Review of The New Reformation Swim

There's nothing quite like starting a post on the internet about swimsuits by disclosing your weight. The truth is it took me years and years to get to the point where I realized I was incredibly happy being 5'10 and 153 pounds. It wasn't really until I got sick and all the medicines made it hard for me to exercise, eat healthy, maintain a normal metabolism, and the scale (which I am subjected to almost weekly at the doctor) crept up and up that I realized just how happy I was to be right where I was.

That said - it's pretty hard to find a great fitting swimsuit. I want something flattering, comfortable and stylish. I want it to say "I'm truly happy with my body" but not "look at me! look at me!" The quiet confidence of wearing something that looks good on you - that feels good.

And Reformation just gets my body. It really does. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the suit fits me so darn well. Not gonna lie, the tiny side straps dig into my waist a little bit, but only if I don't slide them up high enough. Sometimes I forget it's not actually the early aughts and that hip huggers aren't really my fave look anyways.

I was also asked by a friend to answer some questions about why I choose (and pay more for) ethical/sustainable fashion. That is how I got into #refbabe status in the first place. I wanted to share what I wrote in response to her thoughtful questions, because my own answers were revelatory to me as well.

I was first introduced to the concept of ethical/sustainable brands almost a decade ago. I was working at a non-profit and we did a fashion show with a labor-rights watch group. The picture they painted of the working conditions really stuck with me, as did their description of the wastefulness of fast fashion. So many resources go into the production of clothing - water, shipping costs, pesticides and plastics used to make materials - and yet so many clothes end up in the dumpster every year. 

But of course, the price point is a problem. You get what you pay for! Supporting a living wage, using sustainable fabrics, all of that costs more money than traditional production methods. The way I justify actively seeking out and paying more for these kinds of clothes is the added benefit of buying less, better things. That in and of itself is sustainable. 

I really started my movement towards sustainable clothing by thrifting - that's an affordable first step, recycling clothes. Later it became about just trying to consume less, because buying something that you wear once before it falls apart is hugely wasteful, both for the environment and for my bank account. It feels like, as someone who's been trying for a long time to make good choices, that it's becoming easier and easier to find great things. There are brands I stand by, wear all the time, feauture on blog, and know I can trust to deliver me great looking pieces. I remember when the options just weren't there, and the style tended to be a certain kind of hippy chic that wasn't me. Ha. 

Now you have the Reformation, Everlane (with their transparent working conditions), Cuyana, Amour Vert. Big brands are noticing and trying to compete - just look at H&M conscious. Enough people are choosing to make this kind of purchasing decision, and willing to pay more for it, that the industry as a whole has been forced to start moving in this direction. Real change is happening. Someday history will look back on these practices as so barberic, it will be like we think about serfdom, or makeup made from lead. 

The more people actively make this kind of choice, the easier it becomes for everyone. You don't have to work so hard to find great looking pieces, things you'll actually wear. They last longer, they tend to be designed as more classic, staple pieces that don't go out of style quickly. They are investments. I love emerging luxury brands like Re/Done, which sources all their denim from vintage jeans and reworks them in a downtown LA factory. The whole industry has just elevated the options available for people who want to recycle fabric, buy clothes made by people paid a fair living wage, and cut down the carbon footprint of producing internationally and then shipping clothes across the globe. There's all this beautiful, deadstock fabric, just waiting to be given new life in your closet. 

And of course, demand breeds innovation - look at what Stella McCarthy has done in terms of developing new material development practices. Her "leather" feels just as luxurious, lasts just as long. There are just so many beautiful pieces out there now to choose from. 

Looking back, I think the real turning point for me came when I read a statistic about the proliferation of trace amounts of formaldehyde in fast fashion. That's terrifying. I was just diagnosed with breast cancer, at the age of 29, and I remember thinking that it was both gross and scary. To have those kinds of poison on your skin, being absorbed into your body through your pores? That made it worth the investment for me. I've even joked that those chemicals were associated with my early cancer diagnosis, even though I know that hasn't been scientifically proven as a thing. 

There are very few things more personal than the clothes we wear on our bodies. Transperancy in production, ethical and sustainable practices, even just buying things that are made to last, I just feel better when I wear things like that on my skin. 


Anyways, I think I'll let these unedited pictures speak for themselves.

Get your own Reformation Swim  (or at least get on the waitlist!)