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Creating a Product That Will Stand The Test of Time

Sustainability and Greenwashing

In the past few years, there has been an increased demand for environmentally responsible products.  An unfortunate consequence of that demand is "greenwashing". Greenwashing is deceitful marketing that exaggerates a business’s current or past practices in order for them to appear moreenvironmentally friendly.

Even before the pandemic (COVID-19), we all knew that the Earth is suffering, animals being extinct, weather conditions that are not normal, and a myriad of other changes that affect our Earth and own health. 
More and more businesses started adopting processes to lessen the impact of their production on the environment. There are many initiatives going on, and some are better than others. Some are also more legitimate than others. Which takes us to what we know now as greenwashing: not all practices are truly sustainable. And not all practices are exercised, even when they are claimed to be.

A little history of our principles

Sustainable manufacturing is the creation of manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources.

When we started Sauipe, back in 2008, no one talked about sustainable production in fashion. We didn't know any better either, but we always had an aversion to waste of all kinds.  We learned from our parents, who were from the post-war generation, that we shouldn't waste food, water, gas, electricity, or any other resource, no matter how much was available to us. My sister and I were also careful to not spend more than what we could afford, because Sauipe was - and still is - a very small business, with no outside funding. 

So it was natural for us to save all resources in the business and that practice became part of our DNA since day one.  We would never purchase more supplies than necessary: fabric, elastic, embellishments, threads, hang tags, labels, bags, etc - we did not want any excess to end up in the landfill. 

NO to fast fashion

I recall that in 2017 some stores were pushing us to create more styles, faster. I said no, and I gently explained to retailers that creating more styles faster would be very costly for us, which ends up being more expensive to the end consumer.  The only way we could create more, faster and for lower cost would be to lower the quality of the products and to lower the wages of our associates.   We would never do either of those. 

I know we lost some business at the time because we did not want to cave in to the mentality of more and faster. Around that time I started reading about 'fast fashion' and how it negatively impacts the environment and society. 

Where we stand

We have always considered many factors at Sauipe that have created the foundation of how we do business. Some of them stemmed for our desire to save money, but most were guided by our respect to people and our dislike of waste. 

It is important to highlight that no production can be 100% sustainable. There will always be some level of impact in any industry, even when production practices are at their best. The goal is to minimize the most we can, knowing that it is virtually impossible to eliminate negative impact.  Even transforming plastic into fabrics is a process that can leave a huge footprint on the environment. And, in my honest opinion, that plastic should not have existed in the first place.

Here are some considerations that are at the foundation of Sauipe:

  • as a consumer, I know that a product of higher quality will last longer. If something is of a very low cost it also has a short lifespan. In our case, one can purchase a swimsuit every few months, or purchase one swimsuit that will last for years. The former will always be more expensive AND will result in more trash in the landfill.
  • associates and employees cannot have a sustainable living without proper pay or working conditions.  We firmly believe that every human being deserves to have a decent pay for their work. Yes, that impacts the product price tag, but it also foster sustainable economies
  • we always look for vendors that share our values.  All our vendors follow strict guidelines on water and electricity consumption, water recycling and disposal of any production residue like ink and fibers. These vendors are properly certified. 
  • we respect your investment. We understand that you want a product that looks great, but you don't want to have to buy another one so soon. We get it. Of course, you are more than welcome to honor us with multiple purchases, but be sure that all your Sauipe swimsuits will stand the test of time.
  • we are fully transparent. We are not made of plastic and will never claim to be 100% sustainable. That doesn't exist.  But we are always looking for ways to improve.
    One great and recent example: we used to have a beautiful, super soft EVA plastic bag for our swimsuits (image below).  We recently started using plastic bags that are made from 100% recycled plastic (no new plastic out there), are fully recyclable and MADE IN THE USA. These new bags do not have our logo either.  Why all that?
    • the soft EVA plastic is not made from renewable sources. It's new plastic. Our new bags are made from 100% plastic.
    • the only place those EVA bags are produced is in Asia. The shipping of items that are not necessary leaves a huge footprint in the environment 
    • the new bags are made in the U.S.A. and this is huge for us. If we could make the same exact swimsuits here, we would too, but that's not possible yet.
    • the product inside the bag is the same top quality swimsuit you came to love, and that is the main thing for us
Sauipe's former packaging was made of new plastic and not fully recyclable. We have changed that are now using bags made from 100% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable.

    Back to 'greenwashing'

    Unfortunately, there are many people that profit from the consumers good will.  We know that consumers are smart and you want to do what is right.  

    It is important for us to educate ourselves and each other and to be aware of what sustainability really is, and not fall for anything that claims to be sustainable, when it really isn't. 

    At Sauipe we are not experts, but we believe that we can take many steps, big and small, to make the world a better place.   As I said earlier, we are still a very small business. But even so, we stopped creating thousands of new plastic bags each year.  We now have a timeless collection of swimsuits that will not end up in the landfill when the fashion of the month is over.  

    There is a lot more we can do, and I assure you, we will always look for places to improve. 

    One thing that will never change is our commitment to deliver a high quality swimsuit that will stand the test of time.



    If you would like to  share your thoughts, send us suggestions, or would like to receive more details about Sauipe's commitment to a cleaner environment, please email us at