Who & Why

We absolutely LOVE swimming outdoors and we design swim gear that makes cold water dips more comfortable. Our products are made locally by people who care and the sustainability and integrity of these products is a vital part of who we are.

Here at Swim Feral, our mission is to inspire more people to connect with the landscape and dip their toes (and everything else) into the water.

To make that outdoor changing experience a bit more comfortable Jamima designed the unique Turtleback bag.

Swim Feral was founded in early 2020 by Jamima and Sonya, two artists with a cold water habit who made friends swimming in a dam on top of a blustery hill in the Yorkshire moors. Fed up with muddy feet and cold toes, the Turtleback was born out of a very practical desire to make those challenging cold water dips more comfortable.

Back in 2018, Sonya had the idea to swim everyday in January to raise money for displaced and homeless people. The #januarydailydip was born and since then we along with other brave dippers have raised well over £80,000 – and had a lot of freezing fun in the process.

As well as raising money for a great cause the experience inspired two things:

– to encourage more people to connect with the natural world and experience how incredible it feels and the benefits it brings.

– to make a practical swim bag to get changed in suitable for challenging weather conditions!

And Swim Feral began to take shape.

The business officially started via Kickstarter with the launch of the Turtleback bag. Since then Swim Feral has grown into something wonderful – a supportive network of brilliant humans with a deep love and respect for the outdoor places that nourish our souls.

We’re hugely proud of what we’ve achieved so far and humbled by the wonderful messages we get from our customers. While we love coming up with ideas to make outdoor swimming more comfortable we aim to be more than just product designers. The pandemic curtailed a lot of our initial plans for arts projects but we’re busy dreaming up ideas that will inspire people to connect with themselves, nature and each other through our beautiful cold water landscapes.


TEAM SWIM FERAL

Jamima in the water at sunset throwing some ice in the air

JAMIMA 

I kind of came to outdoor swimming by accident. It was a beautiful still day, the water looked so inviting I got in, that was in spring of 2017. I’ve been pretty much everyday since, an instant addiction. It was and still is the best therapy I’ve ever had and absolutely the most fun. I love that you become the landscape – not just an observer. I love the deep connection I have with my friends, the cold is very honest and humbling, it cuts straight to the core, there’s no pretence. It’s a connection to people and place that I haven’t found in the same way anywhere else.

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Lizzie sitting with a coffee with hills behind her

LIZZIE 

While I’m certainly not as hardcore as Jamima, I took my first tentative steps into the wild world of outdoor swimming when I joined the Swim Feral team. I’m based in Todmorden too and I am so proud to be part of Swim Feral, seeing it blossom into the business it is today – and beyond! The landscapes around Todmorden have been my solace during the pandemic and I’m a massive advocate for people getting out into nature – an absolute belter for the soul.

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Sarah with her hood up looking down at the camera

SARAH 

Hi, I’m not-so-feral Sarah. I have a lifelong love of being outside … looking for nature and poking about in ponds, gardening, going up on the moors with the dog and playing out in Forest School … but I have yet to get into deliberately immersing myself in cold water. So that’s become my challenge for 2021, being as I’m now Chief-Bag-Packer for Swim Feral. I’m in awe of you peeps who swim outdoors all year round, and feel inspired to discover for myself the thrill of the chill.

 

Header image: ©YorkshirePost Newspapers
Picture James Hardisty @snapperjim 

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