Swimsuit season is upon us and it’s time to declare a sustainable edit on our favorite one-pieces, bandos and bikinis.
Relying heavily upon water-resistant synthetics derived from petroleum (oil!), “swimwear” and “sustainability” aren’t often talked about within the same breath. Not only that, as fast fashion retailers mark bikini tops as low as $5 you can bet that the person who made that strappy triangle top is being denied a living wage. Although the convenience of looking hot on the beach is only an impulse buy away, with it we’ve adapted to a new disposable economy that removes us from the source of where our clothes come from and the damage our purchases are enduring on our planet.
A number of designers are revolutionizing the swim game as we know it by utilizing local production, carefully inspecting their supply chains, providing a fare wage to workers, giving a percentage of profits to charities and making their products from eco-friendly materials that boast a leaner environmental impact.
Truth be told, the most sustainable swimwear you can sport is the suit you already own, but if yours has put in overtime and you’re looking to invest in something new that will last beyond a few wash cycles, here are 11 brands dishing out consciously created summer styles (in no particular order):
Named after the Hawaiian word for traveling for fun without a set destination, HoloHolo Swimwear is produced sweatshop-free in the UK from fabrics that are non-toxic and responsibly dyed. Their suits inhibit playful vibes that bring hints of flirtation to classic shapes and silhouettes.
Elle Evans Sustainable Swimwear
Sustainable meets sexy with these strap details and cheeky peeks. Elle Evans Sustainable Swimwear is made in Melbourne Australia from post consumer waste fabrics or recycled lycra which uses 80% less energy in production than regular lycra. Inspired by closed loop, Ella Evans provides a take back program that give clients a way to dispose of their worn out suit responsibly. A care label with instructive washing details and sustainable tips also allows wearers to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. They also have a collection for kids!
For all you rockabilly fans and psychedelic glamour babes, you’ll make a splash in Rochelle Carino. Self proclaimed “girly chic”, this unique swim collection is handmade to order in California. If their groovy styles and fab florals didn’t grab you, the sushi one-piece with wasabi inspired bow definitely will –and it will be the talk of the pool.
Faherty is a lifestyle brand that prides itself with a sustainable swim collection made from a signature blend of recycled polyester and plastic bottles blended with Lycra. Their unique finishing method prolongs the rich color and life of each suit – protecting against the wear and tear of chlorine, sand and salt.
Looking to make a high fashion statement in the sand? Rosina Mae delivers with sassy swimwear that look like it came straight off the runway. Added bonus: their suits are made from ECONYL – a yarn made from 100% regenerated nylon made from old fishing nets, discarded carpets and other waste. Producing nylon from waste rather than oil saves our planet from 100,00 tons of CO2 emission per year.
For all our animals lovers out there, boy are you in for a treat. Vegan brand Vaute Couture, known for their animal-free outerwear, just debuted a cruelty free swim collection and it’s hot. Ruffles, wraps and high-waisties their styles are on point and made from 78% recycled made from recycled carper fibers. The collection is also cut and sewn locally in NYC’s garment district.
The queen of green, Deborah Lindquist, released a swim collection made with organic cotton instead of polyester and we’re raving about it. Each piece is made in California and accented with beautifully crocheted sexy, sneaky peeks. Be sure to pack this suit on your next exotic adventure.
Mirame “seeks to empower women one bathing suit at a time”. Made ethically in Brooklyn in a sweatshop-free facility, Mirame’s fashion forward swimwear is made from designer textile overages of nylon lycra that would otherwise go to landfill. With a brand name that translates in Spanish as “Look at me”, you’ll definitely be turning heads wherever you go.
KORU Swimwear makes functional and flattering swimwear from a luxurious Italian fabric called ECONYL® that is derived from 78-80% post-consumer waste like discarded ghost fishing nets and carpet fluff. They partner with Healthy Seas that pulls these fishing nets from our ocean. KORU also gives back as a member of 1% for the planet. bound for landfills Koru Swimwear is also a member of 1% for the Planet.
Amara does ethical on the daily. Manufacturing their gorgeous swimwear collection in a green energy facility from 78% recycled post-consumer materials they are doing their part for sustainability. Cut, printed and sewn in the USA, each Amara bikini and monokini is made to last and wear over and over again.
If you know of a sustainable swimwear company not mentioned in this article, please add a comment below with suggestions! We love learning about new and exciting brands making a difference in the industry.
Cover Photo by Amara12