It’s finally heating up, which means lounging at the pool are imminent. Summer is a great opportunity to spend your staycation in stylish wares while doing your bit to revive the South African textile and skincare industry. Benn van der Westhuizen gives a rundown on some of the top swimwear, skincare, and accessories brands to support right now.
Breazies is a buzzy swimwear label from Salt Rock in KZN helping guys look effortlessly cool throughout summer. Their seasonal collection, the 4th edition, is made up of refined prints that would look great as you take on the blue waters, or just sipping on sundowners at a bar.
The men’s swimwear range also offers head-to-toe summer suits which include a matching shirt and shorts for stylishly bold blokes. Top it off with a bucket cap in the same pattern and you’re bound to turn heads for all the good reasons.
A small line of classy mini-me dad and son sets, sand-free micro fibre towels, and t-shirt selection can also be purchased.
Comfort and fuss-free practicality are quite important for this proudly South African brand. Slide into the holiday mood with swim shorts is made locally from 100% quick dry brushed polyester with an elastic waistband and drawstring, and pockets on the side and back.
Where to get it: Online, via Breazies.com. Or visit Vendange in Hyde Park
The continued push for sustainability has seen an increased awareness of the harmful ingredients of conventional sunscreen products. Thankfully we have a local brand in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley silently making strides with a more conscious approach to sun-skincare.
Le Naturel created an all-natural, high protection sunscreen alternative without any nasties that can harm the ocean. This all-natural sunscreen is made from organic shea butter, coconut oil, non-nano zinc oxide, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, and locally harvested essential oils, making it completely reef-safe, waterproof and safe for the whole family.
The rest of their cruelty-free Outdoor Range includes Surf Wax packed in a nifty, reusable wooden box, Anti-Bug Balm with Lavender and African Wormwood essential oils keep insects at bay and the ever-versatile Buchu Balm that can cool down irritated skin and relieve dryness and itching.
Founder Lea Botha is inspired by South Africa’s indigenous medicinal plants such as Buchu, African Helichrysum, Cape Snowbus and other amazing fynbos plants for their incredible healing benefits and enchanting aromas.
Le Naturel’s handcrafted line of products also includes face serums, natural wash and lotion, a natural range of baby products, and even all-natural dish soap. The entire product range is free from petrochemicals, parabens, sulphates, and artificial fragrances and colours.
Just Jump designs a funky range of durable swimwear for kids between the ages 1 and 12, as well as a special line for trendy teens. To top it all off, the team recently branched out with matching boys and men boardshorts and rashie sets that are cool enough to swim in or double as all-day wear.
This proudly South African brand is made in Cape Town and doing its bit to help revive the local rag trade.
Owner Paula Hinks and her design team conceptualise the playful and age-appropriate prints, and the entire range is made from quality UPF50+, chlorine resistant lycra that protects against UV rays.
To complement the range, Just Jump just launched a range of matching micro-fibre towels that dries in a jiffy. And their popular UV water repellent sun hats have become a firm favourite with parents who love the fact that besides matching the swimwear, boast a nice wide rim and tie toggle – great for in and out of the water.
Where to get it: Online, via Justjump.co.za
The South African sun taught us the importance of protecting yourself against harmful UV rays while enjoying the outdoors. SUNHATS have taken the hassle out of sourcing the best sun-safe hat brands while keeping you on-trend with chic designs and materials. You can shop a wide selection of high-quality functional hats online, many of them with the highest grade of sun protection: UPF50+.
This online collective offers a stunning collection of hats from local brand Emthunzini Hats, as well as international label Evoke Australia and an exclusive collection with Tina M Copenhagen.
Emthunzini Hats were the first proudly local sun hats to have been awarded the CANSA Seal of Recognition in South Africa, offering maximum UVA and UVB sun protection with their UPF50+ rating.
The collection includes stylish hats for men, women and children with over 60 styles to choose from including handcrafted Madagascan Raffia hats and classic Fedoras. Tina M Copenhagen’s special collection has been designed with edgy minimalist elegance in mind. You’re bound to stand out at any occasion with this range of premium designer headwear.
Where to get it: Online, via Sunhats.co.za. The three core brands can also be found in boutiques and gift shops countrywide
Chasing Bees is a family-run South African menswear brand for gents who appreciate mod prints and sharp fits with a strong ethical underscore.
The current collection leans more towards the retro side with heavy references to 70s floral and geometric prints. And to keep on the contemporary curve, Chasing Bees swim shorts are fashionably cropped for a neater fit, and made from finely peached strong lightweight and quick-drying swimwear fabric.
And their conservation and ethical values of Chasing Bees stack up equally neatly. The team is passionate about their support for small business development and actively source and partner with local businesses to decrease their carbon footprint.
The Cape Town brand also walks the talk by donating a percentage of their profit to Ujubee.com, a research group in the Western Cape, whose work is dedicated to the study and conservation of wild bees and other pollinators and the natural habitat.
Where to get it: Online, via Chasingbees.co.za.
Most people don’t put a lot of thought into beach towels. Yet the standards are simple, they should be large enough, plush, absorbent, and stylish. Swim-dry® ticks all the boxes with an impossibly compact microfiber beach towel that stays feather-soft and cosy even when outdoors.
Touted as ‘the pioneers in the microfiber towel technology’ in South Africa, the brand already earned the support of gym-goers and athletes for the effectiveness of their fast-absorbing gym towels.
Beach lovers will love the outdoor microfiber towels available in a variety of fetching patterns and colours. All Swim-dry® towels undergo an anti-bacterial treatment to avoid the build-up of odour-causing bacteria and mildew while keeping your towel fresh.
And while conventional towels lose their threads and become worn out, microfiber towels have an added ultra-durability factor that keeps it permanently soft and sand-free.
Incredibly versatile and lightweight in your beach bag, we reckon these towels might be the next hottest summer accessories.
Swim-dry® also stocks a waterproof cellphone pouch to protect your phone from splashes and allows underwater photography.
Where to get it: Online, via Microtowels.co.za
Surf Sense is an indie fashion studio focusing on handmade and consciously designed swimwear that is durable as it is exquisite.
The collection is all about cool vibes and includes swimsuits, one-pieces, and yoga suits for women and youth in a gorgeous variety of understated prints and luxe fabrics. There is also a small line of surfer apparel such as rash vests for men, surfboard bags, and money belts.
The swimsuits are designed to keep water lovers protected from the sun with a `UPF 50+’ factor to safeguard your skin from the damaging effects of the sun while avoiding sunscreens that are harmful to our oceans, rivers and reefs.
With environmental awareness and sustainability ethos at the core of the range, Surf Sense use Repreve fabric that is made from recycled plastic bottles and ocean landfill wherever possible. Approximately 15 bottles regenerated into the yarn create one suit.
Shelly Rankin launched this St Francis Bay label in 2016 and still designs custom suits for diving, paddling, snorkeling, surfing, SUPing and skiing, to name just a few.
Where to get it: Online, via Surfsense.co.za
Behind Spiritgirl are two fun-loving, active South African girls with a sense of adventure and an eco-awareness for the world. They are proud to call the vibrant city of Cape-Town home.
Their passion for design, nurture for nature and love of an active lifestyle, brought them together to form Spiritgirl to create custom-designed yoga and surfwear.
They would aspire for their apparel to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle, help them feel free to express themselves and to shine brightly to the world. Their work is inspired by their travels, respect for other spiritual beliefs and love of nature.
The Spiritgirl activewear collection is made from recycled plastic bottles (PET). Once the bottles have gone through the recycled process, they get woven with 20% spandex to create the beautiful sustainable Spiritgirl activewear.
Through this process, less pollution is created and more energy is saved. This also cuts down the demands for dyes and fixing agents and decreases emissions of carbon dioxide.