Guide To Sustainable Swimwear Brands

Guide To Sustainable Swimwear Brands

Are you looking for a sustainable swimwear brand? If so, this is the article for you. It discusses brands that are committed to sustainability and their impact on our environment. There are also tips on how to find your perfect bikini—interested now? Read more!

Swimming is a great way to stay cool and have some fun in the summer, but it can be not easy to find eco-friendly swimwear.  That's why we've put together this guide of sustainable swimwear brands!  We hope you enjoy reading our post and find something that works for you. 

Sustainable swimwear is on the rise, and it's not just for hippies. Sustainable brands use eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester, natural rubber, or sustainably sourced fabrics to create their products. 

These companies often have a strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility to protect our environment and conserve resources. 

Some of these brands are more established than others, but they're all worth checking out if you want your purchase decisions to align with your beliefs.

What's your favourite thing to wear on a hot day? For many of us, it's swimwear. There is nothing like the sun and sand to make you want to be at the beach all summer long. But with hundreds of different companies making bathing suits, how do we choose one that will care for our environment as well as ourselves? 

Sustainable fashion is more than just a trend. It's about taking care of our environment and preserving resources for future generations to use. Swimwear companies are catching on, too! 

Many sustainable brands offer stylish swimwear while also being better for the planet. Of course, which one you choose really depends on your style and priorities-- but we're here to help you find what works best for you!

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, and it's no different in the swimwear industry. In this post, we will explore some of the top sustainable swimwear brands on the market today for your upcoming summer vacation. 

We also have tips to help you be more eco-friendly at home or when you are swimming at public pools or water parks so that you can feel good about your choices no matter what! 

You don't need to worry about being green with clothes because there are many options out there! The best thing is, they all look great too.

We all want to be more sustainable, but finding the time and energy can be hard. However, there are many ways you can make small changes in your life that will add up and help reduce your environmental impact. 

One of these is by purchasing sustainable swimwear brands. This blog post contains a list of some great options for you!

In this article, I'll help you find sustainable swimwear brands that will both keep you cool and keep the earth healthy too.

We hope this inspires you to make more conscious decisions when shopping and look forward to seeing what you pick!  These are all brands that we know and love, so we're confident they'll be right up your alley too.

Let's get started!

The Highs And Lows Of A Sustainable Swimwear Brand

1. Knowing You’re A Good Business

"When I was thinking about setting up the business, I remember writing in a notebook, 'The most beautiful and environmental boardshorts in the world' - it was a sense of what I wanted to do.

It wasn't so much about 'sustainable' or 'eco', but 'environmental' felt more passionate than practical," explains Smith.

"A lot of people go into business purely for the money, and we didn't go in from that side. We went into be the best, whatever that takes."

For the owners operating sustainably isn't something to shout about; it should be par for the course.

“I didn’t know how that would work in a business, but we wanted very much to do a business ‘right’.

Ali and I have always said that we need to do 'good business' in the way that you aim to be a 'good person'. That's how it should be; why wouldn't you run your business as a good business?

When we set up the business, it was simple things like making sure all our packaging is recyclable – why wouldn't you make sure that everything you're doing is the right thing to do?"

We need to do 'good business' so that you aim to be a 'good person'. That's the way it should be. So why wouldn't you run your business as a good business?

2. Finding Your Own Path

One of the brand's points of difference is that it uses a sustainable swimwear fabric.

"I always knew I wanted to use recycled polyester for our shorts. In my previous role as Head of Global Design for Speedo, I visited all the fabric fairs and came across them.

The cost is marginally more, so there's no real reason why it isn't used more. I think big businesses are afraid of being seen as an eco brand, and they don't like change," says Smith.

"We feel better for having a sustainable business but going into a retailer; they really don't care. I think it will change, though, especially looking at the younger generation; they really care, and it will become just the norm to be eco and sustainable.

Unethically made clothes will be seen as a real no-no.”

The brand has slowly grown over launching five years ago and is now stocked in selected stores in the UK, Japan, Australia – and Richard Branson’s Necker Island.

Each small batch is digitally printed with water-based inks and feature prints that have a 'British-Hawaiian' vibe.

"A lot of people go into business purely for the money, and we didn't go in from that side.

We went into being the best, whatever that takes. So if it's a bit slower or we remain niche, that's ok. It's taken us five years to get the margins better and learn what works and what doesn't work."

3. Supporting A Charity

Riz has supported various charities in its five-year history, both financially and in shorts, but it's easy to spread a brand too thin and reduce the association's impact.

"We mostly support the Marine Conservation Society; we do beach cleans with them and give them money, but it's a substantial amount.

"We like the idea of giving back to the oceans as they help us, so we help them. It's very simple, really," explains Smith.

4. Creating Your Own Supply Chain

While Riz doesn't want to diversify and prefer to be known for creating one product exceptionally well, the owners' continued learning about fabric and plastic recycling led them to the idea of creating their own recycled fabric using plastic bottles the company has collected.

"We want to make shorts from ocean plastics to be worn back in the ocean, which is an amazing closed loop thing," says Smith.

The reality, though, is a little more complicated.

"The logistics of creating your fabric from plastic that people have collected off beaches is monstrous.

We say roughly 20 small water bottles make a pair of shorts, but the mill won't take anything less than 50,000."

The brand is faced with a few issues to make this grand idea become a reality.

Firstly the fabric mill operates 24/7, with thousands and thousands of bottles being ground into polymers to make the recycled polyester and won't stop so they can tip their bottles in – they would just be added to the ever pouring mass.

In the grand scheme of things, this obviously helps the oceans but doesn't allow them to trace the shorts back to their recycling efforts. The other is a lot of bottles makes a lot of fabric that they don't need.

The last issue is that there don’t seem to be enough bottles needing collecting,

“We have around 20,000 bottles right now.

We've been to many beaches cleans where there aren't any great bottles for the beaches, but not good for us when we have this idea in mind.

Then there's money and time, and energy involved. We've been doing a lot of Thames beach cleans and getting 50 bottles - we need a minimum of 50,000.

We’re learning so much about what can and can’t be done.

What we'd like to do is maybe lift the lid on it all a bit. We like being transparent and saying what we want to do isn't possible, but we are looking at other options."

They are now looking at festival organisers to get their hands on the hundreds of thousands of bottles left behind by revellers and changing the focus from all the plastic coming from the ocean to stopping the plastic from reaching the ocean.

At the end of the day, it’s about trying.

Trying to change the status quo, investigating new processes and seeing what's possible. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

"If you're going to set up something on your own, why not do something different?" says Smith. "You want the opposite of everything you hated in the corporate world."

10 Sustainable Swimwear Brands That Are the Definition of Hot Girl Summer

It's estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. As we know, the fashion industry is ever-growing—and all-consuming. As a result, our oceans are filled with waste, and landfills have been overflowing for some time now. 

But, thankfully, some brands have altruistically embraced the responsibility to help our planet rather than hurt it. So, who's showing up the strongest to the fight? Swimwear.

Maybe it's because swimsuits are made to enjoy the great outdoors that the health of our ecosystems is top of mind for the swimwear industry. 

Many brands have implemented countless sustainable factors to help rehabilitate our ecosystems (or, at least to prevent any further damage) from designing to shipping. 

Fabric composition, eco-conscious manufacturing, and even compostable mailers are small solutions that make a big impact. For instance, recycled materials like Econyl, made of recycled plastics and regenerated into soft nylon, are ideal for swimsuits. 

There’s a heap of trendy suits from environment-loving brands that are so high-quality, in-style, and long-lasting that you’d never guess their fabrics might be on their second life cycle. 

So we rounded up 10 of the very best swimwear brands using only recycled materials in everything from their bikinis to shipping and production. And of course, their collections range from hyper trendy to timelessly minimalist for soaking up the sun in style—with proper SPF.

Oh, and they all happened to be female-founded, -owned, and -designed, which is a big plus in our book. So now, without further ado, here are the sustainable swimwear brands to have on your radar this summer (and beyond).

1. Summersalt

Summersalt has become a crowd favourite for its emphasis on size inclusivity, specifically its best-selling one-pieces, which are constantly selling out. 

The eco-friendly brand uses fabric consisting of 78 per cent recycled polyamide crafted from post-consumer materials and nylon waste (like old fishing nets salvaged from the ocean). 

The compressive and durable fabric offers a UPF of 50+ (Ultraviolet Protection Factor measures the amount of radiation exposure that will reach your skin through the fabric.) The rest of its fabrics include Tencel, Tencel Modal, and Cupro. Tencel is made of sustainably sourced raw wood. 

The fibres are certified by Oeko-Tex (a European eco-tracking label), whose Standard 100 initiative tests and confirms that the textiles contain low levels of harmful substances (like chemicals from manufacturing) and are "harmless for human health." 

Tencel Modal is naturally made from Beechwood trees, so it's biodegradable and compostable—plus, it's extra soft. Lastly, Cupro is made of previously the leftover waste from cotton (effectively making cotton a no-waste plant), while the water used to produce the fabric can be cleaned for reuse. 

Summersalt's dyes are Oeko-Tex–certified, and every order is shipped in poly bags made from recycled materials. Additionally, the brand's shipping mailers have a double adhesive for multi-use, which reduces waste (and comes in handy for making returns). Even its promotional postcards are made from FSC-certified paper.

2. Tropic of C

Victoria’s Secret Angel turned brand founder Candice Swanepoel launched Tropic of C with the intent of making sustainability sexy. 

Starting with its fabrics, most of its swimsuits are made of Econyl, which gives post-consumer waste (like recycled fishing nets, industrial plastics, and fabric scraps) a stylish second life. 

Other suits are made from Lycra Xtra Life (which resists fading and damage from chemicals like chlorine and lotions) or Repreve (a polyester fibre made of 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles). 

The supermodel’s brand also uses digital screen printing on Regen fabric—which is also made of recycled plastics and uses significantly less water and electricity than other popular printing methods. 

The fabric tags are made from recycled polyester, while hang tags are made of bamboo. Items are packed in compostable garment bags and are protected with bioplastic hygienic liners (made from tree pulp). So, yes, wearing Tropic of C is as good for the planet as it looks.

3. Skatie

Co-founders Noyes Hutchinson and Mandi Glynn founded Skatie on the idea that “sustainability encompasses more than just an environmental responsibility,” according to the brand’s site. 

Every piece from the West Coast brand is hand-made in Los Angeles and shipped in biodegradable packaging. “Staying local gives us the ability to ensure our production team is being treated and compensated fairly,” says Glynn. 

"Additionally, manufacturing in the United States cuts down on carbon emissions that are unavoidable when producing and shipping overseas." Skatie sources its fabrics in one of two ways: fibres made of recycled materials or locally sourced, pre-existing stock from a textile marketplace. 

This helps keep plastics out of landfills and oceans while also preventing pollution from further textile manufacturing. However, the process of dying and printing on fabric can require incredibly high water consumption—plus, the run-off can contain harmful chemicals when not properly disposed of. 

To avoid this, the brand uses a heat process to transfer prints and colours.

4. Capittana

Founded in October 2014 by siblings Raffaella and Stefano Raffo, Capittana is focused on sustainability and female empowerment. 

Originally rooted in swimwear with an expansion into activewear and loungewear, the revolutionary Latin brand uses a factory that recycles its water, uses solar panels for energy, and has tree plantations to neutralise its carbon output

Plus, the suits are created by at-risk women in Lima, Peru. "[Our suits] are a way to give back to our community, while protecting the planet," share its founders. The retro floral of the new Teresa suit is perfectly on par with this summer's favourite Seventies trend—and the matching Funky Flowers Sarong might be the ultimate vacation outfit.

5. Jade Swim

Jade Swim founder and designer Brittany Kozerski has encapsulated the meaning of multifaceted minimalism and eco-conscious practices. The brand uses regenerated nylon called Econyl (made of fishing nets, plastic bottles, or fabric scraps). 

This effectively reduces ocean waste and prolongs the life cycle of the fabric. Made in the United States, Jade is also a member of 1% For The Planet and the Eden Reforestation Projects, which plants one tree per sale. 

And if that wasn't enough to sway you, Jade is Climate Neutral certified, which is a certification earned by companies that equalise their carbon emissions. Jade partners with this eco-saving organisation by constantly submitting its supply chain for audit to ensure that it's reducing future emissions. 

"Our collections are designed to be timeless and less reactive to fast-fashion fleeting trends," the brand shares. "Many of our classic designs carry over seasons to reduce clothing waste."

6. San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo was founded in beautiful Hawaii, where it continues to be designed. Its team is devoted to conserving the world's beaches and ecosystems. “We want sustainability to be a standard in this day and age—especially when it comes to fashion,” shares Lisseth Figueroa, owner and designer. 

"We're the opposite of fast fashion." How, you ask? At its start in 2009, the brand launched with a collection of organic cotton. Since then, it has produced its collections in extremely limited quantities and practised a direct-to-consumer business model

"We've made mini collections out of deadstock and upcycled fabrics into accessories, swim, and cute patchwork bikinis."

Though every suit is covetable, the new retro '70s collection embodies free-spirited style, inspired by the idea of vintage. San Lorenzo partnered with The Solvay Group (a Brazil-based eco-tech company) to make every piece out of 100 per cent biodegradable and recycled nylon. 

The yarn's formula allows garments to decompose upon being discarded in landfills, where they can completely dissolve in three years. In addition, the fabric is soft, light, comfortable, and quick to dry, saving water. 

The environmentally friendly fabric even has a UPF factor of 50+ to block the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Next to thrifting, these suits are earth's best friend.

7. Cuup

Beloved for its inclusive sizing and perfected fits, the intimates brand kicked off this summer with a long-awaited swimwear line inspired by its signature bras and underwear. Cuup’s swimwear delivers water-friendly versions of its most popular silhouettes in 53 different sizes. 

You can even schedule a virtual appointment with Cuup’s “fit therapist” to find your perfect size. (Spoiler from someone who’s done it: I have been wearing the wrong bra size for years.) 

Out of its five core bras, three crowd-favourites—The Plunge, The Balconette, and The Scoop—arrive in swim with the brand's classic sizing, which ranges from 30 to 42 (bust) and A to H (cup). 

For bottoms, the Tap, Highwaist, and Bikini bottoms offer light- to high-coverage options in sizes XS to XXXL. The fabric is constructed in Italy with Econyl yarn and is offered in five summer-loving shades: Seaweed (green), Lava (red), Shell (white), Earth (brown), and Black.  

8. Heart of Sun

The trendy Gen Z brand has been spotted on the likes of Bella Hadid and Kourtney Kardashian. 

So, finding out that Heart of Sun is as committed to the environment as it is to fashion is the cherry on top. “We value ethical and sustainable practices. Our earth and friends always come first,” says the brand’s website. 

Designed by founder Sophia Lima, every item is made a start to finish in an in-house factory, effectively reducing the brand's carbon footprint and prioritising ethical practices. "Our goal is to minimise waste, which is why we make limited productions using lycra made of recycled plastic water bottles," says Beltran. 

The Econyl fabric decreases energy use by about 92 per cent while reducing CO2 emissions by about 72 per cent. Furthermore, each suit comes with a matching bag (also made of recycled materials) that can be repurposed into a cute cosmetic bag or even a mini purse. 

Its poly mailers and tissue paper are also produced of decomposable recycled materials. If you’re sold, Heart of Sun’s new Summer ’94 collection serves as a complete how-to in styling the current retro swimwear trend with throwback bangles and beaded belly chains.

9. OOKIOH

Pronounced o͞okēō, OOKIOH is inspired by the Japanese Ukiyo-e genre, which is all about travelling, female beauty, and living in the moment. This syncs with the brand's theme; OOKIOH is mindfully creating clean swimwear that uplifts its wearers and the planet. 

Its suits are made from 100 per cent regenerated materials, like recycled fishing nets—except for a special collaboration with Rachel Wang. 

This high-end collection is composed of post-consumer waste (recycled nylon and recycled plastic bottles) that has been revived into timeless, minimalist designs. All the while, the pieces remain at affordable price points, ranging from $79 for separates and $158 for one piece. 

“To mitigate the damage done by fast fashion, we believe that it is critical to ensure that environment-friendly fashion is affordable,” says founder Vivek Agarwal. 

Designing pieces that are stylish, trendy, and within reach of the masses is the only way to create more demand for recycling waste into fashion.” Its latest headline-making collection features a special collaboration with cool-girl cult brand Lisa Says Gah, debuting a juicy handful of covetable prints and silhouettes. 

We know it's nearly impossible to pick just one, so we suggest grabbing a few of this super exclusive drop before it's gone forever.

10. Revel Rey

Brand owner Audrey "Rey" Swanson draws influence from her world-class travels and architecture background to combine fashion and art with sustainable swimwear. Made in Bali, the eponymous label is an Insta-favorite among popular It girls like Brittany Xavier, Sophie Turner, and Madelaine Petsch. 

Luckily, you can sport its trendy styles with a clear conscience since Revel Rey is going the extra eco-mile. Most of its fabric is made out of regenerated nylon and doesn't contain or release any harmful substances that could be hazardous to your health or environment. 

Revel Rey's Bali factory partners with a recycled thread company in Jakarta, Indonesia. Since 2019, the company has repurposed its different textiles by spinning them into new knits for other companies to buy, successfully eliminating any fabric waste from the brand. 

Some scraps are even turned into matching hair ties. Garments are packaged in poly bags made from biodegradable materials (that won’t spend the rest of eternity in a landfill) and recycled cardboard for mailing.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when choosing the perfect swimwear. In this article, I have tried my best to cover some of the more important points and hope that it is helpful for your decision-making process!

I hope you find the blog post helpful. I want to give some tips about what to look for in swimwear before buying it. There are many different types of bathing suits, and each one has its pros and cons, so take your time shopping around!

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