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.
We have been using compostable garment bags since 2014, biodegradable and compostable mailer satchels since 2016 and have been open-source with peer brands and competitors since we sourced suppliers and made the switch. We print on recycled card or newspaper for our ecommerce marketing materials and have been non-negotiable on using regenerated nylon in our surfwear textiles since 2015. In 2020, we introduced hemp aprés surf garments into our product line which we are slowly building on. We offer our online customers the option to offset their carbon footprint at checkout and are currently applying for carbon-neutral status for our small business operations. Previously in 2016-17, we became the first women's surf brand to calculate and offset carbon footprint of our manufacturing and donated the amount to a renewable energy project in Northern NSW.
Since 2015, we have produced domestically in AU with boutique production teams in Queensland. Up until the pandemic kicked in we made regular site visits to our factories and met with the predominantly female machinists who make our garments. Our main contract manufacturer pays above award wages to her mostly older female workforce and predominantly hires casual contractors based on supply and demand of her business. Veterans of the Australian stretchwear industry largely make up the textile industry workforce we have encountered. Our contract manufacturer is a woman-owned & operated business with an open-space factory. Our headwear and screenprinting supplier is based in Ballina, NSW, and is also a woman-owned and operated business. More recently, we have begun sourcing from our hemp apparel pieces from a Chinese supplier who came highly recommended by a customer of ours after a site visit of the factory in China in 2019. We are in the process of sourcing internationally recognised certification and accredition for fair and ethical trade from this supplier.
Ever since our inception in 2012 and starting with two pairs of leggings and zero dollars, we have predominantly worked on a pre-order/On Demand model of manufacturing. We do not generally sit on a lot of stock as demand has exceeded our supply capacity. At times, we have been able to offer full bespoke and customisable orders. We can repair garments with our contract manufacturer and recently partnered with Upparel textile recycler in Melbourne to offer our community Step 1 of our Salt Gypsy Take Back Programme, becoming the first women's surf & swimwear brand (that we know of) to do so.
We have regularly donated products and made monetary donations where possible over the last 9 years of our business. Most recently, we have donated $1260 AUD donated to SurfAid as part of our 2020 product collaboration, $500 towards SurfAid's Make A Wave challenge, donated $547.93 NZD to Aotearoa Women's Surfing Association June 2021 as part of a women in business networking and fundraising event held in New Zealand. We have also enabled design collaborations with an artist royalty paid to the designers and artists we collaborated with. We have other non-profit partnerships in the pipeline for 2022.
We can trace the regenerated nylon in our Italian stretch fabrics via the Italian Aquafil Group who produce the ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn. We purchase the Italian fabrics using ECONYL® yarn direct from the Australian distributor. Our newly introduced hemp apparel range is from a Chinese manufacturer who came highly recommend from a New Zealand customer of ours who visited the factory in China, 2019, for their own business and personally vetted the team and working conditions. External verification for this supplier is a work in progress. The Australian supplier of the headwear we use in our range source their blanks from China and embroider or screenprint locally in our region of Northern NSW.
“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.”.