North Shore native Skatie Noyes is revolutionizing swimwear with her new line of fun, fashionable and environmentally conscious designs — just in time for your next warm-weather getaway!
An unpleasant thought: The United States generates 21 billion pounds of textile waste per year, which makes being an environmentally conscious fashion consumer something of a struggle. But for designer Skatie Noyes (spoiler alert: she’s MIB founder Susan Noyes’ daughter), this eco quandary has helped her launch a business — SKATIE, swimwear inspired by the iconic California style. Skatie’s stylish designs are also sustainable, affordable and responsibly manufactured in the U.S.A.
Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan, Skatie was constantly in and out of the water. When she moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, that didn’t change at all. A surfer since the age of 10, Skatie has spent much of her life in a bathing suit, which makes her uniquely suited to designing them.
Before launching her line, Skatie worked as a designer with multiple contemporary-wear lines, including LA-based Gypsy 05. Though she speaks fondly of her experience there, she realized prices were prohibitive for the average swimsuit consumer. Thus, her eponymous line is not only eco-friendly but also affordable.
Skatie’s road to launching her locally made, environmentally friendly designs began while she was still at Gypsy.
“The warehouse was full of the most gorgeous fabrics, that because they were last season’s prints or color-way, would never be used,” Skaties says. Likely, they would be dumped in a landfill.
Realizing this trend of textile waste extended to the entire fashion industry, Skatie began to reach out to other swimwear designers about their unused fabrics. She has since formed relationships with high-end designers — like Mara Hoffman, Lolli Swimwear and Beach Riot — who give away or sell at a deep discount surplus fabrics. Though her request hasn’t always been well received (some brands say they’d “rather burn” their fabrics than give them away), half of Skatie’s entire line is 100-percent surplus fabric.
The other half of the line comes from a textile company in Italy that creates sustainable swimwear fabric out of recycled yarn. Nylon and spandex — two of the most common yarns used to manufacture swimwear fabric — are incredibly harsh on the environment to manufacture, Skatie says, so she tries not to contribute to the manufacturing of those yarns.
On top of being environmentally conscious, all of Skatie’s designs are made in California. In an effort to avoid the typically perilous working conditions of manufacturing abroad, Skatie says she has “a personal relationship” with her entire team — right down to the people sewing each bathing suit.
The suits themselves (both bikini and one-piece alike) are not overtly trendy, and that’s just the way Skatie likes it.
“I like to think that my designs are timeless, iconic and fun — not trendy,” Skatie says.
And fun her line is — with Beverly Hills-inspired prints, tie-dyes the colors of the sunset and iconic black-and-white silhouettes. Each bathing suit fairly screams California girl with an edge. Skatie says her suits are meant not only for poolside cocktails, but also for active girls, adventurous girls — girls who care about what they’re wearing past what it looks like.
“It’s really important to me to make an impact on the industry and create positive change — and have an awesome brand while doing that,” she explains. “I believe that responsible can be beautiful and who you are is what you leave behind.”