessen the environmental impact the fashion industry has on our planet.
In 2011, Julie Stine started Koru Swimwear to bring fashionable surfwear and apparel tomarket using the most sustainable materials possible. She found a ‘Green Vision’textile manufacturer in Italy, Carvico, that introduced a new fabric using ECONYL®regenerated nylon. What’s so special about this regenerated nylon is that it is mainly derived from discarded commercial fishing nets that entangle countless amounts of aquatic life worldwide. Healthy Seas is the initiative that pulls the discarded commercial fishing nets from our oceans and sends them to ECONYL® to process into yarn that makes up 78% of our fabric. “It was important to me to find like-minded companies that cared for the environment and used the best practices possible to lighten the footprint that manufacturing has on our environment. I also loved the fact that Carvico offered a quality fabric that was helping to reduce the global problem these fishing nets are imposing on our ocean’s aquatic life. As much as I love the fashion industry, it is the number two polluter in the world behind the oil industry. I wanted to help reduce the harm fashion has on our environment through educating consumers and being a part of the solution, not the problem.” Julie stated.
Rosie Mueller came on board in 2013 with the same passion and mindset regarding environmental issues as Julie. Their goal for Koru was to not only produce
“In every aspect of our business we strive to set a good example in sustainable fashion. We don’t just ‘talk the talk’ we ‘walk the walk’! We scrutinize every detail. For instance, we use compostable bags or reused packaging when shipping our product. Our hang tags are affixed to our garments using hemp twine…never plastic. We want our brand to tell a story, educate our consumers, and make them feel good about their purchases.” Rosie commented.
2019 sees the launch of Koru’s ‘UP Collection’, a line of multipurpose accessories using the scrap remnants from their swimsuit production. “We realized that waste is one of the main polluting culprits that fashion produces, and it is contributing to our already overflowing landfills, not to mention how ‘fast fashion’ has created this disposable mentality. The first time we went to a factory to see our swimwear being produced, we were shocked at how much scrap fabric was being wasted or thrown away. We felt compelled to find a solution to this waste. As we worked on this, I made sure all our scraps were saved and safely warehoused for later use. Finally, Rosie and I came up with our solution… a beautiful line of multipurpose accessories at an affordable price point! The UP collection tells our story and helps to further educate the consumer.” Julie said.
The UP collection is about to be released online and in retail stores. The collection includes the Katoa, an accessory that can be worn five different ways, as a choker or pendant necklace, bracelet, anklet, and two different styles of
that we wanted the name to reflect. The ‘UP’ not only stands for ‘upcycle’, but also ‘upbeat’. We want people to feel optimistic, not helpless. We want consumers to feel as though they are a part of the solution by purchasing upcycled products such as these in reducing fashion waste,” Rosie added.
ABOUT KORU SWIMWEAR
Koru is the New Zealand Maori word for “spiral” and is symbolic for
Koru Swimwear is inspired by the Kiwi lifestyle, best described as a relaxed attitude with a love of the environment and great outdoors. Founder, Julie Stine, wanted to share her Kiwi heritage with others around the world by epitomizing the active Kiwi lifestyle into earth-friendly swimwear and apparel that offers environmentally conscious women a combination of fashion and function.
Koru Swimwear uses only swimwear fabric derived from 100% regenerated polyamide made by ECONYL®. ECONYL® works in partnership with HealthySeas.org to use discarded fishing nets pulled from our oceans to make the regenerated yarn in our fabrics.
Our apparel is made using sustainable and organic fabrics that eliminate the use of harmful herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. We also extend our environmental approach to everything we do, from using recycled paper hangtags, to packaging our swimwear in compostable clear bags made from plant materials.
While bringing earth-friendly swimwear and apparel to women all over the world, we also prioritize product quality, comfort, function, unique design, and exceptional customer relations for our long-term success.
Koru Swimwear and apparel are assembled only in factories where fair wages and working conditions are standardized by strict laws. We believe in happy employees, whether they work directly with Koru Swimwear or our business partners. We want good karma to go into our products, so that people feel good about purchasing Koru and the way we bring our swimwear and apparel to market.
As a member of 1% for the Planet and a partner of Healthy Seas, we take our commitment to environmental issues and earth-friendly business practices very seriously. Because Koru Swimwear gives back to the environment, those who purchase our products are essentially giving back, too. It is the role of consumers to help make our Earth a better place to live by making smart choices when they purchase goods, and to understand how those goods come to market.