The first sips of a freshly brewed coffee in the morning before you open work emails. Massaging a serum into your skin after a hot shower. Reading a single page of your book before falling asleep at night.
Hectic work and social schedules mean we rarely carve out time for longer self-care routines, but BAINA is here to change that. The contemporary towelling brand champions a slow and considered approach to living with luxurious products that will lure you into the bathroom and convince you to stay a while.
BAINA’s signature chequerboard towels are not only designed to look beautiful in your home, but also to be used as part of an immersive bathing experience. It’s all about creating space to check in with yourself without screens or distractions, co-founder Anna Fahey explains. “Without this daily check-in with oneself, we can lose sight of how we are really doing,” she tells RIISE.
This philosophy of care is embedded in the brand’s DNA. “Care or consideration is at the core of all that we do,” Anna says. “Our manufacturers are progressive when considering their impact on the environment and, from a design perspective, we are challenging traditional towelling norms: analysing and sitting with prototypes sometimes for over a year until we feel it is needed.”
Taking their time to design superior products has paid off for Anna and her fellow co-founder Bailey Meredith, whose Antipodean brand has amassed a dedicated following and impressive list of global stockists (including RIISE!).
Inspired by the idyllic bathroom scenes that fill BAINA’s Instagram feed, we asked Anna to share her very own bathing ritual with us. Her expert guide to relaxation features a scented candle that purportedly smells like “fruits and dust in the cellar”, the perfect mood music and, most importantly, chocolate. Sink in below.
Q. BAINA is founded on the idea of bringing ritual and ceremony into the everyday – why do you think that is so important?
Most of us are conditioned to move through our day thinking two or three steps ahead of the task at hand. For us, we saw bathing as a perfect way to pose the idea of slowing down, as it is something we all do daily. It can be the only time throughout the day that we are truly alone, removed from external inputs.
Q. What are some of the benefits – physical, mental, emotional – we can glean from these moments of self-care and stillness?
As a mother of a young family my needs seem to be lower down the pecking order. However, when I do carve out time to draw a bath, I immediately resemble my old self. It’s hard to explain, but at that moment I am not needed by anyone, and I can find space to check in.
Q. What’s the first thing you do to unwind when you get home or finish the workday?
I truly am a bather – so once my son is in bed, and we’ve eaten our dinner, I pour myself a deep hot bath. For all the reasons I’ve mentioned, I just need to remove myself from stimulation – lights are off, my phone is out of reach and a candle is lit.
Q. Can you break down your personal bathing ritual for us – what does it usually look like and what are some of the key ingredients involved?
The candle changes pending mood. I love my CURIONOIR Cellar Feels, but all of their candles are beautiful on the nose and are in hand-blown coloured glass. [There’s] something about these candles that makes the moment reverent.
It’s also the time I get to give my skin some TLC, so for the body I use Sans [ceuticals] Bio Active Body Exfoliant, and for my face I cleanse and mask. Removing the excess with my BAINA Agnes Face Cloth. Then I get out of the bath, towel off and slip straight into bed – I’m all about sleep.
Q. What are your favourite things to eat and drink in the bath?
I take a crisp cold glass of water and a square or two of dark chocolate. I am in sensory mode, so a cold sip of water when soaking in a hot bath is another way to feel present in my body and chocolate is a required vice.
Q. What three songs would be on your ultimate bath time playlist?
You’ll find plenty of bathing playlists on the BAINA Spotify. Whether it’s for calming down or waking up, we have a selection of playlists by fellow bathers within the BAINA community.
Q. Do you have a favourite bathing destination in the world or anywhere you’d love to visit?
I have had some special bathing moments, home and away. New Zealand has some incredible natural hot springs. We have a lake house at Lake Tarawera where you can hike to Hot Water Beach where you soak in a fresh hot water stream at the foot of a dormant volcano. Or in Japan, in Nagano, we enjoyed the traditional style onsen experience on the snowy mountainside. On both occasions I was left completely renewed and content.
Q. Whose bathroom are you most envious of and why? This can be a real person, celebrity or fictional character.
Bailey has recently done her bathroom in Titirangi, Auckland, New Zealand, and her bath is a thing of beauty – deep and wide.