Reflecting on Sustainability and Ocean Conservation

earth day 2023


As we approach Earth Day, we have decided to shift our focus from simply highlighting our sustainable values, to reaching out to the women in our community who nurture and sustain life through their conscious connection to the ocean and the earth. We believe that by sharing our personal experiences and feelings about the ocean, we can inspire others to deepen their own connection with the planet, ultimately leading to its protection. Our goal is to protect and preserve what is sacred to us.


Beatriz Ryder, surf photographer 

Be Ryder diving underwater in a Hakea swimsuit


How long have you been connected with Hakea?

Byron is a quite small town so it didn’t take long to cross paths with Hakea. I knew about Hakea from friends in common about 2 years ago and since then I can easily say they are my favourite swimwear brand - sustainable principles, creative thinking and great designs.  

Why does Hakea feature in your water activities?

As a water photographer and surfer, I’m always looking for the best gear to be in the water. I don’t support consumerism and fast fashion so I’m always on the hunt for sustainable options and long-lasting pieces. My favourite Hakea swimsuit is the Terrain One Piece - super versatile, comfortable and a great design!

Do you feel uplifted or empowered when you’re in the ocean/water?

I spend a lot of my time in the water. Most of my work involves being in the water long hours swimming to be in position for the right shot. The feeling of being such a tiny human inside a giant ocean can feel overwhelming. Being in the water can give me so many different feelings every time I jump in. Sometimes it’s serene and peaceful, sometimes challenging - to have the ability to feel calm and connected at all times is my ultimate goal. Having the physical and mental power to overcome fears and limitations in the water is probably one of the most empowering feelings you could have.

What does the ocean/water represent to you?

I travel quite a lot for work and one thing that always makes me feel at home no matter where I am is looking out to sea, to an infinite horizon of deep blue water. I didn’t grow up in the water - I deeply fell in love with it when I started travelling in my teenage years and having more appreciation for what surrounds me. Nowadays, the ocean is my office and my life revolves around it. Being in the ocean challenges me every single time, it tests me in a lot of different ways and the thrill of it makes me do it over and over again.

Do you have a deep and memorable ocean/water moment you can share?

Last year I had the chance to visit the island of Tahiti. It was so inspiring to experience this water-based lifestyle where the ocean means food, transport, leisure, life... How much the people use the ocean that surrounds them and yet how respectful and careful they are about it. Shooting in the water in this place was the most unique experience I have had in my career as a photographer. The raw energy of the waves breaking in the shallow reef, the bravery of the surfers taking off on such powerful waves, the beautiful green mountains reflecting on the strong blue water. I get goosebumps when I think about it!


Ella Liascos, Sun Juju Founder 

Ella Liascos sitting on tree branch over the lake in brown Hakea bikini


Do you seek connection to nature via water?

My dad owned a fish and chip shop on a wharf in a port town so I had a pretty sea-centric life from early on. Beach dips were a weekly thing — but these days I'm experiencing water in a new and expanded way since learning to surf the last couple years. I think it's one of the few places most people still find a connection to nature whether it's intentional or not, since most people love the beach. That's definitely the case for me. 

How do you feel when you're immersed in the ocean, or a fresh water hole?

Refreshed, invigorated, alive, nourished. 

Do you have a water ritual?

It's irregular, but napping by the ocean is one of the best ways I know to do a deep-rest/recharge. Surfing, even though I'm still learning, feels like a ritual too: checking the surf, getting the board off and on the roof, the ways you carry it down to the shore — it's very ritualistic. I really like that about it.

Do you feel uplifted or empowered when you're in the ocean/water?

An ocean dip feels like self care, especially these days when I'm busier and making the time has to be even more intentional. 

What does the ocean/water represent to you?

Mystery, magic, life.

When did water become part of your identity?

I don't experience it as something that's part of my 'identity,' moreso something that is just an essential part of life and part of all of us. We wouldn't be here without it... every second breath we breathe is thanks to seaweed! (read more on this here)

How long have you been connected with Hakea?

I’ve been connected with Hakea for about five years, I love the philosophy, the fit, versatility and the nature inspired colourways that blend nicely into the rest of my things. 

Why does Hakea feature in your water activities?

I've always loved versatility: a cute top you can wear as a sports bra, jump into the ocean with and then do a quick grocery run before heading home. For that reason, I can always be spotted in one of my many Hakea tops either at the beach, or walking the lighthouse.


Ella wears the Mariposa Top and Sol Short in earth.


Mahina Akaka, surfer 

Mahina on her surfboard in the ocean in blue hakea bikini


What does the ocean/water represent to you? 

I seek connection with nature via water, growing up in Hawaii we are surrounded by water whether we like it or not. We were born to connect with the ocean, it is our lives.

How do I stay connected to the water when you're not near the ocean?

It's pretty rare that I'm not near the ocean, to be honest. I'm constantly thinking about my next trip down to the beach. I guess I'm constantly connected.

Do you feel uplifted or empowered in the ocean?

Yes, 100%! I've always believed that a dip in salt water helps everything and anyone. Even if it is just a dip!


Mahina wears the cobalt Voyage Tri Top and Beam Tie Bottom.


Nicole Mason, photographer 

Nicole mason under beach shower in hakea bikini


How do you feel when you’re immersed in the ocean?   

I think it definitely depends on the time and place. Sometimes the ocean feels warm and inviting and playful to me, and other times it is extremely humbling and powerful. But in any instance, one of my favourite feelings when I’m in it, is adapting to what its rhythms are in the moment and feeling in-sync with its movements.  


When did water become part of your identity? 

Water was a part of my identity since I was really young, however the ocean came much later. I grew up in Western NY State, playing in the woods– creek-walking, canoeing in rivers, running in warm-summer-down-pour-rain, and swimming in lakes in the summer. When I moved to Oregon when I was 21, I fell in love with the rugged tree-lined coast and after a couple years in the city, I moved out to a small beach town, where I learned to surf and it has become an essential part of my lifestyle ever since. 


How long have you been connected with Hakea?

I’ve been connected with Hakea for a number of years now, ever since stumbling upon the brand on instagram! I love the colours and flattering silhouettes that Hakea’s suits have, and the fit + quality is noticeable, especially when surfing. The material stays in place so in summer I can go from surfing to laying out on the beach in the same suit. 


What does the ocean/water represent to you? 

The ocean, for me, represents balance, restoration, and life. Every time I get in to surf, I feel some sense of renewal or shift in energy, no matter how subtle it may be.


Nicole wears the Palma Top and Santiago Bottom in yucca.


Mia Francis, surfer 

Mia surfing in a blue hakea bikini that matches the blue sky behind her


How long have you been connected with Hakea?

I was 19 when asked if I would be interested in doing a surf photo shoot. Self conscious and slightly hesitant, I was also excited by the opportunity to be photographed in the water doing what I love, surfing. It was there I met Casey (Owner of Hakea) and Vicky (Photographer), these two women were so inclusive and made me feel supported and welcome. From that day I have worn Hakea and always feel comfortable in the styles and designs that are flattering and timeless. 


Do you have a deep and memorable ocean/water moment you can share?

The past year I have been so focused on improving my surfing that I have felt myself drifting away from really enjoying each moment while I’m in the water. Conscious of this my partner and I have been exploring other ways to spend time together in the water like snorkelling. A few weeks ago we were out at Wategos, the water was crystal clear, it was just Mitch and I, we put our snorkelling masks on and shared one pair of flippers and saw turtles, leopard sharks, colourful fish and a huge pod of dolphins. The moment was pure joy. 


How do you feel when you’re immersed in the ocean, or a fresh water hole?

Being in the ocean is always grounding, a refreshing swim is my reset when things get too much. It’s amazing how much of a difference swimming under a few waves can make to your mood. 


Why does Hakea feature in your water activities?

Being in the ocean, for me, is a place to be alone, be myself, to feel connected with nature but also to connect with myself. I love wearing Hakea in the ocean because I feel truly comfortable - I also wear Hakea day to day paired with my favourite jeans. 


Mia wears the Voyage Tri Top in cobalt.


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