School of Science


31 Aug 2017

Loughborough student sets up first African print swimwear range in the UK

Computing and Management student Jessica Bema Asare has set up the first African print swimwear line in the UK, alongside studying for her degree.

The swimwear brand, Bema Republic, blends British and Ghanaian culture with its distinctive kente print – a style of cloth that originated in Ghana, where Jessica grew up after moving from Milton Keynes as a child.

It is the first known brand to produce 100% swim-proof kente swimwear and also stocks up to a size extra-large to cater for a range of shapes and sizes. The first run of stock sold out in its first week.

Jessica is also the 17/18 programme president for Loughborough Computer Science.

Speaking to FEMAIL in a recent article, Jessica said: “Most Ghanaians and Africans only tend to wear their cultural prints on special occasions. I wanted to make an item of clothing where we could wear our prints casually, like when we are lying on a beach, so bikinis seemed like a perfect idea.

“I had seen bikinis that were African print before, but all of them were in wax fabric that is not waterproof. That made me uncomfortable because the colour in wax prints can fade when there is too much contact with water. This encouraged me to make bikinis fit for purpose.”

Bema Republic is currently working to release more collections, including menswear and a skincare line which uses traditional African ingredients.