Tea Time with Sustainable Swimwear Founder Steph Gabriel

January 18, 2017

Tea Time with Sustainable Swimwear Founder Steph Gabriel

Welcome to Tea Time with kkao Co. where we get to know our favourite foodies, health & wellness gurus, ethical & sustainability advocates, inspirational souls and all-round cacao lovers.
This week, we sat down for a cuppa with Steph Gabriel of sustainable swimwear label OceanZen Bikini. So brew a pot of your favourite chocolate tea and join us!

Creator of OceanZen Bikini Steph Gabriel is an avid ocean-lover who discovered her passion whilst living abroad. From handling wild stingrays in the Cayman Islands Caribbean, to researching sharks in the Galapagos Islands, Steph learned very quickly the human threats that faced our environment and oceans with marine debris being a major cause of destruction. Naturally, this led her to study a university degree in Environmental Marine Science upon her return to Australia in order for her to create her own voice for conservation.

Her passion for marine conservation and the clear urgency to increase sustainability is what led her to create her own sustainable brand 3 years ago, OceanZen.

OceanZen is a lifestyle swimwear label, using a unique and sustainable fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing net fibres from the ocean. Although this sounds strange, it is a very innovative and exciting creation for the sustainability of our oceans.

OceanZen is not just about bikinis. Through Steph’s experience in marine conservation, the brand also raises awareness for current issues that face our earth. Research shows that only 1 in 5 plastic bottles actually get recycled after single use and every second approximately 1,500 plastic bottles end up either in the ocean or in waste landfills.

The sustainable brand is making waves amongst the fashion, science and business industries. In 2016, OceanZen won the Ethical and Sustainability award at Sunshine Coast Fashion Week and was also nominated as top 5 finalist for Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

OceanZen bikinis are a sustainable, innovative and creative way of supporting the cause for a clean ocean and re-creating discarded plastic bottles and fishing nets into the softest, highest quality lycra swimwear.

It's not just about cheeky, functional, stylish and eye catching bikinis with OceanZen. It's also about an environmentally conscious brand and dream to combine both passions; marine conversation and swimwear together.

Saving the ocean one bikini at a time!

Go-to morning beverage?
Every morning I must have a warm glass of water with a wedge of lemon to kick start my digestive system.

What inspires you?
The ocean, nature, great books for self development and some incredible humans that are truly making a difference in our world either for the environment or humanity.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to healthy living?
I like to say everything in moderation, only my interpretation of ‘moderation’ might be very different to someone else’s. I love my chocolate treats, and I have a sensational sweet tooth. Pretty much after every meal when I have savory I must have a little sweet something haha.

The one healthy treat you can’t live without?
I love a good raw brownie. Infact, just talking about it right now is making my taste buds squirm with excitement!!

How do you relax and spend your ‘me’ time?
Late last year I did an online course to teach me to meditate, I can’t express enough how much meditation has truly transformed my life in just a few short months. Dedicating 20 minutes to my complete self everyday (or when I can) truly does wonders for the soul!

Where’s your ideal coffee date?
An amazing local place on the Sunny Coast called the The Velo Project :)

Is it OK to eat chocolate for breakfast?
Everyone says no….. BUT I SAY YES :)

Dark or milk chocolate?
I have always been a milk chocolate kind of gal….. until one of my friends introduced me to dark sea salt chocolate… oh how my life has changed. I won’t ever go back to sweetened, unnatural chocolate now that I have been shown this haha.

What’s your favourite recipe that uses cacao?
RAW BROWNIES!!! So so good, with dates, nuts, coconut oil and cacao with a little bit of honey. I once ate the whole batch (To be defence I was told it was healthy)…. What I didn’t realise that it is a healthy alternative and only in small doses haha.

Get social with Steph:
Website: www.oceanzenbikini.com | Facebook: @oceanzenbikini | Instagram: @oceanzen_bikini | Twitter: @oceanzenbikini

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