As part of our founder interview series we interview Mareen Burk to discuss her love of the ocean, travel, and sustainability.
What led you to first launch MYMARINI?
I was traveling through South America to surf and while in Colombia I became frustrated with how quickly my swimsuits fell apart. The colour faded, the stitches came out and nothing lasted. I could find some stronger sportier options, but I realised that I couldn’t find a swimsuit that was durable enough for the water, but also looked elegant and beautiful. So I decided that I was up for the challenge and I would create it myself!
Sitting in nature underneath the palm trees on the beach, I knew from the very beginning that whatever I ended up creating had to be sustainable for our planet.
So, what is the main philosophy behind the MYMARINI brand?
The main philosophy is producing a fair, lasting and quality swimsuit that gives you confidence. The style is classic with good shapes and works anywhere from city to beach. The quality material looks good and feels good and you don’t have to buy a new one every year because this one will last you. It’s chic and durable and makes you feel good about yourself and the planet. That’s the feeling we want to create.
MYMARINI is a catchy name. How did you come up with it?
‘Mar’ is the Spanish name for sea, and ‘ini’ comes from bikini. So it’s about a beach bikini!
Where do you find your style inspiration for each collection?
To be honest, I have endless inspiration from everything around me. Life inspires me, colours inspire me, people inspire me. I don’t like to look at magazines or trends too much, but I see style all around me. I’ll be sitting on the beach looking at a beautiful girl with an exciting swimsuit and think, wow that’s great. But what if I changed this here, and that there and create something new! My clients also have certain requests and ideas so it’s a combination of what I love, and what my customers love and what makes you look good!
MYMARINI is unique in that the swimwear design is reversible and it has what you like to call ‘the mini shape effect’. Why did you choose to make the designs reversible, and what exactly is the ‘mini shape effect’?
Yes, the mini shape effect is incredible! It all started with the search for the perfect fabric for the swimsuits. From the beginning it was clear that I needed to find the best fabric in the world for my bikinis. It needed to be soft, with fun colours and most importantly it had to be high quality and long lasting. Thicker fabrics are more durable, and I absolutely hate things itching on my skin while I swim so we decided to do a double layer with all the seams tucked in on the inside. This makes it extra comfortable and strong and with two layers of fabric we could do different colours and make them reversible!
The best part of the double layer is the mini-shape effect that this design creates. The thickness of the fabric is really supportive and gives a nice shape, and there is no seam or any part that cuts into the skin that is not so flattering. And this is how we created the mini-shape effect!
What does “Ethical Fashion” mean to you, and how does MYMARINI embody this?
For me personally, I had to do something that I could stand behind and feel proud of. Of course this means that no one should have to suffer for the creation of my collection. I can’t outsource production and look the other way. For me, it’s about the people behind the product, and also making things that are quality and long lasting. It’s about slow fashion and smart choices.
At MYMARINI we work to have minimum impact on the environment, with little water use and energy consumption. Additionally, we actually have a line that is completely made out of recycled fisher nets – the COLOR FLASH line.
From your blog, The Rolling Seafarers, we learned that you are currently embracing a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. What motivated you to do this, and what is your favourite part of a mobile life?
I love this lifestyle. I love the freedom of doing what we like. It doesn’t mean doing crazy things all the time, it can simply mean being at home with family and friends. But it’s nice to have the freedom.
So, what is your advice for someone who wants to embrace a more positive lifestyle?
It’s hard to give advice for someone else’s life! Everyone’s life is different and changing all the time and being positive is about being in the moment in your own life.
Recently your life partner William joined you as a partner at MYMARINI. What is the best part about working with your partner?
The best part of working with William is being able to share all the emotions of starting a business together. When I was working alone, I would get an exciting email and have no one to celebrate with! Now we get to experience all the spontaneous joy and excitement together.
If you wanted everyone to know one thing, what would it be?
Follow your heart and do what you love!