If you’ve forgotten all the French you learned in high school, or retained only “bonjour” and “champagne,” Courtney Coats and Celia Siegel are here to remind you of the translation for “sea” and “sister.” Mer Soeur. The Siesta Key-born sisters recall days on end spent in their bikinis and wading in the waters. Their bond with the blue and with each other is tight, and the French interpretation seemed fitting—inspired by the minimal, effortless design of French fashion labels. Diving in, the sisters did their research and set up an in-person meeting with an eco-friendly manufacturing company based out of Bali for sustainable, ethically made fabrics.

Sage Ruched One Piece, courtesy of @mersoeurswim


“We knew right away it was the right fit for us,” they say. “Getting a chance to see and feel their product quality in-person really solidified the deal.” They say recycled fabrics not only help reduce ocean waste but are also the most durable—and some of the softest—in the industry. “We want to help slow down today’s trend of ‘fast fashion’ by choosing recycled fabrics that will last throughout the years,” they say. Recycled materials, such as ocean waste and plastic bottles, are melted down to create flakes. The flakes are then made into nylon and plastic chips, and then into fabric fibers. The fibers are transformed into a recycled nylon fabric that can be recreated into sustainable swimwear.

Tiger Lily String Bikini, courtesy of @mersoeurswim


“We love the ocean and all of the life it provides us with,” they say. “We are happy to be able to create a product that brings us joy to the beach and also helps to keep it clean.” Mer Souer’s new mini-resort collection, Ethereal, goes back to the basics with delicate design details such as ruching and neutral florals, classic silhouettes and soft textures. From the Tiger Lily string bikini to the Sage Ruched one-piece suit and Honeycomb High Triangle top with matching V bottoms, the spring/summer 2021 collection channels longer days of sun, warm and airy beach walks, wildflowers and the sea-green shimmer of the Gulf. “No matter how far away from home we go, we’re always seeking that same passion we feel in our small coast of Florida paradise,” they say. “We want to give our sea sisters all across the world that same joy we’ve experienced by loving and living in our bikini.” C’est une belle vie. If you don’t know, that’s French for “It’s a beautiful life.” SRQ