Beth Richards Makes Waves With Native Shoes

Beth Richards Makes Waves With Native Shoes

What does it mean to live lightly in the Nativerse? To us, it means taking small steps towards leaving a lighter footprint on the environment and the planet that we all share.

For designer Beth Richards, “Living lightly is all about being aware of the choices you make in life and how they impact others and the environment.” Through her namesake swimwear label, Richards puts her words into action by creating modern swimwear for every woman and every body type. Because anybody who wears a swimsuit, has a swimsuit body.

A Toronto native, Richards recently decided to move back to her home city after spending an extended stint on the West Coast in Vancouver where she initially started her brand. “I moved back East because I wanted to be closer to family, but also wanted to grow the brand here in Toronto,” she shared. “I always feel change is great for growth and after a decade, it was time for a new experience.”

Responsible manufacturing is a major consideration at the brand, from material selection to the human element of garment construction, Richards factors everything into her production process. “My version of ecological manufacturing is more about our overall footprint and impact over time,” she said. “Having suppliers close to home, doing small product runs and having less waste all contribute to our sustainability strategy.”

“Many brands tout being eco-friendly without addressing human rights. It was important to me to have women making my garments that could afford to wear them; putting people over profits has always been a priority of mine,” she went on to say. “We are very cognizant of not wasting fabric and will carry over colors from season to season. As a small brand we run very lean and simply cannot afford to be wasteful.”

That same lean philosophy reflects into her personal life too as she lives lightly on her own terms by only consuming the things she needs. “I still love beautiful things, but have become a lot more careful about the things I spend money on as I want them to last,” she added. “I think at the minimum being aware of the choices you make in life and how they impact others or the environment is fundamental. As the great Vivienne Westwood once said, ‘Buy less, choose well.’”