Why I Created GRNSTR
I have been in the surfing industry for fifteen years, and have competed since I was nine years old. I won six WA state titles in each division and competed successfully on the Women’s World Qualifying Series Surfing Tour. I come alive when I’m in the water; the ocean is where I feel at home.
While I adore surfing, I have always dreamed of paving the way for change within the industry. I’ve seen and felt the desperate need for inclusivity within this space; and the lack of it has always broken my heart.
While growing up, the “surfer girl” aesthetic felt strictly policed; if you weren’t blonde and petite you were invisible to the major brands and their sponsorship opportunities. For the better part of a decade, the models used for surfing campaigns fit a very specific casting call. At the mere age of sixteen I struggled to squeeze into bikini tops that did not fit, in an attempt to engage with the major brands. I could only imagine how other girls, more voluptuous than me, might be feeling.
Everything changed for me when COVID struck, and I was no longer able to travel and compete. I was suddenly afforded with something I’d never had before: the time and space to focus on my dream. Thus GRNSTR was born: the innovative and unapologetic brand that breaks the stereotypical image of a surfer girl.
Almost immediately, I came up against my first hurdle: size templates. It blew my mind to realise that within an industry that had been around for decades, I was the first to be manufacturing a wetsuit in a women’s size 18. While commercial mens wetsuits catered for sizes up to 4XL, women’s wetsuits stopped at size XL. At the age of twenty-two, I had to create my own sizing guide for sizes that should have been standard. This reaffirmed to me the important role that GRNSTR was going to play in the industry.
Currently, GRNSTR leads the global surf industry with our inclusive sizing, and my goal is to continue to expand this further by developing wetsuits up to size 24. I know that this will take many samples, try-ons and adjustments before we get the perfect dimensions for each new size, but I am so thrilled and proud to be actively making surfing more accessible and inclusive. I am working with local Perth women who are helping me with the sizing, fit, cut and feel of these extended sizes, and it is such exciting and rewarding work.
I am so thankful for the support we have received so far, and I can’t wait to continue building upon what we’ve already accomplished. The best is yet to come, and I cannot wait to share this journey with you!
- Eliza Greene x