NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — It's fall and already, Nuku Swim co-founders Elise Brigandi and Morgan Murray are busy finalizing the details for next year’s line.
The pair from Newport Beach designed their business to be as eco-friendly as possible, using recycled packaging and fabric from post-consumer materials.
“Every part of the whole business is done local — from trim to fabric, to printing everything. Everything is done either in LA or Orange County and then we get it sewn in Costa Mesa, ship it from Newport, then it’s off to you,” Brigandi said.
The small business owners represent a large number of younger Americans. Seventy percent of millennials and 67% of Gen Z think climate change is a major issue.
So with that in mind — in addition to their love for protecting the ocean and the coast — co-founder Morgan Murray says every business choice revolves around the environment.
“We feel that it was our moral obligation to make something that’s plastic-free and truly follow that,” Murray said.
To keep their carbon footprint low, Nuku’s suits are made locally at Pond Threads Manufacturing in Costa Mesa, a factory that values conservation. A robotic cutter is used to maximizes the fabric by only cutting the items ordered.
Pond Threads Manufacturing Owner Alex Young says everything is about lowering their impact on the planet.
“With our internal fabrics that we use, we actually take those materials and have them sent out to be repurposed to be put back into the supply chain as recycled polyester,” Young said.
While Brigandi and Murray’s sales are primarily online, they also sell their bikinis at local boutiques.
They feel it’s essential to have a presence in the community where they’re based.
“It’s important for us to have our suits in specific stores that align with our views of our brand,” Murray said.
Climate change can feel overwhelming for many, but Brigandi says small things can make a big difference.
They’ve gained so much sustainability knowledge over the years and feel a responsibility to teach others to preserve the Earth’s future.
“Together, we would do a beach cleanup every week. It’s really important to us just to do what we can, even though it feels like such a tiny little thing. But if we’re all doing that tiny little thing every day, it can create something huge," said Brigandi.
So with every bathing suit order, the ladies behind Nuku Swim hope to inspire customers to continue choosing the planet with every purchase.