Embracing the rituals of self care, new Antipodean brand Baina creates organic cotton towels to elevate your bathroom (and beach) experience.
Life is busy, and many facets of our day can become perfunctory or routine. Baina challenges that notion, presenting our bathing time as something to relish and celebrate. Sustainability is becoming an increasing priority for many consumers, and it’s one of the brand’s cornerstones – Baina towels are made from 100 percent organic cotton and created by a family owned mill in Portugal. Impressed with their considered range of premium toweling with thoughtful provenance, we spoke to the brand’s founders Bailey Meredith and Anna Fahey about why soaking and swimming warrant a mindful approach.
What led you to create Baina?
We both found ourselves working in furniture and interiors in Melbourne. We quickly became fascinated with this industry and were drawn to the principles of working with products that were inclusive and carried purpose. We were fortunate to be a part of a brand that considered sustainability and environmental responsibility at the forefront of their business. We always knew we wanted to create something together and it was this experience that planted the seed for Baina.
Why is it important to celebrate bathing?
It’s important because sometimes it’s the only time we have to ourselves without screens or distractions. We use bathing as a chance to connect inward and check up on our well being.
What is it about a quality towel that is so special or indulgent?
Life today can be busy and hectic, and allowing time for self-care can seem indulgent for some, however, a simple shower can be the perfect opportunity to zone out and take time for yourself. Having a Baina towel to extend that moment of calm is worth the investment.
How long were you working on the brand before you brought it to market?
The conversation began back in early 2018, and our journey has been made up of many late nights and weekends researching manufacturers, reviewing design options, and discussing colour palettes.
What sets the brand and its products apart from other competitors?
While toweling can traditionally be neutral and not considered passed its functionality, Baina in its essence elevates an every-day object, through considered design and materiality. Being made by a GOTS certified manufacturer using 100% organic cotton, the Baina customer can be assured they are making a conscious purchase.
What are both of your backgrounds and how did you meet?
Anna: Bailey (below right) and I both have similar backgrounds working within the New Zealand fashion industry. Before moving to Melbourne I worked in sales with Justin and Juliet Souter from Marle and Bailey worked at Kate Sylvester for eight years. Bailey and I met over 18 years ago on the quad at Sacred Heart Girls College in Hamilton. As a boarder, I quickly became acquainted with Bailey’s amazing packed lunches that she would kindly share with me. We have been close ever since.
What are some tips that our readers can use to create a beautiful bathroom experience, both for the ritual of bathing and for creating a peaceful, functional bathroom space?
It’s a very personal space and one that should reflect the individual. But a good tip, before you begin your soak, is to tell your partner, house mate, or whoever it is you live with that you are having a bath and to give you space. That way you can know you won’t be interrupted. For me I like to light a candle and dim the lights, I’ll have a large glass of water and zone out to a podcast, I’m quite happy to be in there for up to an hour. For Bailey, she prefers to add essential oils or magnesium salts to soothe muscles and aid a good night’s sleep.
What are your favourite products to use alongside a Baina towel?
Sphaera Soap – a beautiful brand of bar soap hand made from natural ingredients, which smell incredible, made in Wellington.
What does a Baina towel bring to your beach experience?
Our Roman Pool Towel is fun and playful and is the ideal companion to landmark you on a crowded New Zealand beach. It’s the perfect size to stretch out on or sit with friends.
What is your favourite beach in New Zealand?
Anna: I was very fortunate to regularly spend time at Lake Tarawera as a child, more specifically down at Rangiuru Bay. For those who haven’t been, it’s a magical find, and to me, there’s nothing better than a fresh water swim.
Bailey: I love the beaches on my back doorstep. The fact we can be in the water within 20 minutes from leaving home is pretty special. This summer I plan to venture a little further and explore more of the North Island’s best-kept beaches.
Can you tell us more about your mill in Portugal? How did you find them and what were they like to work with?
They are a family-owned company and have been operating for over 40 years. They are extremely progressive in their approach to manufacturing and have developed certain dying technologies which minimise excessive waste, working towards a zero-waste circular economy. They also carry a number of different environmental certifications. It was important to us that the company we partnered with carried a similar ethos and social awareness. Bailey met with them in Germany earlier this year which allowed us to form a strong relationship and gain an in-depth understanding of their capabilities and quality.
Can you tell us about your GOTS cotton?
We use 100% organic cotton produced by a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified manufacturer, which is a global regulation of the organic cotton supply chain. We wanted our towels to have traceability and ensure that the raw materials used to make them were regulated from harvest through to manufacture.
What are your favourite pieces in the range and why?
Bailey’s is in flux, dependent on her mood. But currently very drawn to Hayes Bath Towel and Tama Hand Towel – the blue is very grounding. Anna’s have been the Clovelly Bath Towel and the Cove Hand Towel since conception. But neither of us can wait to put the Roman Pool Towel to good use this summer.
Who is the Baina person?
Baina is us, Baina is anyone who seeks to find calmness in their busy lives. The Baina customer appreciates good design and is a conscious consumer in today’s over-stimulated world.
If you could sum up Baina in one sentence, what would it be?
Baina celebrates daily bathing by elevating an everyday object that extends the moment of relaxation and sparks joy.