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EPISODE 328 50 mins

How Andréa is Building an Eco-Conscious Brand from Ground-Up

About the guests

Andréa Bernholtz

Kunle Campbell

California native Andréa Bernholtz is the serial mom-preneur and fashion powerhouse behind the eco-conscious SWIMINISTA brand. Known for co-founding the luxury denim line Rock & Republic in 2002, she helped to transform the company into a celebrity favorite and globally recognized name offering cosmetics, accessories, and clothing.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Andréa Bernholtz, Co-Founder of the eco-conscious brand, Swiminista, a collection of ultra-comfortable swimwear featuring a soft, luxurious nylon fabric made from post-consumer plastics.


As the effects of climate change become more and more prevalent, awareness around sustainable and eco friendly products is on the rise. So much so that for many businesses these buzzwords have become a marketing strategy. But what does it really mean to build an eco-conscious or eco-friendly business? It is more than just planting a tree for every order you get, it is a lifestyle.


In this episode, Kunle and Andréa talk about building and growing an eco-conscious brand. You will get to hear about what the supply chain for such a business looks like, how to package and market such products, balancing sustainability with profit. This is a great episode for entrepreneurs.


Here is a summary of some of the most important points made,

    • Being eco-friendly is more chic now than ever
    • There are various ways to make your packaging more sustainable
    • We should all try to leave a place cleaner than we found it
    • A lot of businesses use sustainability as a marketing strategy without actually being eco-conscious
    • Building an eco-conscious business starts with the lifestyle of the people in the business

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview Kunle and Andréa discuss,

  • Andréa’s Backstory
  • Her first business Rock & Republic
  • Genesis of Swiminista
  • Defining the Target Audience
  • Manufacturing process
  • Eco-friendly Packaging
  • Balancing Sustainability with Profit
  • Boosting Customer Experience
  • Sales Channels


  • 10:40 – Meet Andrea:
    • Founded and sold her previous company
    • Eco consciousness was instilled in her by her parents
    • “Being eco-friendly has become more chic nowadays”
  • 14:00 – Experience with her first brand Rock & Republic
    • The brand grew organically
    • Sold only offline for the first 3 years
    • Started selling online in 2005
  • 20:30 – Genesis of Swiminista
    • The inspiration came while on a holiday with friends
  • 23:40 – Defining the Swiminista target audience:
    • Everyone from teenagers to 60-year olds wear Swiminista
    • Typical customers are young mothers in their mid 30s
  • 28:00 – Style vs Eco Friendly appeal
  • 30:00 – Creating Swiminista suits:
    • All suits are made from post-consumer materials like plastic bottles
    • Fabrics are created in Italy
    • Sowing facilities are located in LA and China
  • 32:00 – Eco-friendly Packaging:
    • Use compostable packaging and boxes
  • 33:00 – Making Eco-friendly choices
    • “Take only memories, leave only footprints”
  • 36:50 – Balancing Sustainability with Profit
    • Approach is to make suits usable in various ways so that customers buy fewer things
    • “Ok with selling 1 suit instead of 2”
  • 43:10 – Boosting Customer Experience
    • Make it as easy to shop as possible
    • Creating a style guide
    • Speak with a rep on Zoom
  • 46:00 – Sales Channels:
    • Sell at resorts
    • Sell online
    • Selling at more Brick and Mortar stores
    • “Seeing anything in real life is always a little bit better”
  • 47:20 – Shipping Globally


  • Customers are willing to pay more for truly eco-friendly products
  • Shopping eco-friendly products helps lessen the guilt of buying more “things”
  • Building an eco-conscious business starts with the lifestyle of the people in the business

Links & Resources

Tweetable Quotes:

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”

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About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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