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Interview with the designer: Rachel Siltanen


How did you hear about and become involved at Pakaloha Bikinis?

On one of my trips to the North Shore when Pakaloha first opened in Haleiwa, I was blessed to meet the beautiful Julie (owner and our Pakaloha Queen) She is a rare and beautiful woman with vibrant energy who radiates love, happiness and kindness. All of these positive qualities are reflected in the brand. I instantly fell in love with everything about Pakaloha, especially the sisterhood of love and body confidence it promotes. The bikini range was awesome, but I always hoped that one day I would be able to use my fashion design background to help create some new styles.

Tell us a project that has been your greatest achievement?

Designing the Big Beach Top is one of the greatest! It was an idea I had in my mind since completing my fashion degree in 2003. I get a lot of great feedback on the top from girls who usually find buying bikini tops hard. It brings me so much joy when I hear about customers who are happy to find a top that is comfy and fits big (.) (.)! I have also heard of girls wearing it all day as a sports top!

Just recently, I was trying on bikini’s at Pakaloha and the girl in the change room next to me was so excited trying on the big beach top, it was a surreal moment for me to see such happiness from a top I designed. And she looked hot as hell and her boyfriend thought so too 😉

I’m currently finishing the final touches on the next top in this range… so hopefully, that one will be my next greatest achievement 😉

What do you love about Pakaloha?

Pakaloha is so much more than just beautiful bikinis that make you feel like a sexy beach goddess (and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to feel like that!)…it’s a whole experience. The girls in store are amazing and promote a feminine essence of bikini confidence. You leave Pakaloha feeling good about yourself and confident to rock a bikini, knowing that you are a part of a world-wide sisterhood of strong beautiful women that lift each other up!

Pakaloha BikinisHow do you describe your work and your influences?

I love being creative and am obsessed with fashion.

With my fashion design work I start with designing the concept. A lot of ideas are thrown around and research on fit, before a clear winner stands out. I draft the pattern and sew the sample piece. The best research is done at the beach in the surf, trying different styles and seeing what works.

Living on the Gold Coast, Australia and spending a lot of time in Hawaii, I am very influenced by the laid back coastal beach lifestyle.

I find travel to be one of the best ways to spark creativity and discover new ideas. I also think that being grounded and balanced with practices like healthy eating, yoga, meditation and mindfulness help to work from a place of service and divine inspiration.

How do you stay updated on current bikini trends?

The beach is the best fashion show for bikinis! A great bikini always stands out and turns heads. I also love Fashion blogs and Instagram for keeping up with the latest trends and inspirations.

What is your favorite thing to do in a bikini

Salty sun kissed summer days when you wear your bikini all day! It’s the best feeling to get the sun on your skin and dive into the ocean. Those hot summer days when the biggest decision is what bikini to wear! Any day in a bikini is the best day ever!

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Hemp! Hemp! Hooray!

Pakaloha Bikinis Hemp

All hail hemp! Recently making US history hemp is now legal to grow, something a lot of Americans should be celebrating about. Now that hemp has the green light there are so many beneficial things this plant can do in order to help save our planet. Even George Washington has been noted to celebrate the hemp plant by saying, “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere.”

Every hemp plant that is grown can save 12 trees from being cut down. Hemp is so versatile it can be made into almost any product that you can think of such as timber or even better yet, paper.

The hemp plant is also a sustainable resource, unlike coal or other fossil fuels that impact our environment. Switching over to hemp can decrease pollutants in our atmosphere and help us live richer lives with clean air.
Hemp fabric is yet another ideal use for our population. The fabric is 100% non-toxic, extremely strong, durable, keeps its shape and regulates heat well.

A big issue that our society has is plastic and single use plastics. Enter hemp plastic. Hemp plastic is biodegradable and able to reinforce other materials. Our oceans and our lands are becoming over polluted with plastic, not to mention plastic is harmful to our health. Switching over to hemp plastic would be such a victory to our planet.

In light of the recent hemp victory Pakaloha Bikinis now has hemp print bikinis and even board shorts for men. What a great way to celebrate the hemp plant while in a stunning green bikini at the beach. Come on in to one of our four locations or check us out online and see for yourself. What a fun and unique way to show support for a positive way to save our planet. Every little step counts to preserving the beauty and longevity of our Mother Earth.

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Start Your 2019 “Best Self” Checklist

Best Self

Meditation and Yoga- At times, life doesn’t always hand us lemons and the holidays can be a stressful time mentally and physically. Incorporating yoga and even just 20 minutes of meditation into your daily morning routine can work wonders on your mental state and overall sense of calm. Hit your communal yoga space this new year, download a meditation app and melt into your mat and vibrate to your highest frequency.

Get in those Greens- Kale, spinach and chard just to name a few of the high nutrient veggies you should add into your diet this new year, if you haven’t already. Greens provide a multitude of health benefits for a healthy gut, liver support and high fiber. Throw your greens into your morning smoothie, sauté them or you can even bake your kale to make some yummy kale chips. Get creative with incorporating these super greens into your everyday meals.

Find Movement Everyday- Our bodies were meant to move! No matter rain or shine make the effort this new year to take some time out of your work week for movement. Run, dance, jump, swim you name it and your body will thank you. Maybe even practice smiling and let out a little laugh while doing whatever movement you feel called to, it’ll make the experience that much more enjoyable and we promise you will have so much fun.

Practice Gratitude- Creating a gratitude practice is one of the simplest ways to create a more joyful and positive mindset. What a wonderful time to start practicing gratitude in the new year! Just focusing on things you are thankful for can shift the way you think and can really put things into perspective. Take just five short minutes at either the start or end of your day and say three simple things (or more) you are happy for.

Try something new- We can tend to get stuck in a daily routine and before you know it another year has past. Sign yourself up for a painting class, or travel to a place you’ve never been to. There’s so much new out there and it’s just waiting for us to try it out. You’ll be surprised by what you can find- plus changing things up surprises your body as well and challenges it in different ways.

Keep the focus on YOUR well being this holiday season and have fun doing it into the New Year. Pakaloha Bikinis would like to wish all of our beautiful customers Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year and we are so very thankful for each and every one of you! We will see you in your bikini along with your best self!

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Product Love: Big Beach Top

Big Beach Bottom

One key element that Pakaloha Bikinis can stand behind is that we make our bikinis for every woman- no matter your shape nor your size. We truly believe that everyone has their own right to have fun in a bikini on the beach. Pakaloha has just made it that much easier for you to do just that! Introducing our Big Beach Top, designed for women who have a larger cup size- DD and up. With care and consideration, we designed this top to give women optimal support without the need for pads or wires. The Big Beach Top features sturdy straps that do not go around your neck but across your shoulders for more comfort and a corseted tie back to give you the confidence and security you’d look for in a bikini top. The Big Beach Top is ideal for anyone looking for just these things with some style to boot. This top comes in a range of colors and prints, so you can mix and match. Our Big Beach Top has become such a hit for our customers that just so happen to be a little more gifted on the top that we decided to make it in smaller sizes so really it is ideal for any woman to wear. Watch out ladies, this might be your new favorite top.

Pakaloha strives to make women feel comfortable and sexy when wearing our bikinis no matter where or what you are doing. Gone are the treacherous days of bikini shopping once you try on our styles. Come in and have a look for yourself. Our girls in the stores are here to help you have fun, feel beautiful and at ease. You deserve to hit the beach looking your best in your bikini. Come in today an ask about our Big Beach Top, we promise you will not be disappointed.

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Little Hands

Little Hands Sunscreen

Here at Pakaloha Bikinis we strive to educate our customers about the harmful chemicals and effects that many toxic sunscreens carry. These toxic sunscreens are impacting our oceans, marine life, corals and you as well. Many household sunscreen brands contain hormone disrupters and carcinogens that can compromise our health. This is why we are proud to start carrying Little Hands Hawaii in our stores. Little Hands is all natural and made from the finest organic ingredients that not only benefit the health and wealth of you and your o’hana but our environment as well. Created on the Island of Oahu, Little Hands objective is to educate communities on the significance of using a natural sunblock that is safe for everyone while preserving the environment. Something that Pakaloha Bikinis can proudly stand behind!

Little HandsYou can find Little Hands at all Pakaloha Bikini stores. Pakaloha is also participating in toxic sunscreen trade-ins. Hawaii really strives to keep toxic sunscreens off of our reefs. When you come into one of our four locations you can trade in your toxic sunscreen for reef safe sunscreen at 20% off plus an additional 10% off a bikini purchase. Little hands and other reef safe sunscreens that we carry are includ- ed in this promotion. Do something great for yourself and Mother Earth. Come visit us and say aloha, trade in your toxic sunscreen and hit the beach in your bikini with your all natural reef safe sunscreen!

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Pakaloha Bikinis-Good for the Ocean and For You

Aloha Rocks

Here at Pakaloha Bikinis, we believe in doing the best we can for ourselves and our mother ocean.  We make every single one of our choices intentionally to make sure that our products are good for everyone!  That’s why we stay away from microfibers in our clothes.

  • As you know, the ocean is full of plastic, and every day that problem seems to be getting worse.  The American Government has already banned microbeads, but an even larger part of the problem is microfibers.
  • In a recent study at Carleton University, it was revealed that in microplastics recovered from the Ottowa River, only 5% were microbeads, while the other 95% were microfibers.  Microfibers are found in anything from yoga pants, to jackets, to yes, even bikinis.
  • Microfibers in the ocean get into everything: our water, our seafood, and travel up the food chain into whales and dolphins.  Microfibers, while small, can actually cause fish to starve to death.  While small, they can create a feeling of fullness in fish, meaning they don’t eat, which eventually leads to starvation.
  • Many companies feel that by recycling plastic bottles into clothing, they are helping prevent plastic from ending up in the ocean.  While these intentions are noble, they might be unintentionally making things worse.  This plastic ends up in the ocean in smaller sizes, making it more dangerous and harder to isolate in cleanup efforts.

That’s why, here at Pakaloha, we only use lycra and cotton, meant to last for a long time with minimal effects on the environment.  We all want to do what’s best for the planet and ourselves.  That’s why, this surf season, you can grab a new bikini from us guilt-free and hit the waves!

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Pakaloha Wildlife Corner: All About Turtles



When you close your eyes and think about Hawaiian wildlife, what do you see? No doubt, one of the first things that came to mind is the iconic Hawaiian green sea turtle. These peaceful creatures can be seen bobbing around the coral reef and relaxing on sandy beaches.   How much do you know about these wonderful creatures? Let’s find out.

  • The Hawaiian word for Green Sea Turtle is Honu. In Hawaiian culture, they represent wisdom and good luck. They feature in many Hawaiian legends and sometimes come in the form of ‘Aumakua’—a kind of guardian spirit for Hawaiian families.
  • Green Sea Turtles are an endangered species.   While they have recently been making a comeback, they are still a heavily protected species. As such, it is important to respect these ancient creatures. It is illegal to touch a sea turtle, so when you see one swimming by, keep your hands to yourself.
  • Sea turtles are old—like REALLY old. According to National Geographic, the lifespan of a wild sea turtle can be up to 80 years. However, there are many threats to sea turtles, including fishing nets, plastic, and pollution. It is important to pay attention to your plastic use and always remember to recycle to keep waste from reaching the ocean.
  • Sea Turtles come up on land to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the baby turtles make their way to the water on their own. On beaches known to host turtle eggs, it is important to keeps the environment dark. Otherwise, the babies can get confused and go in the wrong direction!
  • If you want to see turtles in Hawaii, you need good eyes and a little bit of luck. They can frequently be found napping on the sand, protected by a swarm of local volunteers. As always, it is important to be respectful of the local wildlife. You can also spot them out in the water out snorkeling! Since turtles are reptiles, not fish, they need to come up to breathe. If you pay attention, you can see their heads popping out of the water!

I hope you’ve found new found respect for one of Hawai’i’s most famous residents!  Next time you see one swimming by, wave hello.  It might just wave a fin right back.


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All about that Paige

Paige Alms

We’re proud to announce the new Paige Alms Top and Bottom, available exclusively at Pakaloha Bikinis!

Paige Alms is a 2-time WSL Women’s Big Wave World Champion, and a two-time Pe’ahi Challenge Champion. She grew up on the island of Maui and travels the world year-round pushing the level of women’s surfing to new heights. She loves being in the water everyday whether it be surfing, diving, or just going for a swim.

Paige has exclusively used Pakaloha Bikinis for over 15 years and trust the quality of our products to keep up with her very active lifestyle. She continues to push herself to ride the biggest waves possible and hopes by doing so she can inspire others to push their own limits and live their dreams. Paige believes that empowered women can empower other women, so she trains hard, pushes boundaries, and carries the torch for women in big wave surfing.

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Say No to Plastic Straws


If you know anything about Pakaloha, you know that we love everything about the beach. As you can guess, we also believe strongly in taking care of our ocean and making sure that we can enjoy it for years to come.


That’s why we strongly believe you should ditch plastic straws.

Plastic does not degrade in nature, meaning that once we dispose of it, it does not simply disappear. It hangs around, wrecking havoc to our natural environment. According to the National Park’s service, Americans use over 500,000,000 straws a day. Straws are not recyclable, which means that this amount of plastic hangs around, blowing in the wind, ending up in landfills, or worse, washing away into our oceans.

Straws are also in the top ten most frequently found items during beach cleanups. They end up eaten by birds and fish, wreaking havoc on fragile digestion systems. A recent study has revealed that 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic. It is safe to say that a large amount of that plastic is straws used unnecessarily.

Think about it this way: how long do you use that plastic straw for? It takes 20 minutes to drink an iced coffee (assuming you are taking leisurely sips. For some of us, it takes even less time.) Take a minute to guess at how long your plastic straw floats around decomposing. Did you guess 20 years? 50 years?

If yes, you guessed wrong. It takes two hundred years for plastic to decompose. Take a look at that plastic straw again. Did you really need it?

That’s why, at Pakaloha, we challenge you to cut down on your use of plastic straws. Next time you are at the bar, or the coffee shop, just say no! It won’t make your cocktail taste worse. And next time you visit the local coffee shop, consider skipping all that plastic altogether! Bring a thermos with you, and ask them to fill it up. Your barista won’t mind, and you’ll be doing your part to cut down on all of that waste.

I know that there are times when you really need a straw, and there are still options. Paper straws degrade quickly, lasting long enough for you to finish your drink and no longer. Compostable straws are also an option, but keep in mind that they are meant to be composted in a commercial facility. They can’t biodegrade on their own.   Finally, when you are at home, consider investing in reusable straws! They can be washed and reused as many times as you need them.

Let us know what solutions you have for preserving our ocean home! We love to see what you ladies are up to, and what creative ways you have to cut down on waste.

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Meet the Ambassador: Mermaid Sirenity

I was so lucky to get the chance to catch up with one of our amazing ambassadors, Stephanie! Our ambassador program is an amazing way of keeping up with Pakaloha and spreading the spirit of the brand. We have ambassadors who do Yoga, free-dive, and spread the Pakaloha spirit all over the world!

You can find Stephanie on Instagram. When she isn’t rocking her bikini, you can find her catching up with her undersea friends in a mermaid tail.

Can you introduce yourself for me?  Name/instagram handle

Aloha, my name is Stephanie from @mermaidsirenity

What do you like about Pakaloha?

I love how Pakaloha truly believes in functional bikinis for all shapes and sizes while still being stylish and sexy. The last thing I want is to have a bikini that doesn’t stay on right or only looks cute in the packaging. Now, I put these bikinis through the wringer with hiking, diving, and even running. Not only are the cheeky cuts flattering, but they encourage us to be bold and comfortable in our own skin. Its empowering for women and as a company one that I stand behind.

What is your favorite beach?

Electric beach, it’s my go-to dive spot and is filled with amazing wildlife.

How long have you lived in Hawaii?

I moved to Hawaii when I was 18, so I have been living here for 5 years now. The island has completely captured my heart. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Favorite thing to do in a bikini?

I love going free-diving in my spare time. There is nothing more relaxing than calming the mind and sinking below the surface. Plus every time I see sea critters, I get absolutely hypnotized. I’ve swum with manta rays, sharks, dolphins, and honus.

Any final words?   

Sometimes people tell me, “I wish I could pull something off like that off.” But for the record bikinis are for everyone! If you have a body, you have a bikini body and it would look dang good in Pakaloha!


Just to let you know, we are closing our ambassador search soon! If you love Pakaloha and want to spread the spirit of the brand, find out more on this post! The deadline is February 5th!