I write this with a heavy heart but it’s time to say that Cecile Swim has lived out its purpose for me (Charlotte) and I will be closing up shop. Firstly, I’d like to thank YOU for your never ending support. Cecile Swim wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for the support of this loving community. Not many people know this but I started Cecile Swim in my university dorm room, during my first year of my bachelors degree in 2016. It had been at the back of my mind for about a year up till that point, and one day I got up and decided, I was going to do it - Cecile Swim was going to be my source of creative outlet. I never would have expected how beautiful this journey would be when I started. In 2017, I launched my first born and the Cecile Swim community started to grow. It had been an interesting adventure balancing full-time studies, building Cecile Swim within a 40 hours per fortnight restriction (I live in Australia on a student visa), social and love life, battling grief, anxiety and depression but it was all WORTH IT. From that first sale on the 11th of November 2017, up till now. All the stress and anxiety that comes with running a business is and has always been worth it. The constant learning and growing will always be invaluable. Along the way I met the most AMAZING and INSPIRING human beings that I doubt I’d ever have had the chance to meet if not for Cecile Swim. I found my passion in photography and co-created WA Ethical Collective (WAEC), both outlets that I have so much love for. I soon realised that photography is my true outlet for creativity and that WAEC is the platform for me to speak freely about ethical and sustainable fashion with the community. At the end of 2019, I graduated university, I had spent a good amount of the year designing a collection that was meant to launch in 2020. I was ready to embark on this journey “full-time” (still within 40 hours per fortnight), but soon after, COVID-19 hit and the world shut down. I took it as a sign for myself to take a break too, I had just graduated and had been running Cecile Swim for over 2 years at that point. I was simply BURNT OUT. I had hit a wall in more ways than one and my mental health took the biggest hit. Naturally, I took a few months to slow down and look inwards. After which, I launched the Taurus capsule collection and since then have been working on a brand new collection (I had scrapped the last) to launch in 2021. During the numerous delays in sampling, I started to question Cecile Swim’s purpose - what was its PURPOSE for me personally? Amongst many things like building a beautiful community to visual story-telling and raising awareness for ethical and sustainable fashion, I had hoped for it to be a source of income in the long run. That’s when I realised that, amongst all the amazing and ambitious goals I had, the underlying purpose was not enough for me. (Disclaimer: yes, a source of income is so important, but for own my personal values, it simply was not enough). Upon further reflection, my mission to raise awareness for ethical and sustainable fashion and my love for story telling had manifested into two separate avenues in my life - Cecile Creative, my photography platform and WAEC, our ethical clothing and textile community. That’s when I realised, Cecile Swim HAS lived out its purpose for me, it may not have been the initial purpose I had set out for, but it has given me so much more than I could have ever asked for. So, this left me with - does Cecile Swim still align with my values, the person I’ve grown to become. In many ways yes, but there are things that no longer align with my values the more I learn and grow. From an ethical standpoint, I could no longer say 100% that my brand is ethical, unless I was more involved in the process of making the swimwear and unfortunately, my current skillset ends at the design process. I have been to the manufacturers multiple times to be able to say for sure that they do produce ethically and the tailors work in a safe working condition. However, for me, that wasn’t enough. From a sustainability standpoint, I knew I had to be involved in the patterning process, amongst other things. This is where all the off-cuts are measured and a truly sustainable company will go back to their drawing board if they realised that there is a large amount of off-cuts, something that had been important for me from the start. These are all things that I doubt I would have learnt about the fashion industry if I hadn’t been in it. Thus, I spent weeks after weeks re-evaluating my life goals, constantly checking-in to see if it aligns with my ultimate purpose in life. Since then, I’ve received my 2021 samples and had to make a decision, and it’s sad to say but, I will be saying goodbye to Cecile Swim, at least for now - who knows what the future holds, not me - that’s for sure. To thank you for your support!