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Article: Factory Visit

stacia 3D knitted sustainable swimwear made from corn
3D Knits

Factory Visit

stacia 3D knitting factory

One of the perks of manufacturing here in the US, is being able to pop into the factory on a whim. On a recent trip back to Brooklyn, NY I stopped by our 3D knitting factory in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I'm always mesmerized by the rows and rows of Shima Seiki 3D knitting machines, humming along, spitting out full complete garments. Still blows my mind. Literally no seams or sewing, just one whole complete garment with its front and back (and even sleeves!) already attached. The future of sustainable manufacturing happening right here in Brooklyn, a few blocks from our original Stacia New York store. We've come full circle.

But the most exciting part of my visit was seeing our new Stacia Swim line being developed. I've dabbled in swimwear over the decades, first making string bikinis in Liberty prints back in my Brooklyn boutique for Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore (did I just date myself with the Y2K Charlie's Angels movie?!) During our Stacia space-dye EcoKnits era, we knitted lounge-worthy bikinis for some of our wholesale accounts. And most recently, making a few high-waisted retro bikinis out of dead-stock fabrics just for fun. I never dreamed we could someday do 3D knitted bikinis made in the USA!

stacia 3D knit swimwear made in brooklyn

My goal was to take our swimwear to a more sustainable level using naturally-sourced yarns with the necessary properties to withstand getting wet, but that would be less reliant on petroleum-based fibers like spandex and nylon. Our Brooklyn factory discovered SORONA® stretch yarn, a natural nylon alternative that's corn based. Talk about mind blowing! SORONA®  has plenty of stretch without the need for spandex. It also holds its shape when wet and is fast-drying, all characteristics that make it perfectly suited for knit swimwear. Ditching synthetics like nylon, polyester, and spandex also helps reduce micro-plastic shedding in our oceans.

We're starting off small to test the swim market, but I hope you give them a try, give us some feedback, and help us further along the concept of sustainable swimwear. I'm excited about the possibilities and endless design options now that we have a suitable yarn and these magnificent machines to do the work!

Yes, sustainable swimwear may cost a bit more, but our goal is that you will hold onto these swimsuits longer with a more durable product. Wouldn't you rather have one or two long-lasting swimsuits that have little or no impact on the environment than a dozen cheap Target swimsuits that fall apart and end up in a landfill? 

To learn more about the 3D Knitting process and our eco-friendly yarns click HERE

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