Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes the need for sustainable swimwear. As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, consumers are seeking out eco-friendly options for their beach and poolside attire. Men’s swimwear is no exception, and there are now a variety of sustainable swimwear brands that offer durable and stylish options for all.
From board shorts to swim trunks, these sustainable brands use natural fibers and recycled materials to create four-way stretch, UPF 50+ swimwear that not only looks good but also reduces harm to the environment. By choosing to support these eco-friendly businesses, men can feel confident that they are making a positive impact while enjoying their time in the sun.
The Gnarliest Sustainable Swimwear Brands For Men
Outerknown, founded by eleven-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater, offers high-performance swim trunks made from recycled polyester and nylon. The brand’s Apex Trunks are made from mostly recycled polyester, with a touch of recycled and non-recycled spandex, and can handle the choppiest waves. Outerknown’s men’s sustainable swimwear is bluesign®-approved and free from harmful chemicals. The company provides transparency through a full list of suppliers available online and upholds ethical working conditions throughout its supply chain as a Fair Labor Association (FLA) participating company. Outerknown’s Sustainable Roadmap lays out numerous goals for improvements, such as designing products for disassembly and recyclability so that 50% of products are fully circular by 2025 and 100% by 2030. The brand supports ocean-protecting NGOs like Ocean Conservancy through limited edition product collaborations that donate all profits. Outerknown’s recycled swim trunks range from sizes S-XXL or 28″ to 38″.
Denmark-based MARDA creates sustainable swim trunks that are luxurious, lightweight, and durable. The brand’s men’s eco-friendly swimwear is made from 100% recycled and GRS-certified rPET, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. All trim, labeling, and threads are either recycled or ethically sourced. Compared to virgin petroleum fibers, using 100% recycled polyester means 94% less water, 70% less energy, and 54% fewer CO2 emissions. MARDA’s sustainable swimwear for men is available in sizes S-XXL.
Patagonia offers sustainable board shorts like the classic Wavefarer for kitesurfing, wakeboarding, or sunbathing. The brand’s men’s activewear is made from recycled materials, including their trunks, which are made from either 87% post-consumer recycled polyester or NetPlus® 100% recycled nylon from recycled ocean plastic (fishing nets). Patagonia’s eco-friendly wetsuits are made from FSC-certified Yulex® natural rubber. Nine of Patagonia’s top ten material suppliers are bluesign®-approved and use zero toxic chemicals. The swimwear is also PFC-free. 86% of Patagonia’s products are made in Fair Trade-certified facilities, and the company informs customers exactly what site produced each piece of swimwear in the Footprint Chronicles of each product page. Patagonia’s carbon commitments include increasing use of renewable energy and decreasing use of fossil fuels at every stage of production. Each item includes their IronClad lifetime repair or replacement promise and can be resold via Worn Wear in exchange for store credit. Patagonia’s sustainable board shorts are available in XS-XXL sizes with waist measurements between 28″-44″.
4. Fair Harbor
Fair Harbor creates fashionable eco-friendly swimwear for men made of recycled plastic bottles. The brand’s luxurious recycled board shorts are perfect for transitioning from the beach to the bar and feature an all-purpose design and quick-drying fabric. Fair Harbor’s men’s sustainable swimwear ranges from $68 to $88. Styles like The Anchor have helped Fair Harbor remove over 30 plastic bottles from oceans and landfills.
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How We Found The Best Eco-Friendly Men’s Swimwear Brands
When searching for eco-friendly men’s swimwear brands, it’s crucial to consider materials, certifications, supply chain and labor practices, carbon commitments and green practices, and community and charitable giving.
While natural fibers like organic cotton and hemp are compostable, they don’t have the quick-drying and non-absorbing qualities needed for most swimwear. Therefore, synthetic fabrics are necessary, but recycled alternatives such as swim trunks made from recycled plastic bottles or upcycled marine waste like fishing nets can keep additional plastic pollution from entering the ocean. Brands that use recycled materials and have certifications such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), bluesign®, Global Recycled Standard (GRS), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Organic Cotton Standard (OCS) are preferred.
Supply Chain & Labor Practices
Ethical production methods that enhance human rights are essential. Brands that are transparent, have fair labor practices, and hold third-party certifications such as Fair Labor Association (FLA), B Corporation, and Fair Trade are preferred. For brands without this information, direct inquiries are made to ensure ethical practices.
Carbon Commitments & Green Practices
Brands that compensate for and reduce carbon emissions through upcycled plastic waste, circularity initiatives, textile waste practices, carbon offset programs, renewable energy, and low-waste/plastic-free packaging are preferred.
Community & Charitable Giving
Brands that give back to their local communities, support nonprofits, and organize environmental clean-up events are preferred.
Final Thoughts On Environmentally Friendly Men’s Swimsuits
Sustainable men’s swimwear that’s affordable, durable, comfortable, and keeps plastic out of the ocean is the perfect beach day essential. However, it’s important to remember that the most sustainable swim trunks are those already in the drawer. If they still have some dives left in them, keep using them. Additionally, online thrift stores offer affordable eco-friendly board shorts in just the right size.
By sharing this list with friends, everyone can make waves in eco-friendly materials and contribute to marine conservation efforts.