Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born and raised in Hong Kong to Japanese parents, and growing up in HK meant a lot of time under the sun at pools and beaches. I did the corporate thing for a good 4-5 years, and while it did keep me feeling like I had made good accomplishments on paper, the office life really wasn’t for me.
What made you start your company?
I’ve wanted to start up my own swimwear brand for years and COVID lockdowns definitely had a part to play in giving me that final push to do it. I left my full time corporate role a year ago, and since then I’d been freelancing and trying to figure out where I wanted my career to go. I used the remote working environment and all the extra free time I suddenly had to focus on bringing the swimwear dream to fruition. Also before that, I spent a lot of time travelling (therefore buying a LOT of swimwear over the years) and could never find a nice, last-minute swimsuit in Hong Kong that was to my taste.
Tell me about your product and brand?
RII SWIM (Rii = the end of my Japanese name Erii, nothing super profound or meaningful!) is an eco-conscious swimwear line that offers chic and functional swimwear with purpose. We only use sustainable Italian fabric (Carvico Vita), which is composed of innovative recycled nylon called ECONYL. The company that creates these fabrics, Aquafil, takes pre/post-consumer waste at the end of their life cycles such as discarded fishing nets/ghost nets and carpets sent to landfill, and transforms them into fabrics and textiles that are also regenerable an infinite number of times.