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Shekkini - the ethical bikini

Shek went from knowing how to hand stitch here and there, to building her own ethical bikini line. Bashful Extroverts got the opportunity to find out more about Shek and how she created Shekkini.

I have been crossing my fingers for a delayed summer but there’s no denying it any longer - the heat wave’s here.

The nights are getting longer, the sun is getting brighter and it is long overdue time to pack away the winter coats. As much as it pains me to say, winter is over. Say goodbye to layering, to hot chocolates in front of the fire and watching your breath plume out in front of you on early morning and late evening walks.

There is one positive to saying goodbye to cosy sleep-ins and long, hot shot showers and that's because we get to say 'heeeey' to long sweaty days at the beach.

And in the past I would be kicking off my ‘bikini body workout routine’ by now but instead I am going to follow creator of Shekkini, Shek’s philosophy which is every-body-is-a-bikini-body.

Shek spoke with Bashful Extroverts about her bikini line.

What made you get into designing and sewing bikinis?

I started sewing bikinis because I always found it hard to shop for bikinis. I could never find bikinis I liked and if i did like a bikini set, it usually never sits well on me. My body is very unevenly proportioned - my top is size S and my bottoms are size L. This would usually mean that I’d have to buy two sets (because most of them come as a set).

So one day, I just decided to put my unopened sewing machine to use and watched YouTube tutorials.

Your bikinis are made from sustainable fabrics, what made you want to go sustainable and how did you source the fabrics?

I’ve been well aware of the negative impacts of fashion in our environment. Before starting Shekkini, I started researching little things I can do to limit my rubbish. For example, I’ve ditched plastic bags when shopping, ditched the straws and I find bargains at op shops instead of buying clothes brand new.

When I started Shekkini, I wanted to apply my lifestyle into my business. I currently buy my fabrics from a company who purchase ‘end of line’ fabrics from designers. Some big companies just throw their fabrics out when the style/colours aren’t in season anymore. These often end up in landfills so I thought why not just make something out of it.

After more research, I found a company who supplies swimwear fabric made from recycled items. This particular company collects post-consumer products like fishing nets from all over the world and turn it into yarn. I’ve trialed some bikinis in this new fabric and hope to one day release them.

What is the best part about running your own business?

The best part about running my own business is just being able to work at my own pace and seeing my ideas come to life. It gives me joy to hear positive feedback from customers, especially when they tell me how comfortable they feel wearing my bikinis.

What do you think about the term ‘bikini body?

Growing up, I’ve always personally associated the term ‘bikini body’ as a perfect beach bod - something unattainable. You know: abs, slim, perfect boobs, a nice butt that’s toned enough, etc. The term really gets to me.

We see a lot of women on social media post a photo of them working out or going on a diet and caption it with something like “getting my bikini body”.

I would love to see social media full of our everyday women embracing their regular bodies (whether it’s deemed “bikini body” worthy or not) putting some swimmers on and calling it a bikini body.

What do you hope your customers will feel when wearing your bikinis?

I want everyone who puts my bikinis on to feel comfortable and confident. I’m not sure if you noticed but a lot of the colours that I sell are bright and vibrant - I want women to look and feel like being in a bikini is fun.

From personal experience I really felt that I fit in with Shekkini’s philosophy. While I may not have the idealised body that is perpetuated throughout Instagram, I absolutely love how I felt in my Shekkini. The purple iridescent colour made me feel like a mermaid cross cyborg and I am here for it.

This post is not sponsored and I purchased the Shekkini with my own money. All views expressed are my own.

Photographs supplied by Shekkini and credited to the photographer Alan Raga.

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