Let’s talk about swimwear (and more)! An Eco Fashion Interview with Jo-Anne Godden from RubyMoon

Every fashion piece can be sustainable. That’s not an optimistic view, that’s a fact. But the fashion industry tells us every day to buy more and more stuff which is far away from any sustainable aspects. Swimwear is not an exception. But there are slow fashion alternatives waiting for us. One of them is RubyMoon from the UK! I had the chance to ask founder Jo-Anne Godden some questions about the label and about their special approach to empower women entrepreneurs!

Alf: At RubyMoon, all products are ethically manufactured. What does that exactly mean? Where do you produce your swimwear?

Jo: We produce in womens sewing cooperatives in Spain – thus ensuring ethical working conditions and living wage. Our entire supply chain is European to prevent abuse of the environment and people.

Alf: Why have you decided to produce in Spain in particular?

Jo: I used to live and work in Spain so it was a natural fit. We want to support the fashion industry that still operates in Spain and manufacturing with small batch production and that means that we have a lot of control over the quality and in particular working with the cooperatives. This means that the sewers have control over their work life balance and pay.

Alf: 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are lent out as small loans, to empower women entrepreneurs in fourteen nations. How do you finance your own work in order to lend out the net profits?

Jo: We loan through lendwithcare.org which is a charity and RubyMoon is a registered social enterprise. When we receive a loan back from an entrepreneur we reinvest the money in another entrepreneur (more details here). Although we are currently staffed by volunteers, in the future we will pay ourselves salaries but 100% of the net profits will still be put into loans.

Alf: ECONYL is featured in more and more eco swimwear. From whom do you get your ECONYL from? Why have you decided to add Xtra Life Lycra to it?

Jo: All swim fabrics must have a stretch element that the Xtra Life Lycra provides – so that the garments can be pulled on and off easily and stay close to the skin for swimming. We use Xtra Life because it prolongs the life of the fabric. Our ECONYL yarn is produced by Aquafil and we are part of the healthyseas.org network.

Every single piece of clothing we sell saves turtles, seals, and dolphins.

Every single purchase empowers at least one woman.

Every single item sold changes a life for good.

Jo-Anne Godden, Founder RubyMoon

Alf: How do you deal with the still existing problem of microplastic in your effort to produce swimwear out of ECONYL?

Jo: The drift fishing nets are producing microplastics as they breakdown. So the more swimwear we can sell the more nets are removed. All synthetic fabrics shed microfibres but this is how RubyMoon is addressing that issue:

  • ECONYL yarns are more compacted so shed less
  • RubyMoon are working with a major UK University to focus on true circular economy textile production (when used swimwear can be re-used as raw material to be re-purposed back into fabric and swimwear) and at the same time eliminate or reduce microfibre shedding – we are working on this ambitious project

Alf: What are your goals for 2020?

Jo: We are launching a collection of accessories which is going to be fun. Our main goal is to reach more customers so that we can increase our impact. We are currently expanding and looking for impact investment- so 2020 is going to be an exciting year!

Thanks for the interview, Jo!

About the brand

After 25 years working in the unsustainable Fashion Industry, founder Jo-Anne Godden decided to be part of a slow fashion solution. Her label combines the industry’s substantial potential to positively impact the social and environmental state of our planet, with the knowledge that women and innovation are key to a better future. She is committed to activate women’s potential and elevate their status in communities where they often don’t have a voice. Investing in microfinance enables females to drive development and progress. In Germany, you will get the RubyMoon swimwear online at Avocado Store or from RubyMoon.eu

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