Tuulikki NYC

Designed in Rockaway and made in New York City, Tuulikki NYC launched from the heart of the Rockaway female surf community. Named after a mythical Finnish goddess responsible for safeguarding the harmony between man and nature, the brand is built upon the idea of equilibrium and is committed to delivering high performance surfwear and serving the environment in equal measure. Tuulikki NYC makes premium sun-safe, earth-friendly, high-performance active swim and surf-wear. Each piece has been expertly and ethically crafted to function like a second skin in the water and as a company is dedicated to finding sustainable solutions at every level of the business and supply chain.

Tuulikki designs into the niche of active swimwear because this is where women aren’t being served. Tuulikki adopts a layered, “more than a bikini, less than a wetsuit” approach to swimwear, with considered detail afforded at every point of each garment’s life cycle. Using the highest quality, environmentally responsible fabrics, Tuulikki has partnered with the most cutting edge New York based manufacturers to deliver premium surf apparel to a broader demographic of female surfers currently served by the US market.

Founder Helena Dunn explains her motivation behind starting the brand: “Having such a deep respect for the strength and skill of female surfers I was appalled at the blatant sexism and objectification that women have to contend with in their sport.  My specialism is design and so I felt that’s where I’m able to be a social activist of sorts and by creating Tuulikki I knew we could help change the way that female surfers are represented. Furthermore I found there was really a minimal amount of attention going into women's surfwear design and as a surfer myself I was tired of having to pop a boob back in post wipe-out! This was an opportunity to double down on our mission of change as by creating high performance surfwear we can further empower women as they confidently engage in their sports without any fear of a suit malfunction.

As an eco-minded designer with full knowledge that fashion is the second largest polluting industry in the world, I do wrestle with the issue that making anything in mass quantities does have an impact on the environment. But here’s the thing, I BELIEVE in design and it's capacity for creating great change, I believe in progress and using technology for good to rid us of backward products that aren't consciously produced. I think the ability to envision and create new things that never existed is one of the most beautiful gifts humans possess and that we are extraordinary in that capacity but .. there is a price, and restraint in the design process has never been more important than now. 

So when developing this brand we rectified this split, by saying; Yes, as humans we need to safeguard this planet and consume as little as possible, but we also need to be able to surf, enjoy nature and live our lives. As the current women's surf wear on the market is simply not doing its job, let’s start shifting industry standards and really focus on excellent design.  With this mission, the design process for this brand is very restricted .. in a good way. We only use sustainable, recycled fabrics, we only work with mills that have the best eco practices, we only work with ethical factories that are local to the markets we serve, we only make things we truly believe need to exist and we always (regardless of profit), use a portion of sales to donate to environmental non-profits who are fighting for our planet every day. As a company we strive to make bikini sets and surf suits that are good for different body types and ages, providing a range of coverage and protection depending on the surfer’s individual needs. The line is a simple curation of essential pieces that will last for years and years. Minimalist, timeless, durable and highly functional but without the athletic trappings you might find in ‘sporty’ swimwear.”

Tuulikki NYC cares about our communities: the ones we surf in, the ones where our clothes are made, the ones that buy our gear and of course the big picture ‘world community’. Their wearers literally submerge themselves in nature, therein strengthening their connection to the natural world and embracing their responsibility to look after it. That is why the brand:

  • works with innovative recycled fabrics: high performance Italian-made technical fabrics that are constructed from 78% Econyl, a 100% regenerated polyamide fiber from post-consumer materials (ghost fishing nets etc), and 22% LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™. Due to this innovative fiber combination, the fabrics have been tested to be two times more resistant to chlorine, suntan creams and oils than competitors' fabrics. 

  • uses only sublimation printing, which uses less energy and less water than other methods and never use toxic dyes or chemicals. 

  • domestic manufacturing: adding long legs of transportation to a supply chain bumps up the carbon footprint of a product. Since currently only the US is served, all of the manufacturing takes place in New York City. 

  • offers a 12-month complimentary repair service: the life-cycle of a garment is something Tuulikki NYC pays a lot of attention to as disposable fashion is a huge environmental issue. It’s important that products last a long time and stay out of the landfill, so this is addressed on two levels: Firstly, the garment fabric and construction are premium quality and made to last. Secondly, the offer of a complimentary repair service should anything get damaged within 12 months of purchase.

  • is a ‘1% For the Planet’ certified company and a ‘100% For the Planet’ minded business. From the start they wanted to donate 1% of sales, regardless of profitability to Environmental non-profits and they have started working with Surfrider to develop their giving strategy and maximize impact. ‘1% for the Planet is a global organization that connects dollars and doers to address the most pressing issues facing our planet. Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, the organization has given more than $150 million to environmental nonprofits to date. The founders - successful entrepreneurs who grew thriving businesses - understood that they were not alone in being committed to protecting the environment and giving back to our global community. 

Based: New York, USA.

Ships to: Currently USA, but that is going to change next year.

Products: High performance, sustainable surf and swimwear that has been crafted to function like a second skin in the water.

Mission: To offer beautiful, sustainable and expertly crafted surf and swimwear for all women that empower the wearer and inspire a deeper connection with nature. Our brand is built upon the idea of equilibrium and is committed to delivering exceptional products and serving the environment in equal measure.

Vision: Tuulikki exists to encourage women to connect with their bodies and nature – to feel that sense of oneness. I created this brand not because I think people should buy more stuff but rather because I want to get more women in the water and to create suits that could better serve those experiences. Surfing and being immersed in that feeling creates a virtuous circle where you feel a responsibility to take care of this beautiful planet. If more people felt like this on a weekly or daily basis, I’m confident we would see big positive change in people’s consumer habits and healthier lifestyles all around.

URL: http://www.tuulikkinyc.com