The Cabana Show is making a move.
The swimwear and resort event, scheduled for July 13 to 15, is relocating to the Miami Beach Convention Center, which just completed a multimillion-dollar renovation. At the same time, the show is focusing in on sustainability by eliminating single-use plastics during the event.
Since its founding in 2013, Cabana has been held in white tents in Collins Park, across from the W South Beach hotel. But as the show has grown, so have the number of tents, according to Janet Wong, who founded Cabana with Sam Ben-Avraham. “We were up to four tents and 20 rooms in the hotel,” she said. “Logistically, it didn’t make sense — it’s hard when everyone is separated. Now, we’re getting everybody under one roof.”
She said the move to the Convention Center, which just got a $620 million revamp, also allows the show to be around 25 percent larger than its last edition. It will house around 350 swim, resort and accessories brands.
Wong said there is a misconception that Cabana is only women’s swimwear, but it also carries men’s wear and is around 40 percent swim, 40 percent resort and 20 percent accessories such as sunglasses, hats, bags, jewelry and sandals.
Also new this season will be the lack of single-use plastics. Wong said she has been “inspired by some many brands moving toward sustainability and we felt we needed to do more.”
She approached the Convention Center staff about eliminating plastics and they agreed. All dishes at the show will be made from fallen palm leaves, to-go containers will be made from recycled plastic bottles, utensils from corn-based materials, and cups will be fully compostable.
The show has also teamed with Corkcicle as its “official hydration partner,” Wong said, to provide reusable water bottles to all brands and retailers instead of selling plastic water bottles. Glass refill stations will be located throughout the show.
“I’ll never forget seeing the waste after our first season, particularly water bottles,” Wong said. “We all speak about sustainability and what’s happening in the environment but when you see the collective waste in one place at one time it’s really impactful. It made me realize we have a responsibility in this business and we want to be a proactive part of the change. We have a lot of educating to do for ourselves and the family that is Cabana but this season is the first of many steps in the right direction.”
The sustainability message will also be evident in the brand roster at the show, which will include Upcycle, a new apparel brand that uses yarn created from recycled water bottles and cotton, and Yatay, which sells sustainable sneakers.
Cabana will also be hosting a Swim Week swimsuit drop off in partnership with Fair Harbor, a men’s and women’s swimwear brand made from recycled ocean plastics, and 2Rewear, which will collect, recycle and repurpose the fabrics from the swimsuits. Donation bins will be placed at the show and in the official Cabana hotels where people can drop off their used swimwear.