‘Turn sea trash into sea treasure’ is the aim of UK based independent swimwear brand Batoko. It’s an admirable goal part of a much bigger global issue that they are tackling one boldly printed swimsuit at a time. It all began when the brand founders volunteered at their local beach clean-up group on the North-West coast of England, where they were struck by the sheer scale of the littering problem in our oceans. With this realisation and a determination to look for solutions and increase awareness of the issue, Batoko was born.
The brand is committed to reducing the volume of rubbish that is destined for landfills or our oceans, which is why all of their swimsuits are made from 100% recycled plastic waste. Although they are operating on a small scale, it is their mindful approach to production that sets them apart from larger brands in the industry. Each process of manufacture is monitored regularly to ensure working environments are safe, clean and the people making the clothing are earning a fair wage.
Batoko’s printed designs are a celebration of colour and pattern. Their eye-catching motifs are fun and playful, reflecting many influences from the sea, such as orcas, puffins and lobsters. However, their eclectic designs also feature tropical fruits, flowers and even dinosaurs! The simple one-piece suits are kept classic, aiding as a blank canvas for the fabric to take centre stage. The brilliance of colour is achieved using digital print, which provides high levels of accuracy. This means the fabric pieces can be pre-cut to use the exact amount of ink needed in order to minimise wastage. This level of detail is even reflected in their packaging, which is strictly plastic free, using paper or recycled mail bags as alternatives.
Their swimwear might be made from rubbish but their mission is riding a wave to a better future for our oceans.
Guest post by Annie Sharp