Fair Fashion

Handknit is Hot: Ambika Bikinis Are Ready for Some Summertime

The Lace-up onepiece in the bold stripe pattern is sexy, unique and graphic, all at the same time. LOVE!

We’ve written about Ambika before (check out the handmade angora legwarmers here) and these hand-knit bikinis are another project by the talented and visionary Ambika Conroy. This is a woman who knows bikinis – one of her pieces was even featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, as well as other major fashion mags.

Obviously, knits are her thing – in fall and winter the angora (which comes from her own rabbits she lovingly raises), and for summer the perfectly crafted cotton swimsuits that she crochets up to order.

The cross-knot top in red is a stunner, paired with the bikini bottoms (with sweet doll tassels!) to match.

If you are worried about whether you can really swim in these suits, the answer is yes! I asked Ambika about that right off the bat as an avid lake and ocean swimmer myself. She said the knit holds up beautifully in the water and since she loves to jump in the water herself (and wears her own designs) the fact that the suits are totally wearable/usable/swimmable – and would stand the test of time – was important to her.

The sliding triangle top is decorated with (removable) Peruvian bamboo and turquoise embellishment.

Needless to say, I love these gorgeous pieces, and Ambika is even looking into natural dyes (and how to make them keep their color over multiple dippings and sunnings) to make her process even greener than it already is.

As written on her site, “Each Bikini is custom made, so please allow 2-4 weeks for it to be hand crocheted and mailed to you.” Some suits have jewelry elements, and others wooden beads. But you can order them as simple or embellished as you like.

The Ridged Cross Top is my absolute fave – not only to wear while swimming, but even better, layered under sheer or low-cut tops. It can be adjusted several different ways, including to make it a cleavage-booster.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.