The Saltwater Collective Turns Ocean Waste into Swimwear

3 minute read

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Scientists predict that plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050. That’s because humans dump 8 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans each year. Imagine, every minute one garbage truck around the world dumps plastic into the oceans.

From this uncomfortable truth was born The Saltwater Collective, a swimwear label that uses ECONYL®, an infinitely recyclable nylon, that’s regenerated from ocean waste. We speak with Camilla James, the owner and designer of The Saltwater Collective about sustainable fashion, body positivity, and the trials and triumphs of being a fledgling entrepreneur.

Q1: Tell us about the mission for the business and the values that define your brand?

The Saltwater Collective is a sustainable swimwear brand. We are based in Toronto. And by sustainable I mean, we repurpose fishing nets abandoned in the ocean and nylon scraps recovered from landfills all around Europe. The nylon waste is transformed into this amazing fabric called ECONYL®, which I source from a company in Italy. Local seamstresses in Toronto then give final shape to my swimwear line. We are local, yet very global in our audience and our mission.

As a swimwear brand, I am very conscious that the message I send out to my customers reflects my values. I want women to embrace exactly who they are and how they are. In my opinion, confidence is what constitutes beauty. And it’s wrong that we don’t represent the diversity of the world we live in. I want to be a part of this change. Body positivity and environmental sustainability are the cornerstones of my brand.

Q2: What has been the market response to The Saltwater Collective?

I offer a product that you wouldn’t know from the first look that it was sustainable for the planet. Choosing sustainable fashion over clothing made from regular fabrics doesn’t me