Interview With Free Bella
Represented by The Riviere Agency.
Designed and manufactured in downtown Los Angeles, Free Bella creates kickass bikinis that won’t kick the planet. Free Bella is a new way of thinking about fashion – because they believe in making a difference while still looking fly at the same time. They source low-impact, sustainable materials, while implementing earth friendly practices throughout their supply chain to ensure minimal impact on Mother Nature.
Writer and fashion influencer Kyleigh McCollam of @cestlestyle_ was interested in learning more about Free Bella’s sustainability approach to design and production. I think we can all agree this practice is something that should be implemented into more brands going forward. After all, saving the planet is cool!
Free Bella: Miami Swim Week
Q: What makes Free Bella a sustainable brand?
Soon after I started the brand, I realized it actually wasn’t an option for us to not be sustainable. We know way too much about the threats the fashion industry poses to the earth and there are just too many alternative resources available. We use a recycled polyester which is made from recycled PET bottles. So instead of all those plastic bottles being sent to the landfill to rot and release dangerous chemicals, we make them into cute swimsuits. We also use a regenerated nylon fiber from post-consumer materials like fishing nets and other waste materials found in our oceans. Our packaging is totally earth-friendly too. It’s made from 100% recycled materials and is also biodegradable. We’ve started to play around with Deadstock fabrics also as we explore the idea of expanding and creating coverups and resort wear. These are the surplus fabrics from other fashion brands that order in excess. Most of the time they just end up collecting dust on factory floors before headed to a landfill. So why not give them a second life?
Q: Does being a sustainable have its challenges over being non-sustainable and how do you overcome them?
It definitely does. You are limited in comparison to non-sustainable brands because we just don’t have access to the amount of resources that they do. If we like a fabric because of how it feels or functions, but it isn’t sustainable, then we’re not going to use it. End of story. So it requires us to think outside the box creatively to create items that still put us on the map with the competition, but are also easy on mother nature at the same time. Find you a brand that can do both ladies and gents.
Q: What inspired this collection?
With this collection, I was really inspired by vintage cuts and bold prints. There’s an element of ease and cool from the past that leaves a lot of room for modern interpretation. I looked back through a ton of magazine issues from Cosmo and Elle in the late 70s & 80s and drew a lot of inspiration from the swimwear spreads and the bold supermodels of that time. They were just so fearless. And I wanted that to set the mood for the collection.
Q: Who is the ultimate Free Bella woman and what does she stand for?
Straight to the point, the Free Bella woman gives a sh*t. She’s not cool with buying into trends if it means sacrificing the health of the planet. She’s empowered and she makes empowered decisions. But she’s also multifaceted. She’ll get her babes together for a boozy night of dancing, and she’ll also be the one to drag them out of bed the next day to a beach cleanup. That’s our girl.