HartiSWIM, a British Isles based eco-luxe swimwear brand made its debut in Jersey’s premier department store Voisins this week. The label is the creation of Tessa Hartmann CBE, a fashion veteran, entrepreneur and TV personality.
Inspired by her artist husband who paints under the name of ‘Harti’, this is a bold, sustainable statement print collection of swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles from our oceans - an ocean focused story for a brand that is based on the island of Jersey. By using this new sustainable fibre called ‘Repreve’ for HartiSWIM, allows their customers to play a role in solving the ever- growing problem of ocean plastic. The fibre is made from bottles collected within 50 kilometres of coastlines in countries or areas that lack formal waste or recycling systems. This premium fabric also features built in sun and chlorine protection to +50. HartiSWIM believes in a salutary re-birth of our broken planet.
The ‘Series 1’ debut is a 12-piece capsule collection featuring Harti’s pop art graphics from his artwork which depict the ‘collective subconscious’ and consist of sleek one-pieces, statement bikini’s, eye-catching rash guards and dreamy organic silk kaftans. The label will not have dated seasonal collections. They will encourage customers to buy better but buy less to help the environment. Customers will be enticed to collect from each series of statement prints which will be reproduced in limited quantities per year, with subsequent series being added from Harti’s artworks annually.
Sustainability is at the forefront of Hartmann’s business practises and focuses on a full transparent supply chain that aims to lower their negative environmental impact of plastic ocean pollution. Having worked as a consultant in the fashion industry for over 25 years and the founder of The Scottish Fashion Awards, Hartmann recruited her old friend and UK lingerie industry veteran David Finlayson, former president for Sales and Marketing for Calvin Klein Underwear Europe. Together they have seen first-hand how the sector is one of the major polluting industries in the world. As such, Tessa decided to step up and create this ethical wearable art swimwear label. Authentic, original, and audacious, the pieces can be worn from beach to street, any time of the day. The collection encourages imperfections as Harti’s paintings are filled with blotches of colour, glazing streaks, because to be perfect is boring, artificial, one-dimensional and intrinsically robotic. Tessa wanted to create a label that is inclusive in terms of its sizing, ageless and environmentally conscious. She has banned photoshop from her shoots and aims to use models who represent ‘real women’.
Tessa Hartmann stated: “We have created HartiSWIM for the women who regardless of their size or age are invested in glamour with a conscience. Our collection of wearable art pieces portrays thought provoking narratives and at the same time offers the consumer something stylish, original, and unique. We hope our customers will collect our swimwear like they collect art, we will encourage them to buy less but buy better like our luxury products that are made to be loved forever.”
Gerald Voisin Chairman at Voisins department store added: “We’re always looking to surprise and delight our customers with new, exciting brands and HartiSWIM certainly achieves that. We’re committed to working alongside our suppliers on reducing the impact of the industry on the environment, so HartiSWIM’s use of fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles and an ocean focused story, perfectly aligns with our sustainability strategy.”
Swimwear industry veteran David Finlayson said: “Over the years I have launched and brought many luxury swimwear brands to market including Vivienne Westwood swimwear, Chloe swimwear and Guess swimwear but haven’t felt as excited as I do with HartiSWIM. From my experience consumers are in the market to ‘do the right thing’ now with their ethically buying patterns. HartiSWIM is committed to creating products that serve our mission statement of ‘glamour with a conscience’ and we have delivered a premium luxury and highly original product. Also we’ve had such an incredible reaction since Tessa wore the Kaftan on ITVBe’s ‘Real Housewives of Jersey’, so if that’s anything to go buy it will be good news.”
At their heart, HartiSWIM is a new generation eco-luxe label that is based on an island that is shaped by the sea. Despite its small size the island boasts several ambitious environmental plans including a marine conservation park and a ‘plastic free’ Jersey. With the tourism industry supporting this eco drive, Hartmann is determined to get the fashion industry to follow suit.