Innovative Newcastle swimwear business gets fruity


Swimwear made from banana peels and pineapple skins.

It might sound far-fetched but, for Novocastrian Hayley Ianna, it’s a dream not far from becoming reality.

Through her Newcastle-based small business Class of 84 Clothing, Hayley is hoping to create a range of boardshorts, activewear, and swimwear made entirely from recycled materials.

“By the end of 2021 we hope to have a range of activewear made from fruit peels,” she said.

“We have factories in Indonesia and Melbourne, and our Melbourne factory is currently experimenting with a range of different fruits.”

Hayley says the peels are ground into powder and interwoven with cotton and polyester to create a fabric.

“We’ve had no luck with orange peel, but so far pineapple and banana are both working well.”

Those who know her are well aware that Hayley won’t give up until she succeeds.

The driven entrepreneur has proven she can cram a lot into a year.

Returning to her hometown of Newcastle in 2018 after living and working in New York for several years, the Speers Point resident also had a baby, started a business, and renovated a home within 12 months.

Not one to take a break after some major life changes, she is now on a mission to source new products to make her clothing range, vowing to close her business by 2030 if she has not successfully sourced fully-sustainable production practices.

“We’re looking at making our whole range from food scraps,” she said.

“In 2020 alone, we made enough swimwear to remove 100,000 plastic bottles from landfill.”

Launched in 2018, Class of 84 Clothing is the product born off the back of an unsuccessful shopping attempt.

“Or maybe my expectations were too high,” Hayley says.

Following the birth of her son in April 2018, Hayley searched the city for a pair of matching board shorts for her husband and then-five-month-old baby.

The gift was to mark her husband’s first Father’s Day.

“I wanted matching swim suits,” she said. “I thought that’d be really cute.”

Disappointed with the limited selection available, Hayley began to research how she could make a set herself.

“How hard can it be? I thought,”

“This coming from someone who couldn’t even sew a button,” she said.

Hayley’s background is in film and television production, having lived in the United States she had worked with many celebrities and 

“It was there that I got the idea for the name of the business,” she said.

“I was born in 1984, so that’s my class.

“People in the states identify you by your year.”

Offering a new range of swimwear for breastfeeding mothers in 2020, Hayley now hopes to include activewear and accessories to the Class of 84 Clothing range by the middle of 2021.

Following the success of her first range of matching meat pie sets, this year’s Australia Day theme is the sausage sizzle, featuring sausage sandwiches for both men and children.

“It’s just a bit of fun,” she said.

“But I do still pinch myself when I go to the beach and see people wearing my swimwear.”