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Supporting sustainability in fashion should include every article of clothing we wear, and that includes this summer staple. Swimsuits are notoriously made from synthetic fibres that eventually break down into microplastics, and are also often made with concerning manufacturing processes and work environments in the world of fast fashion.
If you’re interested in having a more positive impact on the environment as well as garment workers, looking into more thoughtful pieces and supporting sustainable brands is one way to go.
Polyester and nylon, the two most common fabrics used in swimwear, are petroleum-based synthetic fibres. The petroleum industry is well-known as being a massive contributor to air pollution while the process of creating these synthetic fibres, as well as their breaking down process and when they’re being washed and worn, leads to the creation of microscopic plastic being shed and causing damage to our oceans, waterways, marine life, and more.
Recycled swimwear is an active means of lessening this waste. While not a perfect solution, creating and purchasing swimwear made with recycled polyester and nylon are far better options that reduce unnecessary waste and petroleum consumption.
Aside from giving renewed life to polyester and nylon that have already been created and would have otherwise been discarded, supporting businesses that focus on recycled and sustainable swimwear supports innovation and the creation of eco-friendly alternatives. ECONYL®, for example, is recycled yarn made from recycled nylon recovered from marine debris, fishing nets, and other ocean waste.
It is an eco-friendly fibre that doesn’t shed microplastics and can be recycled over and over again without losing quality or performance. ECONYL® also follows a closed-loop system which turns recycled nylon back into recycled yarn, so no energy is used and there are zero carbon emissions.
While fast fashion brands make trendy and affordable pieces, these clothes are made using unsustainable, unethical, and overall wasteful and harmful means. Even swimwear made by reputable companies is often made with synthetic fibres that do no good for the environment. While supporting smaller, independent brands can be on the pricier side, it’s better to view these purchases as investments and a better way to shop for fashion.
These price tags go to passionate creators who are looking for innovative ways to make fashion that’s good for the environment, the people making them, and the people wearing them. Swimwear brands like Summersalt, Youswim, Boden, Patagonia, Organic Basics, BOLD Swim, Girlfriend Collective, and even more are dedicated to creating swimwear with a more positive impact that is also incredibly high quality.
While shopping for the trendiest and most affordable swimsuits is certainly very tempting, it’s important to consider the kind of impact these pieces of clothing have on the environment and the people making them. Luckily, there are companies out there dedicated to combatting the waste created by the swimwear industry by recycling materials and even creating new fabrics that can change the way swimwear is made.
If you’ve been considering making the switch, there really isn’t much needed to convince you what a good investment it is that you’ll be making.