Brand Focus: Summersalt
When did swimwear get SO expensive?!?
It's finally summer and we like to switch up our swimwear as frequently as we switch our lipstick, but not when a foot of lycra costs upwards of $300 a pop. And we certainly don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity - can you imagine a tear in the wrong place?? Enter Summersalt - designer quality swim suits for $95.
Our curious minds (more like suspicious nowadays) wondered what the catch was, and our responsible selves asked the question "How can they produce such a high quality suit at such a low price?" Here's what we found...
Thanks to the new generation of direct-to-consumer economies (paved by brands like Warby Parker & Glossier) upstarts like Summersalt can cut out the middlemen (i.e. that lengthy supply chain and the massive advertising budget needed to support it). All those savings are passed on directly to the consumer. Founder Lori Coulter, a veteran in the swimwear business with 10+ years of R&D experience created a fully digital and automated supply chain by integrating 3D body scanning and computer aided design. Oh, and did we mention each design is tested on olympic swimmers and offers UPF 50+ protection? Impressive, we agree. But they still one-up that: every suit is made from recycled fibers, shipped in a reusable bag and marketing collateral is printed on 100% recycled paper.
But DTC brands rarely have a store front so fit is naturally a concern. Co-founder Reshma Chamberlin understands how crucial this step is to finding the perfect suit so Summersalt uses a patented technology which gathers millions of data points to simplify size and fit issues. Plus, the 4 layers of built-in compression basically makes it the Spanx of bathing suits. We'll miss trying on bikinis under those department store fluorescent lights - said no one ever.
A Glamour article quoted Coulter about the general aesthetic of Summersalt and we say AMEN to her adventure-ready ethos: "We wanted to avoid over-sexualized, uncomfortable swimsuits. We took a fresh, athleisure approach to how swimwear should fit, and we ended up with a very sleep, sophisticated look that's fun and adventure ready. Each suit is beautiful and comfortable, and there's a wide range so every woman can find her perfect fit."
One last nugget worth pointing out...that savvy supply chain we mentioned earlier allows Summersalt to release new designs as quickly as all the fast fashion retailers release new duds, almost weekly. No, we're not contradicting ourselves and supporting fast fashion ideals. This innovative brand figured out how to cut costs ethically and use recycled materials all while keeping pace with consumer demand. Far different than fast fashion. Gold star Summersalt, gold star!