Fashion designer Katharine Hamnett is a class act. She does everything with integrity. From launching a collection of 'green' gold jewellery (which is mined in an environmentally-friendly way) to pioneering organic bleach-free cotton, and, she has been an activist for all things eco since back in the 1980s, when she was regarded as kooky rather than visionary. So it comes as no surprise that her debut beachwear collection, which launches this week, is called Katharine Hamnett Beach Save the Sea.
Hamnett explains "I called this collection SAVE THE SEA, as the sea we all love is dying. It’s important as consumers and people with the right to vote to be aware of the facts so we can do whatever is possible to save it." The designer is a proud supporter of the Environmental Justice Foundation's Pirate Fishing Campaign against illegal fishing.
But MUCH more importantly, as you can see, the swimwear styles are absolutely gorgeous, reminiscent of 1950s pin-ups - from a very-Marilyn ruched black one piece £128 to an itsy-bitsy Betty Paige-style polka dot bikini £122, and a totally Doris Day sundress, £122. Naturally (literally) the whole collection is made from ethically-sourced sustainable fabrics, such as organic silk and cotton, and the minimal amount of polyester content needed for the stretchy swimwear is recyclable. plus proceeds from sales of the collection will benefit farmers in West Africa as part of the Fashioning a Better Future project.
The black all-in-one Marlene Dietrich swimsuit is the designer's favourite, "it's a classic 1950s reference.. they're so glamourous and cool". And it seems, Hamnett has strong views even when it comes to swimwear, "I hate those really high cut legs, they're really unflattering and show strange parts of your body. I love those ones that are straight across [the hips] and they're almost impossible to find. So I did this.. and I've ordered two for myself."
Katharine Hamnett Beach Save the Sea is sold exclusively on yoox.com, which is already all over promoting environmentally conscious fashion as part of its Yooxgen initiative.