Summer is officially here in Australia and what better way to celebrate than shining a spotlight on some Australian-made swimwear labels? While some people dread swimsuit shopping, I am not one of them. All I can think about right now is how to best maximise my beach/pool time over the coming months. Gimme all of the lycra! We’re pretty spoilt for choice here in Australia when it comes to swimwear and several new and noteworthy labels keep popping up each year. For this post I’ve decided to focus on labels that, to the best of my knowledge, manufacture their garments in Australia and partake in ethical practices. These are the local Aussie swimwear brands that I’ve got my eyes on this summer.
BAABY is an Australian swimwear label designed and made in Melbourne. All the designing and sampling is done in-house in Melbourne and every style is tested on various body types to ensure an ideal fit. All pieces are ethically and locally manufactured, and created using regenerated and sustainable luxury Italian lycra.
Camp Cove Swim is an Australian designed and made swimwear label founded by Katherine Hampton. The label is known for its fun prints and retro styling, with designs to suit a range of body types. All garments are ethically manufactured on the South Coast of New South Wales. All fabrics are printed in Sydney and recycled fabrics are incorporated into the lining of swimsuits.
Good Studios is a sustainable clothing and homewares label founded in 2012 by Anny Duff. The label focuses on ethical values and embraces sustainable practices wherever possible. The swimwear range is made from a mix of up-cycled or recycled nylon and extra life lycra and all garments are ethically manufactured in Adelaide.
If you’re after pared-back swimwear in classic, timeless cuts then this is the label for you. Founded by Tuyen Nguyen and Michael Lim in 2013, this Sydney based label is well on its way to becoming a cult Aussie favourite. Every piece is made and designed in Australia using the highest quality European fabric and many of the styles are made from recycled lycra.
Vege Threads is a low impact menswear and womenswear label founded by Amy Roberts. Their eco swimwear range comprises of a range of basic designs and is made using a mix of recycled nylon and extra life lycra. All of their Australian-made products have accreditation from Ethical Clothing Australia
[Images, clockwise from top left: Baaby, Camp Cove Swim, Vege Threads, Good Studios, Her.]
In the midst of a spring cleaning frenzy the other day I stumbled across a few pages that I had torn from an Australian Vogue feature on Australian beach culture (I can’t remember what issue exactly but it would have been from around the mid 2000s). The feature showcased a range of photographs from more notable names such as Helmut Newton, but my favourites were these taken by Laurence Le Guay. I hadn’t previously heard of Le Guay and a quick google search didn’t turn up much up other than that he was Sydney’s leading fashion photographer in the 1950s and 1960s and also served as a war photographer during WWII. While these photos were taken back in the 1950s, what with the current trend for vintage silhouettes, they barely look out of place today.
[Images by Laurence Le Guay for Vogue, scanned by me]
Long weekends provide the perfect opportunity for a getaway but I’m usually slack at planning trips to coincide with them. I pay no attention to my calendar and then next thing I know I’ve got three days to fill and nowhere to go. Luckily the other weekend my friends and I got our butts into gear and booked a trip to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. Now, I haven’t been to Coolum since Year 6 school camp and all I really remember from that trip is a candle making class where we kept dipping our hands into the hot wax while the teacher wasn’t looking. I’m usually impatient whenever I head up to the coast and take the first exits to Caloundra and Mooloolooba because GET ME TO A BEACH ASAP. However, if you spend a little bit of extra time on the road towards Coolum, Peregian and Noosa you’re rewarded with some pretty stunning coastline. I’d forgotten how beautiful this neck of the woods (coastline) is. If you hate blue skies and crystal clear turquoise waters, look away now.
We stayed in a self-contained apartment at Element on Coolum which was centrally located and clean, spacious, and fairly modern.
There are plenty of dining and takeaway options along the main strip of David Low Way, adjacent to Coolum Beach. There’s also a shopping complex a few streets back with a supermarket and various other shops. While we were there we alternated between making meals in our apartment and dining out.
During our stay we ate at the Coolum Surf Club which provided the best beach-front setting as well as Canteen Kitchen + Bar for lunch and afternoon cocktails.
Other places that we didn’t get to try out included Compound Secondhand Surf & Espresso (it was closed on the Sunday) and Raw Energy (it was packed out on the public holiday Monday so we headed to Stellarossa instead where I waited way too long for my breakfast and the waitress couldn’t tell the difference between a latte/cappucino/flat white).
Spend all your time at the beach, duh (but also, be sun safe). If you can, however, manage to peel yourself away from the sand and surf these are some other things you could do:
The coastal walk from Coolum Beach to Point Arkwright is pretty worthwhile. It’s a leisurely walk and takes about half an hour each way. Unless, of course, you’re like me and stop at various points along the way to gawp at the scenery and take photos. It’s on this walk that you’ll also find your way to little coves like First Bay and Second Bay.
If you’re lucky (we were) and it’s the right time of year you might be able to spot some whales splashing off the coastline. Point Perry is a pretty good vantage point but any spot high on the coastline will do.
If you’re feeling particularly active, hike up Mt Coolum for an even better view of the coastline.
Staying at Coolum also puts you in a pretty good position to make the quick trip up to Noosa
. While we had initially planned one such outing, once we got to Coolum we decided it was too good to leave.
What’s your favourite local getaway spot?