Ingulule is ed&i swimwear’s latest collection. Image supplied.
The fifth swimwear collection from ed&i swimwear launched recently with the new range bringing with it some exciting firsts for the brand. Designer Edna Swart has been researching sustainable swimwear materials for a while now and her latest collection is ethically manufactured utilising high quality materials including Italian Carvico VITA (ECONYL). The recycled fabric is a great alternative for swimwear and uses synthetic waste such as industrial plastic, waste fabric and fishing nets from oceans which it recycles and regenerates into a nylon yarn that is much better for the environment than traditional nylon.
As well as changing the environmental footprint of her brand, Edna wanted to create a collection that stood for something. Her initial inspiration for the range was her African heritage and she decided she wanted to represent themed aspects of Africa in the collection.
“To date, ed&i had never brought out any print as our ethos of the brand is keeping styles simple and timeless,” says Edna. “However we couldn’t exclude a print given the theme of this new collection. It took a lot of research in choosing our signature print, and in the end we chose Cheetah and the birth of Ingulule, meaning Cheetah in Zulu.”
In researching which type of Cheetah print would work best for the collection online the designer stumbled across the plight of cheetahs in the wild in Africa. Unfortunately, there are less than 7000 Cheetahs left in the wild compared to over 100,000 a century ago. Cheetahs are classed as a vulnerable and endangered species in Africa.
The decreasing numbers of Cheetahs are due to a loss of habitat from human inhabitation encroaching on their environments, illegal poaching and illegal Cheetah trafficking, mainly to the Middle East. Across Africa conservation programmes and Cheetah sanctuaries have opened to support the growth of Cheetah numbers and protect these beautiful animals from extinction.
“I felt compelled to act, so I contacted Dewildt Cheetah Centre, a Cheetah conservation centre in the heart of South Africa and enquired about their Cheetah adoption programme,” adds Edna. “As a result I chose an orphaned cheetah called Lily for adoption.”
“There is little to no government funding and these sanctuaries rely totally on donations. Ed&i will fund Lily’s vet bills, housing, run training and alot more. It makes me upset and emotional when I think about the animal cruelty, pouching and exportation of wild animals and animal products out of South Africa, my home country. This new collection is dear to my heart. I wanted it to stand for something, to have a purpose with every purchase and give back to a cause which needs immediate help.”
The detailed Cheetah print utilised for the collection is complemented by hues of gold, rust and black. They’re inspired by Edna’s South African upbringing and life journey. They represent the designer’s memories of the African orange earth, the sunsets, the friendships and family she has in Africa and the stunning golden sunrises.
For the collection she’s designed a range of bikini separates and a v-neck one piece style. She is also offering a new underwire style in response to demand for her customers and has continued to use bra straps and material to make sure her tops are supportive. Each piece is carefully handmade and designed to last with ed&i swimwear focusing on classic styles that are modern and easy to wear.