A Plastic Ocean, Chasing Coral, Mission Blue – in the past five years, each of these documentaries has reported on the devastating damage being caused to oceans today, and for good reason. With 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile, it’s no wonder that the current state of nature’s most powerful force is making headlines. But today, fashion is also fighting back, starting with new swimwear brand Ohoy Swim.
Taking a stand against the issue are Scandinavian best-friend duo and co-founders of the label, Henna and Anna. Born out of a personal search for swimsuits that are durable, flattering, and eco-friendly, Ohoy uses nylon woven from the plastic netting that is littering the ocean to create each piece. The brand is based in the UAE, which means it understands how to cater to the woman who does it all: from hitting the gym and running errands to sunbathing and partying on the weekend. Ohoy’s simple styles are designed to be worn whenever and however you feel – not just in the ocean.
Savoir Flair spoke exclusively with Henna and Anna about personally trying and testing their label, where they source such groundbreaking fabrics, and more. Keeping scrolling to read the interview before shopping the brand at Ohoy Swim.
Savoir Flair loves the initiative behind Ohoy Swim. Can you tell us why you decided to create it?
Well, we were both looking for the perfect swimwear piece. To us, that is something you can wear to be active, but something that still looks feminine. We wanted a sustainable suit that was affordable and would last. We created Ohoy for the everyday girl.
And you’re surfers, right? So you have a connection with the ocean…
Yes, we both surf and spend a lot of time in the sea. We care about the ocean and the environment. We’ve seen the condition that the ocean is in today, which is quite sad.
How do you take steps in your everyday life to look after the environment?
Our mothers taught us that even the small things matter. If it were up to us, plastic bags would be banned in every single grocery store. We never take plastic bags from the supermarket, and we do simple things like recycle our batteries. We live in a place where you may not have clean drinking tap water, so most people buy plastic bottles – which is understandable. But you can easily get a water filter installed in your tap, which helps to cut down on plastic waste.
We’ve seen the condition that the ocean is in today, which is quite sad.
How does Ohoy Swim withstand while you’re surfing on choppy waters?
As a female surfer, it’s really frustrating that you always have to be aware of swimsuit malfunctions after being thrown around in a wave, so we set out to produce suits that would stay put and look good. We tested them while surfing and swimming before production – and they do really hold up.
Your unique fabrics are sourced from afar. Can you explain exactly how the netting/plastic sourcing works?
Yes, we were searching for the best sustainable swimwear fabric for a quite a long time. We buy our fabrics from Italy from a factory that works directly with a Dutch environmental organization called Ghost Fishing. It collects abandoned fishing nets left behind by travelers. These nets are made out of plastic fibers and littering the oceans everywhere. The factory then spins a yarn out of these plastics, producing high-quality nylon for swimwear.
How do your Scandinavian roots influence the brand aesthetic?
All the styles are very simple and clean, a theme that runs throughout Scandinavian design in general. The Hazy Days collection is inspired by our childhood memories of long summer days spent by the sea in Scandinavia – and the colors reflect this – so our roots will always follow us.
We wanted a short name that would stick and was related to seaside living. In Denmark, “ohoy” is how sailors greet each other.
The Hazy Days collection has five styles. ‘Monday’ is for when you want to wake up and put on something simple. ‘Tuesday’ is for when you might want to work out. ‘Wednesday’ is good for surfing, ‘Thursday’ is for sunbathing, and ‘Friday’ is for parties.
Can you tell us any secrets about the colors/styles that you’re working on next?
We can give you a little hint. There will be stripes as well as a darker color palette.
What can we expect from Ohoy in 2018?
We’re still a young brand, but we want to grow steadily and remain high in quality, so we’re adding items to our next collections. We had an amazing summer launching the brand in Europe, and we’re excited to see what the UAE market has to offer.