Aline Lima, Part I

September 10, 2019

Aline Lima, Part I

Aline Lima
Co-founder, SixtyNinety
Location: London, UK

With a dream of creating a business that would connect her to her home of Brazil, Aline Lima and her best friend, Daniela Trece, began by buying products from Brazilian brands and selling them in London. It was while doing so that they discovered Amni Soul Eco®, the world's first biodegradable synthetic fibre. Inspiration struck and the transition from buyer to designer became natural as the duo created SixtyNinety.Initially launching with activewear, Aline's and Daniela's love of bikinis led them to shift the brand and focus on swimwear.

SixtyNinety collections feature the best cut swimwear and beachwear made in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. In addition to using sustainable fabrics, the brand produces 100% of its designs in a small factory in Brazil, that is being run by women. Trust a Brazilian to know her swimwear, and to prove that sustainable is sexy.

The Brand
The low down - about your brand, in your own words
SixtyNinety is a sustainable swimwear brand that's competing in an unfair market, where fast fashion brands have a much bigger margin.
 
How would you say your brand reflects you?
SixtyNinety is a projection of our own beliefs. We're encouraging people to consume in a conscious way. We're also empowering women in our home country of Brazil through fair pay job opportunities. We ourselves are conscious consumers and through our brand, we're making others become so too.
 
What motivated you to launch it and more than that, to make it sustainable?
We always wanted to start a business that would connect us to Brazil. At first, we were buying different Brazilian brands and selling them, mainly in London. We then discovered the biodegradable fabric that we now use, and from there the sustainable path just felt very natural.
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It's About the Journey
The early days, how your career started
We started by traveling together to São Paulo and searching for brands we liked. It was always fun. We wanted to bring something different to the UK, something very Brazilian.
Dani and I have always loved Brazilian swimwear. Each time we would go home, we'd come back with lots of new pieces. During one of our pop ups, we decided to sell some of the brands we liked and it turned out so well. We then decided to focus and develop SixtyNinety into a swimwear brand.
 
Comedy of errors - one day, I'll look back and laugh at this (which I can now)
We always say we choose to learn the hard way. So many little mistakes, which were not funny at that time. But the main ones included trusting the wrong people - we had to sweat so much to make orders and meet deadlines because of dishonest suppliers. This included spending the whole night at airport depots to collect products. We learned the hard way that it takes time to find the correct people to work with, and those you can trust.
Blindside - what you didn't know and wish you had going into it
Accountancy - it took a little while until we managed to understand VAT returns, import tax and corporate tax. HMRC and Companies House was a big grey area at the beginning.
 
What keeps you busy, what's currently on your plate?
We don't have a routine, every week is different. There are a lot of things that keep us busy - from designing the collections, creating samples, having photoshoots, and putting together catalogues, to organising events, pop up shops, finding buyers, sending orders, and making payments etc. Every day is different and the best ones are when we manage to end the day with a nice workout class and a bit of quality time with friends.
 
The best "advice" that you DIDN'T follow
So many people told us to have our production done in China. However, the DNA of our brand is Brazilian - we want to stay true to it and keep it that way. We really love working in Brazil.
...But Make It Fashion
Your first fashion memory and forever favourite fashion item/s
My mom's wedding dress - very 80's, huge with puffy sleeves.
 
What do you like and dislike most about fashion?
I love to see so many brilliant, creative minds putting so much passion into new creations. I hate seeing what the fast fashion industry has done, especially in places like Bangladesh.
 
Who inspires you in life and in fashion?
Alexander McQueen - if you haven't seen the documentary about him, please do.
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Let's Get a Bit Personal
Full speed ahead - what keeps you going, what's next?
Our ambition is to create something big and to be part of such an important change in the fashion industry.
 
The milestones, the moments that make it all worth it
When we receive all the amazing positive feedback from our friends, and even more so when we receive them from girls we don't know, and then when we see them come back and buy again.
 
Words to live by
"Experience life in all possible ways-
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don't be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become."
- Osho
 
The Dream
To see a better world - cleaner, in peace, where people respect each other and the planet.
 
At the end of the day...
It's all about balance and putting love into what you do.
Continue reading Part II of Aline's interview here.
All media courtesy of Aline Lima and SixtyNinety.

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