Salt Gypsy - Sustainable Swimwear, Surfwear and Surfboards

Salt Gypsy

TAKE 10% OFF WITH 'EME10'

VISIT WEBSITE

Location

Australia

Made In

Gold Coast

Values

  • Circularity Circularity
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Give Back Give Back
  • Made Locally Made Locally
  • Minimal Waste Minimal Waste

Calling all lovers of the sea, salt, sand and stylish surf-wear. We want to introduce you to Salt Gypsy.

“Drawn from a lifetime chasing long period swells, Salt Gypsy is a women’s surf lifestyle company celebrating female surf athleticism and style in the lineup.” 

Salt Gypsy originally started as a blog when its founder, Danny, was working as a surf guide in the Maldives. Yeah, we’re jealous too. Danny wanted a pair of surf leggings that were simple, sustainable and suitable for the swells, so she created one herself. 

Since Danny started the company in 2012 with two pairs of leggings and no money (feels), she has ensured that the company has worked predominantly on a pre-order/on demand basis, which means they do not over-produce their surfwear or surfboards.

The Salt Gypsy products are produced with boutique production teams on the Gold Coast. Before old mate COVID, the Salt Gypsy team was regularly able to visit their factories and meet the women who create their garments, though the manufacturer still pays above award wages (to the predominantly older female workers, might we add). 

What’s more is ECONYL®, their fabric of choice, is a regenerated material made from discarded ocean plastics and fishing nets that is UPF 50+, resilient against chlorine, and is essentially five times stronger than standard fabrics. It’s basically the Wonder Woman of the regenerated-ocean-waste-fabrics world.

Salt Gypsy is also a company that gives back. Not only do they donate products where needed, but monetary donations are made as well. For example, $1260 AUD was donated to SurfAid as part of a 2020 collaboration and $547.93 NZD was donated to Aotearoa Women’s Surfing Association June 2021 as part of a women in business/fundraising initiative, amongst other super cool and impressive give back things. How’s that for transparency?

As for the packaging, Salt Gypsy uses biodegradable and compostable mailer satchels to send out their goodies, they make use of recycled card and paper for their marketing materials, and they are using recycled newsprint for their upcoming newspaper. Oh, and just to be even more impressive, in 2016/17 they became the first women’s surf brand to calculate and offset their manufacturing carbon footprint, and donated this amount to a Northern NSW renewable energy project. No biggie.

Salt Gypsy is an environmentally and socially conscious company that has been making waves in the sustainable surfwear scene since 2012, and the inherent love of the ocean is obvious in every aspect of its processes, from its female team of surfers based in Byron Bay to the material favoured for the garments. If you’re in the market for some timeless, durable and sustainable surf wear or surfboard, take a look at Salt Gypsy’s incredible range. We promise you won’t regret it. 

Want to know where Salt Gypsy sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Behind the Brand

“I've learned to view barriers as opportunities to think outside the box and find a way to do or achieve what you set you mind to. It might just take longer but everything is figureoutable and a work in progress.”.

Danielle Clayton

Salt Gypsy

What made you start Salt Gypsy?

Simple – I needed a product for myself that simply did not exist in the marketplace: surf leggings. Turns out they’re one of the most practical things to surf in and 6000+ other women think so, too!

Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

A double-shot flat white straight out of bed and if I can squeeze in a walk or quick surf between daycare drop-off and sitting down at the computer by 9am then…winning.

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

Lack of capital to do all the things! We are a small, self-funded business and it can be expensive or feel out of reach to donate product, money or time to social causes or invest in ethical business operations you believe in when the reality is you need to feed yourself and pay your rent, like, last week. National and international certifications and accreditations can be really costly in both time and money. With that said, I’ve learned to view barriers as opportunities to think outside the box and find a way to do or achieve what you set you mind to. It might just take longer but everything is figureoutable and a work in progress.

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Salt Gypsy, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?

I grew up in New Zealand with the “Buy NZ Made” campaign and went to design school in my twenties so it’s in my cultural DNA to support local designers and businesses where and when you can. When it came time to develop my original surf leggings into a bonafide business, finding good crew to work with was always front of mind. And full disclosure – I started off manufacturing in Bali at a time when “everyone” was producing in Indonesia and I was literally driving around the streets of Kuta and Denpasar sourcing swimwear factories. It was challenging but I was able to see a variety of working conditions and met some really great factory owners, employees and independent tailors. Then, in 2015, after three years of producing over there, I had a production blue with a large factory I had been working with for over a year which resulted in handbraking the business to restructure my supply chain and really ask the questions of what does the best quality product look like, where do I get it made, what superior materials can I source and who will make it? The result of that deep questioning was moving back to Australia and re-establishing our supply chain domestically. My experience manufacturing in Australia has been predominantly with an ageing female workforce and one of the biggest problems my manufacturer has at the moment, aside from pandemic-induced disruptions to staffing, is a lack of younger machinists coming up through the ranks. She mostly hires or outsources to veterans of the Australian stretchwear industry, herself included. The advantage of this is working with highly competent older women, trusting the quality of their work and learning so much from their experience. We’re able to work more collaboratively and I rely on their expertise when making edits to our patterns. Our local screenprinter in Northern NSW is also a woman-owned and operated business and I’m stoked to have two main suppliers be other women in business and keep where we keep the money flow moving through each of our businesses which keeps us all employed and doing what we love.

Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?

It’s a no-brainer – when I traced Outerknown’s transparent supply chain online back in 2015 and came across their use of ECONYL® yarn in Italian stretch fabrics it became very clear, very quickly that this was a superior and longer-lasting fabric than it’s cheaper, generic counterparts. Why wouldn’t you want to use a superior quality product? It’s great to see most surf, swim and fashion brands have caught up in the last 2-3 years.

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Girls can do anything.” From my young solo mum in 1983 who instilled in her then three year old (me).

What’s next for you and Salt Gypsy?

Crikey where do we begin! Navigating our current growth by onboarding talented legends to help me keep shifting the needle and disrupting the status quo in women’s surf culture.

One book everyone should read? Why?

“Good Is The New Cool: The Principles of Purpose,” by Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones. Because “it’s time to reboot capitalism.”

Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?

So many! We have a flourishing of independent women’s surf brands which is so great to see. Go hunt them down.

Shop Salt Gypsy

X

What's your location?