THIS IS ME
A REGULAR INSIGHT INTO SUNSHINE COAST PERSONALITIES
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
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.