Our Sustainability Journey

 

We’re trying to be as innovative as possible, but we want to be really honest about the limitations of existing technologies and fibers and the impact on swimwear.

THE PROBLEM WITH SWIMSUITS

So why does swimwear present such a challenge when it comes to sustainability? It comes down to one thing: plastic. Synthetic fabrics–like nylon, polyester, and spandex–are perfectly suited for swimwear because they wick moisture and stretch across the body, reducing friction in the water. They are also inexpensive to make, as well as versatile, so the fashion industry relies on them heavily, not just for swimwear, but also activewear, outerwear, and cheap fast-fashion garments. An estimated 65 million tons of these plastic-based materials are generated every year

This is a problem because plastic is not biodegradable, so it never decomposes. Instead, it sits in landfills or oceans forever, adding to the estimated 8 billion tons of plastic that already exist on the planet. There’s no good way to get rid of this plastic. Some countries have resorted to burning it, which creates carbon emissions, since plastic is made from fossil fuels. In countries without good waste management systems, plastic-based fibers sometimes end up in the oceans, where sea animals can mistake them for food, causing them to choke.

There isn’t currently a biodegradable material that has all the performance qualities necessary for a swimsuit. As a result, eco-friendly brands are relying on the next best alternative: recycled plastic. There’s a growing list of swimwear brands that use recycled plastic, rather than virgin plastic, to make products.

Of course, it’s important to remember that recycled plastic is not–on its own–a perfect solution. When the customer is done with it, it is likely to end up in the trash, since there are currently few facilities that recycle synthetic materials. That means the suit will be landfilled, incinerated, or it will end up in the ocean after a few summers. Not to mention there is still the issue of washing swimwear and tiny plastic particles still end up in the ocean.

From the start, the brand had considered on recycled nylon for its swimsuits, but as a designer who is conscious about timeless luxury and slow fashion also wanted to think about sustainability from a more holistic perspective, including considering how durable the suits are. After all, swimsuits need to survive many elements: the sun, heat, salt water, and chlorine. The longer the customer is able to use the swimsuit, the longer it stays out of a landfill.

In the end, the founder decided to include the Lycra because it would allow them to extend the life of the product, so the customer could wear it for a long time before throwing it out. But it wasn’t an easy decision.

We’re very upfront about the fact that we’re not perfect, but we’re constantly making incremental shifts to make our products more eco-friendly, but we’re finding that this is a tricky business, and it’s hard for every decision you make to be 100% sustainable. Especially when creating a high quality, long lasting product.
OUR SOLUTION
Focusing on a slow fashion mission. When a piece looks good and feels good, you want to wear it forever. While the modern fast fashion cycle has promoted a disposable mindset, investing in high quality swimwear that has been built to last, reinforces the idea that clothes should be loved for a lifetime, not just a season. EveryTopaz piece has been thoughtfully designed for the perfect feel-good fit, in a stylish silhouette that will stand the test of time.

We value slow fashion, we value our planet. Sustainability is inbuilt. We create carefully - conscious collections which are not trend-led. Our designs are at home in your wardrobe, in your best friend’s wardrobe, now, in a year, in a decade. Pieces to wear again and again; collections to make memories.
We work very hard to source the most luxurious fabrics which are of the highest quality, made to last and desirable to wear. We are recognised for producing the highest quality swimsuits, from the fabrics, to the garment construction, to the signature attention to detail. Each design is individually designed and is unique to the brand. Quality, long lasting and individual.

The magic of the brand come from the signature attention to detail. Hand designed metal hardware which has been produced to withstand chlorine and salt water. Our signature of are representations of our brands uniqueness and individuality.

We take our time, making pieces we love, and you’ll love. We craft our designs in the very best fabrics, our manufacturers ensure minimum waste. We work closely with our suppliers, ensuring we only produce as many pieces as we need. We are committed to reduce, reuse and recycle at every level of our business, from design right through to shipping to our customers.We work closely with our manufacturing team to ensure that each bikini is delicately hand made to ensure a unique standard of sophistication, longevity and optimum quality. Our suits are designed to be worn comfortably and proudly for an eternity of summers. With TOPAZ SWIM you are investing in quality suits that last.

Our goal is to create quality pieces that will last as long as possible so you can wear them over and over again. Any returns that can be processed and added back into stock will be, and we’ll find new and exciting ways to find any excess stock a good home. 
Of course, no brand is perfect, and the most sustainable item you own will always be the one you already have in your wardrobe. But we won’t stop until we are the best we can be, and we’ll always aim to provide you with sustainable styles at competitive prices for whenever you choose to shop. 


The brand also encourages consumers to only buy what they intend to keep, as returns and packaging waste are a big issue that needs to be tackled, so they no longer offer free returns.
PACKAGING
In our efforts to be a more sustainable brand, we are taking steps to ensure that our packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable! The packaging is the ultimate physical representation of the brand's belief system.

Topaz demonstrates its commitment to sustainability by using 100% biodegradable packing material. Not only is Topaz contributing to the environment, but the packaging is given another life after purchase.
Allowing the customer to take the bags to the beach and use for make up, accessories or their swimsuits. All our products are shipped in 100% biodegradable shipping bags.

Mailer Bags:  
Our Mailer Bags are made from a strong, sustainable substrate containing oxo-biodegradable plastic technology. Recognized as one of the world leaders in oxo-biodegradable plastic technology(1), EPI Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) provides a biodegradable additive product, TDPA™, that promotes the degradation of single-use plastics, to address one of the issues of plastic pollution in the environment. They are proudly Halogen free and produced in a carbon neutral, zero waste, solar generated factory in China.

All inks used on our bags are soy or water based inks, eco-friendly and non-toxic. 
Whilst the bags themselves are waterproof, tear resistant, durable, tough and antibacterial, they are also biodegradable and will begin to break down in direct sunlight after 12-18 months. So if they don’t make it into the recycling stream and end up in nature, they revert back to calcium carbonate when left out in sunshine and natural conditions.  

Frosted Zip Lock Bags:
Our climate is changing and increasingly packaging is becoming a factor in the consumer decision making process. We are pleased to offer the following eco options.
* Oxo Degradable
*Offering strong barrier properties to support a long shelf life.
* Compostable
*Degrades in 10-12 weeks within industrial composting streams
* Fully Recyclable
*Offering strong barrier properties to support a long shelf life. Can be fully recycled.


EPI Global
MINIMISING WASTE 

Not only do we take waste management seriously at our HQ, but we also work closely with our supply chain to minimise as much waste as possible. Off-cuts or leftover fabric is minimised through smart production techniques however when off-cuts do remain, our manufacturers aim to repurpose them towards the creation of hair scrunchies.

WE DONATE

As a brand we want to support the environment and help protect our oceans, this is why we have teamed up with Work for good to donate a percentage of sales to Marine Conservation Society. MCS is one of the UKs leading Marine Wildlife charity who clean oceans and protect marine life. We are so proud to be able to support this charity and hope we can contribute a lot more in the future. 

We are working towards becoming a better brand that supports our local environmental charities.
As a founder who is obsessed with protecting the ocean and giving back to our planet, I am organising a beach clean up and survey this spring Summer with the help from local volunteers, our customers and followers to clean beaches and protect the ocean.

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