Bringing Business To Life: Florita Beachwear

Florita Beachwear produces swimwear ethically under Fair Trade working conditions in Brazil. We spoke to founder Julia Almeida-Bailey about the inspiration behind the brand and her eco strategy.
By Lori Delaney

What inspired you to launch Florita Beachwear? 

My main inspiration to launch Florita was the need to reconnect with my roots, my hometown Rio de Janeiro after moving to London.  

What are your sustainable priorities for the business? 

Working with local communities, social inclusion and producing a desirable, made in Brazil, sustainable product that we are proud of.  

How has your eco strategy developed as you have grown?

When I started Flo I didn’t really have an eco strategy. It was a bold move, but necessary at the time. I knew I wanted to develop a brand that was produced ethically in Rio de Janeiro and wouldn’t harm our environment. My creative and personal intentions were clear and I had a small business plan in hands. At the time I spent more time in London and had one person doing research for me in Brazil, today I spend more time in Brazil to live close to the production so I can personally check the factory, research new materials, and live the day to day of the production. I don’t know if this answers the question, but Florita has changed my life completely and for the better.  

How challenging has it been  to  maintain your eco principles? 

Maintaining my principles wasn't very difficult since that was always very clear for me. I was always very careful in  surrounding myself with like-minded people, working  towards the same objectives. I actually think the eco market is gaining more space every season and the customer is starting to understand and want more eco-friendly products. 

What have been your biggest milestones and triumphs until now? 

The biggest milestone is definitely producing and working in a country like Brazil, everything is very complicated here... people are not used in working with contracts and have things done openly and straightforward, but when you do nail this part then it becomes the greatest triumph too. And when someone says something good about your product or brand identity and I can proudly say ‘it’s ethically made in Brazil’ that really ‘sparks joy’ for me!

What have been the main prohibitors  to  your progress in building a sustainable  business? 

Finding the correct factory was a challenge, and getting certification out of our suppliers is a nightmare, but we’ve managed.  

Do you feel pressure from your customers  to  be more eco?

Yes, definitely.  

What advice would you give  to  anyone hoping  to  launch a sustainable  business?

Do your eco strategy, it will make your life easier! But allow yourself to learn as you go.   

Which other sustainable  businesses have inspired you? 

The Jungalow; Kana London; Tart London; Cariuma & 69b boutique in Hackney really close to my house and with amazing sustainable brands. 


All images courtesy of Florita Beachwear.

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Bringing Business To Life: Florita Beachwear