It’s not the prettiest new swimwear design of the season, or the sexiest, or even the most practical.
But if you’re looking to make a statement about environmental stewardship (and good manners), the “beach butts” digital print bikini from new label Fenton Fox will make people stop and think.
The original image shows that familiar summertime nuisance — cigarette butts stubbed into beach sand — against a grassy background. If wearing this piece causes even one fellow beach bum to reconsider this foul practice, you’ll have done mankind a service.
Fenton Fox will go into production later this month after wrapping up a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $9,000 for startup costs.
The Chicago-based label is the latest venture from Lizzie Cook, a film and TV costume designer whom we profiled a few years ago when she operated the independent lingerie label Urban Fox.
Lizzie calls herself an “obsessed swimwear collector” who has been making her own suits for years. The new label, which will produce two collections a year (spring/summer and resort), is named for her grandparents’ home on Lake Fenton, Mich.
One of the goals for Fenton Fox, Lizzie says, is to create a made-in-America brand that is “as eco-friendly as possible.” To that end, she looked at more than 150 different Spandex/Lycra formulations and eventually sourced a new fabric made from recycled plastic water bottles.
“It feels wonderful, performs amazingly and looks perfect,” she writes in her crowdfunding pitch, “(and) will hopefully surpass traditional swim and sport fabrics as the mainstream choice.”
The Fenton Fox fundraising campaign runs for another few days, and any surplus funds will be used to expand the new label’s debut collection, which is inspired by Tiki bars and includes three original prints and an all-black one-piece.
The young startup also offers an incentive for early adopters with a political conscience: “By supporting Fenton Fox,” it says, “you are supporting entrepreneurship, local business, expansion of US manufacturing, use of fair trade and responsible materials, and Illinois state job creation. What politician has these kinds of bragging rights?”