Crystal Huyben sets up business selling burkinis for women to cover up on beach


Born-again Christian, 27, who believes sexuality is a 'gift from God' sets up business selling burkinis for women who want to cover up on the beach

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 22 June 2012

A born-again Christian from Ontario has launched a line of modest swimsuits that protect their wearers from sun, chlorine and, most importantly, lustful stares.

Crystal Huyben, 27, isn't a fan of baring all by the pool and prefers to cover her body from head to toe when she takes a dip in the water.

'Modesty has always been important to me, believing that our sexuality is an amazing gift from God, it's something to be protected, not put on display for all eyes to see' she told the Huffington Post.

Crystal Huyben models a stylish swimsuit from her collection, Simply Modest

Crystal Huyben models a stylish swimsuit from her collection, Simply Modest

Huyben sewed her very first modest swimsuit when she was just a teenager and now runs her own company called Simply Modest.

Her website is one of just a dozen launched over the past decade and Huyben and her fellow modest swimwear entrepreneurs have found a loyal fan base within a secular market.

And their fans come in all shapes, sizes
and religions.

One fan is former plus size model Tulin Reid who favours
HydroChic, a line of modest- and active wear founded six years ago by
two modern Orthodox Jewish women, Sara Wolf and Daniella Teutsch, from
Westchester, New York.

The suits are perfect for women wanting to conceal their modesty when going for a quick dip

The suits are perfect for women wanting to conceal their modesty when going for a quick dip

The 38-year-old marketing director of
Plus Model Magazine swears by the swimsuits for protection when she is
active in the water. As a big fan of paddle boarding and water aerobics,
Reid feels secure knowing that something won't pop out when she is
donning her modest swimsuit.

A
typical modest swimsuit covers the thigh, midriff and bust areas,
hiding more than a one-piece and less than the head-to-toe burkinis worn
by conservative Muslim women.

Huyben has noticed each of her customers has a different story behind their choice in modest swimwear

Huyben has noticed each of her customers has a different story behind their choice in modest swimwear

Huyben has noticed that each of her
customers has a different story and reason for wearing one of her $100
swimsuits.

Some wear the suits, which are simply loose tunic styles with knee-length leggings underneath, to conceal scars from surgery.

Others are
sun-sensitive, while many are plus-size ladies who are simply tired of
browsing stores whose swimwear only caters to girls with bodies to rival
models.

Celebrity fans of the modest swimsuit include Nigella Lawson

Celebrity fans of the modest swimsuit include Nigella Lawson

Chantelle Thomson, a swimwear
entrepreneur and owner of Diviine Modestee, a website geared toward Mormon
women, believes that interest in modest swimwear is expanding beyond the realms of
religion.

Social media has
helped attract attention to Thomson's line and her company received
1,000 orders in 48 hours after a fan 'pinned' a photo of one of
Thomson's plaid one-pieces on Pinterest.

Now Thomson, who ordered 75,000 swimsuits
in June and has almost sold all of them, expects her company's sales to
rise nearly 50 percent this year and expects that 30 per cent of this
year's customers will buy for non-religious reasons.

Two-piece suits still dominate
the market, with IBISWorld estimating that bikinis will make up 68 per
cent of a projected $2.6 billion in U.S. women's swimsuit sales in 2012.

But the fashion world is catching onto the one-piece trend too, with Marc Jacobs, Norma Kamali, Michael Kors and Missoni all designing more modest suits this season.

Ten
years ago, before the modest swimsuit brain child, women like Huyben
had to improvise with T-shirts and board shorts if they wanted to take a
quick dip.

But today, an
online industry selling these garments flourishe.

With the help of
online stores and Facebook groups, modest shoppers of all religions are
quickly catching onto the trend.

Modesty
and sexiness aren't mutually exclusive, Thomson told the Huffington
Post.

'After 10 years of marriage you should still make your husband
turn his head. That's my goal.'