THE FOUNDER

I could swim before I could walk. Mauritius, my birthplace and the home of my family for eight generations, is a small island in the Indian Ocean on the east side of Madagascar. As a child, I would wake up before everyone else to jump in the ocean and water ski before school—then rush home for an afternoon swim before homework! I am passionate about swimwear, because I literally grew up in a swimsuit, and believe it should be flattering, elegant, and fun.

I left Mauritius as a young adult to study and then launch my career as a model. My experience in the fashion industry was where I first had the idea to create my own swimwear. As a model, I tried on thousands of different swimsuits and noted what cuts were the most comfortable and flattering as well as learned what tiny details make the difference between a suit that looks good and a suit that looks good and feels good.

My interest in lifestyle and wellness—also drawn from a childhood spent close to family, surrounded by natural beauty—led me to opening restaurants and studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York. But I have always felt a strong connection with my homeland, and a desire to share the spectacular beauty and special character of Mauritius with the world.

I’ve never been happy doing just one thing, so perhaps it’s not surprising that when I decided to turn my passion for swimwear into a brand, I took on the roles of founder, designer, fit model, and spokesperson! It was also important to me that the brand’s home and place of manufacture be Mauritius, my special birthplace. All of the prints, designed by me from watercolor sketches, are inspired by elements of the Mauritian landscape.

I strongly believe swimwear can be fun and functional–without doing any harm to our planet. To that end, ALICIA SWIM uses an Italian performance fabric made of Econyl, a high-quality technical yarn created from regenerated nylon.

Every piece is made with love on my island and all packaging accompanying the collection is made from recycled material. I am donating a portion of my proceeds to the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society (MMCS), a local organization that works to protect and sustain the delicate ecosystem of Mauritius.

THE LINE

Simple, well-cut swimsuits crafted from high-performance, sustainable Italian fabric are the core of my line. ALICIA SWIM suits are lined in the same eco-friendly fabric used for the exterior, which allows them to have a sleeker, more flattering fit, without any bunching or lines.

The solid colors are vibrant and flattering to all skin tones; the prints, based on my own watercolor sketches, are inspired by the marine life and tropical natural beauty of my island. I believe that once you find a suit you feel great in, you can never have enough of them, so the line is designed to be mixed and matched, and any top will pair with any bottom, The pieces are named after the great supermodels of the ’90s—the ones I grew up admiring from halfway around the world!

The kimonos and headpieces feature the same prints in a cotton-and-silk blend, and can also be mixed and matched with any of the solid or print swim pieces.

THE FABRIC

ALICIA SWIM swimwear fabric is made in Italy using Econyl, a high-quality technical yarn created from regenerated nylon. Most of the sources for Econyl raw materials are fishing nets intercepted in coastal areas, which otherwise would end up in landfill or would endanger marine animals. Every 10,000 tons of Econyl saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil and 57,000 tons of CO2 emissions that would have been used in the production of new fabric.

More and more marine mammals and turtles are killed by getting trapped in “ghost gear” (abandoned fishing nets). The United Nations estimates that 360,000 whales, dolphins, seals, and turtles die in this way every year. Some sources estimate that ghost gear is four times more deadly to marine animal life than all other forms of marine debris combined.

Ghost gear also poses threats to coastal and benthic ecosystems, by scratching or entangling coral reefs, or introducing parasites and invasive species into these fragile natural habitats.

The kimonos and headpieces are made from a mix of cotton and silk and use 50% less water in the printing process. Every little bit helps!

Being eco-conscious is an important part of the ALICIA SWIM brand identity. There is no reason why swimwear cannot be beautiful, durable, and sustainable.

THE PROCESS

We manufacture our pieces in a small factory in Floréal, a neighborhood in central Mauritius. The factory, which employs only local women, is run by a school friend of mine.

Being a perfectionist, I work closely with the women at the factory throughout the whole production process, from the initial selection of colors and materials, through the cutting and countless fittings, to the final construction. No detail is overlooked. All pieces in the line are cut, sewn, and finished by the hands of these women—there is no assembly line.

MMCS

(Mauritius Marine Conservation Society)

When you make a purchase with ALICIA SWIM, you automatically contribute to sustaining marine life in the delicate ecosystems of the Indian Ocean. A portion of the company’s profits are donated to the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society (MMCS).

MMCS is a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and conservation of the marine environment and its rich biodiversity around the island. The MMCS offers programs and innovation aimed at preserving the island’s delicate marine ecosystems, works to promote a sustainable management of the marine and coastal environment, and also campaigns to raise awareness about the island’s rich marine resources. Current projects include:

  • A sensitization and training campaign for tourism workers to help make whale and dolphin watching a more sustainable/greener activity that doesn’t threaten marine life and its habitats.
  • Raising awareness among locals communities and tourists to help protect the sea turtle population. The two main species found in the coastal waters of Mauritius are the green sea turtle (Chelonia Mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata). These species are listed by the IUCN as endangered and critically endangered respectively.
  • Educational sessions/workshops for children and youth on waste sorting, plastic pollution and its effects on the marine environment.