The fashion industry is notoriously wasteful. While the best cuts of fabric make their way into our wardrobe, more are left on the cutting room floor.
After witnessing (and admittedly contributing to) this level of waste, Adelaide designer Natalie Ivanov was inspired to create RE-SWIM CLUB, an eco-friendly swimwear label that uses only reclaimed or discarded fabric.
“Synthetic products are terrible for the environment, both while they are being made and after they are discarded, so if I can use up a small quantity of them I feel like I’m achieving something,” she says.
Ivanov’s pieces are all handmade from offcuts, remnants, end-of-rolls, deadstock, vintage fabric and bought recycled fabrics. She started sewing this way at a young age, using offcuts from her dressmaker mother’s creations. “I was forever using the scraps to make dolls clothes,” says Ivanov.
Offcuts are bought from her day job at swimwear manufacturer and retail outlet Jem Designs and a fabric warehouse in Sydney that supplies leftover fabric from designers and factories. Ivanov also sources a sustainable fabric – made from 78 per cent recycled nylon – from online store Eclipse. “I don’t know what I am going to get until I find it,” she says.
This means that – despite the simple and classic designs – each piece is completely unique, not least because each style is named after a Rod Stewart song (Maggie May, Young Turks and Mandolin Wind to name a few).
The designs are currently available online only, but Ivanov is keeping her eye on Renew Adelaide spaces for a future storefront and design studio.