Diving into what makes sustainable swimwear company Hakea tick with its founder, Casey Eastwell.
Hakea is a conscious swimwear company making waves in the Australian fashion scene. The unique colours and the timeless cuts synonymous with the Hakea name are proving impossible to ignore, and have appeared on the cover of Vogue Living and in Creators Magazine. Behind every great brand is an even greater human being, and behind Hakea is Casey.
What made you start Hakea?
I spend a lot of time in nature and by the ocean, at the time finding swimwear that was sun protective, sustainable and that I felt confident to wear in the surf that wasn’t either stylishly impractical, or ill-fitting was next to impossible. I was at a point in my life where I was ready for a change so I decided to make my own. Hakea is my answer to a simpler lifestyle.
Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
I’m trying to start my day without looking at my phone or laptop instead making a coffee, lighting some incense and doing my morning pages or going for a walk down to my local cafe and getting out of the house before the onset of the busy day.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
Everything can take a little bit more effort but it’s all worth it. Things have changed so much, even in the three years of Hakea, that makes it easier for small businesses to make sustainable and conscious choices.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Hakea, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?
We work with two manufacturers in Bali and a local seamstress in Byron Bay.
Our manufacturers are paid above minimum wage in clean and safe working conditions with no child labour, paid maternity leave and yearly bonuses.
We have a great relationship with all of our suppliers.
Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?
We want you to cherish your Hakea pieces for many seasons to come, so we focus on creating timeless and versatile designs, made with durable fabrics. In 2018 we began producing a selection of pieces using Econyl; a high quality Italian recycled nylon made entirely from regenerated ghost fishing nets, discarded ocean plastics and fabric mill scraps. This performance fabric is resilient against chlorine, UPF 50+ and resists breakage up to five times longer than standard fabrics. Produced using water and energy-efficient methods, our fabric is also 100% free from harmful chemicals and kind on your skin.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
I’m not sure if this is the best but perhaps the most relevant quote that has stuck with me recently: “The longer you hold a decision the heavier it becomes.”
There are so many decisions that need to be made everyday in running a business, I’m constantly reminding myself to listen to my intuition and know that whatever decision I make I have the ability to make it work.
What’s next for you and Hakea?
We have lots in store this year. We have just launched a capsule collection of sheer resort wear – celebrating womanhood in a functional manner, the Organza Collection offers glimpses of femininity without revealing all. An extension of the brand, these pieces are designed to layer over your swim for a post-beach outing in a soft desertscape palette, a nod to the importance of our natural surroundings.
We have some very exciting print collaborations in the works and our first range of Yulex (plant-based natural rubber) wetsuits due to arrive later this year.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs by Monique Hemmingson. It features many of my dear friends (and Hakea!) that are running their businesses with passion and purpose.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
I’m lucky to have so many friends with wonderful conscious brands @thelineofsun @casa.melbourne @arcaa_movement @sunjuju_
As a woman, I think everything model – activist – feminist – Dronme Davis @dronme says is so spot on!