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California Costumes Women's Seaweed Boa Costume, Green, One Size

£9.9£99Clearance
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The Laminaria digitata in Reykjanes, a peninsula in south-west Iceland, she adds, is made stronger by the powerful waves of the Atlantic current, making it ideal for use in making shoes. Saccharina latissima, meanwhile, varies hugely. “I never find two alike. Never.” Our swimwear is recycled from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic waste. PET plastic is what plastic bottles are made out of, as well as lots of food containers and textiles (clothes, carpets). If you see the number #1 printed on plastic, this is PET. It's the most common type of plastic and the most widely recycled. When I started using seaweed they said ‘you are crazy’. So then I thought ‘then I’m doing something right’,” says Þorvaldsdóttir over coffee in her candlelit kitchen. “My mission in life is to bring out the beauty in life and in seaweed.”

Among her influences are the late British designer Alexander McQueen – who she says “goes all the way, he’s so sincere” – the Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and the music of the Icelandic musician Björk. She says she has also been shaped by the writing of the late Icelandic author Guðmundur Páll Ólafsson and the US marine biologist Rachel Carson.Despite being the world’s second largest global aquaculture product by volume, seaweed is usually associated with food rather than as a material. And that’s a mistake, says Þorvaldsdóttir. “Everyone is focused on seaweed as a food and nothing else.” Before she works with the seaweed, she collates and bags it, labelled with the place and date of collection, and applies a secret sustainable treatment. In one of her workshops lie neat piles of treated seaweed tendrils, which, she points out, all have different features. In another room, the material is being treated on hangers. “It’s a forest of seaweed,” she says. The artist has worked in theatre as a puppeteer, mask maker, costume maker, and production designer, and in drama-based teaching. She is now working on an exhibition to be held in Iceland next year. I thought the swimming costume was really well made, I absolutely love the print! It’s bold enough that it really stands out in photos. The design of the costume is great for more active swimming so brilliant if you plan on constantly jumping in and out of the water, are going to be free diving in strong current or for more active water sports like surfing or kayaking.

The artist, who has been working with the material for 30 years, says seaweed has huge potential for use as a sustainable material for design. The creation from plastic to swimsuit goes like this: plastic waste is sorted, then shredded into clean flakes. The flakes are melted, extruded and then spun into polyester yarn for our fabric. The amount of plastic that goes into making our swimwear is recorded by weight and is the equivalent of approximately 10 plastic bottles per swimsuit. The process is overseen by the GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certification, which you can read more about here.

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