Soooo....what is up? Whats the 411? What has everybody been up to? What's the hot gossip? Tell me everything. What have you guys been listening to? What are the cool jams?
We need to have a catch up..
For those who don't know Cheeky D's background; Cheeky more or less came to be after I started questioning my own compulsive bikini purchases. Like, I'm not kidding, I was spending hundreds of dollars on bikinis every summer (ask my husband, it was A LOT).
Real pic of me buying bikinis a few summers back
I've always been fairly environmentally conscious, but when I moved to Australia I started spending a lot more time outside (at the beach specifically) and I became much more self-aware of how my own habits may have an impact on the world.
Out of pure curiosity, I started researching how my bikini buying obsession was impacting the world around me. It's obviously no secret that fast-fashion has a HUGE impact on the environment, but I honestly didn't realise HOW BAD it was...
let's go over a few numbers, just to set the tone:
- 10% of the worlds carbon dioxide emissions come from the fashion industry
- Polyester, acrylic, nylon and other synthetic compounds make up at least 60% of our clothes. Which means you're basically wearing plastic. When you wash those materials, little tiny bits of plastic (micro-plastics) are released.
- ALSO, these materials could take up to 1000 years to biodegrade once they are disposed of...
- "throw-away" mentality. That means you might wear it once, then throw it out. I think we've all said something like "whatever, it was $12.00. I literally don't care about it" at some point in time.
- Globally, we consume approx 80 BILLION new pieces of clothing every year—400% more than we were consuming a couple decades ago.
(sourced from IPCC, Fast Fashion Global Report 2020, Fast Fashion & Ocean Pollution: How Much a New Collection Really Costs Us?)
So that gives you a pretty good idea of where my head was at after my own research into fast-fashion. There's obviously so many other reasons to give up excessive consumerism but let's move on....
Just to note, I certainly don't think fast-fashion is the root of all evils, but let's save that convo for another day....
I then started to look into sustainable swimwear, which, at the time, was a) difficult to find b) wasn't styles or colours I liked and c) cost a bomb - so.... I took matters into my own hands and WALLAH here is Cheeky D Swim.
(please catch the wallah reference)
We launched our first micro-collection on September 28, 2020. The collection included 2 bikini sets and one one-piece. We later launched a deadstock set, known as Wren! Our launch was so well received and I couldn't be more grateful for that.
If you know me personally, you may or may not know that right after Christmas I started to feel really anxious about the fact I only had X amount of styles and colours available. Like anything, it's difficult not to compare yourself, or brand in this case, to the big companies who have the resources to come out with collection after collection all year long.
Luckily... and honestly... I don't know WHY I didn't think of this sooner.... (like where was my brain?!) I know how to sew. In fact, I've always sewn a little bit. My mum always had a sewing machine growing up.. I remember making dodgy pillows and re-working fabric, a couple pj shorts here and there. God, one time we even tried to make a figure skating dress which didn't exactly go to plan LOL.
So basically I spent all January sewing swimwear. Ironically, I decided right before Christmas I was absolutely miserable in my full-time office job, so I quit! I had all the time in the world to work on the Handcrafted side of Cheeky. At the time, I questioned my decision a lot... I often found myself thinking 'WTF am I doing?' and suffering from imposter syndrome but time and patience works in funny ways and we got there in the end!
In March, Cheeky D Swim: Handcrafted was set to launch and we teamed up with @rumcreative and @zefrankster to shoot the new range. If you're Shire based, I recommend both these girls, they're seriously amazing!
Fast-track to today:
Right now, I'm working on two collections for the summer. The first one coming sometime late September or October and the second collection will most likely be late November.
I think I've come to the decision (that's the most Libra sentence I've ever written) that we will not be manufacturing anymore sets in large quantities. I LOVE our launch sets and we will continue to sell them, but in terms of staying true to our roots, the best decision for Cheeky is to move full-steam ahead with custom and made-to-order sets.
Not only does this decision give us the ability to have even less of an impact on the environment, but it gives us more opportunity for growth. Without the pressure from manufacturers to order sets based on MOQ's it gives the brand a lot more mobility in terms of new styles, colours and sizing.
If you read this through the end, firstly thank you!!! And secondly I hope I was able to shed some light onto Cheeky D's journey so far. Im excited for what's to come!