BATOKO is an independent swimwear brand based on the North West Coast of England. We create high quality swimsuits that are fun, flattering and super comfy. They're also rubbish. Literally.
Our swimwear is made from 100% recycled plastic waste that would have otherwise been headed for landfill and our oceans.
Our First Beach Clean
Having always lived by the sea, litter was something we had reluctantly accepted as a part of the view - just like the pebbles and shells, it had always been there. It wasn't until we began volunteering with a local beach clean group that we began to uncover the true scale of the litter problem. Plastic bottles, bags, cups, straws, food wrappers, balloons, containers, toys, polystyrene, fishnets, ropes, textiles and millions of microplastics; all non-biodegrable and therefore a permanent fixture on the strand line.
It was clear that over the past few decades one of the biggest environmental crisis had been brewing without any real worry or acknowledgement. A casualty of being out of sight and therefore out of mind.
Armed with an existing swimwear brand and a whole load of new found passion, we were fuelled by the shared frustrations of so many beach cleaners, surfers, divers and marine biologists around the world. Not only did we want to clean up our beaches, rivers, oceans, parks, we wanted to tackle the issue at it's source = industry. Despite having the resources and tech available, only 10% of plastic is getting recycled. What a waste!
Trash To Treasure
Our swimwear is proof that there is value to be found in what we currently deem as rubbish. We believe that upcycling and recycling waste into products and tools that are useful, valuable and reusable could play a big part in the clean-up & overall reduction of waste pollution going forward.
Why recycle? Recycling may not save the planet, but it's one of many solutions we can use. Recycling not only helps reduce energy usage, it also helps reduce consumption of new raw materials and reduces air and water pollution from landfills and marine waste.
Plastic is the direct cause of death for approx. 100 million marine animals and seabirds every year in the form of entanglement, drowning, choking and ingesting. We are proud to support the UK's leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society, who work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. Every year a proportion of our profits made from our recycled swimwear go to supporting this amazing organisation, helping to ensure a healthier future for our oceans and wildlife.
How our swimwear is made is just as important to us, which is why we work with an audited factory in China that takes necessary measures to avoid both environmental degradation, along with following and respecting the labour principles set out in the BSCI Code of Conduct which ensures a fair and safe working environment for all it's workers. This ethical business behaviour ensures that all workers have increased awareness of both their labour rights and human rights, along with access to grievance mechanisms if they feel their rights are not being met. BSCI principles also include fair pay, no forced or bonded labour, no child labour or workers below the legal minimum age, decent working hours (observed by law), no discrimination and equal opportunities. We feel a great amount of responsibility to maintain a stable business relationship with our supplier, which is turn gives the factory a reason to invest in continuously improving it's working conditions.