Choosing a swimsuit that fits well and makes you look cute is a challenge many women can relate to, especially as spring and summer come around. Finding a swimsuit that you like is one thing. Seeing how it looks on you versus how you thought it would look is another. And when you want your swimsuit choices to be eco-friendly too, it becomes an even bigger challenge.
Oftentimes, women have to compromise for one thing over the other. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered this sunny season with our new favorite swimwear brand, Arrow + Phoenix. We had the pleasure to talk with the brand’s founder, Kayla Bell, about the brand’s background and why their swimwear is perfect for women on the hunt for an eco-friendly suit that’s both good for the environment and looks good on. With Arrow + Phoenix, you don’t have to compromise the planet for a fashionable bikini.
The brand’s story goes back to when Kayla lost everything to hurricane Katrina as a child. Going through this experience opened her eyes to environmental issues and made her want to give back.
As a teen, Kayla became interested with the idea of starting her own brand. Back when she worked at Victoria’s Secret, she noticed that they started to limit their sizing, which meant their clothing items were less inclusive. Kayla became annoyed that Victoria Secret no longer catered to her and other women that didn’t fit within their limited size range.
Kayla knew that she wanted to start her own brand, one that was inclusive to all women. But Kayla’s dream didn’t all happen at once and it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Kayla first turned to her close friend , a mother of two and a U.S. Marine. They started working together and Arrow + Phoenix was born.However, her friend suddenly passed away after a car accident. Kayla not only lost a close friend but her business partner who was responsible for the clothing patterns for the brand. Not willing to give up on her dream, she decided to start again from scratch.
But Kayla never gave up fighting for her brand. As Arrow + Phoenix developed, she gradually saw her brand being acknowledged for its ethical swimwear options.
Kayla tells us she was asked by Sports Illustrated to feature one of her swimsuits. Sometime later, she opened a magazine in a bookstore and saw national women’s soccer player, Crystal Dunn, wearing one of her designs! She was both shocked and proud of the praise her brand was receiving at such an early stage.
Because Kayla values sustainability, she knew her brand’s fabrics had to be sustainable. It took her years to find a manufacturer that gave her the sustainable fabric she wanted.
Another one of Kayla’s main goals besides sustainability was to give women of all shapes, colors, and sizes confidence and options through her swimwear line. Her brand had to be able to cater to every type of body. She also wanted women to know where her products came from. Kayla also wanted an eco-friendly company. That’s why the fabric from the brand’s swimwear is made from recyclable water bottles and the packaging is recyclable material! Arrow + Phoenix also has a program where customers can send back the glass bottles where the store’s bronzer is packaged to get a discount on an order.
Kayla strongly encourages people to do their homework when it comes to looking for brands that are ethical and eco-friendly. Some advice she has is to look at brands’ reviews and blogs to see if they’re as sustainable as they say. She says you can also DM brands to see what their process is. If they’re legit, they’ll explain how their products are made.
Her words of encouragement are “You are who you are because of the strengths you have.” She hopes that through her inclusive brand, she’ll help women realize this.
Zoe Elle is in complete awe of Kayla Bell and Arrow + Phoenix. We couldn’t have asked for a better brand to share with you ladies. Check out the Arrow + Phoenix website and help save the planet while looking cute. Follow them on Instagram @arrowandphoenixswim too, for some swimwear inspo for this spring and summer.