In Australia, only 1 in 5 plastic bottles actually get recycled, and every minute approximately 90,000 plastic bottles end up in the ocean or landfill - our beloved oceans are drowning in this debris. One passionate social enterprise tackling this waste problem is OceanZen, a sustainable, ocean-loving swimwear brand. Founded in 2014 by Steph Gabriel, an ocean conservationist and environmental scientist, OceanZen bikinis are made out of recycled yarn derived from plastic bottles and fishing nets found in our oceans. Not only are these bikinis supporting cleaner oceans, but they're preventing countless species of marine life from unnecessary suffering.
While traveling the world for environmental research, Steph saw the life-changing impact employment and a steady income can have on a family, so she decided to have all her bikinis ethically made by a Balinese family, paying them well above fair trade prices, which then allows the family to play an active role in supporting their community. With the support of Dreamstarter, Steph was able to continue to grow and scale her business by enabling her to develop and launch a second swimwear collection and empower Australians to help protect our oceans one swimsuit at a time.