arctic seas

Recycled products for a sustainable fashion
Headquarters: Antwerp, Belgium
Where to buy: e-commerce
who: Men, Women
what: Clothing, Swimwear

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Money, Fashion, Power:
let's talk about the themes of Fashion Revolution Week 2022 with Franky Claeys, founder and designer of Arctic Seas

On the occasion of Fashion Revolution Week 2022 we spoke with the representatives of some sustainable brands included in our directory to reflect together on the main themes of this edition – Money, Fashion, Power – and on how the interactions between these variables affect the fashion system. The result is an article that gathers a plurality of voic-es, including that of Franky, founder and designer of Arctic Seas, a brand of luxury swim-wear and beachwear dedicated to reducing waste and reuse, from the choice of raw ma-terials to the design of garments made to last.

You have the power to push the fashion system towards the path of sustainability: how do you convey the value of sustainable and ethical garments to consumers?
We basically try to convey that it is better to buy one high quality item with a timeless look than a whole range of low-quality swimwear. Less is more. The higher price point is also there to trigger a well considered purchase. Our high-quality garments are a universe of their own, designed to outlive fashion trends.

Timeless staples over trends: how do you define the aesthetics of your brand? Quality over quantity: which materials characterize your collections?
I would say that our products are tailored, minimal and technical with a twist. The twist comes from the cutting-edge prints. These prints are always inspired by the topic of the capsule so they tend to be different to the mainstream. For our prints we don’t look to the outside but rather work from within the concept. That makes our prints stand out from the rest.
As far as materials is concerned we use two groups of materials. 1: the recycled materials, this can either be pre or post consumer. 2: alternative materials with a more environmental friendly production process e.g. bamboo grows on mountainous slope not suited for any other crop. The regeneration rate is 4 times higher than with eco-cotton.

Price tags do not convey the real value of a product: how much does it affect production? How important are the social and environmental costs? In the traditional fashion sector, still too little. The costs related to the image and positioning of the brand and the share allocated to profits have a greater impact. How are your prices made up instead, as a sustainable and ethical business? Is part of the earnings reinvested in virtuous projects?
It is difficult to explain the price structure of the garments we make to customers, because most people are ignorant of how the system exploits people, resources and the environment. Our products are hand sewn in Portugal where people receive a decent wage. This way we want to produce close to the target market which results in less transport and a smaller carbon dioxide footprint but a higher price tag. Using recycled materials also bears a higher price than using virgin materials, the cost can be up to 5 times higher. We use less common alternative materials like bamboo, linen, corozo, fish leather, which all come with a higher price tag.
We are a start-up but we plan to sponsor reef clean up groups in Costa Rica and also an ecological project in Cape Three Points in Ghana. Cape Three Point is a holiday park where they experiment with ecological building methods. In the morning the people that work there start cleaning up the plastic waste on the beach, in the afternoon they give surfing lessons and when it’s the season of the sea turtles laying eggs they protect the eggs and the fledgling turtles.

Pulling swimwear from the previous season out of the closet, we often find them whit hardened elastic and loose fabrics, no longer usable. How does your swimwear differ?
We had our elastic tested in a lab for resistance to sea water, chlorine water and non-chlorine bleach. And the fabrics we use have been tested by independent labs. Also, we have a high end construction/finish of the garment so wear and tear is less of an issue here.

Why did you choose this name “arctic seas” for your brand?
I chose arctic seas to address the issue of global warming and also because we are a Belgian brand: the expedition of the Belgian baron Adrien de Gerlache was the first to spend the winter on Antarctica on board of the ship the Belgica. It’s also a gentle nod to a brand of Belgian ice-cream from my childhood: Arctic Ice Cream. 

Do you want to tell us more?
It is important for people to know that eco-sustainable clothing doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with hippy culture, rough textures or home-grown clothing. At arctic seas we emphasize style by producing luxury designer swimwear with a natural twist and a global story. High on style and high on sustainability.

Sustainable Gate review

arctic seas: sustainable, durable and timeless swimwear which protect the environment

arctic seas: sustainable, durable and timeless swimwear which protect the environment

We have tested the sustainable men’s swimwear of the Belgian sustainable brand arctic seas and we highly recommend it!

Starting from the packaging, the swim shorts arrived wrapped in a paper tissue, inside a cardboard box, closed with paper tape: essential, simple, and above all easily recyclable. Small flaw for the shipping label, which has been attached with a plastic, but we know that the brand is already looking for a more environmentally friendly solution.

Let’s move on to the product: the sustainable men’s swimwear, which we already liked a lot when we saw it on the arctic seas online shopping, live is even more gorgeous! Simple design, but embellished with golden side bands, and practical, thanks to 3 pockets, one on the back with a zip, and an elastic waist band. The sustainable men’s swimwear by arctic seas is made of Econyl, regenerated nylon (infinitely recyclable) from nylon waste from landfills and the oceans. The lining, on the other hand, is made of recycled plastic and seaqual, a yarn made of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. Thanks to the sustainable choice of materials, this sustainable men’s swimwear is suitable for all those eco-conscious men who care about style, but with an eye to sustainability. This swim short also looks well-made and durable, and in fact has been conceived by the brand to last over time. Thanks to its minimalist design, which transcends the trends of the moment, it will remain a timeless piece. Last but not least, it is important to underline that this sustainable men’s swimwear was ethically handmade in Portugal.

If you are looking for a swimwear that can integrate design, comfort, robustness, sustainability and ethics, we highly recommend those of arctic seas: timeless swimwear, far from fast fashion, that will follow you on your adventures out and in the water, while doing your part to protect the environment!

Product quality
Product compliance to website presentation
Packaging sustainability
Our overall experience

Our rating: 5/5

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Last update: .

22 August 2023

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