Carve Designs: Water Wear Made By Women for Women

Swimwear, Sustainable, Carve Designs, Rebecca Parsons, PaddleXaminer, San Onofre State Beach, Standup Paddling, NSP, DC Surf Wide, Cocomat Construction
Photo: Jonathan Kemnitz

Carve Designs is made by women, for women. The extensive line of swimwear, athletic wear, and lifestyle clothing is the brainchild of Jennifer Hinton and Thayer Sylvester. While on a surf trip to San Pancho, Mexico, the friends got to talking about how difficult it was to find surf wear that looked good, fit well, and could keep up with their active lives. With no solution in mind they decided to create one of their own. And so, Carve Designs was born.

The company launched in 2003 as a surf apparel brand. At the time they just sold boardshorts and rashguards but have since expanded their line to include surf, swim, balance, and lifestyle clothing. Their goal was and still is to make feminine clothing that fits real women that are actively engaged in the outdoor world.  

I first discovered Carve Designs at Outdoor Retailer in 2018. Like Hinton and Thayer, I can relate to the struggle of finding active surf wear that fits well and stays put. They are confident in their brand and in their designs so they sent me the Tamarindo Top, Sanitas Reversible Top, and Sanitas Reversible Bottom to put to the test.

When the suits arrived in the mail it was love at first sight. The prints were bright, bold, fun, and flirty. The fabric was thick and sturdy and I loved the fact that two of the pieces were reversible, so I could mix and match.

The brand is run through a digital store. Like many of you, I do a lot of my shopping online but I’m always hesitant when purchasing swimwear (it’s hard enough to find pieces that fit well and are flattering in the store)! Something I liked about the Carve website is that they offer a fit predictor—I filled out the questions and ordered as it suggested. When I tried on the swimsuits, they fit better than I ever could have hoped and I loved how the suits flattered my frame.

Since receiving the suits a few months ago, they been my go-to for all activities, both on an off the water. I wear them for SUP surfing, flat water paddles, swimming laps, running, and even to hot yoga. They haven’t let me down yet.

To top it off, Carve Designs uses organic and sustainable materials wherever possible. Carve is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the apparel, footwear, and textile industry’s leading alliance for sustainable production. They use organic cotton, tencel, and modal in their products to be as environmentally friendly as possible The majority of the products are made in California and the U.S., while the few overseas factories they employ are carefully selected and monitored.

Swimwear, Sustainable, Carve Designs, Rebecca Parsons, PaddleXaminer, San Onofre State Beach, Standup Paddling, NSP, DC Surf Wide, Cocomat Construction
Photo: Jonathan Kemnitz

Carve Designs also prioritizes giving back. A portion of their proceeds are donated to The Send It Foundation, an organization that strives to inspire positivity, courage, and gratitude in young adult cancer fighters through the gift of outdoor adventure and community. They also donate to SheJumps, an organization whose mission is to increase the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities.

If you’re looking for a brand that makes quality swimwear and activewear while simultaneously doing good for the community and the planet, Carve Designs may be just the company you’ve been searching for.

Rebecca Parsons
About Rebecca Parsons 47 Articles
Rebecca is a seasoned writer and longtime ocean lover. A resident of Orange County, CA, she can be seen paddling and surfing at many of Southern California's most scenic coastal locations. Rebecca is interested in sustainability and environmentally friendly initiatives and heads up "Keep it Green", our column on the environment.

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