Sunlit road trips and funky night outs—sounds like summer to me! For someone who’s not a fan of the cold and wet seasons, my anticipation for the sunniest days of the year is always filled with excitement. And while I’m daydreaming of summer, I always find myself scouring the Internet for fresh finds that will help me make the most out of my planned (and spontaneous) vacations.
In case you’re coming up with your own list of essentials, let me share some of my most-loved local brands for your summer must-haves. No sweat!
Launching its first collection in April 2019, this new kid on the block immediately captured a loyal following not only for its hip and chic summer wear collections but also for advocating sustainable production and consumption. Their bikinis and bodysuits are known for their unique colors and inspired silhouettes, which are specially sourced and made for wandering women of all ages and sizes. Early this year, they made a heartwarming announcement on “doing things differently” and making greener choices to minimize their carbon footprint. Oh, the reasons we love Weekend Wanda!
Eighth Mermaid guarantees fun in the sun with their stylish summer wear. Their collections of swimmies showcase gorgeous textures and colors that made them Instagram-famous. If you’re looking for sexy yet comfy silhouettes, their bikinis will flawlessly show the curves and cuts you earned from all those hardcore CrossFit classes.
Neon Island has gained fame for its snazzy color stories and hand-drawn prints. Made to channel the island girl vibe, the brand has released various swimwear collections that made its way to various beaches—and even the runway! Aside from their signature swimmies, they also have other summer-perfect pieces like breezy patterned polos, coordinates, tote bags, and flip-flops. If you wish to live the island life in style, this one’s the perfect companion for you!
Reigning supreme for island-girls-on-a-budget, Soak Swimwear is a go-to brand for those who love to embrace the summer air without breaking the bank. The brand offers a huge assortment of swimwear to choose from, which caters to different tastes and ages. They also carry other summer items like coverups, beach accessories, hats, and bags that will make any beach-to-city look easy to wear. Their Sol By Soak line is one of their newest collections, featuring imported and carefully-curated designs.
Breezy and bespoke, Creative Native is an urban-bohemian label carrying garments and accessories that are proudly designed and ethically made by local artisans. They produce casual pieces that scream summer but are also apt for any occasion all year round. Their button-ups and tops made from locally-sourced, lightweight but durable fabrics will keep you breezy for days at the beach and long nights on the dance floor.
One of the few locally-owned retail brands for sunnies in the country, Sunnies Studios has built an empire. The brand offers a mishmash of hot, trendy, and wearable eyewear that will definitely add spunk to your beach photos. Their curations range from the classic aviators to the vintage cat-eyes and retro frames that are only made for the tip of your nose. Colored lenses have also made a comeback since last year, and we all know where to find the next best pair.
Now let’s talk about bling! Lightweight, floral, and handmade pieces usually remind us of summer-perfect accessories, but grabbing a pair of chunky and vibrant ones does no harm too. Luckily, Matthew and Melka has the best of both worlds. With their stunning pieces, you can go from carefree to glam, whichever your summer situation requires. They also gained popularity for their designer earrings, headpieces, and handwoven bags that would be right up your alley if you’re into luxury and quality.
Without a doubt, Love Brown has boosted the morena revolution in the country. In a time of fair skin-obsessed consumers, they reminded us of the beauty of sun-kissed skin. As it turns out, they successfully tapped on a niche market that they share their passion for tanning with. Their Sun Glow tanning oil and bronzing oils are made of natural and locally-sourced ingredients, helping you achieve the most natural-looking tan while keeping your skin nourished. They get plus points too for using eco-friendly packaging.
Magwai has proudly built a community of #CoralWarriors. By making reef-safe sunscreen easily available in the Philippines, they’ve raised awareness about the harmful effects of using chemical-based sunscreens. Just imagine the number of beachgoers in the country and how harmful every dip can be for the coral reefs. Aside from offering an all-natural and cruelty-free alternative to chemical sunscreens, Magwai is also an advocate for green consumption that’s why they maintain recycling bins where you can drop off empty tubes. Sun protection has never been this guilt-free.
V&M Naturals is changing the game as they champion for clean beauty and self-love. Their products are made of non-toxic (sometimes vegan) ingredients. One of their stars is their Keep Safe Tinted Sunblock, which does not only provide sun protection but also gives a hint of tint to keep your face fresh and glowing as you face yet another sunny day. It is formulated with natural fruit extracts and promises to leave no white cast!
They say summer is a state of mind but with only a few months to enjoy these cloudless days, it’s important to make the most out of every moment. With these summer essentials within reach, you’re surely in it for a carefree vacay under the sun.