Even though our climate grants us a very narrow window for lake dips and day-long beach trips, Canadian swimsuit designers have an established reputation on the international stage. Whether you’re in need of an athletic bather for laps in the local pool, or a real gossamer of a bikini fit for lounging on a sun-dappled chaise, these made-in-Canada swimsuit brands have you covered.
Vancouver-based brand Londre doesn’t care much for bells and whistles – just suits that fit well and flatter the body. The production of their pieces is similarly fuss-free, too: non-toxic dyes, minimal waste and designs made from plastic bottles (they’ve given new life to over 90,000 of them, scooped from the beaches of streets of Taiwan where their swimwear is made).
2. Selfish Swimwear
Selfish Swimwear’s founder Naomie Caron is a one-woman operation, designing and sewing each piece she conjures up from her Montreal studio. Each season, she sets out to create a collection that eliminates the all-too-familiar sting of swimwear shopping; as such, her chic pieces are decidedly more covered up than most – perfect for active beach days
3. Beth Richards
There’s a considered, high-fashion quality to Beth Richards’ swimwear – perhaps why the Vancouver-based brand is considered our country’s first (maybe only?) designer option. Fans gravitate toward her inventive use of typical swimwear materials (think: modern mesh overlays), but all suits start with a perfect base design, which Richards’ has perfected since starting the brand nearly 10 years ago.
4. Mimi & August
Everyday bodies are celebrated (and designed for) at Mimi & August, the Montreal-based swimwear brand that offers suits up to a size 22. But besides their inclusive size range and ethical production, we’re taken by Mimi & August’s modern, highly wearable prints which are designed in-house (just look at that papaya illustration!).
You already know and love Fortnight’s impeccably crafted lingerie, but if you’re in the market for a swimsuit, consider their simple, streamlined swimwear offering. Designer Christina Remenyi utilizes the same design principles (reinforced bands, supportive cups, materials that move with you) and applies them to her modern swim collection, handmade at her Queen Street studio in Toronto.
Unika’s founder Betsy Campos tapped into her Brazilian heritage – and the country’s thriving swimwear culture –when she founded her Toronto-based line. Expect skimpy bottoms and strappy tops from this body-positive brand, which offers up to 4XL in sizing. Unika also offers a custom-design option, so you get a made-to-measure fit in one of their 150 print options made from sustainable fabrics.
7. Left on Friday
Left on Friday’s wear-all-day swimsuits are tailored to the summer’s more active pursuits: swimming, wakeboarding, beach volleyball, etc. The Vancouver-based brand, which produces its pieces in California, makes use of a special Italian smoothing fabric that’s compressive, but comfortable both on land and in the water. Best yet, LOF’s swimwear is fade-resistant and anti-snag so you’re investing in a bather that will last.
Canadian swimwear newcomer Ocin (pronounced ocean) launched only two years ago, but the brand’s commitment to its namesake body of water is enduring. Made from recycled polyester and nylon, Ocin’s contemporary athletic suits are fully functional: quick-dry fabrics, easy clasps and seamless details. They also help recycle your old swimwear (their own or otherwise), granting a 10-percent discount on their site for your good deed.
9. Saltwater Collective
Owner and designer Camilla James started Saltwater Collective with the intention of creating elevated swimwear basics that bolster your confidence, not squash it. The brand’s colourful and comfortable range comes in sizing that spans XS to 2XL with each piece being made from Econyl, a regenerated nylon product that turns fishing nets, carpet flooring and industrial plastic into something new.
10. Visual Mood
Sophistication is the guiding design principle for Visual Mood, the Toronto-based brand that works with exquisite, breathable materials and classically feminine silhouettes. A bonus is that most of the brand’s elegant suits are totally reversible, meaning double the wear and major space-saving potential in your suitcase.
11. Minnow Bathers
A staple in the Toronto swimsuit scene, Minnow Bathers puts a ton of care into their cool-girl swimwear. Wearable prints and high-quality fabrics define this beloved indie label, which produces a single collection per year – an eco-responsible strategy that permits the design team to craft each piece by hand and reduce waste output.
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