Sourcing in Africa (Part 3), Sophisticated Styles for Sustainable Swimwear
By Yvonne Heinen-Foudeh, Senior International Correspondent
Alma Stanonik is the creator behind the beach and swimwear brandAima Dora. As a designer, founder, and entrepreneur, she proves with her collection that sophisticated styles and perfect fits as well as consistent sustainability in production and use of materials are compatible – very much so.
We first met the cosmopolitan lady and her work in 2016 in her current adopted homeland Mauritius. At the time responsible for product development and management at the manufacturer of fine lingerie and swimwear, Nouvelle Lingerie (nowadays operating completely from Madagascar), Alma Stanonik started her own company in 2022, the LMA Créations Ltée. The foundation of the company was preceded by intensive research and evaluation regarding the procurement possibilities for consistently sustainable materials, as their sole utilization was and remains conditio sine qua non (indispensable condition) for Stanonik's concept.
Alma Stanonik makes her vision a reality. The problems that could arise for the afterlife of her products and their recycling due to the use of trims and support m, the solution that would save her business model in the true sense of the word appeared on the horizon.
Sourcing via Seaqual"Far more difficult it appeared to procure purely recycled fabrics, moreover with high demands on functionality in swimwear including reversible elasticity," the creative businesswoman recalls. But ultimately, with the non-profit organization Seaqual, the solution that would save her business model in the true sense of the word appeared on the horizon.
The initiatives day after day realized their mission to upcycle marine plastic litter by working with companies and organizations to support and grow the market for high-quality products, including polyester fabrics, through a process that converts plastic waste into rPET.
To achieve this ambitious goal Seaqual 4U S.L., Madrid, collaborates with ocean clean-up initiatives around the world to recover plastic waste from the ocean and have it transformed into materials for re-usage. And that not only in clothing, swimwear, and accessories but as well in the furniture and automotive sectors for instance.
Seaqual's circular process involves collecting, sorting, and transforming it into a fibrous material, followed by upcycling it into a range of products, such as textiles, yarns, and fabrics. The Spanish NGO also handles the next level – the coordination with textile mills and end (re)use manufacturers to (again) create finished products from the upcycled fibers. Ocean clean-up organizations from around the world work together with the “Seaqual community”, as the non-profit refers to itself.
To bring value to the waste
Already hundreds of manufacturers and brands from 60 countries have joined. One of them is Aima Dora from the Indian Ocean – in best companionship with for instance, American Eagle Outfitters from the U.S., Swedish furniture house Ikea, Edwin Jeans from Japan, Marimekko from Finland, Petit Bateau childrenswear from France – the list and the story to be continued…
LMA Créations sources from fabric mills that process Seaqual-initiated rPET. Their upcycled base material “Marine Plastic”, assures traceability, and is trademark protected and certified – so far by Seaqual Lab.
Slovenian origin, life stations in London, followed by Sidney - "then in Mauritius the muse kissed me", Alma Stanonik tells us with her laid-back smile.
Recycled fabrics only are processed at LMA Créations, in many cases rPET from the cooperation with the Seaqual network.
With nine skilled workers specialized in the production of delicate small parts, the start-up produces 600 parts per month.
“A high degree of crafts-womanship” characterizes the production facility in Belle Rose, 26 km/16 miles (as the crow flies) from the capital Port Louis – to the international harbor and airport.