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A DIVE INTO
VANILLA SAND’S ECOSYSTEM

Vanilla Sand’s videography

SUMMERTIME CALLS FOR STYLE AND MINIMALISM. DISCOVER THE UNLAYERED, FEW ESSENTIAL SWIMSUITS THAT ARE THE KEY PERFECT ACCESSORIES TO WORK ON YOUR TAN LINES WITH VANILLA SAND.

Words By Alessandra Di Perna

From warm earthy tones to summery palettes, Vanilla Sand swimsuits create the perfect range to create a chic look on the beach, while also being conscious of its environment and respecting it. Here, the delicate and fresh founder of the brand, Corinna Dick, talks about developing her own identity, embracing environmentalism and turning it into a fashionable choice.

Sustainable swimsuits

Starting sustainably

“During my Master studies at Nova SBE, I chose to focus my final thesis on sustainable fashion and that’s essentially how Vanilla Sand was born.” Born in Germany, Corinna experienced different positions around the corporate environment, from human resources to project management. It was not until the decision to go deeper into sustainable fashion for her thesis that she discovered how much unexploited potential for growth and expansion was hidden around this industry. “That, combined with my passion to spread important messages, made me want to continue this little project of mine”.

Defining objectives and goals is the first step to launching your own label, and Corinna relied heavily on her own style and inspiration to refine Vanilla Sand’s beautiful aesthetic and to identify its target customers, the ultimate, most valuable component of the business. “I think what makes us different from other designers is the fact that we try to combine new, upcoming trends with sustainability, which is something that I always struggled to find, and also one of the reasons why I saw so much potential in our brand concept.”

“All of our swimwear is made from regenerated ocean nylon and polyester and processed with local craftsmanship. Every decision is made with the highest regard for the people and our planet.”

swimsuit photoshoot

Vanilla Sand’s Photography

Vanilla Sand stands as an innovator in the sustainable fashion industry, creating swimwear collections using regenerated ocean nylon and polyester in order to alleviate the marine ecosystem from fossil fuel and plastic pollution. Local craftsmanship allows combining the attention to the original culture with the most relevant trends coming from Portugal and Brazil, where the production process happens. “Our pieces are for both women and men, who are looking for interesting and vivid patterns made sustainably to live a lifestyle, which upholds the fusion between culture, authenticity and nature.”

“We believe in the local culture, and keep it alive.”

As Mother Nature intended, the brand name Vanilla Sand is quickly able to make us dream of silky caramel sand and glowing golden skin. Corinna explains that they decided on purpose not to include words which referred to the sustainability characteristic of the company so as not to be performative but rather to support normalisation of sustainable practice.

Waste problems into solutions

“Vanilla Sand is sustainable because our swimwear turns waste problems into solutions. Ocean and landfill plastic waste, mainly fishing nets, are being collected and transformed into the most comfortable swimwear. Thereby, marine life and ocean-dwelling organisms are protected – we save fossil fuels and reduce landfill waste. At Vanilla Sand, we are continuously working on reducing the environmental footprint along the entire supply chain.”

“Vanilla Sand is sustainable because our swimwear turns waste problems into solutions.”

Inspired by the authentic characters and local inhabitants of some of the most radiant and nature-rich countries in the world, Brazil and Portugal, all transportation is conducted by ocean freight, over flights and all packaging is recycled paper materials to cut CO2 emissions. For Vanilla Sand, every component is meticulously studied in order to protect nature.

yellow swim suit

Vanilla Sand’s bathing suit and photography

When asked what sustainability means for her, Corinna stresses the importance of being aware of the personal impact of people on the planet as “sustainability is a wide concept that includes social, environmental and economic aspects of the lives of each individual and activities of societies and businesses.” Not a difficult concept to understand, but has become a rather vague word, which may facilitate misconceptions. “There are a lot of things that need to change about the fashion industry today and I think the biggest and most important part is to focus more on need rather than want.”

“There is a certain stigma around ethical shopping and we want to show people that you don’t have to compromise good quality, modern and trendy patterns or reasonable prices.” Many firms deciding to commit to sustainable goals often seem not attractive in terms of scalability and target customers, but for Vanilla Sand this is not the case.

Taking a look at their Bikini Carioca 2019 Collection, the fresh citrus patterns and the earth green, high waisted bottoms are just two examples of designs that embody true femininity and embrace curves, making every woman feel chic whether it be for relaxing mornings or a pool party.

summer with pets
bikini models

Vanilla Sand’s secret

What is Vanilla Sand’s secret brand formula? “Personally I appreciate quality, detail and craftsmanship. I like things that will last me a long time and things that look beautiful and that make me feel good.” It may be the 100% empowering female working environment, which includes migrant women who are able to enjoy the same rights and benefits as native ones. According to Corinna, the labor force situation tells a lot about a corporation and its values. When asking what luxury is to her, she does not have a clear definition in mind – she specifies – but the term luxury went under dramatic transformations along the way and nowadays carries quite a negative implication, especially when talking about child labor and exploitation. “Now, most luxury companies take advantage of the wants and desires and sell luxury products to the middle class that are everything except luxurious. They secretly produce in China, some even in sweatshops, employing child labor while making a huge profit of the back of exploitation, yet profiting from the luxury image.”

“Personally I appreciate quality, detail and craftsmanship. I like things that will last me a long time and things that look beautiful and that make me feel good.”

Vanilla Sand also collaborates with One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. For every purchase, Vanilla Sand will donate one dollar to the organization, which then equates to one tree planted. An uncomplicated, easy and impactful way to offset carbon and promote biodiversity in a genuine way.

So what does the future hold for Vanilla Sand? For now, they are working on many different projects – Corinna explains – among which being more inclusive by incorporating curvy models and expanding into the sportswear industry. “Overall our main goal is to spread our message by not just selling our products but by selling a lifestyle and an experience.”

Shop Vanilla Sand’s Nature Patterned Pieces

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MADEIRA SWIMSUIT

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SIDE LOOP SHELL BOTTOM

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PEPE SHORT

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COVER-UP RENE