Reviving this segment with a lovely closer look at Kahunakai Swimwear! A hawaiian based swimwear company that is creating some really great eco friendly stuff, I highly recommend checking them out. In the mean time, read up on how they got started below!

Aloha! First Off thank you for inviting us to be apart of your blog, We are Kahunakai Swimwear! Kahunakai means Priestess of the sea, which we all  are gods and goddess from the sea, why do you think we always feel a pull towards the ocean when standing at the beach, we are connected to her. Our company prides our selves in sustainable eco friendly fashion in hopes to make cleaner oceans as well as a cleaner earth for our children.

How did you come up with your brand name?

We used to live in Maui, living on island brings a lot of inspiration and a lot of life flow a lot of spark, We wanted something that recognized the connection we have with the ocean, After searching and playing with many Hawaiian words we found Kahuna kai and fell in love.

When did you start your business/ How did you get into your field?

Kahunaki’s seed was planted the moment I was visiting Maui and decided I would move there from CA. We opened June 1st of 2016, before that we made swimwear and sold it at random of gifted to friends. I (Shelby) have been sewing since late middle school. I was taught by my grandmother.

What is your favorite/most popular product you have made to date?

Wow that is a hard question, like really hard, I spend a lot of time designing and making unique garments, that each one means lot to me and is an expression of my emotions. I have taken risks, where no one even likes what I have created and then sometimes the items are spot on, Like the MUSE Bells, Lately I really love those and am really proud of myself. The bondha top is also a top I am VERY connected to, it was one of the very first designs I am not sure I can ever retire it.

What is your favorite charity to support as a brand and how do you show your support?

One MAJOR way we support cleaner oceans is by using the fabric we use, Our fabric is made from abandoned fishing nets that are found lost at sea, or even washed up. The company who makes our fabric is ECONYL they teamed up with Carvico and Aqualfil and I believe CleanerOceans as well to make this amazing yarn which then is turned into an amazing durable sustainable textile. We have also been looking into donating a portion of all sales towards, Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation organization that works hard to protect our oceans. We in the past have donated to our brothers and sisters at standing rock protecting our water and land.

What is your brands aesthetic?

Bold, Daring, Strong,Organic, Natural, Beautiful Women, and a touch of creative process

What/who inspires you to create?

Ohh, My children. I have 2 year old twins, they really remind me of my playful side and also give me a lot of drive and push. Music also really plays a part in the way I create, as well as the supportive women that surround me, they all inspire me and push me and support me in ways I could never repay them, they have been there since day one.

Give a piece of advice to up and comers in your field.

For anyone coming into the swimwear world, OR sewing industry, My biggest thing is to get proper machinery, present your self as a professional and own your brand and don’t be scared to fail and fail again. sewing in general takes alot of failing and messing up. (Maybe try your patterns on a cheaper fabric first)

If you could describe your brand as a planet, colors and textures, how would you describe it?

hmmmm, well we would have lots of texture that create lines and shapes, a lot of low level textures, nothing to deep, soft, yum, and the shapes would be very pleasing to the eye.

If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it consist of?

ohh jeeze, I am a very basic girl, I always see my self in warm places so I would go with Organic Hemp Denim shorts, and a Aurora bikini top (We make these) because it has about 10 or more ways to wear, over that I would wear a loose fitting tunic, maybe some swim bottoms under the shorts, and a cardigan?

Make sure to check out all their social media listed below and get yourself some eco friendly threads!!


Instagram @_Kahunakaiswimwear_


Stay Stylish,

The Style Astronaut