Women At Work: Sage Larock A Sustainable Swimwear Brand That Recycles Plastic Fishing Nets

We’re kicking off our “Women At Work” series with LA-based model turned swimwear designer, Taryn Larock. Taryn is the founder and designer of SAGE LAROCK, a sustainable swimwear brand that recycles the ocean’s plastic into eco-friendly swimwear. She has some real insider facts about what it truly means to be sustainable in fashion and what you, as a consumer, should look out for when shopping for apparel products. Read on below to learn more about what this amazing lady is doing in the industry.

The word “sustainable” is trending in the fashion industry. What is your definition of sustainable fashion?

Taryn: That’s a great question. The term sustainable is used quite a lot, there is a lot of “green washing” going on in the fashion industry right now, and people are just not telling the truth about what’s going into the product. To me, sustainable means that your product is being made in the most conscious process possible. Brands need to take time to get their products certified so that they can present certifications that show ethical manufacturing.

There is already so much plastic on this Earth, and not to mention in the ocean. You know that you have to create more plastic to make performance wear and swimwear. Why would we do that? At Sage Larock we use the plastic that’s already in the ocean, and we recycle that into our swimwear material.

It’s important to note that consumers should be asking more questions. If a company is claiming to be eco-friendly, ask and get educated. Make sure these brands are paying their workers a fair wage. You’d be surprised because even if something says “Made in LA,” that doesn’t mean it was made in an ethical process.

Ethical Swimwear

Let’s backtrack a little bit. How did you transition from model to sustainable swimwear designer?

Taryn: I modeled in my past life, it wasn’t something that I wanted to do long-term, it was just something that worked at the time. I mostly modeled swimwear and really enjoyed the “behind-the-scenes” part of the job. Talking to photographers, directors and designers was always interesting for me. I got to understand how good swimwear should fit and I wanted to leverage that knowledge for something good and impactful.

What is the most toxic thing the fashion industry produces?

Taryn: Waste. Waste is the most toxic thing the fashion industry produces. Garments are burned every season because luxury fashion does not want to discount them. They don’t want their consumers to think that their expensive clothing pieces could be sold for a super discounted price. It’s also crazy to think that they don’t want to donate the clothing, they would rather burn it to get ride of it to make room for next season’s collection. The perception of what luxury is really needs to change. Just because something costs $10K doesn’t mean it’s not toxic. We are putting this toxicity into the air and filling up our landfills with endless amounts of clothing. In reality, this will take hundreds of years to properly breakdown and decompose. The industry is very wasteful because we have been pressured to consume.

Polyester and synthetic material is another huge toxin. It has many toxic chemicals embedded in it. When you wear polyester clothing and start sweating in it, your body heat releases these chemicals into the air and the toxins are absorbed by your skin. This is scary.

fast fashion is out

What are your thoughts on Fast-Fashion? Is it out?

Taryn: I think that we need to be more conscious holistically as a global society. Everyone wants to spend $10 on a t-shirt, but at what cost? Toxic chemicals, useless waste, slave labor, unethical manufacturing, it’s just not worth it. We need to get out of that mentality of buying something for one season, and learn to purchase slow fashion products, something that will last you for a very long time and that was made from materials that allow your skin to breathe and a product that supports someone’s family. Why not wear something that means something?

Sustainable Fashion

What is your Business Mantra?

Taryn: We want to dress women who want to change the world. Clothing isn’t going to change the world, the women who wear it will. As consumers, we have much more power than we know. We need to think about where we are investing our money and understand if this investment is impactful. What we say Yes or No to, influences many people around you and down the supply chain. 

What should consumers specifically look for in their fashion purchases?

Taryn: The power is in the hands of the consumers. A lot of people are saying they are sustainable but they are not. Look for what materials the product is using, have they been recycled, are they staying true to the artisans who made the products, who do they employ and under what conditions. Look out for certifications, to be honest, it’s safe to assume that something is not ethically produced if they are not certified or if they are not being transparent about how the products are being made. Look out for all of these things because you feel much better wearing something that’s not damaging the environment and helping someone support their family.

Taryn Larock

What is the future for SAGE LAROCK?

Taryn: We are collaborating with Sea Sheppard Conservation Society they do a lot of great work, direct action conservation to save marine animals, particularly from poachers. Together we’ve collected plastic fishing nets in Costa Rica and sent them to Italy (by boat) to produce fabric for a special collection of swimsuits for women. All profits made from that collection will go directly back to the organization. We are also launching lingerie made from certified organic materials dyed with botanicals.


We hope you enjoyed our interview with Taryn Larock, founder and designer of SAGE LAROCK, a sustainable swimwear brand that recycles the ocean’s plastic into eco-friendly swimwear. Be sure to check out her website for more information. As for Andeana Hats, you can a Shop Andeana Hats or learn more about our Intention Bands by clicking the links.