Well hello there. This post is a long time in the making. I’m excited to share our milestones and some big changes that we have made at Strange and I just want to make sure I do a great job of explaining some of these boss lady moves.
Since its inception I have prided myself on the fact that Strange Bikinis is made in the U.S.A.. It’s no small feat, and if you have followed along through the seasons you know I have faced some challenging hurdles. The biggest set back came in the Winter of last year when my San Francisco factory owner unexpectedly got diagnosed with breast cancer. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to continue my production (meaning come pick up your goods and figure out how to finish them). Straight shock waves folks, what in the actual fuck was I going to do? I had a solid breakdown. Finding a factory is so hard. No one wants to take smaller brands like Strange Bikinis and finding people who can sew my crazy-ass designs has proven difficult season after season.
The panic eventually subsided and I thankfully San Fran was able to finish my order, I decided that it wasn’t smart and I wasn't being a very good boss lady by having all my eggs in one basket. It was time to get a better game plan on and it was definitely time to grow.
Sidenote: Isn’t it wild how the hardest circumstances push you to new levels that you desired to get to anyways? IDK…..I’m finding that when these hard places in life and business push me, I end up leveling up and coming out way bikini slangin’ hotter than ever!
OK so after all this, I researched new manufacturers. Taking what I had learned from working with US factories and tracking my carbon footprint, I asked myself if it’s possible to actually do better overseas? Ooooooh terrifying to me. Overseas sounds like “traitor” or “sell out” to me. I put so much weight and pride into the fact that we were made in America, but you know what? That shit is hard. It’s hard to keep your carbon footprint down (I’ll explain more later). It’s not as organized as some of these larger sew houses dedicated to swimwear and as long as the people I choose to work with are following industry and country rules and regulations protecting their employees and our planet, it’s actually not a bad thing to produce good overseas.
My plan is to slowly start to integrate the new Bali made Strange Bikinis into our collection and you may have noticed we are releasing it January 22nd. It looks different because it is totally different. We are using recycled nylon/polyester and we are introducing hardwares (clips and adjustment sliders) made from plastic water bottles, discarded fishing nets, fabric scarps, and carpet flooring (hell yes to zero waste!). This fabric is still buttery soft and silky, but it is thicker than our biodegradable fabrics. So we are still working on nailing that perfect Strange Bikinis fit. We have to take this release as a test drive if you will. We will see what you all think, and make adjustments going forward. Working with new factories is always a process, and that’s why we are starting slowly.
We know that sizing is a little smaller than we typically offer, this will be adjusted in future release to more accurately reflect our customer.
We know that the planet is important to you, that’s why we are stoked to offer recycled fabric. More importantly the carbon footprint I mentioned earlier is actually LESS than what we can accomplish by only producing in the USA. Who’da thunk? See my uber impressive drawing of what each looks like.
We will still be making all our Strange Classics in San Francisco and hopefully we can lean into our new partners in Bali and get more options and more stability to keep growing. If you aren’t feeling these newer recycled fabric, not to worry my dear because we will be releasing our incredible Spring collection like always. Biodegradable and we have new styles for you then too.
Last thing I want to touch on, our tags are in an awkward middle school stage. What can we say… We aren’t impressed with how our tags turned out for 2021. I was trying hard to reduce our plastic use and really thought switching to paper size-tags would be fine, it’s…. barely scraping the surface of fine. So just know… that we know. You can cut the tags out with scissors. However, we are making a difference by using paper and moving forward, we promise to do better.
I lied, there’s one more thing I want to talk about. We are using biodegradable bags for our products. This shit ain't cheap… not that you care, but these are all the little things that go into our pricing structure and you might not even notice… So if you see a company using biodegradable stuff, know that they are doing that at a cost.
Thanks for reading this. Our blogs have been pretty inconsistent lately but this is straight from my fingers and my heart. Me talking to you as a girlfriend.
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