Interview with Zealous Clothing

Use code StillstokedxZealous to get 10% off all Zealous Clothing items


Zealous \ˈze-ləs\ means to be filled with or to be inspired by intense enthusiasm. That is exactly how I felt after this interview. In the foodie paradise of Canggu in Bali, I met the brains (& the beauty) behind Germany’s  Zealous Clothing.

Over a delicious fish burrito at Beatlenut Café, we shared stories on surfing, our love of Bali and of course surfing and bikinis! While we hadn’t necessarily agreed to meet for an interview, Marie and her marketing teammate Annika, were so damn impressive, I just started firing questions at them and got my notepad out! I left that day so inspired by their story. I adored her advice to others wanted to start their own bikini brand:


Don’t be lazy – do your own research!



Where it all started

When we met, Marie has been living the enviable Bali lifestyle for 2 years. But her love affair with the island and its textiles and manufacturing started while she was still at University, studying clothing engineering. In her 5th semester, she came to Bali for a term abroad. Inspired by the tailors on the side of the road she began to learn Indonesian.


The inspiration to start her own surf bikini brand was born from the familiar frustration we all feel when shopping for a bikini for the waves. None of them work!


On a night out on the way to Bali’s party-central Kuta, the taxi past a swimwear factory. Location commuted to memory, Marie went back the next day and that’s where it all began. Zealous’ first swimwear collection of 20 multi-size pieces, launched in 2014. Marie was still at University.


Bikini factories Balie
Inspired by the brand Patagonia, Marie puts a big emphasis on visiting the factories, making sure they earn enough & supporting local families.


Clothing manufacturing Bali
Every surf bikini and item from the urban streetwear collection embodies this effort and love of Bali.


Drive to create

Ambition to sew the seams of Bali and its rich textile industry didn’t just stop at learning the language. Marie found a 6-month internship at a local clothing manufacturing factory. This experience was to prove invaluable in the journey of building Zealous Clothing.


Back to school and back to designing from Germany. The next Zealous Clothing collection had 7 bikini tops and bottoms with the addition of one-pieces and surf leggings. Fast-forward 4 years after that first 2014 collection and Zealous Clothing is an established brand with surf-chic casual wear, beach wraps and other surfer girl essentials added to their collection of functional surf bikinis.


Use code StillstokedxZealous to get 10% off all Zealous Clothing items


Surfer Girls on a boat trip in Zealous Bikinis
The stunning blue print collection created in collaboration with artist Lerke Nennemann


Popular with the German and European surfer girls, Zealous Clothing’s best selling bikini is the Signature top in dark grey and orange, the Rip Tide wrap top in Marble and the Radical hipster bottom. Zealous has also done many cool collaborations with a number of interesting people and brands including surf bloggers (a capsule collection with Meerdavon), illustrator and artist Lerke Nennemann (creating the AMAZING blue-print collection), and even the water bottle manufacturer Kleen & Kanteen. Collaborations are a great excuse to exchange ideas and inspirations and create something new and exciting.


Surfer girls on a boat trip in Zealous Bikinis
Bali, a paradise island to dream up the perfect surf bikini.



So what does Marie wish she knew when she first started?

Don’t get so upset when something goes wrong especially when the colours don’t come out exactly as you hoped. Try to continue to work with how they are. Roll with it. It’s not the worst that can happen!


How about working in a different culture?

It can be hard when you try to explain how you think an issue can be solved. Sometimes they just don’t get it. In a different country, you have to be patient and persistent and remember that everything will be fine in the end. And don’t be lazy – do your own research!


Zealous Clothing streetwear
Not just surf bikinis but a range of city-chic streetwear


What’s next for Zealous Clothing?

We are going to start using recycled fabrics made from recycled fishing nets in our next surf bikini collection. There’s a small yoga collection in the pipeline that can also be used for surfing. Plus a collaboration with a German hat brand for a collection of winter hats.


Use code StillstokedxZealous to get 10% off all Zealous Clothing items.

You can see all of Marie’s designs at Zealous Clothing and can next with them across their social media channels

Instagram @ZelaousClothing

Facebook /Zealous.Clothing


Surf bikini review


Read more great interviews with other ladies that have made a career out of a dream lifestyle, or how Danielle at Salt Gypsy built the original indie surf label or Kendall at KOKOH Bikini.



Thanks so much for the chat over delicious coffee and burritos, Marie and Annika. I was buzzing for hours after meeting you two, so incredibly inspired by your drive, commitment, and can-do attitude. I can’t wait to test out one of your bikinis in the surf.


I hope everyone finds the same inspiration I found in this interview, to get out there and create something. Take the first step, you never know what could happen!


Hiya, I'm Alexa. Always on some sort of adventure! I'm excited to share my stories & introduce you to other rad women, also living the dream. I'm here to inspire you to do the same :-)


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