With August temperatures in Canada still scorching, back to school and fall are the last things we want to think about. So in an effort to make summer feel even longer, we’ve picked five of our favourite Canadian swimwear brands whose bathing suits make us wish the season would never end. True, these suits are pricier than your average fast-fashion find, but quality and ethical production means you know your suit wasn’t made in a sweat shop — and that’s something we can all value.
Designed and manufactured in Canada, Richards started designing in 2011 to fill a gap when she noticed the limited options she had when it came to simple, high-quality swimwear. The result? Elegant, ethically and thoughtfully designed suits, popular with celebs like Khloe Kardashian and Miranda Kerr. A Beth Richards swimsuit doesn’t come cheap — a one piece can cost $250 — but you are getting an investment item that won’t pill or fade and offers 50+ UVB Protection. This isn’t just a throwaway suit.
Mimi & August
Transparency is key when it comes to this Montreal-based brand. They feature their pattern cutters prominently on their website and believe in using “small factories that enable economic development and sustainable job creation.” But what really impresses us about Mimi & August (adorably cute bikinis aside) are the diverse models they feature, which makes online shopping for suits a little less risky. Not everyone that goes to the beach is a Victoria’s Secret catalogue model, and Mimi & August takes this into account when designing and promoting their suits.
With 60 per cent of its latest collection made from recycled Italian nylon, sustainability is definitely on designer Naomie Caron’s mind. Selfish, living up to its name, is designed for every woman’s comfort, esteem and pleasure. Coming from a costume designer background, Caron uses her experience in the film industry to create suits that are both comfortable and stylish. With colour choices designed to flatter a multitude of skin tones, there’s a Selfish suit for every woman.
Toronto-based Minnow Bathers donate a dollar from each bathing suit sale to the Ocean Conservancy, a foundation that “creates science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.” With a genuine concern for ethical production processes, each suit is handmade to order in Toronto by a small team of women. But the beauty of the suits doesn’t stop at their creation, the prints and designs of each handmade suit are equally as gorgeous, with high waisted bottoms and maillots being their area of expertise.
Designed by Calgary-based Julia Barnes, Honubelle aims to make “functional swimwear that allows women to feel confident, graceful and strong.” Their high quality fabrics are UV protective, sunscreen and chlorine resistant and non-see through. The brand has so many designs and colour options on offer, you’ll have a hard time narrowing it down to just one suit. And with so many top and bottom styles available to mix and match, there’s a flattering cut and combo for every body type.
Check out the gallery below for our top bathing suit picks from each brand…
5 Canadian swimwear brands to take you through to the end of summer
beth richardsWear if: you secretly think Baywatch suits are the best thing that's happened to swimwear, but would like to be more subtle in your homage.
Knot one piece in red, $250 at Beth Richards.The Loop
mimi & augustWear if: you like being cute and your style icons are Michelle Williams and Elle Fanning.
Lima top in soft pink, $69 at Mimi & August. Pacifico in Rose Peony, $52 at Mimi & August.The Loop
selfish swimwearWear if: you'd actually be into the idea of wearing a beautiful tape bathing suit, if it weren't so impractical.
Lola wrap bikini top, $110 at Selfish Swimwear. Erica reversible bikini bottom. $85 at Selfish Swimwear.The Loop
minnow bathersWear if: you're a real fancy lady who enjoys a glass of wine by the pool.
Dante maillot, $176 at Minnow Bathers. The Loop
honubelleWear if: you like wind surfing, play beach volleyball and prefer salt water to chlorine.
Gorge top in sweet, $78 at Honubelle. Newelle bottom in sweet, $78 at Honubelle.The Loop