Whether soaking up the sun at Spanish Banks or doing laps at Hillcrest, we want to feel as good in our swimsuits as we do in our regular clothes. Here in Vancouver, where we know of the water and sand all too well, women are creating for other women. Brands born and raised in the Pacific Northwest understand that luxury design and the environment go hand-in-hand. These three made-in-Vancouver women’s swimwear companies are changing the landscape of the industry with a distinctive local touch.
Beth Richards knows how to generate a splash. After relocating to Vancouver from Toronto, Richards needed a few more swim options for her new West Coast life. But what she was looking for—a minimalist suit with high-quality construction—could not be found. And so, she began to manufacture her modern, ethical swimsuit line under her own name.
Made with specially sourced, UV-protecting Italian fabric, Richards’s products are for the it girl who wants to have a positive impact on her world. From Canada to France, a customer favourite is The Dolly: an elegant off-the-shoulder one-piece that is perfect to wear while sipping wine by the pool. As for the Flutter top, with a scoop neckline and mesh ruffle sleeves, it pairs perfectly with high-waist bottoms, making it a swimsuit you’ll want to wear year-round. Richards wants women to not only feel excited the next time they head into the water, but feminine and strong, too.
Minimalism is everything on the West Coast, and Londrë Bodywear knows it. Although dreamed up on the dazzling beaches of Sayulita, Mexico, Londrë Bodywear calls Vancouver home. Founders and best friends Hannah Todd and Ainsley Rose design for the woman who values sustainability and style; the brand is out to prove that “there is nothing granola about going green.” What allows this young Canadian brand to stand out is its commitment to achieving the highest international eco certification possible, meaning garments are crafted using recycled fabrics made from discarded plastic water bottles, and all water employed in the manufacturing process is reused.
An ode to the simple things, Londrë’s The Minimalist swimsuit is the answer to your one-piece dreams, with a low back that shows off and celebrates the female body. And don’t think Londrë’s exquisite designs are just for frolicking around in the water—they’re equally as chic on the streets. Pair a plunging neckline with a pair of fitted trousers or an oversized denim jacket for a look that will take you from summer to fall. That is living in Londrë.
Nettle’s Tale Swimwear
Nettle’s Tale is for the everyday woman. In an industry where body diversity is still struggling to be celebrated in the mainstream, Julia Church and her company are challenging the status quo. After getting the world’s attention through a viral Indiegogo campaign, Nettle’s Tale made waves thanks to what the brand calls “Pacific Northwest fashion in its purest form.” This Vancouver swimwear has a customer-first mentality, meaning each piece flatters all body types, no matter your age or shape. And unlike most swimsuit companies that shoot lookbooks on exotic beaches with professional models, Nettle’s Tale takes pride in showing off British Columbia and its women.
The Julia, a gorgeous design named for the brand’s founder, features a top with underwire support and bottoms that draw the eye to the smallest part of the waist. Not only does the piece respect the female form, it respects the environment in which one wears it. Ten per cent of the bikini’s profits go to ACTS, a mission that helps free Ugandans from disease and needless labour through access to clean water. A swimsuit that looks good and does good? That’s what Vancouver is all about.