A conversation with Anna Fahey of BAINA
BAINA is an Antipodean brand of curated towelling, founded by Bailey Meredith and Anna Fahey. Their contemporary, organic cotton towels are designed to elevate your daily bathing routine. While harnessing simplicity in design, BAINA experiments with texture and colour to create form.
After years of working in the fashion industry, Bailey and Anna found themselves working in the furniture and interior industry in Melbourne. Both drawn to the principles of a season-less, inclusive product, towelling felt like a natural fit. The duo shares a mutual affinity with bathing, using this time as a way to decompress and reset – daily.
We chatted with one half of BAINA, Anna, about their transition from the fashion industry into furniture and interiors, their focus on sustainability and finding processes that lessen the impact of their production on the planet, and the daily self-care rituals that allow her to slow down and reconnect.
Firstly, thank you for chatting with us.
You both worked in the fashion industry before moving into furniture and interiors. Can you tell us about how you found this transition and what led you on the journey to beginning BAINA?
When we left NZ and begun working for Jardan, it was a light bulb moment. Working within design, but for something that was sustainably considered – made to order and seasonless, we decided we were closing the door on fashion for good. We not only have a deep personal connection to bathing, but towelling provided the creative design outlet we craved, but in an application that was functional, unisex, seasonless and beautiful. Fashion is our first language, and BAINA is designed as an extension to the individuals personal style. Our creative direction is similar to a fashion brand, which within the towelling category, is somewhat unique to us.
BAINA towels are thoughtfully produced using sustainable and ethical manufacturing processes, lessening the impact on our planet. Can you tell us about your path towards achieving this goal?
We were unmovable from working with GOTS certified organic cotton, as globally this is a one of the most stringent accreditations for organic cotton. With production, you are by definition ‘adding’ to what was not there before. We knew in order to be proud of what we produced we had to partner with a progressive mill who aligned on sustainability and bettering processes that were degrading the environment. We, as a fairly new business know that working to being a ‘sustainable business’ is a process, which takes time and education. This year [3rd in business] We became GOTS certified ourselves, and are currently awaiting our full carbon emissions count. We can’t wait to see where our outputs are, and what can be tightened up. For Bailey, myself and the team, we all feel as though we are learning something new, and it's very exciting.
How would you describe your creative process?
A ping pong match. Bailey and I design together, sparked by either one of us, and then further interpreted by the other. We rally back and forth until it feels refined. It's a lot of fun.
BAINA invites one to slow down and reconnect with their daily bathing routine. Do you have any rituals that begin and end each day with?
I have a little one, so my time is whittled away. But I do bath most weeknights after he is tucked up and asleep. Lights off, candle lit, podcast or playlist on. I love it, particularly in winter, such a great way to check in on myself.
How would you describe your relationship to self-care?
Changed. Again, having a little one limits your surplus time. But more than ever before I can see that I am not at my best when I haven’t made time to get my full hours of rest in. I also need to carve the time out to be alone. This is something that helps me return to myself – when I am just Anna. Not mother, friend, wife or business owner.
Who and what inspires you?
Bailey – because it's true. She is an incredible operator and is highly effective. She is both creative and analytical, and it's impressive to me. I also deeply appreciate her ability to have fun while being in action mode.
What is your approach to daily dressing? Do you have any pieces that you gravitate toward regularly?
On an office day, I am currently reaching for woollen tailored trousers, a cosy knit, chunky boots, and a trench.
Weekends are for tracksuits, under a trench with sneakers.
What does a typical day in the BAINA office look like?
Back to back meetings, emails, trying to get through my WIP, coffees and pilates.
We have just settled back into the office on the back of rather a lot of international travel, so it feels great to be in one spot with the New Zealand team.
Lastly, what are your hopes for the future of BAINA?
We hope to continue to produce beautiful, high quality towelling. Connect and collaborate with creatives we admire from all over the globe, and all the while growing our team.
Discover the latest collection from BAINA here.