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👙Tias & Olives: How we build our brand beyond bikinis

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Here’s the co-story of Tias & Olives, a bikini brand that’s – well – just another bikini brand. But, also, so much more than that. It's about shared visions and creating an impact for good as female co-founders.

We are Tías & Olives. Sure, we are yet another swimwear label on the market. But what separates us from others is our mission. We want to help empower others. To help them feel confident in who they are, while wearing our brand, and standing together for the next generation of women. It all kicked-off one and a half years ago with the founding of our company in Switzerland. Already in the early days, we were supported by inspiring women: Tina, founder of Matiabeachwear, agreed (after meeting in person and getting a vibe-check mixed with rosé, in Portugal) to consult us and introduce us to her manufacturer in Portugal.

Where would we be if women wouldn't support each other? The market for swimwear is big. Seeing a brand come to life with this drive at its core… This feeling is just incredible," said Tina, founder at Matiabeachwear

It all started smoothly, but we knew this feeling wouldn't last. In March of this year, we received a message saying that our production slot had been delayed. Now, we’d be looking at end of July. And let’s be real here. Even though launching a bikini label in the middle of July seemed silly – also to us, yes – we decided to go for it. “Courage" is one of our brand's core values: We believe that courage is crucial for a happy life. Therefore, we are stepping out of our comfort zones by taking a risk and making tough decisions.

Bikinis for good: 1 bikini, 3 reusable period pads

When starting to discover our brand, understanding who we are and what we wanted to do in the world, we had no doubt about the fact that we wanted to make an impact. Not just on the environment but on the life of other women, too. We’ve been very privileged, growing up in Switzerland, where frequent travels, sabbaticals, and experiences – social security and a forward-thinking educational system – are the norm. We believe that education is the key to solving many conflicts and challenges. We admire all the efforts people make to protect the environment, and we do our best in that field, too. But without proper education, we believe it can never truly happen.

The second thought we had was related to being a woman. As women, we are all aware of the high prices and taxes for hygienic products. Period poverty wasn't something new to us. As families in many countries can't afford a lot of hygienic products, these girls miss out on school every month for one whole week due to their menstruation. Sue Barnes, the founder of Subz, an NGO we're collaborating with, told us that after two years, girls often drop out of school, as their parents see the value of them working an additional week at home. This was when we found the deeper purpose of Tías & Olives. We decided to donate three reusable period pads per order. Why three? These three pads enable the girl to attend school during the week of her menstruation, as they can be washed, dried in the sun, and used again.

A purpose-driven brand

Working in branding and marketing, Simon Sinek is well known to us. Starting our brand and being aware that we're not the only ones building up a swimwear label (in-depth research on Instagram sure gives you an idea), we asked ourselves the million-dollar question: why? And we found an answer: We want you to feel vibrant, authentic, and confident — all day long. This is our mission as a brand. And we'll have two approaches: First, the product, ensuring that you feel vibrant and authentic. Wherever we wanted to transmit confidence and strength with our brand, we needed to find a significant purpose:

"We know we can't live without clothing, but we can make the ones we buy matter. We believe we have the obligation as a brand in the fashion industry to be conscious and transparent, balancing our actions and the industry's actions. A clear conscience requires actions. We are committed to our values and we’re on a mission to educate and empower."

And so second, knowing that your purchase supports a young girl in her confidence and strength. We're still a fashion brand. And fashion is all about consumption, profit, and spending. Research has proven it – spending money on yourself only creates short-term happiness, but doing something for others is one of the true drivers of happiness. Knowing that, with one single order, you'll help one young girl pursue her dreams, attend school every week, and protect her from harassment – that’s a true enabler of inner confidence. For you, and for us. As a brand, we believe that using recycled materials or buying eco-friendly products – to have an impact and create a meaningful change with your customers – is not enough. Looking up to brands like Patagonia or MyMarini, we now found our own path with our brand. We support young girls in South Africa in reaching their dreams by enabling them to have access to education while staying healthy. Getting that support from women since our very first day, we will now continue to empower other females in this world.

About the Brand

Tías & Olives is a conscious and vibrant Swiss swimwear label rooted in Switzerland and Spain. The designs are made in Switzerland. We support ethical manufacturing and work closely with a family-run factory in Portugal. We use the highest quality of recycled fabrics called ECONYL® to ensure that each piece stays beautiful for years. This regenerated nylon is made of nylon waste like fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastic. Instead of polluting our ocean further, like many other brands out there, we turn pollution into swimwear.

The women behind the brand are Sibylle Nüssli and Carmen Viudez. Two friends that not only share their love for the sun, but also the determination to empower women, and to create swimwear that people around the globe can’t wait to wear all day long. Carmen has been part of WeCoCo since its early start.

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