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When it comes to building a more conscious and sustainable wardrobe, we shouldn’t forget about our bathing suit collection. Conventional swimwear is made with virgin nylon and polyester, both of which are forms of plastic that have a massively negative environmental impact and contribute to microplastics and ocean waste. In addition to this, we should also remember that fast fashion brands and large corporations often use unethical labour to create cheaper and lower-quality clothing.
Luckily, there are more than a handful of eco-friendly swimwear brands out there today that are aiming to make a difference when it comes to our holiday attire. Several sustainable brands are dedicated to lowering their carbon footprint, providing workers with good working conditions, and using sustainable fabrics and recycled materials like recycled polyester, nylon, and plastic bottles.
Interested in supporting sustainable and ethical swimwear brands that are creating eco-friendly swimwear? Here are just a few of our favourites you should add to your swimsuit collection.
Do Good Swimwear is a small sustainable brand dedicated to creating cute and functional swimsuits that don’t come at the cost of the environment. Their swimwear is made from recycled materials like ECONYL®, regenerated nylon, Repreve, recycled polyester, and recycled plastic bottles. The brand uses digital printing technology, and its bathing suits are made in small batches by local manufacturers around the USA.
Each purchase also gives back to various nonprofits supporting ocean conservation efforts, tree planting for carbon offsets, and women’s empowerment nonprofits.
Youswim is an English ethical swimwear brand that creates sustainable swimsuits currently made with recycled plastic and European-sourced nylon, but the brand is also diligently working on a recycled nylon fabric to use instead to maximise its sustainability. The brand is best known for its swimsuits that can fit sizes 0-14, which are also distributed in biodegradable packaging.
New York label La Porte Swim uses recycled fabrics that are made of 80% recycled Polyamide and 20% Elastolefin recycled thread. The brand’s pieces have two-way stretch, meaning the suits fit well and retain their shape, ensuring a longer lifespan.
UK brand Boden creates fashionable and classic pieces that are equally sustainable and ethical. Their sustainable swimsuit line, which includes tankini tops, bikinis, and one-pieces, is majority made from recycled polyester and regenerated nylon yarn made from ocean waste fabric.
According to the brand as well, their swimwear will be made with 100% recycled fabrics by 2025. The brand also prides itself on durability, with a 365-day return policy.
This sustainable swimwear brand creates stylish and sustainable and ethical bathing suits from a range of eco-friendly fabrics. Their swimwear is made from fabric crafted with 78% recycled polyamide from post-consumer waste, and materials like old fishing nets.
The brand doesn’t skimp on quality whatsoever, with their eco-friendly swimsuits also offering UPF 50+ protection and withstanding sand, sweat, and chlorine for 100+ hours without losing any support or shape.
If you’re looking for a one-stop destination that holds several sustainable swimwear brands on one site, then check out Urbankissed. The brands featured are carefully curated, producing swimwear with eco-friendly fabrics like recycled nylon and post-consumer PET, among other recycled materials.
Additionally, each product goes through the brand’s “Slow & Ethical” Index, which includes 15 values along the supply chain before making the cut. Urbankissed also ensures its swimwear range is made ethically and that each product has been extensively fit-tested to offer comfort and support for every size. All shipping and returns from the site are also 100% carbon neutral at no extra cost.
NAIA Beach is a sustainable fashion brand that creates sustainable swimwear and beachwear made with recycled materials, using a combination of 73% recycled nylon and 27% Xtra life lycra. These materials are made from recycled fishing nets, pre-consumer plastic components, and textile discards.
US-based brand Girlfriend Collective has been a favourite for many when it comes to sustainable and ethical activewear, and the brand has also expanded to include a swimwear line created from recycled materials.
The brand’s range of stylish bikinis and sustainable swimsuits is made from recycled plastic waste and fishing nets recovered from the ocean. They also employ fair-trade factories for manufacturing, and all the recycled nylon fabric is OEKO-TEX certified. In addition to this, their sustainable bathing suits have low-impact support, are sheer-proof, quick-drying, and have UPF 50+.
Wolven offers bikinis and one-pieces in a variety of styles, with each one being made from OEKO-TEX certified recycled plastic bottles in limited batches to reduce waste. The brand also offers many reversible and multifunctional styles so you can maximise the use of their swimsuits.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, Wolven also donates a percentage of sales to environmental organisations. They also offset carbon emissions via Carbon Neutral, with the brand’s carbon credits supporting rainforest conservation and landfill methane capture initiatives.
Vitamin A Swim is one of a few eco swimwear brands that have created their own swimwear fabric, EcoLux™, which uses recycled and plant-based materials to develop products.
The fabric was designed while working with the top mills in Italy, Canada, and California to create the recycled nylon fibre that’s being used across their swimwear garments. Other fabrics used are eco-conscious textiles such as organic cotton, linen, recycled cotton, and Tencel®.
Each product also comes with statistics to help you see how the product compares in terms of sustainability, and each swimsuit is also made ethically in California or in factories that practice Fair Trade.
BOLD Swim makes their suits from a special regenerated nylon fabric called Amni Soul Eco® which biodegrades in landfills. In addition to this eco-nylon created from recycled materials and sourced from Brazil, the brand’s swimsuits are also non-toxic, biodegradable, and UV-protected.
Kaylyn Gardner is a sustainable and ethical swimwear company that creates synthetic-free swimsuits made from organic and all-natural materials. These beautiful knitted pieces are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and natural dyes, with each swimsuit being handmade to order for all sizes.
Peony is a sustainable swimwear brand that creates swimwear pieces from recycled fabric scraps, both for the main design and as the lining. The brand’s swimwear generally contains a high percentage of ECONYL®, regenerated nylon yarn created from the ocean, and landfill nylon waste.
The commitment to sustainability also extends to packaging, as Peony uses compostable and recycled packaging throughout the manufacturing and delivery process.
Patagonia is one of the most famous active lifestyle brands today known for its sustainable practices. The brand pledges 1% of sales of all its products to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment and over the years have totalled over $89 million to grassroots environmental groups.
Patagonia’s swimwear collection is created from polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. The swimwear has a slip-resistant nanogrip lining for extra security, and all items are Fair Trade Certified™ and ethically sewn.
Ethical swimwear brands are fantastic places to find sustainable alternatives to the mass-produced swimwear we most commonly find in stores today. Opting for ethical and sustainable swimwear is also a great way to create a premium swimwear collection in your wardrobe that you know will last.
With everything we know about the fashion world today, we should be placing our money into sustainable swim brands that are creating both classic and trendy pieces out of recycled plastics and sustainable materials, all while also retaining ethical swimwear workspaces and production.