Looking for swimsuits that will flatter you, no matter what your shape or size? Meet feminist swimwear brand Vanilla Sand!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Vanilla Sand not only holds feminist ideals, but it is an ethical label all around. The label is valued by women around the globe for its special cuts, natural fabric quality and consistently sustainable values.
This brand, founded by Corinna Dickenbrok with the intent of promoting slow fashion, supports family-owned production chains, ensuring integrity and transparency. Of course, fair wages are always paid to its workers, and the health of the planet is always in the mind of Dickenbrok when she creates her styles.
For example? Vanilla Sand proudly uses natural materials like organic cotton, and also employs recycled materials, such as those made from reused fish nets and PET bottles. In fact, Dickenbrok has a strong academic background in sustainability: she is a MBS Bachelor International Business alumna, and wrote her thesis focused on sustainable fashion.
I wanted to learn more about how Vanilla Sand’s ethics were formed, and especially wanted to know more about how Dickenbrok’s feminism was reflected through the brand. Here, in this exclusive interview, she explains all.
Meet Corinna Dickenbrok of Feminist Swimwear Brand Vanilla Sand
It’s pretty common for women to feel insecure about their bodies when trying on swimwear. What tips do you have for them to feel better about doing this?
First of all, the best advice I can give is: stop the comparisons! There are no equal bodies out there, and they are all beautiful and special in their own way.
Second, if there really is something that does not satisfy you in your body, change it. It may be through a more balanced diet, more physical exercise, or by drinking more water.
Last, but not least, I would say try to dedicate more thought and time to the acceptance of your body. There is no better tip than growing self-love and a better personal relationship with our body. Our body is our temple, it is where we live and take refuge, and it is with it that we will live together all our lives, so it is best to start investing in this love now.
As a woman, how do you feel about swimwear?
I think swimwear can bring out the best in every woman – this is because there is a suitable piece for each of us, with all of our beautiful differences.
You say ‘Carioca’ defines you brand, in part. Tell us about what that means, and how it inspires you?
‘Carioca’ refers to the authentic and playful character and the definition of the residents of Rio de Janeiro. Thus, our washes and cuts are colorful and expressive, just like your own vibrant lifestyle. People’s relationship with Mother Nature is reflected in our collection, using recycled ocean waste, premium biodegradable nylon for all of our swimwear.
We protect nature, people and culture by producing locally and sustainably in Porto Alegre, in Northern Brazil.
In what ways would you say your brand is female-friendly?
Vanilla Sand is a brand that sees each woman as unique. That is, we believe that no two women are the same. In this sense, each one of us (including myself obviously) has tastes, bodies and can be quite different and such, as our needs are different.
Vanilla Sand is always looking, in all our collections, to find the best options to use for all women – by creating pieces for different types of bodies, with cores and patterns that can please different types of tastes and uses.
You plant a tree for every item sold. What inspired that policy?
The recent deforestation in Australia and the Amazon have made us want to contribute to a greater cause, in addition to the one we have already committed to when creating a sustainable swimwear brand. Thus, we collaborate with OneTreePlanted in order to help reforestation on our beautiful planet.
The models you choose for your collections are often refreshingly normal in terms of body types. What made you make that decision?
Our decision was to declare that a t Vanilla Sand, we offer pieces for all types of bodies. But it is not easy to find women who are willing to be photographed in swimwear, often because of the social pressure that exists for the “perfect body”. Our goal in the next collections is to have models that represent more typical types of bodies, to reflect the diversity of the female body.
For that shoot, we are looking for girls who are comfortable taking pictures and feeling powerful in representing their bodies, proud to show the public that there is no such thing as the perfect body for wearing a bikini or a bathing suit.
Do you find that sales are just as good with ‘normal’ women showing your styles as when models do?
We found no differences in selling swimwear, no matter what bodies are represented. That’s why we continue to use both actual and “normal” models. What we want to convey (“for all types of bodies”) goes beyond the sales objective, and I think this gets through to our customers and makes them feel good in the skin they wear.
Which women have most inspired you in terms of motivating your work?
One of them is the tennis world champion, Serena Williams, since I was a professional tennis player when I was young and very much connected to those idols. She inspires women to be able to succeed in a woman‘s body and mind as long as you put dedication in your passion! Others are friends, family and people that I meet in the everyday life – lots of you inspire me.
Finally, what tips do you have for women who find it difficult to buy swimwear?
If you have difficulty buying swimwear, it is because you still don’t know Vanilla Sand! For that reason, I invite you to follow our projects closely.
For more information on Feminist Swimwear Brand Vanilla Sand, please click here.