Stidston launches on Aequem - the new sustainable fashion platform
Introduction to... Stidston Swimwear
Read Stidston founder Claire's interview with Aequem here:
Hello Claire, tell us a little about yourself and how you created Stidston swimwear!
I grew up in the Devon countryside next to the sea. I love summer, there is nothing like that first hit of vitamin D on your skin after a British winter, the smell of cut grass, or that first summer dip. Stidston swimwear was born from one swimsuit that I made for myself, as I couldn’t find any affordable sustainable swimwear on the market that I liked, and grew quite organically. I really wanted to create a brand that was ethical and sustainable, but also fun, bold, and affordable.
All your pieces are so fun, sexy and chic - who or what are your muses when designing new pieces?
I’m inspired by the British Summer from the rivers and lakes of Devon, to the Lidos and ponds of London. The English countryside and coastline are very nostalgic to me, and as such have influenced the brand in ways that I’m probably not even aware of. I find muses in many places - women who embrace their individuality. I want women to feel bold and beautiful when they wear my swimwear, but also to know that their swimwear will last for many summers - not just in quality, but in style.
Here at Aequem, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, what does sustainability mean to you and Stidston Swimwear?
Sustainability is about constantly striving to ensure that everything we create is consciously made to have the most positive long term impact possible. I think we’re living in an exciting transition where people, and particularly younger people, are starting to become more and more aware of the products they choose to consume, how they chose to live, and the impact this has. Swimwear won’t change the world, but if you choose clothes that are made from recycled materials, and brands that use sustainable and environmentally manufacturing techniques, you are creating a consumer drive in an industry that has the potential to make a huge difference. Most of the ethical and sustainable fashion in the market is targeted at an older demographic, but if we want the next generation to care about sustainability, we need to give them clothes that they want to wear. Sustainable fashion doesn’t have to be bland, and the more brands that create sustainable clothes that appeal to the younger generations, the bigger the driver for change.
We love the concept of your pieces transitioning from beachwear to daywear. How did you develop this concept?
I love using clothes in different ways and getting the most life out of my clothes - dresses as skirts, jumpsuits as trousers. Swimwear is such a great item that often spends most the year in your wardrobe. The Mazie style is a perfect beach to daywear item – it has a delicate silhouette paired with jeans and a jacket, or a skirt on holiday. The velvet swimsuits I’ve made have also had a lot of wear at parties and festivals paired with jeans and jackets.
Where are your favorite holiday destinations to take your swimwear for a spin? I went to Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and fell in love. But Mexico this year took the no.1 spot - the colours, the food, the people, the nature. It has everything I love. If you go - eat as much ceviche, see as much wildlife, and drink as many margaritas as you can.
Majorca and Italy are Europe firm favourites.
And, the English Coastline transforms into the most glorious place in the summer, the cliffs dotted with wildflowers and the sparkling sea. Every year I go camping with my friends on the coast in East Prawle, South Devon, it is basic camping at its best, with the most beautiful secret coves with turquoise waters.
Okay, so now more about you…
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Let my cat in to the bedroom, and try and work out if I can sleep for a little longer. COFFEE. I would like to say get ready for yoga, but I haven’t been in months - this time of year is busy the swimwear business!
If you could wear only one thing for the rest of your life what would it be? (not including your fave Stidston’s swimsuit, obviously.)
A jumpsuit - I love a jumpsuit - they’re fun, comfortable and I feel my best in them.
If you were a Spice Girl, which would you be?
I was always Ginger Spice - I love her fierce attitude and what she stands for - she always represented the ultimate girl power! The Spice Girls meant I grew up never questioning the power of the female and that is invaluable.
Out of your current collection, which is your favourite piece and why?
The Mazie - it is the perfect swimsuit for swimming and tanning. You can wear the straps multiple ways, and it works so well as outerwear paired with jeans or a skirt.
It has been great getting to know more about you and Stidston Swimwear, if you could give one piece of advice to our readers to take away with them, what would it be?
Always do you. YOU are the most interesting person you can be - embrace your individuality and your quirks.