Fair trade is so important! And once we’ve embraced that, it’s something that ends up being in the back of our mind every time we buy something. Swimsuit season is no exception, so I’ve drummed up my favorite fair trade swimsuits that look amazing, work for your body and your style, and support workers being treated well and paid a fair wage. That’s right, it’s a fair trade swimsuit roundup!
Also, #NotSpons but if you’d like to sponsor me please do get in touch.
Swimsuits Should Make You Feel Confident
Raise your hand if you’ve ever skipped going for a swim because you felt bad about how you looked. That’s me right there raising my hand on the other side of the screen. I’ve done exactly that. Way too many times.
But it came to a point that I decided to stop it. I was going to wear suits that made me feel good about myself and not focus on what I thought other people were going to say about it.
Importance of Fair Trade
Fair trade and ethical fashion is so important to me. I try my best to make all of my purchases fair trade. I think anyone who has worked in retail for any length of time should probably get to a point where they have this perspective, but even if you have never worked less than a living wage to try and placate overdemanding and downright rude and awful customers as well as abusive bosses (full disclosure, thankfully I skipped the overdemanding and demeaning customers experience) then I think just the idea of making purchases that ensure the workers who make what you buy are treated the same way you’d like to be treated is something that can and should be appealing to anyone of any background.
Now I’m at a point where I prioritize either used or ethically bought new items no matter what. If I can’t afford to buy things in a way that matches at least one of my values, then I just don’t buy it.
Journey to be Fair Trade Minded
It wasn’t always this way. When I was in High School and later fresh in college, I thought that my funds were so low I couldn’t get what I needed at the higher fair trade prices.
But then I realized I didn’t need as much. Once I’d picked up just one purse I could wear to a job or interview, two pairs of slacks, and two pairs of collared shirts, and a cardigan, I really had everything I needed for work. And once I had a computer, smart phone, and security software, I really had all the basics covered for my schoolwork as well.
So my journey to fair trade was really based on just buying less, but buying better when I did get something. That, and making the clothes I did have stretch further with some basic repair work instead of buying new every time it got damaged.
Fair Trade 2018 Mermaid Swimsuits
Santorini One Piece
Hey, I just wanted to let you know something about this swim suit first. This style goes from US size XXS-L. I’ll also be featuring (awesome) fair trade suits that are even more size inclusive.
Everyone loves a classic black one piece. It’s one color you can’t go wrong with style wise!
I’m just one of those people who can’t stand to buy suits that don’t suit anything more vigorous than walking through the edges of the surf and sunbathing. I need suits that I can actually swim in! A one piece can go from a chic resort to jumping into a mountain lake while you’re camping without problems.
Faherty offers a great mix of swimwear that leans towards preppy style. Their theme this year seems to be tribal print suits, which can be problematic depending on your values (read about that from Native Appropriation). Good news though is that the suits that carry that print benefit the Surfrider Foundation!
The Santorini style pictured doesn’t benefit the foundation, and the hint of color banding on the belt can’t really be said to be appropriating anything but does add a fun burst of color to standard black. Plus, it is 95% made of recycled plastic bottles and that’s awesome.
Underprotection’s Grey Mermaid Bikini
Look at the awesome shell detail on this suit! This style goes from US size XS-XL.
Azura Bay is featuring the Underprotection brand’s awesome mermaid bikini style. With this suit you can actually feel like a legit mermaid.
It’s not something I’d pick up, not because of self confidence issues but just because I’m a little too modest to be open to a bikini in general, but I think it looks awesome and I know you can rock it!
This suit is also made largely of recycled materials in a fair trade factory just like the one above. So that’s pretty awesome!
Fair warning though, I find this style of top tends not to be the most supportive. It is a adjustable cup, but it is not a bra style type of suit. You may want to consider that if you need better than moderate support. (Sooo, this would probably be a pass for anyone D or up. Bummer, I know.)
Wrap Style Swimsuit
Fauna’s Malta Bathing Suit
A green and fair trade bathing suit with classic styling? Yes please. Size S-L.
This suit feels like Athena rising up out of the seashell like in the painting Birth of Aphrodite by Botticelli. Except wearing clothes. Those Renaissance painters really liked to skip the clothes thing, but I’m far too modest to go commando like that. Instead I’d wear this awesome toga style suit if only I could afford to buy a $119 suit. But I can’t, so in this lifetime this is just a cool thing to add to my virtual window shopping cart but never actually check out and buy.
Plus, this suit is owned and operated by a fair trade Brazilian brand that focuses on doing right by both people and the planet. That’s why this suit is made of a special biodegradable fiber. (Always check instructions on biodegradable products to ensure you dispose of them the recommended way, whether that means they need sun or heat or some other force to trigger the degrading process, or you risk ruining the biodegrading process.)
Mara Hoffman’s tie front suit
The print on this suit reminds me of bright coral and sea plants, and it’s available in every design from bikinis to different styles of one piece.! This style is available in XL.
This Mara Hoffman design goes for $192 on sale. So fair warning, this isn’t budget wear. That said, it is a UV resistant suit (yay for SPF 50!) and if you make sure to always line dry it instead of killing it in the dryer it should last a few seasons.
Or, if you go to the beach every day year round because you live somewhere that’s permanently Summer, it might last you a year and a half if you alternate it with your dry suit. Or am I the only one that can’t stand to wear a swim suit that’s still wet from swimming the day before? It feels gross to me!
This brand has a lot of other bright colors, fun prints, diverse models, and other suits that are also 78% recycled materials, so if you have the budget this is a winning choice.
Modest Swimsuit: Yes, It’s Possible!
Swami’s PlaySuit from TheSeea
This modest suit can go from water workouts to swimming to lounging without a care in the world. Style goes from S-XL.
And yes, you might say this isn’t the most mermaid-esque suit aesthetically. To me it’s more like the look was inspired by the sailors dragged down to drown in the deeps by the sirens.
Besides, I’d feel like a mermaid being able to glide through a creek or doing some wave jumping at the fractious Rehoboth shore in Delaware.
There’s just something very magical and freeing about knowing you can do any swimming or shoreside activity and not have to worry that a strap might slip at the wrong move. Plus, after I’ve gotten a mild sunburn on my arms, I like to switch to a long sleeved suit to keep from it getting worse. It’s been a problem on all my previous beach trips (I am super pale but I have to limit how much sunscreen I wear because my sister is severely allergic to some ingredient that’s in mainstream and natural sunlotions)
If you are just looking for more coverage on the top and are fine with the typical cut of swimsuit bottoms, they also sell one piece long sleeved (and high necked) surf suits that come in lots of different fun color combinations and go up to size XL!