How Do You Recycle Swimsuits?


Buying a new swimsuit can be very exciting.

Seeing all the cute new styles available to purchase, knowing that you'll find the one that just fits perfectly and fills you with confidence to get out there and enjoy your summer.

However, if you have some older swimsuits that you no longer want to wear or keep, you may be wondering, can swimwear be recycled?

There are a few different ways to recycle your swimwear, that way you're keeping it out of the garbage bin and helping some others in the process.

Do you know one fascinating thing about life? The more it evolves, the more styles, designs, and patterns are birthed day in day out.

As we keep living through each day, we tend to drop or let go of some stuff like our wears because of the newly manufactured ones that have captured our eyes. 

We fancy and ogled at them with so much joy in our eyes, thereby, going ahead to purchase them.

This is the same with our bathing suits.

No one ever gets tired of purchasing more because of the new styles and designs that come in virtually every year. But then, what happens to the old bathing suit. 

Should the old bathing suits be thrown away or should they be donated for a good cause?

Here is a question that was asked recently, can you donate bathing suits?

It may seem a bit strange being that the majority of persons are not used to giving out their bathing suits or may have never heard of such.

Well, that is the reason why we are going to answer the question that has been asked over and over again.

The answer to the question is Yes.

Bathing suits can be donated. There are organizations and people that accept bathing suits. Mind you, the bathing suits can either be new or used.

Now, let’s look at the organizations and people that do accept new/used bathing suits. 


Can Swimwear Be Recycled?

As far as putting in the recycling bin and making them into something else, no, swimwear can't be recycled in that sense.

However, that doesn't mean that you have to throw out your old swimsuits or items you don't want anymore.

There are other ways to recycle those suits to give them a new life after your time with them.

What Do You Do With Old Swimsuits?

If you wish to reuse your old swimsuit fabrics, here are some creative ways to give it new life:

  • Transform a One-Piece Into a Bag.
  • Cut Into Decorative Wraps.
  • Make Baby Doll Dresses.
  • Sew Pillow Covers. 
  • Create a No-Sew Scarf. 
  • Craft a Quilt.
  • Make Dainty Headbands. 
  • Tie a Jump Rope.

How Do You Dispose of Old Clothes/swimsuits in Australia?

Google your local group and see if they can use your old clothing and textiles. Many animal shelters and vets around Australia appreciate the donation of used bedding, blankets and towels.

Call ahead to see what your local vet or shelter needs. Another option is your nearest wildlife rescue organisation.

Can Swimwear Be Eco Friendly?

For more sustainable swimsuits, it's best to look for good quality swimwear made from recycled materials so no new resources were used to make it and existing plastic from things like fishing nets and bottles can be repurposed into something usable.

Is Swimwear Bad for the Environment?

For one thing, the suits are not biodegradable.

They also shed tiny pieces of plastic called microfibers when you wash them.

These particles end up in the ocean, where they're swallowed by sea animals, before ending up in our food chain.

These problems are faced by all swimwear brands.


What Swimsuit Material Lasts Longest?

According to Nicole, polyester is the prime pick when it comes to durability. "Polyester maintains its shape and holds color in dyes and prints," she said. Nylon and spandex blends are also good fabrics to keep in mind - ideally, you're looking for material that uses high-quality elastic.

Why Is Sustainable Swimwear Important?

Even though a lot of eco-friendly brands use recycled synthetics, it's safe to say that such clothes are more durable, as its main goal is to last rather than get lost in one of the endless fast fashion cycles.

This is why sustainable swimwear has become more popular in recent years.

Ways to Reuse Bathing Suit Fabric

Bag it Up

Make a tote bag from a one-piece bathing suit. Sew the leg holes closed, and use the straps to carry the bag, tote-style over your shoulder.

It's an eco-friendly alternative to a single-use plastic bag when you go to the grocery store.

Alternatively, if you like to hang your clothes outside to dry, sew up the leg holes and attach the straps to a hanger to create a homemade clothespin bag.

Tie One On

Cut bathing suit fabric into thin strips and create colorful ties for everything from jam jars to garden vegetables.

Fashion a ribbon from old bathing suit scraps and tie it around the screw top of a canning jar.

Don't make homemade jam? Cut bathing suit fabric into strips and use it instead of store-bought ribbon to wrap gifts, or use it to tie your plants to stakes. (See Reference 1) An added benefit: bathing suit fabric dries quickly, so spring showers won't make a moldy mess of these recycled garden ties.


There are several organizations out there that will take old swimsuits and even rash guards or wetsuits.

The wetsuits are turned into yoga mats to have a second life helping bring peace and awareness to individuals.

The swimwear can be donated to an organization called Bras For a Cause, they'll accept all swimwear and donate it to breast cancer survivors, homeless shelters, and other women's organizations around the world.

If the swimwear is a bit too worn to give away, it will be incorporated into artwork that is sold with the proceeds going back to organizations looking for a cure for breast cancer.

This is a great way to clean out your old swimwear while giving it a new life and allowing yourself to do a little bit of good with your cleaning out.

Make Water Babies

Teach a child about reusing and recycling by turning bathing suit fabric into miniature mermaid tails for dolls.

Fold a piece of material in half, right side facing, and draw a tail on the wrong side of the fabric, making sure it's long enough to cover the doll's legs.

Pin the folded fabric inside the drawn tail, and cut out the tail.

Sew the two pieces together, add an elastic waistband and turn it inside out.

If your kids are too old to play with dolls in the bath, help them sew bath pillows from bathing suit fabric, using old scraps for the pillow cover and inside stuffing.

Donate to a Good Cause

Donate scraps of bathing suit fabric to sewing groups, quilters or schools, which may not have the budget for craft materials or multimedia art projects.

Local quilt guilds often take donations of child- or senior-friendly fabrics, such as bathing suits, and use the pieces to create quilts or blankets that they then donate to those in need.

Arts funding is often the first to go when it comes to education cuts, so old bathing suit fabric may allow cash-strapped schools to incorporate arts education into the classroom and encourage kids to get creative. 

Donate to a Friend

Do you have a friend who's a similar size to you? One way to recycle swimwear, and even other clothing, is by doing a clothing swap with friends.

You can fill up a bag or box with items that you no longer want or need and can let your friends go through it and choose what they want.

Anything that's left can be donated to an organization who will give it to those less fortunate. It's a great way to have a "shopping day" if your friends are trying not to spend too much, and you all will get to wear new styles with your "new to you" clothes.

Redesign It

If you're rather crafty, you can take older swimwear pieces and redesign it into a whole new outfit or something entirely new.

Perhaps you can take your old suit and make it into colorful hair ties for those hot summer days.

Or you can take several suits from when you were growing up and make a cute memory blanket for yourself or a loved one to have. Make a tote bag that you can take from one place to another and eliminate using plastic bags.

Give Them a New Life

If you have a suit that you love, bring a new life to it by adding new elastic to a worn suit or even cutting a one piece into a cute two piece top to match with those new high-waisted bottoms you found.

This way, you still get to keep the majority of your suit, and you have what will look like a brand new swim top.

Reasons Why People Buy Donated Bathing Suits? 

There are some reasons why people tend to buy bathing suits that have been donated. Some of the reasons include;

Best Fit for Chlorine 

Some people feel getting a donated bathing suit from a thrift store is best for swimming in a pool that has chlorine.

The reason given is that the moment the suit is affected by the chlorinated water, they can easily have it trashed.

With this, they save themselves from purchasing newly designed bathing suits that could have been ruined in place of the donated bathing suit.  (Read Also: How To Get Chlorine Out Of Bathing Suits (Complete Guide))

So whenever they get such suits, they rock them to as many pools with chlorine as they want, because they can easily discard the donated suit without feeling indifferent about it. 


One other reason why people tend to go for a donated bathing suit is as a result of the price tag. Donated bathing suits sold in thrift stores are usually cheaper. They do not cost as much as the original bathing suits.

The reason isn’t far-fetched. Since the bathing suits have been worn by people, their prices tend to differ from that of new ones. They become quite cheap which makes them affordable. 

Why Do People Donate Their Bathing Suits? 

We have got two (2) major reasons why people donate their bathing suits. 


To help those who truly need a bathing suit. These people support different organizations that help to cater to different people from all races of life.

So by sending their bathing suits to them, they are indirectly helping to promote the organization as they go out to help as many people as they possibly can in the world. In other words, people donate their bathing suits for goodwill.

For Raise Funds 

The second major reason why there are people in the world that donate bathing suits is in a bid to raise funds.

In such a situation, the bathing suits do not go to the organizations, but thrift stores. It is at the stores that the suits can be sold. 

Here is what they do. The person that wants to sell such suits contacts a thrift store and sells the bathing suits to the thrift store.

The person in charge of the store negotiates with the individual on the prices.

And when the price has been confirmed, the owner of the thrift store pays the said individual. That way, they have used their old bathing suit to raise funds for themselves. 

What Kind Of Bathing Suits Can Be Donated? 

At this point, let’s check out some of the bathing suits that are fit to be donated.

Bathing Suit Lingerie 

By bathing suit lingerie, we are referring to suits that are in the form of lingerie. Such kinds of bathing suits can be sent to organizations or thrift stores.

Especially that of the bra. The suit bra is mostly sent to breast cancer survivors as a way of supporting them.

One Piece Bathing Suit 

If you have a one-piece bathing suit, it sure can be donated too. One-piece bathing suits are suits that are made to be one. No top, no bottoms. Just a straight bathing suit. It can as well be given out for goodwill.

Two-Piece Bathing Suit 

Is it a two-piece bathing suit you would like to give out? Then feel free to. Two-piece bathing suits are among the suits that can be donated to people and to organizations too.  In all, give out whatever bathing suit you may want to give provided they are in a good condition. 

What Condition Should A Bathing Suit Be Before It Can Be Donated 

It isn’t best to donate bathing suits that have been torn or suits that are worn out already. It isn’t best to give out bathing suits that you wouldn’t feel good wearing if the case was reversed. The condition of the suits should be;


A clean bathing suit donated for a good cause would be more appreciated than an old tattered suit that leaves nothing to the imagination.

Such kinds of suits can’t be worn but are rather diverted for other purposes. (Read Also: Should I Wash A New Swimsuit Before Wearing?)

Not Torn 

The condition of the bathing suit you intend to give to the organization and others should be in a perfect state.

The people who are going to be wearing bathing suits are humans just like us. So I don’t think it is best to send them bathing suits that are torn. Suits that you would never envisage yourself wearing. 

Except you want to send such kind of bathing suit that they will turn into art, and be exhibited in an art gallery so the proceeds can be used for the benefits of supporting the organization or people. 

What Are The Other Items That Can Be Donated?

Aside from bathing suits, there are other categories of items that can be donated to goodwill. We have;


This is one of the most donated items. Daily, clothes are donated to people all over the world, who need them. If you don’t have bathing suits to donate, you can donate some of your used clothes if you ever feel the need to.


Another major item that is being donated is food. If you have food, you can forward them to different organizations that accept such for the sake of helping those in need of the food.


This is the last on the list. Funds are greatly needed by hundreds of organizations and even by people to scale through their daily challenges. 


Bathing suits are some of the items that can be donated to as many organizations, people as possible.

There are well-known organizations that accept such donations. Including those that forward such suits to breast cancer survivors, homeless people, and so forth. 

If you have some bathing suits that you would want to donate either to these organizations or to thrift stores, please don’t hesitate to do so. Donate and save a soul today. 

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