We might still be stuck in quarantine, but what should stop us from enjoying the nice weather in our bathing suits? This swimsuit season, we’ve done the legwork for your swimwear search and compiled a list of five inclusive and body positive Canadian brands that make it feel more like summer, even at home. Scroll to read more about them below.
1. Unika Swim
Ūnika Swim‘s website will make you want to book a tropical vacation. The Yorkville-based label is body-specific, welcoming all shapes and sizes since their swimwear is custom-made. Founder and designer Betsy Campos used to spend her summers in Brazil, and her heritage is reflected in her designs. Inspired by the confident women she encountered on the beaches in Brazil, Campos aspires to empower women and champion their individuality when they’re most exposed.
Ūnika swimsuits are sustainably and ethically made in Canada using ECONYL, a 100 per cent regenerated nylon yarn derived from pre and post-industrial waste. Ūnika also offers suit replication services, recreating worn-out swimsuits for customers, and the brand’s cup sizes range from AAA to J.
2. SELFISH swimwear
Based in Montreal, founder Naomie Caron founded SELFISH Swimwear after graduating from Montreal’s leading fashion school. She designs, patterns, and sews all SELFISH collections with one goal: to change women’s perception of their self-image.
Each piece of SELFISH Swimwear is ensured to last for at least five years using quality nylon imported from Italy and recycled products such as commercial carpets and fishnets. Plus, a one-year warranty stands on each suit from the time its purchased.
Calgary-based designer Julia Barnes is making waves among female surfers and sun worshipers. The mother of two founded Honubelle in 2014 after realizing a gap in the market for active women. Honubelle specializes in sustainable performance swimwear with a sporty vibe. Barnes’ mission is to empower women of all body types to be free of judgment and fear, especially when playing in the wind and waves.
There’s many reasons why Honubelle’s swimwear is adored by professional surfers, kite surfers, and free divers: made from quality fabric like Italian Lycra, Honubelle swimsuits are durable, resistant to sunscreens and chlorine, and provide UV protection too.
Honubelle offers 10 different styles for bikini tops alone, from sliding triangle tops to full coverage rash guards. Their bottoms also come in 10 different silhouettes, ranging from sexy and skimpy to full, high-waisted coverage. And while many brands tap influencers with a large following to show off their designs, Honubelle does something different; dubbing ambassadors as ‘team riders’, Honubelle selects diverse athletes to wear their suits based on functionality for outdoor sports.
4. Minnow Bathers
Minnow Bathers is an independent swimwear label based in Toronto. After returning home from studying fashion design in different cities, design duo Vanessa Warrack and Karen Donaldson teamed up to make swimwear for ‘real women’ back in 2010.
Unlike most fashion lines, Minnow produces one collection each year. Warrack and Donaldson keep their collections small in order to produce garments at a reasonable pace. This allows them to focus on quality and produce their bathers locally, by hand. Their business model enables them to follow customer demand, reducing unnecessary production costs and waste.
Aside from their Matisse-esque print, all solid fabrics are made from chlorine-resistant, UV-blocking fabrics comprised of recycled plastics. To offset the environmental impact of their production, Minnow Bathers donates a dollar from every sale to the Ocean Conservancy.
Since its debut in 2013, Knix has redefined intimates. In May 2019, the brand launched its inaugural swim collection after three years of prep. The brand’s 2020 swim collection launched amid the pandemic, which cancelled the photoshoot planned for its campaign. Amazingly, resources were pooled to make it better than ever, introducing more styles and colours.
Limited edition hues like Santorini, Watermelon, Metallic Rib, and Tropical Heat are now available, and it’s almost impossible to tell that all of Knix’s swimsuits have supportive, removable pads.
Did we mention there’s a line of toddler swimwear to match with your little one with?