We began swimming in September of 2019 when we answered an Instagram invitation to swim in the Thames. With little idea of who we were meeting, we pulled up at a lay-by and nervously awaited the arrival of others. Seventeen women showed up - we giddily greeted each other on the side of the A417 and then, en masse, silently proceeded to mount a gate, cross a field and strip down to our swimmers riverside. Spurred on by our collective ambition not to let one another down, we slipped into the murky, fast flowing waters together. We squealed. We gasped. We panicked. Some of us cursed. We were exhilarated to our core, strangers united by bravery and folly. A WhatsApp group was created, we were swimming through winter.
We quickly discovered that the more we swam the more we needed to swim - we were hooked. It got to the point where we would subtly flash our swimsuits to each other under our jumpers at the school gates as a nod to "see you at the spot". "Could we swim here?" was our only thought when passing any body of water, no matter where we were, but as the frequency of our swims increased so too did our need to pack less. Swimming was something that we were fitting in between work and home obligations so we needed efficiency, minimal gear and, ideally, to look smart enough straight after a swim so that we could go into a meeting, head to the shops or just grab a coffee without looking like we had been dragged out of a hedge.
On a swimming holiday in Wales in 2020 we had to hike to many of the swim locations. We needed something lightweight and easy to move in and wanted warmth post swim without bulky layers and tons of kit. Clumsily pulling clothes onto damp bodies, while freezing and trying to dress with numb fingers was always the worst part of our swim. There had to be an easier way. When we emerged from the Afon Teifi and hurriedly clambered into a combination of thermal fleece and boiler suit layers, the idea for the suit was born.
Although initially designed with post swim ease and warmth in mind, we have since reached for our W Y L D I N G suit on many occasions - camping, SUP, post surf, chilly beach days, dog walks, sailing, gardening and for any outdoor spectator sports, festival or outdoor social event you can think of. If there is ever a time that you pop on a coat but wish you didn't look and feel like the Michelin man the W Y L D I N G suit is for you.
- Friends and co-founders, Daniela Bohling and Millie Dornan.