History of swimwear traces the changes in the styles of men’s and women’s swimwear over time and between cultures, and touches on the social, religious and legal attitudes to swimming and swimwear.
In classical antiquity and in most cultures, swimming was either in the nude or the swimmer would merely strip to their underwear. In the Middle Ages, swimming was strongly discouraged, and into the 18th century swimming was regarded as of doubtful morality, and had to be justified on health grounds. In the Victorian era swimwear was of a style of outer clothing of the time, which were cumbersome and even dangerous in the water, especially in the case of dress-style swimwear for women. Since the early 20th century, swimming came to be regarded as a legitimate leisure activity or pastime and clothing made specifically for swimming became the norm. Since then, swimwear has become increasingly more scanty and form-fitting, despite the objections of conservative elements in the community and moral campaigners, and the use of hi-tech materials has become more common.
As I mentioned earlier in my blog, I wish for my collection to stand out from my competition and the main way I will do this, is by using of hi-tec innovative materials and textiles currently on the market and inventing my own. My research into the current sustainability goals in the Caribbean show that Jamaica is not leading the way for using more sustainable resources in energy. I wish for us to also be the market leaders in the Caribbean for this. Currently the Caribbean Islands are battling a influx of Gulf seaweed/ or Sargassum seaweed drifting in from the Sargasso Sea. This type of seaweed is ruining coast lines and the beautiful white beach people travel so far to see and enjoy.
(Big changes in the Sargasso Sea. MBARI expedition finds lower biodiversity in the sargassum mats. Video source: MBARI/Youtube.)
I have ideas bubbling away at how best to use this seaweed, looking deeply into the possibility of pioneering a swimwear textiles made of 100% of Gulf seaweed may sound like a stretch but if possible with 3-5 years of core development, the possibilities are endless. It’s also key to note that Knitted swimwear in wool was some of the very first swimwear developed, coincidentally my theme of retro crochet Bikini’s ties in well to this early concept of the knitted form however it would be fashion forward concept to marry to two. Viewing seaweed as a type of ‘natural plastic’ formed into to knit or Woven yarn that can then be constructed as a final textile. This is just early stage development talk but I am keen to be a leader in the Caribbean using sustainable resources.
(“From the surface, it looks bad. But could you imagine if you were a fish?” Dave Eliot goes underwater to take a look at these climate-change enhanced algae blooms. Video source: YouTube.)
image credit; https://skinnyislandpost.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/koras-portuguese-and-gulfweed/