THIS IS ME

A REG­U­LAR IN­SIGHT INTO SUN­SHINE COAST PER­SON­AL­I­TIES

Life & Style Weekend - - Q&A - OCEANZEN BIKINI FOUNDER STEPH GABRIEL

Steph Gabriel is a Sun­shine Coast swimwear de­signer and ocean con­ser­va­tion­ist. Af­ter study­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence at the Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast, Steph was one of the first to re­lease a sustainabl­e swimwear line made com­pletely from re­cy­cled plas­tic sourced from the ocean. Her brand Oceanzen Bikini has be­come a pi­o­neer for sustainabl­e cloth­ing in the fash­ion in­dus­try ever since. Steph also runs en­vi­ron­men­tal re­treats in Tonga, in­tro­duc­ing oth­ers to the beauty of the ocean in the hope her con­ser­va­tion mes­sage will spread even fur­ther.

Favourite time of day and why 1

Sun­set, but more so the “af­ter sun-set” when the sun has al­ready gone down and it’s left be­hind all the raw bright and pas­tel colours. I love this time of day be­cause it’s usu­ally a time of wind­ing down, re­lax­ation and al­ways feels so­cial in some way.

What ex­cites you? 2

Swim­ming with whales, sea li­ons, stingrays, sharks. All kinds of ma­rine life. Hav­ing raw mo­ments with ma­rine life, feel­ing a sen­sa­tion of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing as you gaze into each other’s eyes, it’s truly a re­mark­able feel­ing.

Favourite sport - player or spectator? 3

Scuba div­ing, it al­ways feels amaz­ing breath­ing un­der­wa­ter.

Best child­hood mem­ory 4

Spend­ing time at my grandma’s house. She would al­ways look af­ter me while Mum was at work and we would go to the river and try catch tad­poles to­gether.

Where were you born? 5

Syd­ney.

Where would you like to hol­i­day? 6

Would love to go to Bora Bora or the Mal­dives, or back to the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands where I spent most of 2014.

Cats or dogs? Do you have a pet? 7

I am a crazy dog lover. Ev­ery time I am in a third-world coun­try I al­ways carry some dog food with me and try feed as many street dogs as pos­si­ble.

Who are your he­roes? 8

My grandma and my mum.

Dream job 9

My sustainabl­e swimwear la­bel Oceanzen is my dream job, and I love see­ing it grow ev­ery year. The dream would be to have a global team man­ag­ing it for me whilst I travel across the globe re­search­ing and swim­ming with all kinds of ma­rine life. That’s my long-term goal.

What will you be do­ing in 10 years? 10

Trav­el­ling a lot and hope­fully still inspiring a global move­ment to­wards a more sustainabl­e ocean, liv­ing out the back of the Sun­shine Coast on a lit­tle slice of acreage with some farm an­i­mals and plenty of dogs.

What’s the best thing about liv­ing on 11 the Sun­shine Coast?

The com­mu­nity and the life­style that ev­ery­one lives. The com­mu­nity is so sup­port­ive and so­cial, re­laxed and wel­com­ing. A lot of peo­ple that live here are from all over Aus­tralia and it’s al­ways amaz­ing to hear what draws peo­ple here, which is the easy go­ing and re­laxed life­style.

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