Icelandic swimwear inspired by the local swimming culture
Swimslow is a sustainable swimwear brand by designer and stylist Erna Bergmann. The swimsuits are designed in Iceland and made in Italy out of recycled quality fabrics. With a focus on sustainability, the swimsuits are characterized by classic silhouettes, clean lines and sharp tailoring, Erna’s objective was to create a piece of clothing that was modern, subtle, timeless and elegant with an underlying rawness and sensitivity.
With focus on minimizing environmental impact and the nowness in life, the philosophy behind Swimslow springs from the local culture and history of bathing in the Icelandic swimming pools. We don't believe in swimming seasons - swimming is a part of the daily life in Iceland and the designer took inspiration from her ritual trips to the local pool and the wooden sauna and mixed it with her experience to be in the now.
The campaign was shot in the remote West Fjords of Iceland where there are plenty of secret natural pools. Photo/ Saga Sigurðardóttir
"The swimsuits are made from sustainable materials with every detail tended to with regards to design and production," explains Bergmann, who premiered her stunning collection at Design March last Thursday. "We put an emphasis on making women feel good and we want the whole production process to be a transparent one, from the first design to the final product. The weave in the swimsuits is from used materials such as rugs and fish nets. It's made in Slovenia with an emphasis on the lowest possible impact on the environment. The material is then made in Northern Italy and is OEKO- TEX ® certified. The swimsuits are then cut and sewn in the same region, just a few kilometres from the factory that makes the material."
Designer Erna Bergmann goes to the pool regularly and couldn't find swimsuits that lasted, so she designed them herself. Photo/ Saga Sigurðardóttir
Bergmann says that the label is very inspired by Iceland's swimming and bathing culture. "Icelanders have had this long relationship with the magic and healing of water. Iceland's bathing culture is unique and is founded on our natural resources. Bathing and swimming is a part of our culture at least all the way back to the 12th century when bathing was first mentioned in written sources. Two natural pools are mentioned, the first is the pool of Gvendur the good in Bjarnarfjörður, and the second is the pool of Snorri Sturluson in Reykholt, made in the era of the Sturlungar family clan. Many of this country's pools have a long history, as locals would unearth warm streams or make dams to create pools. But I was also inspired by the philosophy of mindfulness. I practice yoga and like to go to the pool either before or after and my swimsuits wore out quickly. It was difficult to find beautiful swimsuits that were neither too sporty nor too sexy, so I decided to design them myself. "
Bergmann adds that she wants women to experience both comfort and confidence in a Swimslow swimsuit. Asked about her own personal favourite bathing spot, she mentions Vesturbæjarlaugin in West Reykjavik. "Because of its sauna and great atmosphere. And the hot tubs at Sundhöllin pool in central Reykjavik are great at around 11 am when the sun is shining, if you want to get sunkissed and relax. As to natural pools, Laugaskarð in Hveragerði is a big favourite and all the natural hot springs and old country pools in the West Fjords of Iceland."
You can follow Swimslow on Instagram HERE.