Jade Sewell-Robertson is the founder and owner of Two Sparrow. A swimwear label that designs and makes bikinis from recycled plastic. Not only are they environmentally friendly in a crazy high standard, but they're hot as hell. From high waisted silhouettes and leopard print to sleek and chic one pieces, Two Sparrow is a game changer. We recently collaborated and caught up with Jade.
Tell us how Two Sparrow Swimwear was born?
Two Sparrow Australia is a sustainable swimwear brand with a focus on closing the loop and ensuring further recycling of all swimwear at the end of it’s life.
Two Sparrow began from two problems I discovered:
1) there were way too many ‘fast swimwear’ companies creating cheap, unsustainable swimwear and; 2) there were minimal suitable swimwear options in sustainable fabrics that were easily accessible on the market.
Specifically, it began when I saw the waste from large global online retailers with friends purchasing large amounts of low cost swimwear, with only a few actually fitting and throwing away the rest. This kind of waste immediately was a driving factor in wanting to make a change. It made me think there would have to be a better way to make sure swimwear would fit, first time round and was made of sustainable, recycled fabrics.
After abundant research into sustainable fabrics and ethical production, I found Econyl, a fabric made from 78% recycled Nylon (made from plastics & fishing nets) and 22% elastane (to give it the stretch). I also discovered that this fabric even though it is sustainably made is not necessarily sustainable at the end of it’s life as it is very difficult to recycle.
This is why I have created the Recycle Your Kini Program where you can send back your kinis to Two Sparrow free of charge (in an eco mailer bag) and we will send them back to Italy to be recycled.
Overall, our aim in our manufacturing, production, delivery and recycling of our products is to do so in a manner that considers the effects on the environment and what we can do to minimise this. This is why in our fabric, packaging, manufacturing, post-use and community contributions we have considered the alternative to what other organisations do.
Running a business is pretty hard work but worth it right!? Being a young entrepreneur, what’s some advice for other Aussie creatives or aspiring designers?
Right! To say it is hard work is an understatement but it is always worth it. I have learnt more in the last few months than I could have ever imagined and I’m so appreciative for it. I think for all those also doing it alone without a business partner the best advice would be the quicker you bounce back when things go wrong, the stronger you will be.
In a way I feel lucky that I have had quite a few curveballs come at me since I started Two Sparrow and my ability to take on a situation and figure out a game plan in a matter of minutes instead of dwelling for days is one of the best skills I have ever learnt.
Also, making sure that you have a few people or mentors in your life that have or are currently experiencing something similar to what you are. Whether it is in your industry or not, it’s those people that when things go right or wrong who are there to support you.
Let's talk about ‘Making Sustainability Sexy’?
Coming from a background in corporate marketing we often would call particular marketing tactics as ‘sexy or unsexy marketing’. For example there are sometimes more glamorous sides of marketing, though with the same strategic goal or brand messaging a label can be just as cool or ‘sexy’ as the next.
This is what we mean by ‘Making Sustainability Sexy’, trying to change the perception of sustainability and show it is cool and is something we should all be trying to do, that we can all make a difference. Whether that be taking your own mug to the local coffee shop or using your recycled bag at the local shops, every bit counts. There is no planet B!
What is the Two Sparrow One Planet Fund?
We don't just ensure sustainability in our fabrics, manufacturing and packaging but we also contribute to the Two Sparrow One Planet Fund. The One Planet Fund has been created to ensure we are also giving back to the community and contributing to a variety of projects.
Our current project is contributing to cleaning the ocean and coastlines of plastic while working to stop the inflow of plastic by helping to change consumer consumption habits.
Every single purchase contributes to this important cause, and as we evolve so will the projects that we contribute to, so far we have helped remove 1 pound of plastic from the ocean.
We all know it can be pretty tough to find swimwear that fits just right, any tips for choosing the right bikini?
Absolutely! I think the best thing is to check the size guide, or if you are on the Two Sparrow website use the DigiFit. The DigiFit was created to help you predict your size and the best fit in Two Sparrow bikinis all at the click of a button.
The DigiFit translates your sizing in other brands to our sizing all in seconds and suggests what colour and style would best suit you. At the end of the day, no one wants to receive a bikini that doesn’t fit and have to wait for shipping and returns. We help you find the right size, the first time.
Oh we’d love to know what piece or print from the Sea & Sarong collection is your fave?
I think this answer is threefold:
- The Cali Sarong: The shell detailing! How beautiful
- The Cabana Sarong: Leopard is always in style, especially when it is this beautiful
- The Jags Sarong: The black can easily be worn from day to night which I love
Both S & S and Two Sparrow have some really fun prints in the collections, what prints would you pair together?
Is it fair to say them all? I LOVE the Sea and Sarong collection. I think the Bondi Top and Hamilton bottoms in white rib would go so well with the Cali Sarong.
I also love the shell detailing on the sarongs, I think they pair perfectly with our sustainable snake collection or the sustainable leopard collection. I can’t wait to pair mine together!
I think as Aussie’s its natural that we’re beach bums, what are some of your favourite beaches across Australia?
Funny you say that, me too! That’s why all our swimwear is named after some of my favourite beaches across Australia. The only one that’s missing is my real favourite though: Sandy Gully in Aireys Inlet, along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
Also, our first photoshoot was shot on my second favourite: Wategos in Byron Bay.
Finally, what do you see for Two Sparrow Swimwear in the future?
Part of what I learnt previously working in Marketing is the importance of research and development and the need to continually innovate, which will always be our future. A few specific things would be moving into menswear and other clothing made from sustainable, recycled fabrics.
Also, a strategic sustainability objective would be to bring all post-use recycling to Australia to encourage the ‘Recycle Your Kini’ program amongst other swimwear designers.