Introducing the dynamic sibling duo behind Fair Harbor Clothing, Caroline and Jake Danehy. Inspired by the beaches of Fire Island, these two created their line of boardshorts out of none other but recycled plastic bottles. Inspired by their favorite local beaches, (and the greater good of our planet) these two are recycling wellness in a whole new way. Here’s their story…
- Tell us about yourself and how life as you know it came to be.
Growing up in Westchester, NY, my family and I were fortunate enough to be an hour away from Fair Harbor, Fire Island – so naturally, our summers were spent on the beach. There are only a few rules of the island: no cars, no shoes, and hardly any clothing (just a bathing suit, of course). As we grew up, and our schedules became busier with sports, school, and other chaos, our trips out to the island became fewer, but our memories never faded. Fire Island was, and will always be, my “happy place”. However, over the years, we have started to notice more and more plastic waste appearing on the shores and in the ocean, and it really bothered me.
I will be a Sophomore at Colgate University this fall and my brother, Jake, just graduated from Colgate in May. As a Geography major, Jake learned a lot about resource allocation and overconsumption, and called me in spring of ’14 with an idea that he had to make a product that is both consumer and environmentally friendly. With our generation becoming more eco-conscious, we feel we have a responsibility to make a difference in the way people approach consumerism – and what better way to do it than by turning plastic bottles into boardshorts, connecting it with our childhood summers spent out in Fair Harbor. Within a few months Fair Harbor Clothing was born. While it definitely isn’t a glamorous process, we are very proud of how far we have come today.
In March 2016, we launched our second line, including seven new boardshort styles and five new shirts. Each of our boardshorts directly recycles 11 plastic bottles and all of our shirts are made form 100% organic cotton.
This whole adventure with Fair Harbor has been an incredible learning experience for us, and I feel so grateful to be a part of it. Wellness has always been a passion of my ours, so by the nature of our healthy lifestyle, those ideals have seamlessly become embedded into our brand. For example, this upcoming weekend we will be selling Fair Harbor at the Nantucket Yoga Festival!
2. What’s something you overcame and how?
I always dreamed about playing college lacrosse since I was a little girl, however, my body had other plans for me; I started to develop chronic stress fractures in both of my shins in 8th grade. During the summer going into my junior year of high school I was diagnosed with my 6th set of stress fractures and had to hang up my cleats for good. Lacrosse had been a part of my identity since I was 5 and all of a sudden it was gone. However, over time I started to realize that where one door closes another opens. Since I couldn’t do any activity that required running – or fast walking for that matter – and I started practicing yoga. Slowly, I began to develop a deep passion for it. I became more aware of my body and my confidence started coming back. I believe feeling confident starts from within and then radiates outward, and I found that yoga was the perfect environment for me to work on my inner self, while still exercising my body in a way that didn’t harm it.
Since then I have wanted to get my yoga certification, and this spring, I realized that there was no time like the present. I found a yoga studio about 10 minutes away with a summer teacher training and signed up for it. I started my training in May and it has been one of the most amazing, liberating and self-confidence building experiences I have had. One of the most incredible aspects of my training so far is realizing how much power we have over our thoughts, our bodies, and our energy.
3. What is your favorite recipe? workout? Favorite weekend activity? Favorite part of the business?
I try to practice moderation on a daily basis, something I believe that is key to a healthy lifestyle; which includes everything from the food I nourish my body with to how I move. Cooking is one of my favorite activities, and I love spending time in the kitchen with my mom preparing meals. That being said, when I was seven my family and I took a trip out to Jackson Hole, WY, where I quickly became conscious that the meat that I was eating was once living. While I wanted to be a vegetarian, my parents needed to make sure that I ate enough protein since I was so young, so I agreed to eat chicken and fish. Over the years I have dedicated a lot of time toward food, and learning about nutrition; I think it’s incredibly interesting. I have so many foods/recipes that I love– such such as spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs, salmon & lentils, and of course blueberry pancakes because who doesn’t?!
My favorite workout is a really great core yoga class and a long walk with my mom, sister and dog on a beautiful sunny day. I try to get outside as much as I can and move – especially in the summer!
My favorite part of Fair Harbor is definitely working with my brother on something that we both are so dedicated to. We have spent countless hours working on it together and it is incredible to see all of the progress that we have made.
4. As young entrepreneurs, business owners, students, and part of the Hamptons (Fire Island) community, etc. how do you maintain balance in your life?
Scheduling is key to balance because it helps me keep track of my daily responsibilities. Without it, I tend to get overwhelmed. However, since Jake and I are so passionate about the work that we are doing most of the time it doesn’t feel like “work”.
5. Any great healthy/balance tips for other busy folks?
Moderation and mapping out my upcoming week are two lifestyle tips that really help me. Fair Harbor and my yoga certification definitely consume a lot of my time this summer, so finding time to relax is hard sometimes but definitely necessary!
6. What food items do you always have?
My favorite breakfast lately has been an omelet (one whole egg, two egg whites), sautéed onions, spinach, peppers – topped with fresh salsa and hot sauce. Other food items I always have are: green tea and peanut butter Think Thin bars (they taste like Snickers!).
7. What is your favorite indulgence? (can be edible or not)
My favorite indulgence is being at the beach reading a really good book.
8. How do you make health a priority in your home/life?
I believe that we have complete control over our health and how we treat our bodies – a concept that is so powerful, yet most people take for granted. Therefore, how we nourish, rest and move our bodies is extremely important, so I always make my health a priority. Sleep is also a key part of my wellness routine. I know that when I am tired I don’t function as well – trust me, ask my brother!
9. What is your FAVORITE thing about the Fire Island? Favorite place? Favorite memory?
Remarkably, no matter how much time passes, Fire Island always remains the same. I have countless childhood memories taking outdoor showers, jumping off the lifeguard stand and early morning fishing adventures. Almost every morning, we would all go down to the dock around 7 am, before most people were awake, and fish for snapper with bamboo poles. After fishing, we took the fish back to the house and made snapper and eggs. These were the simple joys of living on the island for the summer – something that makes me smile every time I think back to those days. With each decision that we make with Fair Harbor, we think back to our childhood memories, in effort to recreate the lifestyle with our brand.
One Healthy Breakdown: You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.