The Summer House launches an eco-conscious swimwear line
In 2011, Italy-based company, Aquafil debuted a new fabric — one that couldn’t be found documented in fashion history books or traced back to a particular community or region. This textile soon found its way into the ateliers of a number of swimwear labels, such as La Perla, and even at the studios of the Swedish brand, H&M. Built from fishing nets, industrial plastic and discarded yarn sourced from oceans, Econyl, it can be argued, is the fabric of the future.
For Bengaluru-based eco-conscious label The Summer House, known for their easy silhouettes and unhurried vibe, it felt only natural to experiment with this material, as it stood for everything they believe in. But, why swimwear, we ask. “At The Summer House, we choose to endorse a life that allows for time to stand and stare, and what better place to stand and stare than at the beach?,” counters Shivangi Padhiyar, one of the co-founders of the label, adding, “The irony of looking good at the beach at the cost of the sea was apparent to us. Thankfully, in our research, we found something better. Econyl is not only made responsibly but actually helps clean up the oceans.”
Timeless and simple, the collection comprises six styles in three colourways — black, sunshine yellow and a tone of azure blue. A more refined finish is achieved by overlocking the seams on the inside rather than on the outside, which is not very common when it comes to swimwear. Details such as racer backs, criss-cross and adjustable straps make it fun, while solid shades with minimal surface work ensure they stick to the brand’s design language.
For a label that prides itself on its breezy dresses and roomy trousers, not to mention their tableware and home decor essentials that promote a dreamy existence, a move towards form-fitted pieces is doubtless a departure from what they are used to. And Shivangi agrees. “It is different in every way. In terms of design, our biggest challenge was designing swimwear that looked good on every body type. In terms of production, our team had never produced swimwear. The fabric turns differently on the machine. But we wanted the quality of stitching to be on par with the best. So the time taken to produce one swimsuit is the amount they take for three to four regular garments,” she explains.
Shivangi and her co-founder Rekha Datla, have also just released their Spring Summer 2018 collection — Girl From Kutch. The duo has teamed up with Swavlambi, a non-profit organisation in Kutch that trains women from the region in embroidery, stitching and other skills to enable them to be self sufficient. “The clothes draw inspiration from the silhouettes worn by the many communities that live in that region. We have attempted to bring a tone of minimalism and understated modernity to these borrowed details,” says Shivangi, adding that their signature print for the collection, reminiscent of the parched land of Kutch, is block-printed by traditional craftsmen.
Girl from Kutch Rs.2,600 upwards, Swimwear Rs.2,700 upwards