Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd of Londre Bodywear: Five Strategies Our Company Is Using To Tackle Climate Change & Become More Sustainable
Our culture teaches numbing through consumerism — we believe in teaching meditation and turning into your body and questioning why you feel the need to buy something. That way you can tell if it’s a legitimate need vs trying to numb an emotion that needs to be felt.
As part of our series about how companies are becoming more sustainable, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd of Londre Bodywear.
Londre Bodywear was dreamt up on a beach by founders, Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd, while working on a photo shoot in Sayulita, Mexico where they were inspired to create the most flattering, high quality garments with the lowest possible impact. Thus far, the brand has recycled over 1 million bottles off of the beaches and streets, and all water used in its process can be reused.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Hannah Todd: Sustainability has been a huge part of our lives growing up and as such has been intrinsically embedded into our core values as people. It was crucial for us that Londre reflected these values and that we take sustainability into account in all that we do, whether it be a new style, our tags, our packaging or our people.
Ainsley Rose: I first spoke at city council at age 8 about the importance of maintaining the forest in my hometown of North Vancouver BC. Growing up in nature inspired a fierce desire in me to protect it. I started my career as a destination photographer shooting editorials and weddings, and still lead visual direction at Londre to this day.
What is the mission of your company? What problems are you aiming to solve?
H: Londre’s mission is to lead the next generation of confident, conscious consumers and to be the most sustainable apparel company on the planet. We aim to spread knowledge about the current sustainability crisis as much as we can and do our part in reversing the damage that’s already been done through coral reef replanting, ocean waste removal and other similar initiatives.
Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?
A: We are proud to be climate positive. We do this through growing coral (our business has now grown just shy of 4 full coral reefs), have grown 400 water cleaning willow trees in Indigenous communities and has taken over 4.4 tons of waste off the PNW coast. Our customer’s orders also help support in kelp farming — which supports carbon sequestration.
How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?
A: Creativity thrives in constraints. Because we never compromise on sustainability, it’s allowed us to be more creative and take bigger risks. In doing this, we’ve developed a deeply rooted community that truly believes in what we do and we often hear “I’ll never buy a swimsuit anywhere else” because the commitment we have to our community and the planet shines through.
The youth led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great, and there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.
A: The youngest generation becomes the guiding light for our culture, overtime the older generations end up integrating the beliefs and values of younger generations. We see people younger than us as our biggest teachers.
1. Show your kids where waste goes! It’s startling see a landfill and understanding that everything we consume ends up going somewhere.
2. Choose experiences over things for gifts.
3. Our culture teaches numbing through consumerism — we believe in teaching meditation and turning into your body and questioning why you feel the need to buy something. That way you can tell if it’s a legitimate need vs trying to numb an emotion that needs to be felt.
4. Encourage joining a peer led sustainability club — I was in a sustainability club and I learned so much through my peers.
5. Find out what projects are happening in your community — ask your kids if they agree with this growth or not — if not, how come? Can they help raise this awareness to others?
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
H: 5 things I wish I’d known before we started:
1. Go with your gut, if it’s not a hell yes it’s a fuck no.
2. Not everyone’s advice is good advice for you personally, check in with yourself, your values, and the direction you wish to take your business before applying it.
3. You know more than you think you know.
4. Never be afraid to ask the question “why” and challenge the reason things are done a certain way.
5. Walk into every room with the confidence that you’ve already achieved what you’ve set out to do
There’s so much to say about all of these — if you are to apply only one — I’d say to always go with your gut. One of our most successful collaborations we ever worked on featured a floral print with vulva’s embedded in it. We weren’t sure how it would land with the community at large but we knew there was such important messaging around sexual health, highlighting the beauty in our differences and not feeling shame. Within 48hrs we sold 95% of our inventory and our community felt deeply seen and celebrated through the beauty of this print.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
H: Relationships are at the core of all that we do. Throughout our business journey we’ve had the opportunity of connecting with some incredibly inspiring women who are on a mission to change the world.
A: We reached out to Sara Panton, the Founder of Vitruvi, who was incredibly generous with her time and gave us the excellent advice of starting our business on shopify. We’d already built our website elsewhere and based on her advice we rebuilt everything from scratch. We are so thankful that we did. Now we love making ourselves available to support other women in business.
You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
A: We set out to prove that sustainable fashion could compete with and exceed traditional fashion. We barely had any experience (we had to google almost everything! and $15,000 to get our big idea off the ground.) I’m deeply proud of the confidence we’ve inspired in women around the world, and the positive impact we’ve had on the planet. We hope to inspire more women to feel confident in their skin and to become advocates for a cleaner ocean.
Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?
H: Slowing down can be your biggest power move — we learned this lesson trying to do too much, over extending ourselves and briefly losing sight of why we started. This resulted in feeling burnt out and an expensive lesson that we vowed to never repeat. Hitting the pause button, we allowed ourselves to regroup, remember why we started and gain clarity on our future in order to come back stronger than ever. Following this period of pause — we had some of our most successful marketing campaigns to date.
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
Please join our community on Instagram and TikTok at @londrebodywear, or peep our website www.londrebodywear.com and sign up for our new Londre Loves club.
This was so inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd of Londre Bodywear: Five Strategies Our Company Is Using To Tackle… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.