Sun yourself in these sustainable swimwear brands
Ack, Away that Day and Ohoy Swim will ensure you’ll sunbathe with a sustainable mindset this summer
Substantial time by the sea may seem like a far off frolic this summer, but there’s always a spot of grass to sun yourself on, whether your kicking back near a coastline, or simply settling back in the garden. When you slip into your swimmers we recommend an eco-aware choice, from brands that operate using a low carbon footprint, use recycled materials or create long lasting silhouettes. Enter Ack, Away that Day and Ohoy Swim, ensuring you’ll sunbathe with a sustainable mindset this summer.
The label’s rhinestone-sparkling acid-hued bikinis have enchanted Instagram, but its founders are committed to more longevity that an fleeting Like. ‘Being sustainable is a way of life, not a sales tool,’ says Rebecca Larsson, who founded the label in 2017 with Alessandra Scorletti. The label does not have a bricks-and-mortar office, creates its swimwear by hand in Italy in small facilities and has total control of its supply chain. ‘Everything we do, from the conception of a product to its distribution, supports our local economy,’ says Scorletti, the former creative director of cult sunglasses label Retrosuperfuture.
‘The aim was not only representing women in their real natural forms, but also enhancing their beauty,’ adds Larsson of Ack’s brand mantra. This translates to disco detail bikinis, metallic bi-colour balconette tops with floral hardware and kaleidoscopic tie-dye swimsuits with seductive cut-outs. Larsson found a series of marble caves around her hometown in Tuscany to shoot a recent series of images, featuring models surrounded by figurative sculptures. ‘We are one of the unique regions in Italy to have both the sea and the mountains in the same context,’ she says. ‘Even though I love the sea and the beach I’ve never felt it was a first pick for shooting locations.’
Away that Day
Fit is of the upmost importance to Ingemae Kotze, founder of the two year old swimwear label. ‘When I fit samples on my sisters and friends, I can instantly tell what makes them feel confident,’ she says. Away that Day’s Palma bikini top is a buyer’s favourite, featuring U-detail hardware, and uplifting shirred details. Bold tones, bow-details and exotic prints also inform the flattering designs, which are inspired by travel destinations from Sorrento to Havana, Rio to Palma. ‘The colour of a single flower can also influence a whole collection,’ adds Kotze.
Away that Day’s swimwear is designed in London and manufactured by a family run supplier in Bali, which specialises in Ecoynl, an upcycled yarn created from plastic waste dredged from the oceans. The brand’s packaging is also plastic free, and for S/S 2020, Kotze is developing a collection created using bamboo.
‘We often look at images of our mothers in their youth for inspiration,’ says Anna Maria Nielsen, one half of Ohoy Swim, who founded the brand in 2016, with fellow Scandinavian and Dubai-based Henna Kaarlelah. The duo are inspired by outdoors activities, from surfing to diving, creating pieces which are comfort-focused, but do not look like activewear. Low back swimsuits and bandeau bikini tops have a sensual, subtly sporty sensibility, and the brand also highlights the bow detail as a style signature. ‘It allows different body sizes to adjust fit simply,’ Nielsen says.
Ohoy Swim manufactures its swimwear in a Sri Lankan factory which took six months to find, which it directly supplies with Econyl from Italy. ‘We travelled to the island for surf trips, and while we were there, we discovered it is well known for its swimwear manufacturing,’ Nielsen adds. For spring, the brand has launched ‘Trails’, a collection inspired by the tones of nature, featuring Ohoy Swim’s first print, a Pointillist floral design. §