Swish Suits

Eco. Technical. Apparel for women in the water

ocean conservation

Sharkwater Creator and Evironmental Champion Rob Stewart Sports his Swish!

General, Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

Creator of the revoluionary must see documentary, Sharkwater, Rob Stewart is more than a cute documentarian, he is in essence a revolution starter. His brilliant videography takes us on a global crusade to end shark finning. We at Swish LOVED this Sharkwater. We loved it so much that Victoria flew down to Mexico to give him a custom made Swish free diving suit in 2010 while he was filming whale sharks off the coast of Cozumel.

Swish Suits                       Swish Suits

Fabulous, all fabulous! Rob's film helped spark world wide pressure and movements to ban shark finning all over the globe. Rob traveled so much speaking about ocean conservation that until this last year he had not been diving in over four years! But he recently got back into his Swish Suit long enough to film his newest documentary Revolution co directed by Gus Van Sant.

 

Swish Suits

Rob is an ecological warrior and also a family friend for years of ours, but what excites us most here at Swish is the growing popularity of being eco we see in the Revolution movement. We often get asked why our suits are so expensive. Besides being the only women's wetsuits that are eco and made in North America, our suits are so expensive because we choose to invest in the future. And because we refuse to make crap. Because we choose mother nature over profit. Because, ultimately, we choose you. Swish Suits

I spent about 5 years traveling the world teaching scuba diving and documenting reef ecology after university from 2008-2013. It literally hurt my soul to watch ecologists get on the news talking about the devastation of giant oil spills wearing wetsuits made from petrol. We are so uninformed about what we put on or in our bodies. So I searched around Asia for two years until I found Yamamoto neoprene which produces neoprene from limestone instead of petrol. I then designed suits in over three different continents before I brought it to the USA. We are currently the only wetsuits made exclusively for women in the USA using this revolutionary material. Our suits are also the sexiest out there on the market and Yamamoto neoprene is known to be the best performance neoprene globally. We pride ourselves as being Eco, Sexy, and High Performance. Despite pressure we will not yield and make anything else lower cost/less eco despite a possibly larger market share. We will never.

We need more revolution, more caring, more responsibility to pay to clean up our environment. And this must happen now or we might not have an environment to save. The UN is predicting by 2048 there will not be anymore coral reefs left. Watch Rob Stewart's documentary, buy an eco wetsuit, stop eating meat, donate to Sea Shepard . Be willing to pay for eco products and stand for our Mother Earth!

Swish Suits

Swish Girls from Around the Globe: Wendy Cohen about her Swish, her Rollerskating, and her Paradise Surf Town!

General, Active Lifestyleswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

If you told me a year ago I would be living in paradise I would have laughed at you - I already lived there. My few days visit to Playa del Carmen, in January 2010, had turned into 4 years of fun, sun, occasional hard work and this crazy town had now become the place I called 'home'. But in January this year, in true Swish spirit, I thought I'd take an adventure to see what was going on in the rest of the world (or at least another part of Mexico!). Bets were made on how long I would last away from my beloved Riviera Maya.

Playa del Carmen

Cut to 7 months, and many bets won later and I am a proud Oaxaqueña, a resident of the beautiful Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. What changed me from a loyal Playense? Mainly finding a new home at the Hotelito Osa Mariposa. You know that awesome feeling when you meet someone or arrive at a new place and you just know that something in your life is going to change? I found all of that and luckily they asked me to stay and work for them.

Osa Mariposa

My new life is located right in between the famous surf beaches of La Punta and Zicatela, home of the famous Mexican Pipeline, a Mecca for surfers from all over the world. Thanks to the hostel's amazing vegetarian/vegan restaurant and finally being able to use my roller skates, for the first time since arriving in Mexico, I have never felt healthier.

Swish One Line Crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a daily basis I get to hang out with surf dudes, beach bums, yogis, writers, cyclists, skaters, swimmers, divers, backpackers, weekend travelers, four cats and the best little black kitten ever.

A couple of years ago I got my life's philosophy tattooed on my back - "Libérate, Descúbrete, Enamórate, No Mires Atrás". I have no idea how long I will stay here but this current adventure has encapsulated it perfectly.

Exploring the world is an amazing experience but when you find your own paradise, stop a while and smell the roses (or do it Swish style and surf, swim, dive, kiteboard, run, climb, skate and see the roses on your way past).

Besos,

Wendy Cohen, Our Swish Life Mexico Corespondent 

Swish One Line Jacket

 

Going Green Swish Style is a Form of LOVE: How and why in the face of the trillion dollar fashion industry's wastefulness, we at Swish cultivate and express our personal eco-consciousness

Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

In an article by Beth Greer in July for the Huffington Post, it is stated that “poor working conditions, minimal environmental regulations, and child and slave labor are commonplace in the $1 trillion garment industry.” One of the largest problems, perhaps arguably the industry's problem period, is us consumers and our attitudes toward fashion and our apparel. We buy and buy to stay “in fashion” and on top of recent trends. In this way, here at Swish, we have sought to first change our own behaviour on a personal level.

 

Swish Ladies Take “Less is More” Pretty Seriously

Obviously being an apparel company, us Swish ladies are and have always been pretty into fashion. But being into fashion for us does not always translate to buying the newest Chanel (in fact I have only bought one designer bag in my life, an Louis Vuitton last year), it may be as simple as cutting up an old H&M shirt. One of our most basic concepts is to buy only items that we LOVE in effort to cut down on the amount we own and our closet turnover (using the bag example further, I have literally three bags: my large everyday amazing LV bag, a small dinner or night out over the shoulder Juicy Couture purse, and a super large oversized beach/all around adventure over the should bag recycled from old kiteboarding kites, this one is my favourite actually).

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(This bag was a gift from the Pro Kiter, Swish Team Member, and all around cool chica, Jessika Winkler, check her out!)

This “less is more” attitude was one of the founding concepts behind our ONE Line. The ONE Line is aptly named as such as you only need one article of the ONE Line to use in the gym, to grab coffee with your friend, or paddle board in the ocean! By making our ONE Line items multipurpose and high performance, you need fewer items in your closet, and we manufacturers need not make three items where one will suffice. A little more about why we love being eco.

We Love Water

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Sadly, it was reported in 2012 that “an estimated 17 to 20% of industrial water pollutioncomes from textile dyeing and treatment and an estimated 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles, many of which will be released into freshwater source,” The Guardian Sustainable Business. It is an interesting question for us here at Swish though, we are an aquatic company and we are using water to produce products for the water. To combat this, we have taken the following steps within our Swish machine:

 

1) All ONE Line and Swish Design Studio's (SDS) materials are located produced and sourced, we do not import anything we use in our Playa del Carmen factory.

 

2) All ONE Line and the SDS's products are locally made by Mexicans, our two factories here are family owned and operated and employ fair trade Mayan and Mexican labour.

 

3) All hangtags and any printing are made from recycled paper.

 

4) All wash care/size labels are made from fabric leftovers from other products.

 

5) The ONE Line principal of you need only ONE means less buying, fewer garments made, less waste produced.

 

6) Our wetsuits are Yamamoto neoprene which is made to order in Japan, meaning the all orders are custom and there is less waste in neoprene made that may sit there and need to be thrown out.

 

7) All our YKK zippers on our products are recycled YKKs.

8) Swish does not distribute printed materials of any kind and ALL business is done electronically.

9) Our internal business structure is global without our physical office presence, meaning less waste and overhead. We communicate via Skype and everything is electronic. We have our office headquarters and our business Swish investor Carolyn in Chicago, a fulfillment centre in Rockford, IL, our wetsuit factory is in Vancouver, CA, our SDS's two factories and offices are in Playa del Carmen, MX, our IT and web designer is based in Germany, and my other Swish Business parter, our South Pacific director and Swish Life Blogger Victoria lives in Thailand

Yamamoto Neoprene: Does being made from Limestone make our wetsuits eco?

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There is some debate out there about companies calling themselves eco and green, when perhaps they are not fully. We here at Swish think this is deprecating and that all companies making any efforts at all to be more gentle in their environmental impact should be celebrated and rewarded! This leads me to the current debate around Yamamoto neoprene and its being a more Eco-consious choice of neoprene. Most of you out there reading this probably already know that we here at Swish use only Yamamoto neoprene, neoprene that is famous for being made from limestone instead of typical neoprene which is made from petrol. Aside from the irrefutable fact that any product not contributing to the oil industry is inherently more eco, limestone mining still uses oil dependent machines and limestone is still a non-renewable source. As Patagonia and Seventh Wave wetsuits put it, ultimately perhaps just using Yamamoto neoprene does not guarantee you are making a fully green wetsuit, but, we here at Swish sure as h$*$% see it as the only green alternative! A little more about Yamamoto neoprene revels that it is a more conscious choice of wetsuit material than its petrol brother:

  1. The limestone in Yamamoto neoprene is mined and heated at high temps, however, Yamamoto states that its production process uses one-tenth of the heat used in refining petroleum. Furthermore, this heat used is created by burning old used tires as well as hydroelectrically sourced from several locals dams. All heat waste is reused at a local eel nursery. Cool eh?
  2. Yamamoto neoprene is also warmer, for example our 3mm is warmer than any 4mm and is often still warmer than many 5mm suits out there. Because of the higher micro cell structure of limestone based neoprene, it means that less limestone and material is used to make the neoprene itself. Now what is not eco about that!
  3. Seventh Wave Wetsuits, make a great point in that since limestone based neoprene lasts 2-3 times longer than typical neoprene, it lowers wetsuit turnover rates and how many suits end up in landfills.
  4. Here is a little more about the material we use and love.

Eco is a Form of Love

To us Swish ladies, the whole concept of green and eco lies in our hearts. When you live the lifestyle that will demand the least you can from our earth, being eco is a mode of self expression! I am sitting here at a small family run cafe, I have with me one of my only three purses, my doggie, this macbook that I have had for 5 years, a glass used Voss water container I carry water around in, and my mode of transport which are my sandal-clad feet jeje! There are soooo many wonderful ways in which we can all do more with less, embrace it and get creative. Express your love and concern for our beautiful earth in your own unique way :).

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I bought a car this year, but since 2010 I used bike as my only means of transport, I used to bike from fabric market to our factory, to our silk screener a few times a day transporting all our ONE Line Items with me!

 

 

 

 

 

Swish Eco Tip of the Month: Being Green at the Office

Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

Hello all, I used to be lucky enough to have my office be the ocean; however, at the moment I am in our headquarters in Chicago.  Now, I have written several articles on ocean conservation and what not, so I thought that this month's eco tip could be on how to keep it green in corporate land if like me you are stuck inside dreaming about the ocean ;)

View from my office at the moment. . .

1) Go Paperless

Who wants the clutter anyways? Many people are now using electronic signatures or digitally encrypted signatures.  If you do a bit of research or ask the IT department, you can start doing this too. I am also a huge fan of scanning instead of faxing, and keeping everything organized in dropbox for easy sharing! Poof! Papers be gone!

2) Bring Food From Home

Eating out can mean plastic containers and food from unsustainable sources.  Making an effort to bring your food from home can not only cut down on waste, but eliminate unsustainable food sources from your diet!  I am a big fan of glass containers as they microwave easily and are very durable.

3) Ditch the Car

Walking or biking to work is a great way to get exercise.  Bring a book with you on the metro and enrich your mind.  Carpool and get to know someone better.  Ditching the car is good for you and the environment!

View from our ocean office!

I hope to see you all in our ocean office someday soon!

Our Favorite Movies About the Ocean

Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.com2 Comments

When you are as passionate about something as most of us are about the ocean, it tends to encompasses your whole life. Thus, it stands to reason that we love movies about the ocean here at Swish Suits.  While it is hard to discern because most films about the ocean are beautiful. . . here are our top pics!

The Big Blue

The Big Blue is a film by Luc Besson about two rival freediving champions. The film has a tranquil almost melancholy score, and has been criticized for being a bit introspective and slow. However, I really likes the cinematography and how it exhibited the competitive nature of freedivers and how those who strive for greatness are often very obsessed on the one thing they love.

"You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn't even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence. And you stay there, and you decide, that you'll die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They come, and they greet you, and they judge the love you have for them. If it's sincere, if it's pure, they'll be with you, and take you away forever."

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82onGmBx9ZM[/youtube]

Morning of the Earth

If there was ever a movie about the ocean that would make you want to surf, not to shred, but just to surf, to feel the ocean below you and to catch that one wave. . . Albert Falzon's 1972 idyllic surf movie is it. Shot in Bali, Hawaii, and Australia the scenery is stunning. I recommend to sincerely chill out, relax, and watch this epic film that will make your heart ache. . . In the most positive way.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIO9sw1w9vI[/youtube]

The Cove

The Cove was one of those truly shocking films that came out of left field and opened people's eyes to horrors that they did not know existed. Most people who I talk to have a strong feeling of affection for dolphins, even those who have not been in the ocean. Maybe it is due to the extreme intelligence of these creatures that we almost mark them as our equal.  The cove depictes the slaughter of 23,000 dolphins and porpoises that happens in Japan every year.  The film had critical acclaim, even nabbing an Oscar.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KRD8e20fBo[/youtube]

Sharkwater

No mention of underwater movies would be complete without mentioning Rob Stewart's revolutionary documentary "Sharkwater" in which he portrays a creature that we have been conditioned to hate as a noble creature worth saving. Rob's documentary shed light on the horrific shark fin trade and the dwindling shark population which is so relevant to human survival as well. This film has it all- beautiful creatures, action, adventure, danger, and above all great heart.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggtxA4wuXzY[/youtube]

Disney's Oceans

Just in general a really happy and informative film with beautiful cinematography shot around the world! Grab your kids or nephews and nieces and have an adventure from the couch next time the weather is bad with this fantastic ocean kids movie!