Alex Dash is a fellow sustainability advocate, and the creative mind behind Shapes in the Sand, an Australian made, circular, and ethical swimwear label. Channelling her love of all things natural and her innate desire to make a positive impact, Alex uses her fashion label as a force for good, and she's been making waves in the industry since launching in 2014.
Shapes in the Sand is an eco-conscious swimwear label, born out of a life long infatuation with nature and a heart yearning to help restore the environment. For Alex, her label is a balance between the natural and the human world, and what happens when the two collide.
The name Shapes in the Sand represents the diversity of women; all made up of unique shapes, and it symbolises the same image in nature too - imperfectly, perfect.
Shapes in the Sand is ethically made in Australia with circular fabrics, and Alex approaches every design with zero-waste principles to minimise her fashion footprint, using offcuts for scrunchies and accessories.
Alex recently stepped away from her seaside studio in Sydney's Northern Beaches, to share more about her love for the sea and her vision for a better industry...
Why are you passionate about sustainability in the fashion industry?
Authenticity within the fashion industry is important to me. I am authentic when I am doing everything I can to be environmentally conscious. This represents my nature and beliefs because I care about the impact the fashion industry has on the environment; it's part of who I am. This is relevant to me on a personal level, including the clothes I wear and also on a business level, making sure that Shapes in the Sand continues sustainably shaping the swimwear industry.
Why are you passionate about ethical fashion?
Ethical fashion supports an ethical environment; the people and planet. This is why it’s important to me. When a garment is responsibly sourced and made, I like to call it a ‘happy’ garment. If we keep asking #whomademyclothes maybe one day there will only be ‘happy’ garments in the world!
What inspired you to start an environmentally conscious swimwear label
Nature has had a special place in my heart from a very young age. Being able to have a swimwear label that supports my creative side and that is also helping to protect what I love - is important to me.
How do you keep your fashion footprint light?
Shapes in the Sand is always looking for new ways to continue the journey of reducing its environmental footprint. Each step involved from the sourcing right through to the distribution of collections is done with the environment in mind. Though we aren’t perfect, we strive to be!
We use fibres that are regenerated and plant-based to make our collections, as being circular is a sustainable step forward. In 2014 we introduced ECONYL yarn into our collections, allowing us to continue supporting a circular economy, cleaning our oceans and regenerating waste from landfill. Last year we introduced a 100% bio-based yarn made from the oil of castor beans too, and it's a totally renewable resource that doesn’t require high amounts of water to grow. Our fabric printing is completed locally where we use a method that doesn’t require harsh chemicals or water. Having fabrics that are made from high-quality yarn ensures they’ll last and therefore the swimsuit itself will last a very long time too.
We have a zero-waste approach with design, which ensures there is minimal wastage during production and cutting, and any leftover fabric remnants are made into accessories such as head wraps and scrunchies.
In 2017, we began designing a water-soluble hygiene liner made using wood pulp and corn starch. These were made to replace the plastic ones widely used on the market that create waste, and we use these liners on all orders as a sustainable alternative to plastic liners.
We package all orders using recycled and sustainably sourced materials, and our swing tags are made from 100% recycled card. Our logo and care labels are made from regenerated fibres such as plastic bottles and waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.
In 2019, we signed The Global Commitment to help eliminate problematic plastic, and we have goals to meet by 2025. We report our progress to The Global Commitment on our goals; eliminating plastic packaging from our business, ensuring 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable; and working towards 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging.
Who or what are you inspired by?
Looking after our natural environment is the driving force behind Shapes in the Sand. Nature has always been the inspiration behind collections. Drawing inspiration from new environments, each season is unique and through sharing the importance of these environments, we draw attention to areas of concern within them. It is also our partnerships with wildlife and environmental organisations that inspire us to continue to design our collections. Through initiatives and projects, we’re able to continue our journey of helping to protect and conserve.
Join Alex in the movement towards a sustainable fashion future and shop the Shapes in the Sand range here.
The Fashion Advocate x