Our oceans are the planet’s lifeblood. Critical for the planet’s health, the sea is also critical for our health. On a big scale, they feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. On a smaller scale, they support our physical and mental health – through physical activity, reducing stress, socialising and being outdoors in nature. In fact, being by the sea is so good for your health it can be now prescribed by your doctor.
But it’s not just about taking health benefits from the sea. We need to develop a reciprocal relationship – one where we give back. So, how can we show our love for the ocean?
The Victorians made ‘getting the sea air’ popular. And they were on to something – you don’t even have to get into the sea to enjoy its health-giving properties.
The University of Exeter did an experiment where they got three groups of menopausal women on exercise bikes to do the same workout. The first group cycled in front of a blank wall, the second group had a projected view of a forest to look at, and the third group had a projection of the sea. Researchers found that the third group not only worked out harder, they also enjoyed the workout more and reported greater feelings of satisfaction. So, walking, cycling, jogging by the sea is more satisfying than anywhere else because of those amazing blue views.
Plenty of us love getting into the sea, though. Swimming, paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, the cold water and being on the waves is fun and invigorating. Being outdoors, floating in the water, learning something new – the sea takes being active to a different level. It invigorates, refreshes and helps us feel better about life and about ourselves.
“Three months after finishing chemotherapy I went on a surf trip,” says Ameera. “Looking back, I think ‘what was I doing?’ ‘Why would you do that?’. But at the time it had felt like I’d been stuck inside for so long because of chemotherapy. I had cabin fever and so it was a bit of escapism. I was no good at surfing but I didn’t care. It was beyond enough to think ‘wow, I’m in the sea. I’m meeting people, I’m getting outside. I’m alive’.”
A huge part of that joy is that the sea offers opportunities to socialise. There’s something about being focussed on an activity together, in sharing an experience that makes socialising easier and rewarding. Ability doesn’t matter either – the sea is bigger and stronger than us all and in that challenging environment, the emphasis is on supporting one another and cheering each other on.
What to do:
Connect with nature
People who love being in, on and by the sea love that immediate connection with the natural world. Even if you are in an urban space, you go to the beach, hear the gulls and the waves, breathe in the sea air and feel the sand or pebbles beneath your feet and feel instantly revived.
“It’s my go to for my peace in myself, for helping me develop self-love and gratitude, for helping me to appreciate my life and being healthy,” says Brighton sea swimmer, Deb. “Anyone can do it and I really think the immediate contact with the natural world it gives you is like nothing else. After a sea swim I feel immense.”
Over lockdown, that connection with nature became a lifeline for many people. So much so that it triggered new research into why being in nature is so good for our health and wellbeing. Interestingly, it also showed that our connection with nature had benefits for the environment too, as people who enjoy the natural world feel more incentivised to help protect it.
This research shows that the more connected with nature we are, the happier and more worthwhile we feel about life. This comes from the positive emotions it generates, such as calmness, joy, creativity and better concentration. And this connection promotes more environmentally friendly behaviour like reducing plastic use, recycling or buying seasonal food.
What to do:
Look after the environment
What about our reciprocal relationship with the sea? Our planet is in trouble because humankind has a habit of taking resources like oil and fish and not giving back. And we’ve all seen those distressing pictures of sea creatures caught in plastic.
“There are five large Garbage Patches around the world and the Indian Ocean Garbage Patch is the 3rd biggest at over 5 million kilometres squared. It’s essentially a massive gyre of litter suspended in the water column and consists of an array of different waste: discarded fishing gear, plastics, chemical sludge and other debris,” says Francesca, founder of Love The Oceans. “Whilst a lot of this trash is believed to come from developing nations, we (the UK) actually export a lot of our waste to these nations which then ends up in the ocean so a lot of it actually comes down to us in the UK changing our habits.”
So, it’s more important than ever that we think about how we give back to the ocean environment. We already know that people who are connected with nature are more inclined to look after it, so actually, encouraging and supporting each other to enjoy time in, on and by the sea is an important part of protecting it.
When you’re at the beach or sea front, you can ensure you’re accountable for your own behaviour by picking up any rubbish you find and making sure you don’t leave anything behind. On a bigger scale, your behaviour as a consumer has an impact – reducing your carbon footprint and use of single-use plastic, making sustainable seafood choices and supporting charities like Love The Oceans.
What to do:
We've developed our unique Muse Measurement sizing system to offer a comfortable, sleek and sculpting fit, whatever your shape or size.
We know that no two “size 12” bodies are the same, so our sizing is tailored to three different body shapes:
Step One: Pick your usual UK dress size from 8-20.
Step Two: Pick your bust size based on our Muse Measurements system:
|BRA CUP SIZE||AA - B||C - E||F - HH|
So if you typically wear a UK size 14 and wear a 34A bra, you’d order a 14 Hepburn. Likewise if you’re a UK size 10 and wear a 30F bra, you’d order a 10 Hendricks.
All our pieces are designed to offer stretch. However, if you’re in between sizes we recommend sizing up.
If you are very long in the body, we also recommend going up a dress size to offer additional length.
Our Swimbras & Swim Crops are designed to fit snugly so that you feel 100% secure as you move. We have developed a precise Bikini Sizing System to help you identify your correct size.
|BIKINI TOP SIZING||Cup Size|
Band Size (inches)
|26-28||8 Hepburn||8 Monroe||8 Hendricks|
|28-30||10 Hepburn||10 Monroe||10 Hendricks|
|30-32||12 Hepburn||12 Monroe||12 Hendricks|
|34-36||14 Hepburn||14 Monroe||14 Hendricks|
|38-40||16 Hepburn||16 Monroe||16 Hendricks|
|42-44||18 Hepburn||18 Monroe||18 Hendricks|
All our knickers come in standard UK dress sizes from size 8 - 18.
We currently offer all bikinis in sizes 8-18 and all swimsuits in sizes 8-20.
We are very aware that our size range is still relatively limited. We’re a small independent brand, and have focused initially on offering a highly comprehensive and effective set of products to women who wear dress sizes 8-20.
However we are very responsive to demand. If you would like to see more sizes in different types of products please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear from you.
For example, when we first launched back in June 2017 we tested customer demand for our products in sizes 8-16. So many of you got in touch to say that you were interested in our swimwear but needed larger sizes that within six months we expanded our size range up to UK size 20. We're really listening to you.
Any questions or want to check your size in more detail? Get in touch via email@example.com.