Akina label is a comfy and ethical swimwear brand that focuses on form and simplicity. The brand is located in Cape Town, South Africa. Laetitia Breedt started the label in 2016 since she was unsatisfied by the challenges involved in finding a simple swimsuit that could stand the test of times in both quality and appearance. Indeed, Laetitia Breedt’s value for simplicity and quality led her to the concept of a basic swimwear range that people do not need to replace every summer. Furthermore, she founded Akina label under the premises of sustainability, caring for the people who make the brand’s products and creating stuff that women would love and wear. Interestingly, the label’s name, Akina, came from a play on the word bikini – keenie, kina, Akina; it means ‘spring flower’. Additionally, the name symbolizes new life and it is linked to diverse aspects of the swimwear label including recycling, reusing and re-loving. As such, below, we have explained how the Akina label is using sustainability in its fashion work.
How Akina Label Uses Sustainability in its Fashion Designs
Akina Label factory is run on LED lighting and energy saving adapters. Therefore, 60% of the factory waste is recycled as stuffing in pillows and beddings.
Akina Label pays its workers more than double the minimum wage and they have flexible work hours and receive payments over time. The brand also offers the workers healthy snacks and monthly bus cards to go to work.
Akina Label always source locally first, except for their swimwear fabric. The label uses Econyl, a regenerated nylon that reduces extra pressure on the limited natural resources and emission of greenhouse gas from manufacturing. Indeed, recycled nylon is mainly sourced from pre‐consumer waste such as plastic bottles and fishing nets. The label also uses organic cotton which is sustainable in how it grows as it uses less water, pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Additionally, Akina label uses Tencel which is a brand of lyocell, and the only lyocell that is considered sustainable. Lyocell comes from eucalyptus trees grown in FSC forests ‐ a certification which guarantees responsible felling and replanting of the trees. This wood is then processed in a closed loop process, meaning that 99% of all chemicals and water are recycled; instead of releasing them into the environment. The result is a beautiful material that’s soft, breathable, washable and hangs elegantly on the body. The buttons the label uses are 100% Corozo buttons. Corozo is a nut from a tropical palm tree that people can use to carve fashion accessories and buttons .
Akina label uses 100% recycled plastic zip bag in the packaging of their swimwear. The label packages sleepwear in bags made from sleepwear fabric off-cuts and small cotton bags.