THE SUZU STORY

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My name’s Su-Elise, friends call me Su or Susu, and I currently live by a beautiful beach lying on the Pacific Ocean north of Sydney, Australia. I’m the Founder and Creative Director of SUZU and I’d like to share with you a little bit about my journey into the world of sustainable swimwear.

‘She lives at the beach’ you’re thinking… it’s obvious! Well, you’d be wrong. My journey certainly didn’t start here and I’m a long way from the place I once called “home”.

I lived most my life in South London; a fast paced, vibrant and culturally diverse city, not known at all for sunshine, sea or sand. I grew up in an urban metropolis where buildings and people are everywhere you look and being streetwise was a must.
I’ve always been creative, and in my late teens I channelled my creativity into music, joining Alesha Dixon and Sabrina Washington in becoming a member of the successful British multi-platinum selling girl group Mis-Teeq.
       
Those were fun times, where I lived in excess! I was all about ‘the bigger, the better’ and being conscious of our environment wasn’t on my mind. I mean, I always loved the outdoors and escaping to a sunny beach abroad somewhere, anywhere in fact, was my slice of heaven! But having grown up in a big city I didn’t have the connection to nature and the ocean that I feel now. I didn’t have the respect for our environment that I have now.
You see, there’s something about the ocean that calms my soul. I get lost watching the waves roll in and listening to the calls of the sea. I feel grounded and connected when there’s sand between my toes and the smell of the ocean air, so fresh you can almost taste the salt, evokes emotions of joy!

I discovered this a few years back after moving from London to Sydney and travelling around Australia with a mission to simply ‘be happy’... And what I discovered was the beach is my happy place!

In more recent years, here in Australia, we seem to have had some freakishly harsh weather conditions hit our shores. Raging bush fires, devastating droughts, catastrophic floods, and then, successive years of a La Nina climate front that brought tropical cyclones quite literally to my doorstep!! It was as if Mother Nature was screaming at us to 'pay attention'.

Now, at this point we could quite naturally talk about the effects of climate change, but I want to bring you back to my love of the ocean. These tropical cyclones battered our shores and what was left behind on our beautiful beaches, time and time again, shocked me to my core. After each storm, I would walk down to the beach to be confronted with the most shocking amount of junk and plastic washed up from the ocean onto the shore. Our shoreline is vast, and, in parts there was so much rubbish you could hardly see the sand! It was insane… and heartbreaking at the same time. I found it hard to believe that all that rubbish had previously been floating in our stunning ocean doing all sorts of damage to the amazing marine life.

Serious mountains of plastic, fishing ropes and nets and the unbelievable size of some of the junk! I’m talking tyres, fridges, beer kegs, plastic water barrels, even an aircraft seat!! Like I said heartbreaking. Aside from physically removing what I could from the beaches, I knew I wanted to do more to be part of a solution.

I’d long been thinking about starting my own swimwear label, another creative outlet I was keen to explore but it had never been anything more than a thought.
It wasn’t until I was researching how all that waste on the beach could be recycled and what kinds of things could be made with them all that I had my lightbulb moment. I read about how lost or abandoned fishing gear, nets, plastics could be recycled into gorgeous fabrics…

That's when SUZU was born!

Let’s put these fabrics to use, create gorgeous swimwear, raise awareness and do what we can to help make our oceans cleaner! I’m not saying we need to go total eco-warrior, but if we all take small steps in the right direction it’s a start along the right track to doing our part. Baby steps are fine as long as we are all heading the same way.
Make good choices… buy sustainable swimwear.
 
With Love & Sustainable Style,
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