Founder of JADE Swim, Brittany Kozerski Freeney on starting a swimwear brand that focuses on a minimalist aesthetic and unique design details.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
Recently, I’ve started a new morning routine of writing a gratitude journal. It really refocuses my energy and starts the day in a positive way. I then head straight to emails afterwards.
What inspired you to start JADE Swim?
From covering the swim market as a fashion editor and stylist, I saw a void in the marketplace for high-quality, minimal, clean silhouette swimwear that could also transition from a swimsuit to RTW doubling as great layering pieces. I wanted to provide a go-to line of swimwear with styles that shape and accentuate the body, give minimal tan lines and also seamlessly pair with your closet essentials.
Who is the JADE Swim woman?
The JADE Swim woman loves the clean cuts of the line and responds to the high quality. She loves that she can purchase a suit and make it her own. JADE Swim pieces seamlessly integrate into the rest of her closet, allowing her to wear to the beach but also to layer to get so much more use out of the pieces. And, because cuts are classic and timeless – she knows she can keep wearing and reinventing these pieces every summer.
Your pieces offer UV protection, can you tell us more about the fabrication of this?
Some of our products have UV protection, depending on colours and styles from a certain fabric and vendor, making it the perfect way to lie in the sun stress-free.
JADE Swim is designed with every woman’s body shape in mind. Was this a key focus from the outset?
Of course, all of our suits are made with high-quality fabric using shape retention technology, to smooth, shape, and accentuate a women’s body. Every suit we make has a four-way stretch and is lined on the inside with the same quality level of fabric as on the outside, allowing the suits to be higher quality and provide a more sculpting and supportive fit. We also have a lot of suits that draw attention to certain parts of the body through cutouts and strap detailing.
Your pieces are designed with multifunctional versatility. How was this a challenge and how did you overcome this?
That’s been the brand’s mantra from day one – that our swimwear can be worn and styled in countless ways. Just like our one pieces which are worn by customers as bodysuits way beyond the beach setting. Our collections are always designed with multifunction and versatility in mind. We offer styles that can be worn from day to night, from beach to city and as both swim and ready-to-wear. When you’re buying a JADE swimsuit, you’re really investing in a piece that can span across your closet’s needs.
Sustainability lies at the core of the brand. How has this been an important factor in building the brand?
Sustainability is a large focus for us at JADE Swim. From the start of the company, we have produced the majority of our collections using recycled and Oeko Tex-certified fabrics. We also have conscious production where all products are made in the USA at a factory our team visits almost daily ensuring that various initiatives are continued to be followed such as upcycling fabric scraps, working with local trim vendors, limited production runs with all retailer orders made to order instead of mass produced. On the packaging side, all e-comm and retailer orders are shipped in 100 per cent recycled plastic or biodegradable bags as well as recycled boxes. We have compostable thermal labels and recycled plastic packing slip pouches. Beyond all of our direct efforts, we are Climate Neutral certified, a partner with one per cent For The Planet and for every order, a tree is planted through our partnership with the Eden Reforestation Projects.
Sustainability is really the future of fashion. A lot of sustainability talk stops at fabric and packaging but there are so many other conscious decisions from office operations, factory choices, packaging and trend-less design to sustainable operations that can help a brand maintain its sustainability goals. We try to keep that in mind with every aspect of the business. For example, we produce only for the retailers that order in advance from us and for our e-commerce business, so when production arrives, each unit is already spoken for in a sense, reducing waste. We often sell out of styles or can’t offer a store a restock but keeping production levels and waste levels low is a huge part of our decision-making. Additionally, JADE Swim’s overarching brand concept was to be the go-to brand for quality, timeless swimwear that transcends seasonal trends.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell myself to just start. You’ll never know every single aspect of owning a clothing line or starting a business, but you’ll learn along the way. Trust yourself, your life experience, your skills and most importantly, your intuition. I would tell myself that you will make mistakes but, mistakes are a normal part of life and great to learn from.
This is ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – where would you like to escape to this summer?
The Maldives – the last time I went there was about four years ago when I got engaged. It’s such a beautiful place to disconnect and fully relax.
July/August’s – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now
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