1st August 2020
Interview with Laura-Li Kämper for Oceanchild
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
My love for kitesurfing has allowed me to travel all around to world. Seeing the enormous impact plastic has to all of these beautiful places, inspired me to design swimwear, using only recycled materials. By re-using what’s already there, I wanted to create a brand that is not only functional, but also ethical and sustainable. Here I am now, turning my dream into reality – creating sustainable products, while cleaning up the ocean and giving back to mother nature.
DESCRIBE THE LOOK AND DESIGN OF YOUR COLLECTIONS
Combining functional and fit focused aspects with the aesthetics of a minimal and fashion forward design, our swimwear is created to satisfy the environmentally conscious and confident ocean lover.
HOW DOES OCEANCHILD SWIM SEPARATE ITSELF FROM OTHER SWIMWEAR BRANDS?
When I started two years ago, the concept of making bikinis out of post consumer plastic waste was quite innovative and represented my competitive edge to set OCEANCHILD SWIM apart from other swimwear brands. Today, I see more and more brands using recycled materials and people are slowly changing towards a more conscious and environmental friendly approach. They want to know where their clothes are coming from and how they are produced. This is why I wanted to create (with OCEANCHILD SWIM) not only a brand, but a lifestyle.
This means, we are pursuing a holistic approach and are looking at our entire value chain. Starting with the sourcing of the fabrics, over to aspects like our eco friendly packaging and climate friendly shipping, as well as our ‘no-overproduction’ policy.
Our rule #1 is to appreciate the resources we have on our planet and not to take more than we can give back. This is why, we have decided to not only go carbon neutral by offsetting our carbon emissions which are being emitted through our production and shipping processes, but even go climate Postive (Climate+) by investing in the right projects that reduce, avoid or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
‘WE WANT TO MAKE A STATEMENT BOTH CREATIVITLY AND GLOBALLY. WE ARE CONSTANTLY SOURCING AND USING MATERIALS THAT MINIMISE HARM TO OUR PLANET.’
HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY BEEN SO FAR AND WHAT HAS CHANGED?
When I started, It was just an idea and my vision of a sustainable future of the fashion industry. OCEANCHILD was basically ‘one-man-show’, where I did all by myself, which included setting up the production value chain, creating the designs of the bikinis, coding my own website, and even learning fashion photography so that I was able to take my own pictures. A lot has changed since then. Now, our business is growing and we are expanding our product portfolio to other products outside of swimwear. Currently we are also outsourcing our storage and fulfillment logistics and we are growing our little OCEANCHILD family. These are really exciting times and I am looking forward to everything that is lying ahead of us.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACHIEVING WITH OCEANCHILD SWIM?
I think the whole journey in itself is what I am most proud of. One of my highlights definitely is our feature in the British Vogue magazine, or the fact, that I was able to build up OCEANCHILD SWIM without any debt or external financing.
What I’m most proud of, though, is our team and what we have achieved so far. The fact that I actually was able to create with OCEANCHILD SWIM a place where people enjoy their work and feel passionate about, is an amazing feeling.
WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING, WHAT IS YOUR MAIN DRIVER THAT MOTIVATES YOU?
I believe that it is crucial to find purpose in what you do, no matter the industry you are working in or whether you are employed in a company or launching your own business. My main driver in everything I do in life has always been to make a positive impact in people’s lives. With OCEANCHILD SWIM I can contribute to a greener and more sustainable future and change the fashion industry for good.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE IN THE CURRENT COLLECTION?
I would say it really depends on the situation and the occasion, where I would wear the bikini. For example, if I go kitesurfing, I definitely prefer swimwear that provides support and doesn’t fall off when you jump or crash. My go-to options for surfing are the CEDAR suit, the KAUI Bandage TOP, or the IVY warp top, paired with the KALEO string bottom. However, when I am swimming or just lounging at the pool or at the beach, my favourite is the MALVE bralette top.
‘SIMPLE AND MINIMALISTIC, YET EFFORTLESSLY BEAUTIFUL’
ON THE LONG RUN, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS WITH OCEANCHILD SWIM?
We want to be the sustainable fashion brand in Europe. No limits. Full stop. I envision OCEANCHILD SWIM as the place, where people will find a curated selection of sustainable and ethically produced products and don’t have to look any further.