Australian brand Ina Swim is known for their ethically crafted sustainable swimwear for women and children. Founded back in 2018, join us as the team tells us more about what values are important to their brand and the behind-the-scenes of how their swimwear is produced. 

When did you first fall in love with designing and knew you wanted to become a designer?

I remember watching a design competition show on tv and thinking to myself that this was too hard for anyone and that I was glad to not be in their shoes at that moment. The stress and pressure of the fast fashion environment and industry were no better than the average sales job. And having worked in sales all my life, I certainly knew what I was talking about.

Then one day I knew I simply wanted to look the part. I wanted to do something that everyone thinks of but no one ever does - a challenge. Looking back at the fashion shows I had watched I saw an opportunity to not only help the planet but also create something that would give back to the Earth but also not take from its resources. I knew that this was it. As a mom, you just want the best for your child. So I knew there had to be more to the design process than just quick, pressured fast fashion. Slow fashion was the thought  -and here we are.

Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?

Eco-Friendly:
Ina Swim is a slow fashion brand of minimalistic, long-lasting and timeless swimwear designs for you and your little one. 
Ina Swim is curated with both design and sustainability in mind.
Ina is proud to have created a product that is 100% sustainable, recycled and ethically produced.
Ina Swim is gentle on the skin but also UPF50+ proof without the use of chemicals.

Fair:
Our garments are made in Indonesia. 
Whilst it does not have a governing body per se, there are strict rules on wages and benefits. Registered businesses MUST comply with awarded wages and insurance for their workers.
We also ensure this is being met with our own code of conduct.

Transparency: We publish a transparency directory on our website. It lists all the natural, sustainable, recycled, biodegradable, eco-friendly fabrics and fibres used to create your favourite and loved items.

Minimal Waste: Our products are made with eco-friendly, organic, natural and recycled materials.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

My inspiration comes from my surroundings - colours that I see, shapes that I spy, noises that I hear and the feelings they inspire in me. Nature has a massive impact on me and is the guiding force in decision-making towards new collections and items.

How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?

Fair is one of our core values at Ina Swim.

We follow all local laws where our garments are made and have our own code of conduct too. Our workers have fair wages, bonuses, and pension plans. 

We have more agreements in place to ensure that our workers have fair employment terms. We have workplace health and safety policies, anti-discrimination policies, and gender equality rules.

We personally visit our production facilities and try to have a personal connection with most workers.

Our materials are Oeko-tex Standard 100 certified as well as certified for their organic and or recycled nature. Without the proper certifications, we will not use a fabric.

How are your products made?

After we have quality-checked the fabric and ensured all certifications are in place and workplace rules are being followed, we send the materials to our manufacturer in Bali. There, the fabric is checked again. After a drawing of the designs has been done, images are sent to our digital creator who turns the drawings into specification sheets.

The workers come together for a meeting to discuss the latest designs, fabric and colours used for a collection or drop. They use the specification sheets to cut the fabric before it is passed on to the sewers. They then turn single fabric layers into a garment. Once the product is made it is passed to the next stage where a quality check and a needle safety check are carried out. After all, items have passed this stage, the products are sent to the office and packed by hand.

How do you source your materials?

When sourcing our materials, we take the utmost care. Sustainability is a huge aspect of Ina swim. When we approach a supplier, handler or fabric producer, we take every step needed to ensure that fabrics, workers, processes, waste management and daily work routines meet standards and regulations. After we have seen all the certifications we then request a small sample to view and check.

When viewing the sample it is important to check that there are no harmful chemicals used on the product and in the production process. Another point we always check is that the product has not been tested on any animals and no people or animals have been harmed during manufacture. After the sample is approved, we request and order just the right amount we need for production. We ship the material to our manufacturer and they use it for production.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

Our aim is to ensure that children, moms and bubs feel safe and secure within their garments. It is invaluable to know, as a mom, that there are no harmful chemicals within or on the product and that its softness comes from the goodness of the material itself. 
Knowing that the swimming garments are also UPF50+ and 2 times more resistant to chlorine makes you feel that little bit more secure against the harsh sun.

We also want the product itself to be long-lasting. Knowing that a child has built a relationship with their favourite swimsuit or trunks is what we strive to achieve. We want the child to feel soft, feel the warmth, feel secure and feel loved. We would love to achieve that.

If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?

At this stage, it would be looking after my beautiful baby boy. He is just the most precious little gift that I could have asked for. Knowing that I can not only be there for him but also support him in every way possible is just a feeling of achievement that I cannot really put into words. I am sure every mother reading this will absolutely know what I am talking about.

What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?

As a teenager, I was a big fan of r 'n' b and hip-hop music as well as pop. So I usually turn on Spotify and go with my favourite play list.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

Always start by making yourself happy before trying to make someone else happy. Happiness is something you cannot gift, buy or trade-in. We all have our ups and downs and had to learn that everything in life, no matter how bad or good, is a stage to go through and a choice. If you fall, remember it can only go upwards from here. If you care for yourself, nourish your mind and your body and give yourself the rest and food you need to be 100% there for you, then you will be at your best to help everyone around you.

What are your go-to style tips?

Effortlessly simple. I like it when my hair, make up and dressing up does not take long and does not make me feel like I am not myself. As a mom, you don't have much time anymore. So the little time you have you should use to bring your natural beauty out. No contouring, no painting over the face a million times, just a little blush, a little mascara and you are shining like a star. Dress comfortably, with a tiny bit of THIS IS ME.

How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?

Work takes a lot out of my week. I generally feel guilty for not having spent much time with my toddler. So I use all the time I have with him to make the most and best out of it. Day trips to the farm, running in the park. All that and more.

What drew you to JewelStreet?

JewelStreet is what I wish most businesses and the fashion market itself would be: Upfront, transparent and honest. Valuing consumers as well as designers and sharing and championing moments of sustainable and ethical achievements as well as what we do to give back.

Thank you for talking with us!

Discover sustainable swimwear with Ina Swim on JewelStreet.