12 Sustainable Swimwear Brands You Can Dive Into
Summer is the perfect time to hit the beach and soak up some sun while wearing sustainable swimwear. Traditional swimwear is often made from non-biodegradable materials that harm the environment. Luckily, there are plenty of ethical swimwear brands out there that offer stylish and eco-friendly options. Here are 12 sustainable swimwear brands that you can dive into:
1. VITAMIN A
Vitamin A is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers a wide variety of bikinis and one-pieces for women. The company uses recycled nylon fibers blended with Xtra Life Lycra to create their EcoLux fabric, which provides a long-lasting fit. Some suits are also blended with TENCEL or natural fibers like linen, recycled cotton, and organic cotton. Vitamin A’s manufacturing partners in California and other global fair trade artisan partners adhere to the highest standards of environmental responsibility and workplace ethics. The company also partners with Green Story to calculate the waste, emissions, and energy saved by their sustainable swimwear line. Vitamin A accommodates sizes 4 (XS) to 14 (DD or XXL) and uses inclusive modeling.
2. KITTY AND VIBE
Kitty and Vibe is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers classic cuts of bikinis, full coverage, and one-piece options. Half of Kitty and Vibe’s swimwear is made from recycled polyester. The company’s “kitties” are ethically made in small batches in a family-owned Colombian factory, where workers receive above minimum wages, healthcare, and retirement plans. Kitty and Vibe holds an ISO 14001 certification for sustainable business practices, and their sustainable packaging consists of 100% biodegradable bags. The company offers sizing for every booty, accounting for waist and butt, running from XS-3XL. Kitty and Vibe’s models are the most real in the world of ethical and sustainable swimwear.
Outerknown is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers sustainable bathing suits, one-pieces, rashguards, and wetsuits for women. The company uses recycled nylon made from fishing nets to create their Econyl fabric. Some of Outerknown’s sustainable swimwear for men is also made with 100% recycled polyester. Outerknown produces its sustainable swimsuits in a Fair Trade-certified factory. Materials are sourced from the USA, Italy, France, Canada, Brazil, and China, and all of their garments are ethically made within 70 miles of their San Clemente, CA, headquarters. Outerknown regularly donates to healthy seas and ocean conservation efforts like the Ocean Conservancy.
Peony is a luxury sustainable swimwear brand that offers one-pieces and two-pieces (bikinis, bralettes, bandeaus, and hi-pants) for women. Peony’s eco-friendly swimwear collection is made from recycled, sustainable fabrics that are OEKO-TEX approved. For fun prints, they use Econyl fabric (made from recycled fishing nets). Textured fabrics are GRS-certified. Peony’s sustainable swimwear is designed to last and is made with the environment in mind.
Summersalt is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers a wide range of swimwear options for women, including one-pieces, bikinis, and tankinis. The company uses recycled materials to create its sustainable swimwear, including recycled nylon and recycled polyester. Summersalt’s sustainable swimwear is designed to be both stylish and functional, with options for all body types.
Wolven is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers a range of bikinis and one-pieces for women. The company uses recycled plastic bottles to create its sustainable swimwear, which is both eco-friendly and stylish. Wolven’s sustainable swimwear is designed to be versatile and can be worn as swimwear or as activewear.
Patagonia is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers a range of swimwear options for men and women. The company uses recycled materials to create its sustainable swimwear, including recycled nylon and recycled polyester. Patagonia’s sustainable swimwear is designed to be both durable and eco-friendly.
8. NATASHA TONIC
Natasha Tonić is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers a range of sustainable swimwear options for women. The company uses UV-resistant hemp to create its sustainable swimwear, which is both eco-friendly and functional. Natasha Tonić’s sustainable swimwear can also be worn as ethical activewear.
Aro is a sustainable swimwear brand that offers a range of bikinis and one-pieces for women. The company uses recycled materials to create its sustainable swimwear, including recycled nylon and recycled polyester. Aro
WHY SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL SWIMWEAR?
Sustainable and ethical swimwear is a necessary alternative to conventional swimwear, which is typically made of plastic materials that never biodegrade. The plastic used in clothing manufacturing, including swimwear, has increased significantly in the past two decades, contributing to the alarming pace of plastic waste accumulation. Fast fashion’s focus on poor design and planned obsolescence exacerbates this issue, leading to the disposal of cheaply-made swimsuits that stretch out and fall apart quickly. Sustainable and ethical swimwear addresses this problem by utilizing eco-friendly and renewable materials, ethical production practices, and fair labor standards. By choosing sustainable and ethical swimwear, consumers can reduce their carbon footprint, support social responsibility, and enjoy high-quality and long-lasting swimwear.
HOW WE FOUND THE BEST SUSTAINABLE SWIMWEAR
When it comes to sustainable swimwear, the most important criteria are sustainable fabrics. Synthetic fabrics are commonly used in swimwear, but the best sustainable brands ensure they are made from recycled materials with certifications to back up their claims.
Recycled polyester and recycled nylon are two of the most common materials used in sustainable swimwear. Recycled polyester, such as Repreve® and EcoLux™, and recycled nylon, such as Econyl® made from recycled fishing nets abandoned in the ocean, are acceptable for several reasons. They reduce the need for crude oil, repurpose post-consumer waste, reduce plastic build-up in landfills and oceans, and require less water, energy, and produce fewer emissions. The process of melting down and remaking recycled plastic fabric is practically infinite, provided consumers dispose of them properly.
Since sustainability equals durability, the best sustainable swimwear brands make lasting swimwear. Most use some Lycra spandex/elastane, which increases the swimwear elasticity to maintain its shape for longer.
Certifications such as OEKO-Tex 100, Bluesign, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) help to vet claims of ethical and sustainable practices.
Wetsuits and Neoprene
Neoprene, a petrochemical-based material, is not a sustainable material and is toxic. Natural rubber made by Yulex or Sheico Group and Japanese Limestone Neoprene made by Yamamoto Corporation are two alternatives to neoprene. The most sustainable wetsuit is one found at online thrift stores.
Other aspects of sustainable and ethical fashion criteria, such as supply chain and labor practices, green business practices, inclusivity, and community and charitable giving, are also important when determining the ethical integrity of eco-friendly swimwear brands.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ECO FRIENDLY SWIMWEAR
Sustainability is crucial for the future of our planet, and we need to take the plunge towards plastic-free oceans. Consumers can support eco-friendly swimwear brands that are swimming against the tide by purchasing their products. For those who already have functional swimsuits, they can continue to use them until they can no longer be used. By supporting eco-friendly swimwear brands and taking steps to reduce microplastic pollution, we can all work towards a cleaner, healthier planet.