Finch Swim: An Aussie Icon.

From second-hand market stalls in the early 1980’s to an iconic Australian (and sustainable!) swimwear brand, this is the story of Finch Swim.

Finch Swim truly is a brand built on sustainability – and they’ve been doing it since way back in 1980. For more than 30 years, husband and wife team Linda Johnstone and Carl Tanner have been designing, making and selling their wares from the Gold Coast, Queensland, and boy have they seen their brand grow.

Finch Swim Indigo Rose collection.
“We have learned so much, from basic pattern-making, stock control, marketing to merchandising. A lot of things we learned the hard way, but we were also very lucky in getting some very good advice along the way,” founder Linda Johnstone says.

The Finch Swim timeline, according to founder Linda:
  • "Second-hand/ vintage market stall on the Coast
  • Tried selling re-dyed Bonds singlets
  • The singlets were successful enough that we started making more clothes ourselves and stopped with the second-hand items
  • After Amanda – our first employee, and the only person I’ve known to pack 20 bikinis for one holiday – started we tried swimwear and our own shop."

Finch Swim Miami to Rio collection.
“And from there it snowballed into wholesale and the brand that so many people remember from the 90s,” Linda says.

“I have always been interested in vintage clothing and previously worked in antiques, so when Carl and I came to Australia and there were not many positions available on the Gold Coast in our professional areas, it just seemed like a natural progression from what we were already doing.

“Neither of us had [worked in a business like it before], although Carl’s mother had worked in the rag trade and markets all of her life and was able to help us with how things worked,” Linda says.

Finch Swim recently showed in Australia’s largest sustainable fashion show, Undress Runways, so I quizzed Linda about their approach to ethics and sustainability.

Finch Swim on the catwalk at Undress Runways' Brisbane show
in October this year. Collection coming soon!
“We have always used the best materials we could and produced the majority of our garments in Australia,” Linda says.

“There are so many choices now, with materials made from recycled plastic or bamboo. For example we are now using a new sustainable carvico techno-fabric made with Econyl® - 100% regenerated nylon and polyester fiber from post-consumer materials.”

It's exciting times for the swimwear industry - and for those like Finch Swim who are willing to experiment with "new" fabrics.

I love finding swimwear labels that produce beautiful bikinis from fabric made of re-purposed materials, like discarded fishing nets pulled from the ocean as rubbish.

Keep an eye out for more small injection ranges from Finch Swim, including the looks seen at Undress Runways events - check out their Instagram!

-  Ash

Finch Swim Santorini collection.


Popular Posts