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ROOTS

Ellen Humphreys is an actress, freelance content producer and micro-influencer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Born and raised in Oklahoma, trained in Boston + refined in Los Angeles, she’s chosen the high desert as her home base to build a career as a creatrix, thinker + writer. A devoted stewardess of the Earth and the life around her.

ROOTS is an everyday resource for a mindful + beautiful life, built on the values of integrity, responsibility, practicality, and authenticity.

Required Summer Reading: 3 Swimwear Brands You Can Actually Feel Good About Supporting

My bikini body in a clearance bodysuit, because I had to spend money on an apartment deposit and a desk chair this season. :)

My bikini body in a clearance bodysuit, because I had to spend money on an apartment deposit and a desk chair this season. :)

For most modern womyn, “swimsuit season” never arrives without a heavy set of baggage just beneath it. I remember being fifteen, prodding and pressing at my body in a Dillard’s dressing room. I refused to step out of the room to show my mom what I’d tried on — a thousand-pound weight of guilt and shame and fear upon my shoulders.

That was in 2008, before feminist t-shirts and “every body is a bikini body!” memes were en vogue. But even with the beautiful strides we’ve made in body positivity + inclusivity, it can be difficult to find swimwear options without having to sift through a half-dozen pages of the same thin, white, privileged bodies you’ve been seeing in bikinis since… well, you've been seeing bikinis. The marketing tactics used by most swimwear brands are manipulative at best ("buy our bikini and you'll look like this!") and evil, at worst ("if you don't look like this girl in a bikini, you're worthless").

For almost all of us, swimwear shopping is unpleasant. But for some, it can be outright triggering. So I rounded up 3 brands that sell chic swimsuits without manipulative and outdated marketing.

And to sweeten the deal, the brands featured here use ethical + sustainable practices — so you can shop responsibly, as well as happily.

*Note: unlike similar listicles, this post is entirely unsponsored. Buy one of everything, or buy nothing -- I get squat, either way. Just one way to show I'm doing this work for y'all.*
*This post features fashion brands that focus on quality + sustainability -- therefore, their prices are prohibitive to some. Check out this great blog post on affordable fashion brands.*
*If you're still on the hunt, try this great blog post on 9 Black-owned swimwear lines!*


Why I love it |  Hackwith Design House stands out above the rest as a woman-owned and -operated, Made In America brand. Everything is handmade in-house at their Minnesota studio, and HDH minimizes waste by not making your clothes until they’ve been ordered. Their prices are on the steeper side of this list, but apparently the quality of the make is as solid as the timelessness of the classic pieces — let’s just say you won’t have to shop again next year. Best of all, HDH's inclusive marketing isn’t limited to the HDH Plus page —  Reformation, take note.  You won’t see an overwhelmingly frail, thin, white populace wearing these threads.   Favorite looks |  The super laid-back  Skinny Knot Top  and  High-Waisted Bottoms  call my name in a gorgeous shade of cerulean blue. An even lighter shade of robin’s-egg will tug at your heart (and it’s discounted to under $60 for a top!).   $$$ |  Bottoms start at $60, tops at $90 and one-pieces at $130. However! Discontinued fabrics + styles are currently discounted as low as $36, so jump on their website now to take advantage.

Why I love it | Hackwith Design House stands out above the rest as a woman-owned and -operated, Made In America brand. Everything is handmade in-house at their Minnesota studio, and HDH minimizes waste by not making your clothes until they’ve been ordered. Their prices are on the steeper side of this list, but apparently the quality of the make is as solid as the timelessness of the classic pieces — let’s just say you won’t have to shop again next year. Best of all, HDH's inclusive marketing isn’t limited to the HDH Plus page — Reformation, take note. You won’t see an overwhelmingly frail, thin, white populace wearing these threads.

Favorite looks | The super laid-back Skinny Knot Top and High-Waisted Bottoms call my name in a gorgeous shade of cerulean blue. An even lighter shade of robin’s-egg will tug at your heart (and it’s discounted to under $60 for a top!).

$$$ | Bottoms start at $60, tops at $90 and one-pieces at $130. However! Discontinued fabrics + styles are currently discounted as low as $36, so jump on their website now to take advantage.

 
Why I love it |  Founded + owned by a former Power Ranger (I shit you not) and current mama, Rey Swim is all sweatshop-free and ethically-made in Los Angeles. Knowing that employees are paid a fair wage will have you resting easy with your purchase — not to mention the fact that their swimwear fabric is knit using yarn made from recycled fishing nets. Talk about coming full-circle, right? This brand also features fashionable-yet-modest options like swim dresses and separate skirts that can be used as a cover up or to give a little more coverage to your favorite existing swimsuit! The word “tankini” used to haunt my nightmares, but this brand’s full-coverage tops are a much-needed modern update.   Favorite looks |   The Grace  is a ruffled, wrap one-piece that’s so flattering it would literally look good on your grandpa;  The Celia  peplum tankini top is chic and versatile — perfect for a pool party, beach BBQ or even a picnic in the park.   $$$ |  Separates average around $50-70, and one pieces will put you back a little over $100. Update an old suit with a new skirt for $59… and here’s hoping the adorable swim dresses come back in stock ASAP.

Why I love it | Founded + owned by a former Power Ranger (I shit you not) and current mama, Rey Swim is all sweatshop-free and ethically-made in Los Angeles. Knowing that employees are paid a fair wage will have you resting easy with your purchase — not to mention the fact that their swimwear fabric is knit using yarn made from recycled fishing nets. Talk about coming full-circle, right? This brand also features fashionable-yet-modest options like swim dresses and separate skirts that can be used as a cover up or to give a little more coverage to your favorite existing swimsuit! The word “tankini” used to haunt my nightmares, but this brand’s full-coverage tops are a much-needed modern update.

Favorite looks | The Grace is a ruffled, wrap one-piece that’s so flattering it would literally look good on your grandpa; The Celia peplum tankini top is chic and versatile — perfect for a pool party, beach BBQ or even a picnic in the park.

$$$ | Separates average around $50-70, and one pieces will put you back a little over $100. Update an old suit with a new skirt for $59… and here’s hoping the adorable swim dresses come back in stock ASAP.

 
Why I love it |  Yes, the name sounds a little like one of those companies that sell knock-offs of luxury brands on Amazon, but trust me — you have no reason to fear Bikini Empire. Their iconic, apparently buttery-soft Eco Luxe fabric is made in Italy in a solar-powered factory that supports the WWF by helping preserve land around the world for wildlife habitats. The swimwear is ethically produced, sweatshop-free and made in Canada.   Favorite looks |   The Bodysuit  is an unbeatably modern one-piece with just the right level of high-rise leg. To stay true to the Bikini Empire name, the  Monroe shorts  and  Miss Parker top  will never, ever go out of style.   $$$ |  Separates start at $50-60 (with several options just $20-30 on sale!); one-pieces just over $100 — and that super-chic bodysuit is on sale for $50 in a pale pink!

Why I love it | Yes, the name sounds a little like one of those companies that sell knock-offs of luxury brands on Amazon, but trust me — you have no reason to fear Bikini Empire. Their iconic, apparently buttery-soft Eco Luxe fabric is made in Italy in a solar-powered factory that supports the WWF by helping preserve land around the world for wildlife habitats. The swimwear is ethically produced, sweatshop-free and made in Canada.

Favorite looks | The Bodysuit is an unbeatably modern one-piece with just the right level of high-rise leg. To stay true to the Bikini Empire name, the Monroe shorts and Miss Parker top will never, ever go out of style.

$$$ | Separates start at $50-60 (with several options just $20-30 on sale!); one-pieces just over $100 — and that super-chic bodysuit is on sale for $50 in a pale pink!