Add to Cart is Vanmag's weekly style column, in which assistant editor Alyssa Hirose offers honest takes on current trends, local designs, and whatever new clothes/jewellery/shoes she's talking herself into (or out of) buying.

I can write about sustainable fashion all I want, but I must confess that as I type this—in what may be known to future generations as The Great Vancouver Heat Wave of 2021—I am wearing a swimsuit from Old Navy. I’m going to the beach (as soon as I finish this) in my Capitalism Bikini. I’m sorry.

old navyIt's not the suit featured in this ad (circa 2013) but it's very similar. The price alone is a huge red flag.

I do try my best to shop ethically, but that’s not always in the budget. It’s so hard to stomach spending triple the price on sustainable fashion, even if it is made better. I’m constantly asking myself if it’s worth it.

And because I am millennial garbage, I’m also thinking about whether anyone will take a nice photo of me today and whether I might put it on Instagram. And how, if I did, and someone cared enough to scroll down, they’d find lots of photos of me in the same Capitalism Bikini. I can’t remember when I bought it, exactly, but I definitely wore it on a school trip in 2014.

So I’ve had this swimsuit for a minimum of 7 years. During the summer months, I wear it all the time. It’s definitely faded and lost some of its elasticity, but I don’t care.

Imagine if I had bought a suit from an ethical brand—one that was made with better materials, by people who were paid a living wage, and crafted to last. I’d still have it, it would probably be less faded and more elastic, and I’d feel good about my 7 years later Instagram post.

nettle's taleThe Alicia Top from Nettle's Tale.

This not-so-imaginary swimsuit is the Alicia Top in Confetti from Nettle’s Tale. It’s made from 92 percent recycled polyester and 8 percent is Spandex. Nettle’s Tale is local—all of their apparel is made in Vancouver. And, not for nothing, but their inclusive community sizing and diverse models are extraordinarily helpful in finding the right size. I absolutely adore this print, which is done by local artist Meghan Bustard. It’s so celebratory and fun, and a perfect statement to honour COVID restrictions lessening, and gorgeous weather.

alicia top nettle's tale

It’s also almost $90, just for the top. It’s not cheap, because it’s not made that way. But if this Old Navy swimsuit has lasted me 7+ years, I’m pretty certain that the Alicia Top will have just as long of a life. It will be a reminder of this celebratory time for years to come.

The Look: Nettle's Tale's Alicia Top in Confetti
The Price: $89
Where to Find it: nettlestale.com
Where to Wear it: Jericho Beach right the hell now