“How many diapers are needed to teach a child how to swim?” this is question founder Lisa asked. Approximately 80 disposable swim nappies per child. In a just one swimming class, there are up to 10 kids, that 800 disposable swim nappies taking over 500 years to decompose. It took her 2 years of research and engineering to deliver a reusable swim diaper with no leakage, no red pressure marks on soft baby skin, quick dry and easy rinse clean. Made with sustainable regenerated nylon and ocean waste textile, designed with extra strength and shape retention for maximum durability and also UPF50+ protection. No more full bins of single-use nappies, an economical option for parents to have a truly long-term reusable swim diaper. Happy environment = happy swimming!
We interview Lisa Sjöblom, a passionate eco-entrepreneur, world traveller who understands the benefits of swimming, and its parallel impact of single-use nappies. She was determined that let little eco-warriors enjoy the magic of water, splashing and blowing bubbles while supporting a mission of cleaning the oceans. This is how the future generations will lead the world, and with brands like Tyoub® we can make a difference no matter how little we are! Without further ado, we hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did!
Hey Lisa, what is your background and why did you start Tyoub® reusable swim diapers brand?
I have a background in fashion and graphic design. I’ve lived on 3 continents. Africa, Europe and Australia and each unique lived experience led to starting Tyoub (Toddler, You & Baby). Tyoub was born out of the experiences that I had with my own babies who were all enrolled in swimming lessons from a very young age. Seeing the bins filled with disposable swim nappies and how poorly cheaper swimsuits would perform, degenerate and wear out within months. When I knew that adult’s swimwear would last season after season and I wanted quality kids swimwear that could be worn again and again.
What is the mission behind Tyoub® Swimwear?
We like to keep it simple; we want to do our very best to care for our customers by providing quality sun protection swimwear and protect our world, by engineering an effective reusable swim diaper, and by doing so reduce non-biodegradable landfill. We are also driven by our curiosity and constant research into the circular economy and a greener, ethical fashion footprint, and have a future take-back vision for our swim and gymwear. We are relentless in our pursuit of supply chain transparency, fairness and sustainability across the collection. We are a 100% animal-friendly vegan brand.
What sustainable and eco-friendly materials do you use for the toddler & baby swimwear?
Tyoub makes swimwear with sustainable regenerated nylon, we use ECONYL that comes from reprocessed fishing lines and other ocean waste. 100% is recovered nylon, making this a sustainable and conscious part of the process that helps to clean up our world and oceans.
The outstanding quality of this material offers a smooth and soft feeling on the skin, with extra strength and shape retention giving maximum durability. The Matt 20% flatter finish in this knit creates a magnificent crisp, clean finish to our unique Tyoub prints, which have excellent colour fastness, increasing the longevity of the garment reducing unnecessary consumption.
And what exactly are the features of Tyoub® reusable swim diapers?
Our Jnr Champion Swim Nappy has been engineered to contain solids. The double gusset protection is our eco-warrior and means that NO other additional/disposable swim diaper is needed. It is economical for parents and guardians as it fits a child from 0-3 years old and comes in One Size Fits Most (OSFM). It has an adjustable body rise using a series of snaps for smaller sizes. The VELCRO waistband gives an exact waist measurement, so there really is no leakage. The soft fold over elastic encloses the seams for a snug firm fit without any red pressure marks on soft baby skin. The Jnr Champion Swim Nappy has no absorbent material, making it quick drying and easy to rinse clean. It’s lightweight and natural feel give the little learner swimmer a much more natural water experience.
What is the range swimwear you have available and what is the ideal age for the children? Is there any top seller?
Our swimwear range is currently catering to swimming lessons, water theme parks and Eco Resorts, we have the Jnr Champion Swim Nappy in several colours. The short sleeve rash vest and swim caps, are available in sizes 0 – 3 years old. Our top seller has been the Royal Squad crown print with the red swim nappy.
For you, it was important to keep it sustainable and also Fair Trade. From creation to manufacturing, how does the whole process look like?
Tyoub swimwear range is made in Melbourne, the family-run business operates from Co-burg North and employs 15 skilled garment workers. The ECONYL fabric is imported from Italy made by Aquafil and printed in Queensland, Australia. We use digital printing or dye-sublimation printing for our swimwear fabrics. All chemical and colourants used in printing are Oeko-Tex approved. Both methods use water-based Pigment Ink, for digital printing, this is done directly onto fabric from a computer file. For dye-sublimation, the paper is printed with the artwork first and then transferred onto the fabric using heat and pressure. The paper waste is then gathered up and collected for paper recycling. The swim nappy has taken over 2 years in development, up until recently I was sewing the swim nappies myself but with ever-increasing demand, we’ve had to look internationally. We are working closely with an Australian agency who supports and understands our mission. Our Chinese partners have a shared adherence to the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 with a zero-tolerance approach to all aspects of modern slavery and human trafficking. As part of our due diligence processes, the factories are visited yearly and the next scheduled visit is for May 2019.
Could you please provide some data worth sharing on the impact the brand has made?
I began by asking the simple question, “How many diapers are needed to teach a child how to swim?” Approximately – *80 disposable swim nappies per child. In a class, you can have up to 10 kids, that 800 disposable swim nappies! Shut the front door, and that’s only 1 group, there are several lessons a day, 7 days a week! If we can make one small change let it be using a reusable swim nappy. It’s a no-brainer, considering that a disposable nappy takes 500 years to decompose. Happy environment = happy swimming!
*38% of children enter to learn to swim under 3 years of age, mostly in combined parent and child lesson, while 62% enter as independent students. Swim Australia has 1.5 million people per annum registered the swimming lessons, with over 1000 accredited swimming schools*. Infants in their first year of life represent the highest group of children entering lessons for the first time with 17% of all learn to swim entrants coming from this age group. Reference Swim Australia. Participation in Structured Swimming Lessons: 0-13 years
What have been your challenges as an eco-entrepreneur launching this brand of reusable swim diapers?
Being part of the fashion industry for many years as a garment technician and changing gears, to eco-entrepreneur and understanding the sustainable landscape has been enlightening, also that sustainability means different things to different people. It has been a constant learning and often wrestling with my collection which is made from synthetic fibres. Learning about the damage that microfibres are having in the ocean has been very interesting. It is only through educating the consumer in using micro waste washing bags, the Coraball and microfibre filters in our front loader washing machines that we can do something at home to help with this. The future fibres are getting better, more durable and less likely to shed – watch this space.
One of the key distinction most of the social entrepreneurs have in common is that they tend to collaborate. How do you perceive collaboration and how has it helped to your business?
Being a small business, it has been so important to collaborate on really practical issues, for example, buying bulk corn starch postage satchels with the very big MOQ’s was not possible until we collaborated with other small businesses to buy in bulk as a joint venture. A win for us and for the environment.
The month of April is massive for fashion brands as for the Fashion Revolution event. What does such an initiative mean for a brand like yours?
I have revolutionary written in my DNA! The inaugural print is the DNA and I’ll be getting my makers to proudly hold up the #imadeyourclothes. I’ll continue to champion for fairness and supply chain transparency. Our Promise to commit to a circular fashion model is the core of who we are as a business and this will be at the forefront in April and beyond.
You are based in Australia. How does a social entrepreneurial venture look like there? Do you see the opportunities and other social entrepreneurs raising locally, or even an increase of people appreciating slow living and choosing eco-consciously manufactured brands such as yours?
We have a very active community both online and socially supporting small purpose led businesses. I trade at many Independent Design Markets and the culture here in Australia is very environmentally aware and increasingly I am talking to more and more people who are interested in environmental solutions to everyday problems.
And what has been the greatest success of the brand so far?
Since launching in December 2018, the enthusiasm that my designs and the Jnr Champion Swim Nappy have been greeted within the market place has been one of the greatest successes. To engineer a product from start to finish with an ethos of fun and environmental protection has been deeply fulfilling. I find educating people about our core values in sustainability as well as our fun and playful designs have been met with interest to learn more about the environmental aspects, and with smiles from adults and children alike for the fabulous fun designs and colours. These ongoing encounters are extremely encouraging to our brand. Seeing children moving comfortably in our Jnr Champion Swim Nappy and rash vest is personally satisfying. On a more practical level, we are teaming up with a local swimming school to demonstrate the Jnr Champion Swim Nappy, as well as an early learning centre to speak to parents about recycling, sustainability and swim and water safety practices. We are also donating a voucher to Shine Cambodia for a fund-raising event.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to other small businesses trying to make a difference?
Get involved, join groups, learn from others and make your journey a shared experience. Trying to do everything yourself is not as easy as it sounds – tasking others with things you can’t do is a great way to sustain your business. Be organised and keep a vision of why you are doing what you are doing. Make each day about learning and not necessarily about selling. It must be a passion. Something that feeds your inner-self. Having people you can trust and call on to help you with questions you are not sure of. Be curious and ready to learn, even when you think you have all the answers.
If you could write a message on a big wall that the entire world could read, what would it say?
Keep it simple, do the right thing.
And any message for the children?
Make a splash, get in and swim! Always go together, never swim alone. Learn to blow bubbles, float on your back and swim like a dolphin! Water is magic!
Finally, where can we find you? Shop, online, worldwide…?
You can find us on Tyoub website, and we are also on all social media Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Linkedin. Don’t be a stranger, you can call for a chat or ask any questions on +61 (0)3 9912 2119.
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tyoub® Swimwear. Ourgoodbrands only features brands and contents that are aligned with ethical, sustainable, eco-conscious world, which means we have carefully researched and written the contents in this article, and specific product information is checked with the business. For the interviews, any opinions expressed are the writer’s own, generally being the founder of the brand. Images supplied and approved by the brand featured, or credited accordingly otherwise. For more information about our policies, click here.