Swimwear season is finally here. When you think of sustainable fabrics used in the fashion industry, images of cotton and other natural fibers most likely come to mind. However, when it comes to swimwear, natural fibers are a no-go. Performance is key.
The use of upcycled synthetic fabrics, slowing down manufacturing, creating timeless designs, and utilizing deadstock materials are just some of the directions in which the sustainable swimwear industry is headed. While the luxury sustainable swimwear market now offers a decent amount of options, I rounded up three brands that you may not know, but that should definitely be on your radar.
If you like old Hollywood glamour blended with sustainability then you need to check out TABACARU SWIM, a luxury swimwear brand designed by Founder/Creative Director, Stefana Tabacaru that’s produced in Los Angeles from entirely upcycled fabrics. Launched late last summer the brand is mostly direct-to-consumer with the exception of a few retailers.
“Intermix picked up our first collection and while we are really trying to focus on a direct-to-consumer strategy, of course there are a few retailers that are our dream to work with,” says Tabacaru. One of the retailers that align with TABACARU’s customer-base is Moda Operandi, where Tabacaru interned for a year. “Moda Operandi plans to have a trunkshow with our swimwear this summer, and although the date is TBD with so many things happening in the world, I couldn’t more excited!” The brand will also be launching on THE YES this month.
When Tabacaru set out to create her brand she had three goals in mind: to create an entirely sustainable brand, to produce the collection in the US from the highest quality regenerated and upcycled fabrics, and for the brand to have a philanthropic mission.
“TABACARU SWIM is committed to nurturing a company that is socially and environmentally responsible and that includes supporting a more conscious level of design and giving back to the global community,” shares Tabacaru. “We source and produce everything in the Unites States, which allows us to ensure everything is ethically made, of the highest quality, and part of a supply chain that is eco-friendly, eliminates waste, supports small American businesses, and helps to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible.”
On what makes her swimwear unique Tabacaru tells me, “I think for me one of the things I wanted to convey was this old school glamour—in the tradition of Helmut Newton or Slim Aarons—there’s so much sexiness, yet there is a dark side to that glamour. It was also important for me to design for real women—not just a model who looks good in anything she puts on,” Tabacaru says. “We really focused on the fit. Like Spanx, it holds in the trouble areas and cuts in the right places so women can feel free to indulge in a glass of Rosé and a bowl of pasta. I wanted to create a line of swimsuits all throughout the day and you throw on a skirt and you look like you are in a timeless outfit.”
The entire swimwear collection is made from an upcycled nylon fabric. “We use Carvico’s Vita collection made in Italy of ECONYL®, which is a 100% regenerated nylon yarn derived from pre and post industrial waste such as discarded fishing nets and carpet fluff (the top part of nylon carpets which are at the end of their useful life),” explains Tabacaru. Instead of these materials being pitched into a landfill at the end of their lifecycle they are collected and turned into a new usable material through a chemical-physical process. Tabacaru is also mindful about not using any plastics in the packaging and shipping of the products.
“We provide our factory paper envelopes to use for packing instead of the standard poly bags most factories provide for individually packaging garments, and our second collection also has paper hygienic liners as opposed to the common hygienic liner made from a plastic sticker that can take hundreds of years to decompose,” explains Tabacaru. The brand also makes their swimsuit pouches out of recycled satin and offers biodegradable boxes for VIP gifting as well as black paper envelopes for their e-commerce deliveries. With regard to TABACARU SWIM’s philanthropic efforts, the brand donates 20% of their sales to Feeding America.
Based in Bali, Indonesia, ISA BOULDER is a swimwear label dedicated to creating hand-made pieces from local artisans that illustrate the duality in nature that is both beautiful yet imperfect. Launched in 2019 by Cecilia and Yuli, who prefer to stay behind the scenes (and not share their full names) and let the brand speak for itself, the brand utilized sustainably sourced deadstock material from Italy for its SS20 collection and sustainably made knits with no wasted product for its FW20 collection.
“We started working together on this vision of a locally-designed and produced womenswear label with a strong emphasis on Indonesian craft and traditional skills. Both of us are Indonesians, and have lived here for the majority of our lives, so it is important for us that our company can highlight our local artisans’ talents while also being able to challenge our ways of designing clothing,” the founders tell me.
When it comes to sustainability, the founders not only want to focus on working with sustainable materials and production practices, but also designing timeless pieces.
The ladies explain, “By staying true to our own research process and presenting a collection which we genuinely feel strongly about, we hope that our designs can be enjoyed at a more personal level by our wearers. We also try to work with materials that are very delicate and need a higher level of maintenance, as we believe that one way of ensuring that we do not take clothing for granted, is this act of care we should have for our garments. Through offering a bespoke service, we also hope to create a stronger bond for our customers with their clothing, as it is personalized and customized to their needs.”
ISA BOULDER’s aesthetic is unique—it’s sort of a quirky sexy that incorporates fabrics like satin not often seen in other swimwear brands.
“Sometimes, inspiration can come through draping, or exploring the material itself to see what forms will work well with cartain techniques,” the women tell me when I ask where they get their inspiration. “Certain limitations or material challenges are what will interest us most, because we want to produce high-quality products, even if the design is experimental at heart. Finding the solution to what was initially a design problem will often lead us to work on ideas that we never could have come up with.”
On what folks can expect next from the brand the pair tell me knitwear is next on the agenda. “Like our swimwear, our knits are also all hand-made, so there is this tactility and human touch to it, which we believe is a technique worth treasuring over computerized knitwear,” they explain. “Through ensuring an all-local production, we hope that the techniques and talents of Indonesian local artisans are not lost with time, and consumers’ appreciation for traditional methods are reinvigorated with experimental designs.”
If you are seeking an understated sustainable swimwear brand that still remains sexy, you need to check out RENDL. Designed in Vienna, Austria and founded in 2018 by Rosa Rendl, the RENDL swimwear collection offers a modern twist on sports swimsuits designed with all body types in mind, impeccably made, and combined with environmental and social awareness.
“My swimsuits are designed anti-sexy and therefore possibly even sexier,” says Rendl. “I always see the power in women who wear my pieces and I love how they get an awareness of how empowering a well-cut, comfortable piece of clothing made of a high-quality fabric can be. I design conceiving the female body without the need for body-optimization. Once one lets loose of the restricting thought of having to look perfect, it’s extremely liberating and empowering. I think underwear as well as swimsuits for women are often still designed in an unpractical, uncomfortable, and sexist way.”
Most women can relate to Rendl’s perspective. I can think of several intimate brands that cut into my petite yet curvy figure and make me look misshapen when that isn’t the case in reality. Rendl continues, “It is important to create something that empowers women by understanding their needs and therefore I emphasize on comfort, quality and functionality in my line. I think as a result the woman who wears my swimsuits appears confident and empowered—and that’s sexy.”
Rendl gets a lot of her inspiration from the politically charged times we are living in currently. “We live in a time with a movement for a change in consumerism, pro-environmental thinking and back to a more human, social way of creating and consuming. My part of it is to create a slow fashion line that’s not dumping designs and remnant stock season after season. Quite in reverse, I want to create a permanent line of classic, timeless swimsuits that lasts many seasons and doesn’t go out of fashion,” Rendl tells me.
The Signature design characteristics of RENDL are the square neckline, the blocking of colors and shapes, and the linear, streamlined silhouette. “For color and shape inspirations I love to look at modern architecture and mostly female 20th century artists and designers such as Eileen Gray, Katarzyna Kobro, Emilie Flögl, Man Ray, Jean Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Friedrich Kiesler, Kiki Kogelnik, to name a few,” shares Rendl. “I also love the 1990s understatement in fashion. That’s where many of my signature characteristics come from: the square neckline, the spatial, streamlined silhouette, and the muted tones of beige, grey, and green.”
When it comes to sustainability, Rendl believes in growing her brand slowly, organically, and using awareness in her decision making from material selection, to how items are produced, and how the garments are both distributed and packaged.
“Being a sustainable brand means rethinking everything. It’s definitely a challenge,” states Rendl. “As a brand I put a strong focus on producing with social fairness and having a regular, direct exchange with my female led production company in Sofia, Bulgaria. I am also proud to work with an Italian fabric that is made of EconylⓇ yarn, a regenerated nylon made of ocean waste. By producing in Europe another focus lies in having a low carbon footprint and in regards to packaging, I am trying to keep it to a minimum and don’t use plastic packaging, instead I use recycled cardboard packaging.”
Rendl is planning to expand her eponymous brand soon with ready-to-wear pieces like tops and slip-on dresses. Rendl tells me, “All very basic cuts, comfortable, made from light materials, and easy to wear.”
Somehow, I suspect whatever she does next it will still be seductive even without her intending it to be so.
Peak performance — it’s something just about everyone strives for. There are countless diets, books, blogs, TV shows and more dedicated to becoming your best self and operating at your highest capacity, both in business and in life. The question is, can it actually be done?While most focus on just one facet of self-care (weight, productivity, nutrition, motivation, etc.), social entrepreneur and biohacker Lian Pham’s approach is all-inclusive and comprehensive. With her Peak Performance Pyramid, Pham — who, full disclosure, is a client of mine, but whose perspective I felt was valuable to share during these challenging times — has worked out a system of steps that include biohacking the mind, body and spirit to reach peak performance across the boards. Here’s how she did it, as well her tips on how you can, too.What led to your becoming so interested in peak performance?After the birth of my second child, I suddenly became very, very ill. I went to every hospital, every specialist, but found no explanation for my severe headaches, numbness and hypokalemia. I knew that something was wrong and that answers must be out there. I just had to find them. I never gave up, and …
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The following article is based on excerpts from Ben Angel’s book, Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound. And be sure to order The Unstoppable Journal, the only journal of its kind based on neuroscience, psychology and biohacking to help you reach your goals.
You’re on the right track if you’re working on your diet to give you optimum performance. You understand the negative impact of processed foods and the inflammation sugar can cause in your body, but you’re wondering if the ketogenic diet is the best choice to keep your energy levels up for the day ahead. As defined on Medical News Today, “The keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on foods that provide a lot of healthy fats, adequate amounts of protein and very few carbohydrates. The goal is to get more calories from fat than from carbs.” For most people wanting to shed some pounds and kick the sugar habit, it’s a win-win call to action, and the ketogenic diet is a great, therapeutic way to get you started and see results.
There are other benefits as well. Researchers are now using the ketogenic diet alongside cancer treatments to help reduce blood glucose, which in turns reduces the insulin hormone that can cause complications in certain cancers. As that same Medical News Today summary notes, “In a 2013 meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials, researchers found that people following ketogenic diets lost two pounds more than those following low-fat diets over one year.” People on the diet also experienced a significant drop in levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.
It’s also been proven that the ketones created in our liver help create a protective barrier for neurological functions. Many scientists are now using it in Alzheimer’s studies, with excellent results. That’s obviously very promising and motivating, but is this diet for everyone?
Keto-endorsing nutritionists teach their clients to recognize that if you’re already struggling with low energy, brain fog, fatigue and anxiety, the amount of time you put into preparation and mental fortitude may push you over the edge. In other words, you may fail before you even begin.
There is a way to identify where a person currently sits on the continuum of resiliency I call The “Identity Gap Formula For Success.” It takes a comprehensive approach by factoring in triggers that impede our ability to have unstoppable energy, focus and drive through biohacking. I represent this through identity types in the same way a battery is charged. There are four identity types: the Catalyst, Synergist, Guardian and Defender. Our goal should be to ensure our physical and psychological energy is above 50 percent, which is where the Synergist and Catalyst reside — a state in which we are conscious creators who are motivated, focused and driven. But it’s the Defender and Guardians who should think twice about taking on a new dietary challenge.
If you are currently procrastinating, making excuses or experiencing intense fatigue or depression, then you are most likely a Defender. You’re in self-preservation mode because you’ve run out of physical and emotional energy, like when your mobile phone turns on battery-save mode. You may make rash decisions or find yourself acting out of character because you are no longer operating from your prefrontal cortex, which is in control of personality, rational thinking and emotional control. The Guardian is not much better, since they are only operating at 25-50 percent of their capacity. They are barely protecting their energetic resources to get through their day.
The keto diet features a “detox” period when you begin. The first week or two can cause side effects known as “the keto flu.” This is a time when you often betray symptoms of illness since your body is burning off the last reserves of glucose in your blood. You should start to feel better after a couple of weeks, but if you still feel awful, you may not be properly fueling your body.
As a Defender or Guardian type, you cannot maintain this new stressor, and you will likely fall off the program, experiencing that infamous “hangry” by eating carbs and processed sugars just to feel better again. Then, of course, you beat yourself up for failing before even beginning.
There is a way, though, to get the help you need. First, you’ll need to start slowly cleaning up your diet by getting rid of sugars and highly processed carbs, so the drop in blood-glucose energy isn’t so drastic that it triggers intense brain fog. Guardians and Defenders can then begin to incorporate intermittent fasting, which has many benefits, such as weight loss, increased growth of human growth hormones, lower blood-glucose levels, better insulin resistance and even a lighter wallet.
Then, by working closely with a functional-medicine doctor, you can find out the root cause of your lack of energy, focus, brain fog, depression and anxiety. Functional medicine looks deeper into the causation of your illness, which could actually be side effects of food intolerance, inflammation or medication you may be on. A functional-medicine doctor can also look closely at any essential mineral or vitamin deficiencies you may be experiencing that can mimic psychological disorders. The keto diet can be the next best step for you, as long as you ease into the process by working on your diet and slowly incorporating intermittent fasting.
Synergists and Catalysts are prime identities that could easily segue into the keto way of eating and gain its many neurological and physiological advantages, in addition to employing intermittent fasting as a great way to stack its many benefits. As with any eating protocol, it’s all about personalization. Do what’s right for you, and adjust as you need to.
Are you ready to become unstoppable?
Visit www.areyouunstoppable.com and take your FREE 60-second online quiz now. By answering a series of simple questions, my software will analyze your results and provide you with a comprehensive report that will indicate your identity type and lead you to the tools and tips you need to close that gap between who you are and who you could be. Take the quiz to get started!
Mention of the world’s water crisis sounds so far-fetched. 70% of planet earth is covered in water, so how can there be a water crisis? Water seems quite plentiful by all standards. How, then, can the world experience a water crisis? Here is the question — could waterless toilet technology fix the world’s water crisis?
The World’s Water Crisis Explained
Of the world’s water, only 3% accounts for freshwater that is suitable for human use. Two-thirds of this freshwater is in the form of frozen glaciers, further cutting down on the amounts available to us.
The human population, on the other hand, is on the increase, having doubled in the last 50 years. And since the human population competes for the increasingly strained water resources, the water crisis is inevitable.
Human activities on natural resources are not making the water situation any better.
- Deforestation and logging have destroyed forests and trees, which has, in turn, led to the drying up of aquifers, lakes, and rivers.
- Plant and human wastes make it hard to access clean water due to pollution.
- Poor agricultural practices have led to more water consumption due to inefficiencies.
- Climate change as a result of these activities causes flash floods in some areas and extreme drought in others.
It is a fact that world ecosystems are already suffering.
According to the World Wildlife Organization, about 1.1 billion people worldwide face acute water shortage. 2.7 billion people lack access to this precious commodity at least once a month. In comparison, 2.4 billion people face sanitation challenges.
Many believe that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may lack access to water. The water situation is so dire that for the survival of life on the planet, something has to be done. Fast.
But is a waterless toilet technology the answer?
Understanding the Waterless Toilet Technology
Most people, especially those living in cities and other urban areas, are used to the conventional flush toilets that use water to dispose of human waste after they are done with their business.
But now, imagine a sanitation system that allows you to poop and dispose of your waste without using copious amounts of water in the process. You don’t need any water at all for this process. It sounds surreal, but it is true. Thanks to the waterless toilet technology.
Don’t wring your nose in disgust — well, not just yet.
The thought of disposing of poop without water irks many people, as it sounds so unhygienic. But it is not; in fact, it is one of the most eco-friendly lifestyle solutions that can fix the world’s water crisis and give Mother Nature back her glory.
With the current environmental concerns, eco-friendly living is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity.
There are various ways of protecting water resources and saving human and plant life from further damage. The waterless toilet technology is one of them.
Here’s how it works.
- Composting — The waterless composting toilet technology is the most popular since it is the cheapest alternative to the modern flush toilet. It works by decomposing human waste by natural mechanisms into a useful end product known as compost. The compost can be utilized as manure to enrich the soil for growing crops.
- Incineration — The technology works by burning human waste into sterile ash as a sanitary solution for waste disposal.
- Nanotechnology — This waterless technology of human waste disposal works by drying out poop into tiny solids that are free of pathogens. These end products are best utilized as fuel and crop-growing fertilizers. The technology allows for water from the pervaporation process to be condensed, sterilized, and safely stored for household use.
Could this solution Fix the World’s Water Crisis?
What is the impact waterless flushing would have on the 2.4 billion people that suffer inadequate sanitation? Likely it is huge. Not only is the system hygienic, but it also provides a safe waterless method for waste disposal.
Consequently, this would curb the health menace of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery that claim the lives of 2 million adults and children annually.
Also, since the waterless toilet technology conserves water by eliminating wastage and misuse of this scarce resource, it provides an excellent solution for the 1.1 billion people who face water shortage worldwide.
Instead of channeling water to waste disposal systems, they can now conserve the little available for life-saving activities.
The waterless toilet technology eliminates the threat of dangerous and life-threatening by-products from human wastes polluting streams and rivers. This protects the environment from degradation, ensuring water resources remain safe and available for human use.
Some of the waterless toilet technologies allow for the end products of disposal to be recycled for household reuse. Water is one of the end products that can be sterilized and safely used in the home.
Although the uptake of waterless composting toilets is slow among modern households, it is one of the inventive technologies that can fix the world’s water problem—at this point, every drop counts.
However, if not properly maintained, the waterless systems can be hazardous and create an even bigger sanitation and water crisis.
Waterless toilet technology not only changes how the world poops but also improves sanitation and goes a long way in saving water through eco-friendly living.
So, the concern is no longer on how the innovative waterless toilet technology could fix the world’s water crisis, but it’s about how soon could this be realized?
[Editor’s Note: Dear Reader, I almost trashed this article. My nose is wrinkled in disgust, and I’m repelled by the very idea this post presents. I try to keep my judgments to myself and allow the ReadWrite readership to make up its own mind on the issues. Still, for a tech site — this feels — un-tech. Please don’t send any “stinky” comments — I know – I get it… DR]