Pip Andreas makes bikinis. But before she made bikinis she ran a counseling and physcology practice here on the Gold Coast. It’s a strange leap of careers in my mind, but not in Pip’s.
“It’s really not that big a jump,” she explained. “And it’s not just moving into fashion, it’s eco-fashion.”
“This is about caring for the environment whereas counseling is about awareness and caring for other people.”
Fashion isn’t completely foreign to Pip, having worked in fashion and film in Perth and she says she just wanted to get back into something creative “but not in the way that traditional fashion businesses are run.”
“Most fashion is fast fashion with high turnover and large volumes of landfill,” Pip said. “I wanted to do it in a conscious way.”
So she brought the consciousness that her counseling practice focused on to her fashion business. She researched fabrics and found one made from recycled plastics.
“I started researching and realised I could manufacture my own garments from that fabric,” Pip said. “I love living by the beach and the more I’m becoming aware of plastic pollution in our oceans I have a bit of despair about it and a lot of people feel a bit hopeless.”
“This is a way for me doing something about it,” she said.
“It’s not that I’m having an enormous impact, but at least I’m doing something.”
The pieces Pip has created are not high fashion. They’re simple, bold colours with practical uses. She said the most popular piece is a simple surf top.
“You can wear it under a wetsuit. It holds you in, you don’t have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction when you get up on your board,” Pip said.
“And the other reason it’s popular with girls who surf is that they’re out on the ocean everyday and they’re generally environmentally aware.”
Pip adds to the brand’s environmental position by creating pieces in popular but plain colours rather than prints so that people can wear them season after season. And she’s looking at adding yoga wear to her range before the end of the year.
“The fabric for the yoga wear is Tencel – one of the most ecofriendly fabrics in the world,” she said. “Unlike rayon the chemicals are all 99.9% recycled.”
While they’re being manufactured overseas – something Pip is changing soon – they’ll be screenprinted here on the Gold Coast.
“I’m looking around for local manufacturers. When you manufacture overseas you have to order minimum quantities. You get cheaper prices but small companies don’t sell that much. A lot ends up in landfill. So I’m doing small batch orders but it’s better to manufacture in Australia.”
While Pip is busy attending markets and managing her online store she’s also hoping to start wholesaling the bikinis and yogawear.
“At the moment only selling online and at events and markets but I’m looking at selling at local shops who have a similar philosophy to mine and then expanding throughout Australia and overseas.”
You can catch Pip and her Think. Love. Live. Bikinis at Vintage Eat Boutique Markets across the road from Currumbin RSL on Saturday 19 December as well as markets in Byron, Lennox and Kingscliff, plus you can order online at thinklovelive.com.
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Pip Andreas is a lifestyle writer for Blank GC
Feature image by: Lamp Photography