Wellbeing Wednesday with Emily May’s founder

maddi alexander wellbeing wednesday emily may swimwear pink portrait
maddi alexander wellbeing wednesday emily may swimwear blue

What 3 words would you use to describe your brand?

Luxury. Innovative. Ethical.

Tell us the story of how Emily May started! What inspired you to start the company? Why sustainable swimwear?

Emily studied an Art and Design foundation course at Oxford Brookes before graduating from Brighton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design with Business. After various work in London in the art and fashion world, Emily took a different path and went abroad to work on board luxury super yachts. It was during this time of being immersed in an exotic lifestyle juxtaposed with the reality of pollution, waste and carelessness such an indulgent industry brings to our oceans where Emily’s concept for a luxury, ethical swimwear brand came to light. Emily feels that everyone should adopt a happy medium between enjoying the oceans and beaches while also treating them with care and respect.

Who inspires you? 

My manufacturer owner and lingerie brand owner, Nichole De Carle.
Quentin Jones the super edgy female illustration artist who I’ve followed for years.
Our national treasure David Attenborough for making us realise how precious our home is.
Greta Thunberg the 16 year old that is campaigning for combatting climate change.
Chromat swimwear brand producing future forward body wear and promoting a healthy natural body image.

What makes Emily May special when it comes to the materials you use for your swimwear?

The luxury Italian stretch fabric we use is made up of recycled fishing nets that have been discarded in the ocean and lay on the sea bed. By collaborating with fishing communities, our fabric manufacturers turn plastic waste like this into regenerated nylons to create our material and help clear up the oceans! Their factory only uses renewable energy, which reduced their gas, electricity and water consumption.

Why was it important to you that your brand uses these materials?

EMILY MAY understands the current ecological and environmental threats that are increasingly impacting the worlds oceans and marine life today. There needs to be a mind set shift away from fast fashion and the over consumption of plastics - today plastic pollution in the oceans is a severe problem and becoming detrimental to us and sea life.

How do you care for your swimwear?

Our stunning Italian stretch fabric is a high-end recycled material made from recycled plastics found in our oceans. It is incredibly soft and breathable while also highly durable and more resistant to chlorine and sun creams. Rinse immediately after use and wash with similar colours at max 40℃. Do not bleach or tumble dry. Suitable for dry clean. Cool iron.

What makes the perfect swimwear?

Quality, fit and comfort. As well as a bold style that will stand out. Swimwear that lasts and won’t loose its shape - something you can rely on.

What or who inspires your designs?

My first collection was inspired by the amazing city of Venice - the colours and architecture.

Describe your perfect beach. What would it be like?

Small and secluded. Surrounded by tropical sea life.

What’s your favourite travel destination?

So many places! But the Balearic Islands and the southern coasts of Spain have always been a favourite for me from fond memories of childhood holidays.

What’s your favourite way to relax?

Being somewhere warm and doing yoga. Maybe with some amazing food… and maybe a drink.

If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Have more confidence in yourself and believe that you can achieve your dreams. Get as much advise as you can, even if it’s wrong.


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