Shopping for swimwear is very frustrating, it’s something a lot of women dread and I desperately wanted to change all that.
For years I have felt let down by swimsuits that didn’t fit properly, fell apart before the end of one season, or just didn’t make me feel like going to the beach or the pool.
So, when I created my own label Ellenny Swim, I was determined to make swimwear that was not only comfortable but also helped women of all shapes and sizes feel confident in the sun.
As a stay-at-home mum of two, I saw a gap in the market, a gap where women were forgotten or overlooked. Being curvy myself, I was the perfect model to work out exactly what women want from their swimwear.
Special features like a rashie with a built-in bra was a must, as well as padding that didn’t bulge, scrunch or move around. Fabric that didn’t flap in the water was also on my hit list.
The result was designs that give support in those important areas of the bust and the tummy, as well as being strong, durable and feminine. As a former graphic designer, attention to detail was everything.
Creating Ellenny Swim
One of the things I realised very quickly is that I couldn’t do this on my own. Initially, I sought help from business mentors, manufacturing agents, garment designers, and other women in business. I had little fashion experience and underestimated the length of the process so their mentoring, guidance and advice was invaluable.
I joined Business Chicks, which has allowed me to gain a wealth of knowledge and to learn from an enormous community of women in business. I have also discovered the power of social media with Instagram influencers providing a wonderful boost to my sales.
I initially tried to launch in January 2020. But the horrific bushfires soon put a stop to that. Now that it’s spring, I’m coming out of COVID-19 hibernation with my label already growing a strong fan base online. Ellenny Swim can also be found in boutiques in Australia and overseas with a size range from 8 – 18 and expanding to size 22 next season.
Why sustainable and eco-friendly fabric was the only option
It’s so important to me that Ellenny Swim is not a fast fashion label that creates more problems for the environment. I wanted to use a fabric that would last, and was in line with my personal ethos, which is to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
I found the perfect fit in the Italian manufacturer, Carvico. They collect old nylon products, such as discarded fishing nets from the ocean floor, and turn them into a nylon fabric that is strong and incredibly durable. As we know, fishing nets stand the test of time and don’t break down in the sea. That means my fabrics are tough enough to withstand the harsh elements of the ocean and the swimming pool, lasting much longer than your average swim season. In fact, my swimwear is chlorine resistant, sunscreen resistant, while being sun safe with a UPF50+ rating to block out 98% of the sun’s harmful rays
I tested the swimsuits myself for at least six months before being satisfied with their durability. I did everything you’re not supposed to do when caring for a garment. I tested them in chlorine, salt, 45-degree Celsius temperatures and ran them through the washing machine. I wanted to make sure the fabric wasn’t going to fall apart – and it didn’t.
For years, I have felt let down by the big fashion houses, so now I am doing something about it. Ellenny Swim is filling a gap to help women of all shapes and sizes feel confident in their swimwear, and put the enjoyment back into shopping for a swimsuit.
Megan Davis is a Business Chicks Premium member and founder of Ellenny Swim, an Australian brand offering size inclusive, sun safe and eco-friendly swimwear.