Seea - A Swimwear Company with an Eco MissionOct 13, 2021 11:38AM ● By Rebecca Parsons
by Rebecca Parsons
Born in Italy but raised in Brazil, Amanda Chinchelli arrived in the states via San Francisco before eventually landing in San Clemente in 2009. Enticed by warmer water and the chance to surf the town’s iconic waves, Chinchelli was excited to land in the southern California oasis. As she left behind the thick neoprene that was required of the northern portion of the state, she began surfing in a swimsuit more frequently and was disappointed that suits geared towards female surfers didn’t take into account form or function. So, she set out to create her own.
During a surf trip to Costa Rica, she tested her prototype, which was a hybrid long sleeve suit. Today, the design is regularly regarded as a surf suit but at the time, there was nothing like it on offer from local surf brands. Chinchelli quickly fell in love with the suit due to the fact that it was practical for movement and offered sun protection while still being fashionable-the suit would become the archetype for Seea.
In 2011, Chinchelli launched Seea and began sewing suits in her garage. She designed suits specifically catered towards women, valuing the elegance, athleticism, and aesthetic of surfing. The goal was to provide women with a suit that connected them to themselves, their community, and the planet.
“Surfing is the DNA of our brand,” says Chinchelli. “Surfing has and will always be our platform-it dictates our designs, expands our community, and sparks personal joy for every individual involved.”
Seea has a mix of suits on offer including one-piece swimsuits, bikinis, surf suits, spring suits, and surf apparel, so there’s something for everyone. Their style is an elegant mix of retro-modern shapes blended with contemporary colors and prints, giving them a completely unique look.
“Our community is the heartbeat of Seea,” says Chinchelli. “We design for a vast range of women from all age groups, surf levels and backgrounds. We use many of these real water women as our models-they are reflected in all we do, the suits we create, the content we share, and the stories we tell”.
While many surf brands only cater to petite surfers, Seea’s line is more inclusive. Not only do the suits fit a wider range of body types, the unique cut and shape of the suits work to accentuate the beautiful curves of a women’s body. And while Seea was originally designed for women, they recently added a men’s line in an effort to be more inclusive-34 the line includes surf-ready swim shorts and shirts.
From the first prototype suit in Costa Rica, the goal was to create meaningful garments that have a purpose behind their existence. As such, Seea is continually working to improve their manufacturing process and makes every effort to better their practices each season to work towards a more symbiotic relationship between the supply chain and nature.
Roughly 70% of a product’s environmental impact occurs during the manufacturing process, so the team at Seea is committed to bettering their process wherever possible. In an effort to be eco-friendly and as a way to ensure quality control, all of Seea’s suits are manufactured within a 70-mile radius of their headquarters in San Clemente. The company also proudly incorporates the latest recycled materials into both their swim and apparel line, which includes Repreve, Econyl yarn, and Recover.
Repreve is a recycled polyester that is made from post-consumer plastic bottles. Econyl yarn is a 100% regenerated nylon fiber that is assembled from discarded fishing nets and nylon waste. Lastly, Recover is a fabric that is made from upcycled cotton and polyester that is gathered from fabric scraps and discarded clothing.
One of the advancements Seea is most proud of is their use of Yulex in the wetsuits. They use a FSC certified plantation that produces a natural rubber replacement in lieu of neoprene, resulting in a line of warm, flexible, and sustainable wetsuits. While Chinchelli acknowledges that the brand is far from perfect nor are they 100% sustainable, they are continually striving to do better and make their footprint as light as possible.
“San Clemente has a rich surf history and tight nit community,” says Chinchelli. “There is no doubt that our anchorage here has helped inspire the culture we’ve created, much of which was the initial inspiration to Seea’s conception. We feel blessed to call this place home.”
Looking forward, Chinchelli plans to continue designing eye-catching suits with a commitment to protecting the environment. Her goal is to create surf and swimwear that the community can wear as a means of joy and self-expression. Surfing has been and always will be the heart of Seea and Chinchelli is proud to have created a brand that allows women to follow their passions.