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SWIMMING COSSIES

One-pieces, two-pieces, bikinis, tankinis, jammers, shorts, briefs and trunks… we’ve been trying out the best swimming cossies for enjoying a summer of outdoor swimming

TRIED & TESTED

It’s an exciting time in the world of swimwear, with a number of new brands emerging to better address the needs of ‘real swimmers’ and the broader ethos of outdoor swimming, adventure and environmental responsibility and marking a much needed shift in focus across swimwear manufacturers.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

KinaMara, founded by outdoor swimmers Dawn and Pete, have bright jammers, shorts and onepieces “for everyone who loves to swim – especially in the outdoors”. They recently launched at London’s Brockwell lido with a ‘splashmob’ of real swimmers.

On to Devon, a hub for wild swimming, where development economist Helen Newcombe has founded Davy J, a female focused “swimwear brand for open water life. Designed to survive a dive and pull off a cliff jump.” Its first range, ‘The Waste Collection SS2017’, uses 100% regenerated nylon yarn from waste, including spent and ghost fishing nets.

An average of 640,000 tons of fishing nets are left in the oceans every year (a tenth of all marine litter). For every ton of waste nets collected there is enough nylon regenerated to create more than 10,000 swimsuits.This first collection features a swimming cossie, bikini briefs and choice of bikini or crop top. As part of their ‘Real Swim Wear’ campaign, Davy J is showcasing incredible women who are doing amazing things, in and around the coastal environment, including Channel swimming, paddle boarding and the all-female expedition crew of Sea Dragon, an ocean-going scientific research vessel that spent last month in the Caribbean looking at plastics pollution. Their next expediton is Round Britain, setting sail from Plymouth in August 2017.

The gap in the market for attractive technical swimwear and something more than a flimsy thong on the beach, that empowers swimmers on their walk from the changing room to the pool, seashore or river bank, is also being addressed by Deakin And Blue, who have launched this summer with a collection of one and two-pieces that focus on the female body shape, for women with up to HH cup. “Choosing swimwear should not be a choice between fashion and function, or femininity and athleticism”, says founder Rosie Cook, articulating the feelings of women across the swim community - amen to that swim sister!

In that same spirit, Lisa Montague founded Blackfish swim wear when she was given an Olympic quality swimsuit. She couldn’t believe how sporty it made her feel and now she is on a mission to making high performance compression swimwear incorporating the muscle toning and fitness advantages of competitive swimwear in designs accessible to women. A new collection is launching soon with swim coaches Swim Lab.

It’s early days for these new brands. With their first collections launched, they are all committed to engaging with their customers to make sure that their designs continue to evolve to meet the needs of real swimmers – now there’s an idea!

We put more than 25 costumes to the test
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About Outdoor Swimmer

In this issue we are celebrating the joy of wild swimming. There is more to swimming outdoors than organised events and races; wild swimming gives you space to experience nature, adventure, freedom and creativity. Seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and lochs... look at a map and any blue space is a possibility to swim. As contributor Sam Mould writes in ‘Wayfarer in the Wilderness’, her exploration of wild swimming and landscape: “I feel that I have become dislocated from the natural world, from the wild environment and the inexorable rawness of nature.” Wild swimming goes some way to redress that balance. We hope you enjoy the stories within these pages, whether you like dipping in tarns in the Lake District or swimming across lakes in Switzerland, and get some new ideas for your own wild swimming adventures around the country and the world. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor
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