One of the City A.M. Club’s partners is an ethical swimwear brand that’s changing the way people consume fashion. Naeco uses innovative techniques to turn plastic waste into quality clothing, helping to save our oceans as well as make us look great on our holidays.
Members of the Club receive an incredible 25 per cent off every shop, not limited to their first purchase. We caught up with NAECO founder Zak Johnson to get the lowdown.
NAECO creates luxury swimwear out of recycled discarded plastic. Why is this cause so close to your heart?
NAECO was born out of a need to rid the ocean of the terrible plastic contamination mankind is pouring into it daily. As an avid kite surfer and scuba diver I spend a large amount of my time in the ocean. Over the years I saw more and more plastic spoiling our ecosystem. It’s a huge problem: 8m tonnes of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year, and the figure keeps rising.
NAECO symbolises what we believe the fabrics of the future should be, and what we believe a luxury fashion brand of the future needs to be. Using state of the art recycling methods, textile research and technology, we are able to make fabrics re-born and repurposed for new lives as luxury clothing that is made to last.
Where does ‘NAECO’ come from?
It’s actually ‘OCEAN’ spelled backwards. The brand was always going to be centred around water – you can even spot Poseidon’s trident in the logo. I wanted the brand name to be short and catchy and NAECO felt right.
What is your definition of ‘ethical fashion’?
For me ‘ethical fashion’ is not just making a product from sustainable materials, paying higher wages or reducing your carbon footprint. It’s about making a product that’s world class, the best it can be. First of all it needs to look fantastic, feel good and look great on you.
Once you have created a design, then you can consider sustainable fabrics, shipping, carbon footprint, ethical manufacturing, and the salary of your team and external companies. I have seen many brands create sustainable products that just don’t look great – being made from a sustainable material won’t sell your products and won’t make an impact on our environment. We need to create beautiful products that people love that are actually sustainable. We have a number of customers who never knew our product was sustainable. They bought it as they loved the design and quality.
How do you make such soft, luxurious fabric from discarded plastic?
Plastic bottles, straws and other plastic waste is collected and passed through a series of steps, cleaning and crushing to obtain plastic flakes which, through a mechanical process, are converted into luxurious spun fibre. This recycled yarn is then used to develop our fabrics, going through a number of processes to make the fabric soft and durable, and to ensure comfort in and out of the water.
Each pair of NAECO swim shorts are made from the equivalent of 15 plastic bottles that were destined to pollute our planet. Now they live life as a sustainable luxury garment.
£For more information on Naeco
go to naeco.co.uk