In Capri: Boutique beachwear brand prides itself on using recycled materials and never puts surplus stock in the bin

By Staff

A boutique beach and swimwear company which prides itself on making its products from materials which would otherwise go in the bin has made a pledge never to waste surplus stock.

Isabelle Alexander, who launched In Capri in 2020, said the she always wanted to create a stylish swimwear brand with a commitment to end-to-end sustainability – focussing on the whole journey of the product, not just its manufacturing, marketing and sale.

Green credentials include using ECONYL yarn made from recycled swimwear fabrics and trims and from a design point of view the brand has gravitated towards Isabelle’s love for nostalgic summers spent in Italy.

In recent months the brand has been praised for its green initiatives, winning the Sustainable Business award by the Women’s Business Club in 2022. This year it was runner up for Drapers Best Supply Chain Initiative.

Now In Capri is going a step further with its green credentials after pledging that all useable, returned or surplus stock will be donated, resold or recirculated in some way which benefits society – and not just thrown away to make room for more products.

It follows recent investigations that have accused some shops of throwing out thousands of surplus items.

Isabelle said: “Luxury brands in particular want to avoid devaluing their image and burning stock allows for them to maintain the brand’s value and sense of exclusivity.

“Furthermore, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truckload of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill. However it is hard to know exactly how much of it is unsold stock.

“There was no question in us taking this pledge at In Capri. We have always adopted a sustainable approach to our stock but raising awareness and committing to this to our customers and followers is also very important.

“I am so proud about the current systems we have in place to recycle people’s old and worn-out swimwear and for customers to buy samples has been praised by our customers and the industry.”

She has cemented those values by making the national Love Stock, Hate Waste pledge, which is supported by more than 100 brands and is calling on the CEOs of all brands and retailers to join them in promising to donate or redistribute stock instead of destroying it.

Isabelle – who is a buyer by trade but began designing pieces when she set up the business – runs In Capri with help from her mum and a handful of freelancers.

About a third of sales come from her own website where prices range from around £35 for a halter bikini crop top to £140 for a black Ilaria swimsuit. She also sells through the Silk Fred site, and the Butterfly Boutique in Barbados.

Back in the summer the Nottinghamshire-based business hosted a pop-up store in the Nottingham John Lewis shop which co-incided with a swimwear recycling event and one-to-one personal styling sessions for customers.

She said: “It’s all sustainably sourced and the fabrics are made from things like recycled fishing nets, carpet scraps and post-consumer waste and made in London.

“We’ve always made our products in the UK. It gives us a smaller carbon footprint and we can build a personal relationship with the factory and makes a huge contribution to the quality.”

Isabelle said there are less than two dozen separate pieces in her range and having a smaller number of designs means she is able to react quickly to market demand and produce what customers want within four to six weeks.

She said: “We just want to grow even further now, relying on our own website sales and working with reputable companies to sell through.

“We want to grow the collection and get out there to more people.”

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