• Fashion

Looking for the perfect sustainable swimsuit?

Flattering, try on at home and now eco-friendly, say hello to Andie 

By Erica Watson

Melanie Travis has revolutionized shopping for swimwear. And praise be, especially if sometimes you want to run screaming from the change room when you can’t find the perfect fit.  In 2016 she created Andie swim out of the sheer frustration of being unable to find a swimsuit that was flattering, held everything in but wasn’t specifically designed for sport.

As a direct-to-consumer brand, she implemented an easy returns and exchange system, introduced a 12-question quiz for customers so they can find their perfect fit and – most importantly – created a stable of incredibly simple yet flattering swimsuits. And last month she added an eco-friendly range to the mix.

“Andie exists so that our customers can focus on what matters to them, which is so often playing outdoors, in oceans or lakes. We’re all aware that our beautiful planet cannot be taken for granted, and so it was never a question of ‘if” but ‘when’ and ‘how’,” Melanie says of the new range. 

Being an eco-friendly brand was something Melanie had aspired to since day one, but back then fabrications were harder to come by in the swimwear space, however she didn’t give up.

“It took over a year of research and development to produce a collection made of truly sustainable swim fabric. We’re excited about the early reception of the line, and so much more to come from us on sustainability,” she says.

Here’s more of our chat with Melanie:

You wanted to make swimwear shopping simpler, is that a perspective you live by in your life in general too?

Definitely, I’m not a big shopper by nature, so I love to find products and services that I can trust and let me focus on the things that matter. 

Do you have any eco mentors? 

Kris Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia, is a huge eco inspiration to me. She and her late husband Doug (founder of the North Face!) have purchased millions of acres around the world to conserve natural habitats and protect wildlife. 

How do you see your business becoming more sustainable in the future? 

We can always do more, but the production and the materials are the biggest hurdle. I hope that, through our close relationship with our manufacturer, we can help collectively steer the swimwear industry towards more sustainable practices and materials. 

Do you have a favourite style of swimsuit? 

It changes all the time but right now my favorite is a classic for Andie, the Tulum. It’s a modern and stylish take on a Speedo – I can be comfortable and active in it. 

You’ve worked for a number of start-ups throughout your career, what’s the one piece of advice you’d tell your younger self? 

Don’t be afraid to start junior at a new company. Sometimes the company matters more than the role.

Do you practice living sustainably away from Andie? 

I’m not perfect, but I try! Living in New York, it’is a great place to shop locally, especially for fresh baked goods and produce. The pandemic has inspired me to cook at home a lot, which has made me more conscious of food waste.

What do you do in your downtime? 

I love to paint, and take my dog Sara on long walks. I’m also learning the guitar!

What’s one thing you want people to know about Andie?

We’re a small team of women, and our customer’s concerns are our concerns. We’re always listening to feedback and searching for ways to be a bigger force for good. 

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