These Maldivian Brands are Heralding a New Future for Local Swimwear
Up until a few years ago, Maldivian made swimwear was almost an unheard of concept in our humble island home. Considering the tourists flocking to our famed beaches by the millions every year, and not to mention the unparalleled artistry of our local populace, it's astounding that it's taken us this long to come up with garment designs of our own.
Nevertheless, a couple of brands have recently popped up to fill this great big gap in the market. By fusing together high quality tailoring with a distinctly Raajje' aesthetic, these brands have undoubtedly made a mark on the industry, paving the way for even more sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives to come.
Founded in 2015, Kandumathi is the brainchild of two siblings Yasra and Yusree. Although the brand was initially thought of as a fun, light-hearted endeavour, it soon turned into an active business venture when the both of them realized its true market potential. Work then began on developing wholesale collections for the masses; the inimitable swimwear pieces you see by Kandumathi today have all been created collaboratively with various Maldivian visual artists.
The first and arguably most popular collection, features three universal designs: Kashikeyo (screwpine fruit), Kakuni (crab), and Dhiggaamaa (sea hibiscus). The second draws inspiration from seashells, albeit slightly more abstract in form. Designs in both collections feature watercolour paintings done by Nadee Rachey.
As has always been their philosophy, Kandumathi aims to keep working with local artists to produce an even more eclectic mix of swimwear in the future. They also hope to combine sustainability into their designs one day, by introducing environmentally friendly pieces to their ever-growing range.
Funoas was officially launched in July of 2016, the very first day of the Funoas nakaiy. As an eco-friendly clothing brand, Funoas aspires to use art and design to create awareness about the pressing issue of global warming that threateningly looms over our vulnerable archipelago. As the Funoas nakaiy never fails to deliver heavy rain and rough seas during the Hulhan'gu monsoon, it seems an apt choice of name to stir conversation about sea level rise and climate change, a conversation that must be had in point of fact, to protect the livelihoods of our people.
Two collections have been created by Funoas, both of which were inspired by the vibrant patterns of exotic sea creatures observed while scuba diving in the Maldives. Apart from swimwear, the label also offers garments such as T-shirts, crop tops and leggings.
When creating new clothing, Funoas constantly strives to hit that sweet spot between quality, affordability and sustainable design; as of right now, their products are available in the Maldives and Australia.