Turning Bottles into Bikinis
By Kirsten Corssen
Fair Harbor Swimsuits has developed a revolutionary way to combat against plastic, and recycle waste in a whole new fashion. Bathing suits are made out of recycled plastics, creating a functional and environmentally friendly product that generates awareness for the environment.
Launched in 2014, the company was founded by two young entrepreneur siblings, Jake and Caroline Danehy. Growing up in Westchester, their family would regularly summer in Fair Harbor. Over the years they noticed plastic pollution was on the rise. Whether it was an overflowing garbage freighter or plastic debris found on the shoreline, Jake and Caroline knew something had to be done to save their island.
With this in mind they came up with a system to recycle plastics, and a campaign to raise awareness to reduce pollution – their answer was Fair Harbor Clothing Company.
After hard work and a well-developed business plan, the siblings launched their recycled plastic bathing suit line while still in college.
Converting a hard plastic bottle into a fashionable bathing suit is not as complicated as you may think. Depending on which product it is, board shorts or bikinis, determines the amount of plastic used. The men’s swim trunks are made out of 80 percent bottles, 12 percent cotton, and 8 percent spandex to give men that comfortable fit. Female swimwear is made of 88 percent recycled plastic bottles, and 12-percent spandex – giving girls the support and comfort they need when swimming in the ocean.
“In order to get that bathing suit comfort and flexibility, there is a unique process that takes place,” says Caroline. “First the bottles are shredded into polyfibers, then blended with cotton and spandex. Next, they are spun into yarn that is made into fabric, cut and sewn into the specific bathing suit style, which is then shipped to the fulfillment center in New York.”
Not only are their bathing suits environment-friendly, but stylish as well. They reflect the Fire Island vibe – perfect for dock jumping, biking, ferry rides, lighthouse climbs, volleyball, beach chilling, and surfing.
“We wanted to embody what the Fire Island lifestyle is all about in our bathing suits,” says Caroline. “We want them to feel that peace and comfort that we would feel as kids when stepping off the ferry… a suit that is comfortable and can be worn all day long.”
Their brand truly personifies the spirit of an endless summer. Over the past four years they have grown their social media presence, grown their bathing suit line, opened a pop-up shop in NYC, and have plans in the works to expand the brand even larger. Their line even can be purchased on the beach, available for sale in Fair Harbor’s favorite shop, Corliss on The Bay.
To learn more, visit fairharborclothing.com.
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