I recently came across Batoko whilst
pointlessly scrolling browsing through Instagram. The prints of the swimwear stopped me in my tracks – “James, holy moly, loooooook, these swimming costumes! They are so pretty – if only I’d seen them before holiday!”. Our big holiday may have been and gone, in a flash, but a swimsuit like one of these certainly wouldn’t be! I went on to look at the Batoko profile, first point of call – are they UK based? YES – Batoko were founded off the North West Coast (as in, where we now reside… ish). Before my second point of call (price), I was again, stopped in my scrolling tracks… these swimsuits are RUBBISH?! They’re actual RUBBISH!
No, no, it’s not what you think! They’re still epic swimming costumes… but even more-so now that I know they’re made from ACTUAL RUBBISH that has been dished from our ocean. This brand are actively protecting our marine life. This isn’t just cool or ‘neat’, this is revolutionary.
Here is what Batoko say, in their own words:
Living by the sea, plastic pollution is something we witness everyday on our local beaches. Plastic bottles, bags, cups, straws, food wrappers, balloons, containers, toys, polystyrene, fishnets, ropes, textiles and micro-plastics. You can bet that every item of plastic you can think of is in the sea and with each tide comes a stark reminder of an issue that is otherwise out of sight, out of mind.
“We create high quality swimsuits that are not only flattering and fun to wear, but are helping change the world for the better”.
Of the 300 million tons of plastic that’s produced globally each year, it’s estimated that less than 10% of this is recycled, with an astonishing 8 million tons of disposed plastic waste entering our oceans annually. The greatest issue with this is that plastic doesn’t degrade. Once we’ve made it, used it and binned it – it stays with us, breaking down into smaller toxic pieces that pollute our environment for generations.
The Batoko Mission
We’re part of a positive process that is attempting to clean up our oceans and help reduce the negative impact of plastic on the environment. We want to show that slowing down the production of new plastic materials in favour of using existing sustainable resources, is the way forward.
“All our swimwear is 100% recycled from plastic bottles, fishnets and post-consumer waste such as carpets and other textiles. Recycling helps reduce energy usage, reduce consumption of new raw materials and reduces air and water pollution (from land fills and marine waste)”.
Our swimsuits are printed digitally which is an ecological printing method designed to reduce water and waste. Our inks are free of harmful chemicals and we consciously print the designs onto the fabric after it’s been cut to minimise production waste. Our fabric is vegan, too!
We are a proud member of the UK’s leading marine charity – the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The MCS work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. To date they have helped pass a number of government legislations such as the 5p plastic bag policy, gained protection for endangered Basking Sharks and secured 50 marine conservation zones in English waters. MCS organised beach cleans have also removed 6 million pieces of litter from UK shores. Each year a proportion of our profits made from our recycled swimwear go to supporting this amazing organisation, helping to ensure a healthier future for our oceans.
Rather than adhere to the pressure of a disposable, fast-fashion culture, we are going against the grain; consciously keeping our collections small and introducing new designs at a slower and much more sustainable pace that’s kinder to the planet and the people that make them. This also allows us to focus on quality and the individuality of each swimsuit design, enabling us to tweak and improve along the way – ultimately putting the value back into clothing and keeping the Batoko spirit alive for years, not just a season.
We work with an audited factory in China that takes necessary measures to avoid both environmental degradation, along with following and respecting the labour principles set out in the BSCI Code of Conduct which ensures a fair and safe working environment for all it’s workers. This ethical business behaviour ensures that all workers have increased awareness of both their labour rights and human rights, along with access to grievance mechanisms if they feel their rights are not being met. BSCI principles also include fair pay, no forced or bonded labour, no child labour or workers below the legal minimum age, decent working hours (observed by law), no discrimination and equal opportunities. We feel a great amount of responsibility to maintain a stable business relationship with our supplier, which is turn gives the factory a reason to invest in continuously improving it’s working conditions.
“We’re Rubbish. Literally”.
We use recycled and sustainable materials wherever we can. For shipping, we use 100% recycled poly packaging from Eco Enclose. Eco enclose recycle their mail bags from post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste, giving new life to material that has already been used rather than it ending up in landfill or in our oceans. They are the most minimal packaging option in terms of size and weight; lighter than their paper counterparts, so more energy efficient. We ensure that the mail bag fits to size with no excess space, essentially working as a protective sleeve for your swimsuit during transportation, nothing more. The mail bags have an extra strip which allows you to reuse the packaging. As they are recyclable, you can pop it in your recycling bin after you’ve finished using it to ensure that it get’s a another new life after use.
Join The Movement
Keep in the loop by following us on instagram or by joining our newsletter. We’re obsessed with our customers photos (or ‘postcards’), so don’t hesitate to tag us @batoko if you wanna show off your awesome new recycled swimsuit, we like to show you off too!
How absolutely amazing is this? This is more than just a fad… a ‘fashion with a conscience’ trend, that we so often see in passing; that sadly doesn’t continue after the trend has frazzled out. This is something really quite major. And I’m so excited by this brand and its ethos. I just can’t quite believe how brilliant it is.
I briefly touched upon our recent horrific experience regarding global sea-life during our trip to Florida. I wanted to do something for the better in support of our incredible oceans… well, I am completely aware that this is just a small step to ‘helping’ the cause, but its better than nothing, right? And such a brilliant step in the right direction.
Please do follow BATOKO across their socials:
And without further ado, here are my Top 3 pieces from their online collection(s). Some pieces are in the SALE, so be quick!
I want to finish this post by saying THANK YOU to the wonderful people at Batoko. Thank you for creating something so extraordinary, so special and so important.
Peace & love
DISCLAIMER // This post is absolutely not sponsored By or affiliated WITH BATOKO, in any way shape or form, I just had to share how awestruck I am by thIS INCREDIBLE ETHICAL brand. Please check them ouT!