The Ultimate Guide to Australian Ethical and Eco-Friendly Swimwear Labels

The Ultimate Guide to Australian Ethical and Eco-Friendly Swimwear Labels

Australians love to spend summer at the beach, and it is important to be environmentally conscious. 

Many people are unaware of their swimwear's environmental impact on the planet and what labels they should look for when buying a new suit.

This blog post will explore some of Australia's most ethical and eco-friendly brands and explain what each label means.

Australian swimwear brands have been on the rise for a few years now. However, in recent months, there has been an increase in Australian eco-friendly and ethical fashion labels popping up, which is great news as it means more options for people who want to wear ethically sourced clothes. 

But how do you know what label is right for you? This article will take you through some of the best Australian ethical and eco-friendly swimwear labels out there so you can find your perfect match! 

We all know how hard it can be to find swimwear that not only fits your body type but also supports the environment, so we went on a mission to find some of Australia's best eco-friendly and ethically made labels.

Do you want to buy ethical and eco-friendly swimwear? Here's an ultimate guide to Australian labels that are environmentally friendly.

We've compiled a list of all the brands, so you can find one that suits your needs. Whether it be for your family or yourself, there is something for everyone! 

Do you want to look good and feel good about your swimwear? However, do you have a tough time finding suits that are both eco-friendly and ethical?

Or do you not know what the difference is between the two terms? If so, this article will help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Do you know where your swimsuit is from? We have all heard of the environmental and ethical concerns with fast fashion, but what about swimwear? 

The truth is that, much like any other clothing label, several Australian brands produce high-quality and eco-friendly swimsuits.

But how do you know if they're good for the environment and people too? This post can help to answer those questions! 

If you're looking for eco-friendly, ethically made swimwear labels in Australia, this post is for you.

We've put together a list of the best ethical and eco-friendly brands to get your summer wardrobe sorted! Along with each brand, we'll include their website, where you can find out more about them or make an online purchase. 

You'll find information on the fit, fabric, sustainability credentials and sizing of each brand.

The goal is to empower consumers with all their knowledge before deciding which ethical or eco-friendly bikini label suits them best.

This post is all about finding the best boutique Aussie swimwear labels that are ethical and environmentally friendly.

There's been a lot of controversy recently surrounding big name brands such as Adidas, Nike and H&M, who have been accused of unethical practices in their supply chain.

Finding the perfect swimwear for your lifestyle is not an easy task. With so many different styles, brands, and sizes, it can be not easy to know where to start.

To help you out, I have compiled a list of the top ethical and eco-friendly swimwear labels in Australia! 

Within this post are links to each label's website with pictures of their latest collections. This way, you can find exactly what suits your style, whether boho chic or classic elegance. 

Enjoy!

1. Peony Swimwear 

If you’re a fan of pastel tones and quirky florals, look no further than Peony.

Made from recycled ocean waste such as old fishing nets, carpet and fabric waste, styles range from skimpier triangle tops and side-tie bottoms to mixed fuller coverage ‘50s silhouettes. 

This season, we love their ready-to-wear collection of organic cotton, hemp and linen cover-ups and dresses. 

We think you'll feel as fresh as a daisy and as pretty as a rose in the range of lovely pieces from Peony Swimwear.

The independent, family-owned company says that every part of its swimwear, from the cute custom prints to the lining and packaging, is made from recycled content, including Econyl, Repreve and plant-based materials. Flower power! 

2. Monte & Lou 

Founded by friends Kay Howitt and Lynne Tramonte, who met while working with iconic '80s swim designer Brian Rochford, Monte & Lou has serious design credentials. 

Off the Grid, their latest collection transitioned the brand to be 100 per cent sustainable (in COVID-19 lockdown, no less), where the duo scrapped their entire range of fabrics and replaced it with Global Recycled Standard certified nylon. Plus, you'll also get your shopping in a compostable mailer. 

3. Bondi Born

Australian born and made, Bondi Born is a premium swimwear brand sewn in Sydney, believing that quality and values are never compromised. 

Along with being responsibly made in Australia, the brand focuses on the quality of fabrics (those that feel luxurious but are ethically sourced) and use advanced technology for superior fit, feel and longevity. 

B Corp-certified and made in Sydney, with donations going to charity from every sale and swing tags, labels and post satchels being plastic-free… consider us Bondi bound! 

The Sydney-made label is proud to adhere to the highest ethical and sustainable practices – producing their range of slick, sculptural and supportive one-pieces, bikinis and rashguards in simple block colours from Sculpteur fabric that they say will last ten times longer than standard swim material.

Not only are these swimsuits made from sustainable fabrics – think fabric with a carbon footprint that’s up to 10 times lower than conventional fabric made from recycled bottles – they’ll give you a nip and tuck at the same time. 

The smoothing styles are perfect if you need a bit more coverage, and you can rest easy knowing they've also been ethically made in Australia.  

4. Baiia 

Reversible and multi-functional, you'll never tire of your Baiia swimwear, simply because there are so many ways you can wear it. In addition, we love that it's inclusive – and flattering – for all shapes with sizes starting from an Australian size 6 through to 22. 

What's more, it's ethically produced from recycled and Oeko-Tex certified fabrics. We love their vintage tropical and Australiana prints. The versatile signature wrap suits can be worn up to three ways, while bikini tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched. 

Baiia's high waisted bottoms and high-cut 3-piece wrap suit will suit all body shapes.

Baiia have partnered with a manufacturer in China with high ethical and sustainable values for their production, one that prioritises the welfare and well-being of its seamstresses and is mindful of its environmental impact. 

Its fabric supplier uses a highly efficient industrial system to produce Nylon 6, which is from 100% regenerated waste materials like carpets, plastic bottles and fishing nets. 

Baiia also uses water-based dyes that are Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) certified, OEKO-TEX® certified and CLEAR TO WEAR certified.

Not only does Baiia hop on the Econyl train to produce its glam range of swimsuits and bikinis – but they also donate 10% of all profits to environmental and women's charities. Love!

Sustainable bathers, that give four options for your swim-look? Sign us up! Super supportive and in a lush range of nature-inspired patterns, Baiia's cult wrap suits are reversible and made from 100% regenerated waste materials, with sizing ranging from 6-22. Hurrah!

5. Palm Swim 

Palm offers elevated designs with the environment in mind.

They have recently introduced a made-to-order model, so your swimsuit will only be created once you've paid for what's in your cart. With added UV and chlorine protection, it means, unlike your regular swimmers, they'll also go the distance. 

6. Salt Gypsy 

Founded by surfer Danielle Clayton, Salt Gypsy began with a humble pair of surf leggings and has expanded into rashies, crops, functional and full coverage bottoms and surf suits. 

Made from ECONYL, aka salvaged plastic, ghost fishing nets and carpet and textile offcuts, styles are made for performance and as well as in the water and can be worn on soft sand runs or in the yoga studio.

Like other brands, it too embraces the slow fashion movement with items made to order. 

This Byron Bay-based label is known for its bright and patterned swim pieces. For the past four years, Salt Gypsy has been utilising regenerated nylon fabrics in its designs.

We love their range of rashguards and surf leggings, which are often hard to come by from conscious brands. This brand is perfect for style-conscious beachgoers and surfer gals.

Surfing is challenging enough (Sharks! Jellyfish! Falling off the board immediately!) without worrying about the ethics of your suit.

Enter Salt Gyspy’s range of UPF50+ minimalist styles – all ethically made in Australia using regenerated nylon so you can hang ten, care-free. Surf’s up!

7. Spell and the Gypsy Collective 

Byron born and bred Spell needs no introduction, but what you might not know is their swimwear is also crafted with sustainability in mind. 

Its boho style bikinis, one-pieces, and activewear range are made from 100 per cent regenerated nylon that comes from sources like fishing nets.

So not only do you get a cool cossie, but you're also helping to reduce landfills.

Spell & The Gypsy Collective are well known for their bohemian styles and prints and are fast becoming known (and commended) for their use of sustainable fabrics and increasing transparency of their supply chain. 

The brand sources sustainable fibres for their swim pieces, including ECONYL yarn made from 78% recycled nylon. You can read more about their sustainable fabrics on their website. 

Spell & The Gypsy is transitioning to sustainable fabrics and a more transparent supply chain.

8. Shapes in the Sand 

Hand made in limited numbers, each season Shapes in the Sand donates to environmental causes. This year, Koala Ark gets a shout out with the brand donating $10 for every swimsuit from the Blossom collection sold. 

They've recently added bio-based yarn, Evo (made from castor bean oil), to their fabrication mix.

It has also designed a soluble hygiene liner made from wood pulp and non-toxic ink to replace the thick plastic liners found in conventional swimwear.

Handmade using sustainable fabric ECONYL® Regenerated Nylon yarn, Shapes in the Sand focus on being environmentally friendly through all stages of creating their collections. 

Locally printed fabrics are created with a method that uses no harsh chemicals. The brand even aims to zero waste by upcycling offcuts and remnant fabrics into hair scrunchies and accessories.

Even their packaging materials are eco-friendly, down to non-toxic inks on their swing tags. 

As well as using our friend Econyl, Shapes in the Sand has applied sustainability to every single area of their swimwear business – from their wood-pulp dissolvable hygiene liners to their recycled and regenerated packaging, swing tags and care labels.

Their capsule collections aim to leave the world in good shape, pairing with different wildlife or environmental charity with each new print release.

Shapes in the Sand produced one-piece swimsuits and two-piece set collections that also come in gorgeous, eye-catching prints.

9. Georgi Swimms

Although a relatively new brand, Georgi Swimms, was founded in 2019, sustainability has always been innate to their DNA.

Intending to become a 100% sustainable brand by 2025, Georgi Swimms is already taking tangible steps to achieve these measures in all facets of its business, including materials, manufacturing and packaging. 

Best of all, when you purchase a 'swimmsuit' you'll take solace in the fact the fabric is made from ocean-filling plastics.

10. Charlie Mae

Charlie Mae swimwear pieces are made from recycled and sustainable fabrics, including their textured and printed fabrics and tags. 

Their materials are recycled from pre and post-consumer waste and are manufactured in safe environments aligned with BSCI standards.

So when you choose swimwear created with recycled material rather than new nylon, you are helping clean up oceans, clear landfills and help close the loop.

11. Zulu & Zephyr

As one of Australia's beloved lifestyle brands, Zulu & Zephyr ensures sustainability is at the forefront of their swimwear offering.

In 2020, the brand underwent an overhaul of its collection and relaunched with Econyl fabric. Not only is it made from waste, but it's infinitely recyclable, reducing waste and pollution in the long run.

12. Matteau

Matteau prioritises sourcing materials from regenerative, organic, renewable and recycled sources and is committed to long term sustainability and responsible business practices.

Imperative to the brand is a dedication to responsible consumption and cultivating sustainable buying habits. 

When selecting materials, Matteau assesses the environmental impact of all fabrics and the sustainability of that material's production, in addition to consideration of the lifecycle of those materials.

13. Cooke & Kin

Cooke & Kin place the environment as a top priority in every decision made, including responsibly manufacturing all garments on home soil along with a guaranteed safe working environment, full entitlements and fair wages for manufacturers. 

Since its launch, the brand has worked exclusively with naturally grown, compostable components and processed fibres, meaning that the garment will completely break down and leave no final trace.

14. Nude Lucy

Cult brand Nude Lucy has recently launched their swimwear range. The result? A conscious collection of premium swimwear made with recycled fabrics, including recycled yarn spun from post-consumer waste.

The capsule offers a range of styles and cuts to cater to various sizes, so there's something for everyone.

15. LE BUNS

LE BUNS is a Melbourne based eco-conscious swim label with a focus on sustainable innovation and ethical manufacturing. 

Their swimwear collections are exclusively designed with innovative reconstructed recycled fibres upcycled from plastic sourced from fishing ropes and nets that would otherwise be polluting oceans and endangering wildlife.

You might know them as the Melbourne brand that makes the comfiest organic bras and undies, so it makes sense that Le Buns know what they're doing when it comes to your bikinis too! 

Made in ethical overseas factories from regenerated nylon, some pieces can be styled in up to five ways, making them flexible and fashionable. Le fun in le sun! 

16. Vege Threads

If you like your clothes simple and sustainable, chances are there’s a Vege Threads piece or two in your wardrobe. The brand’s new swimwear offering is a minimalist mermaid’s dream, with Econyl once again used across a bijou range of simple wrap one-pieces and separates.

Leafy greens, tomato reds, pumpkin yellow: Vege Thread’s sustainable swimwear collection of bikinis, rashies and one-pieces is as delicious looking as it is ethical. 

Produced mindfully in South Australia with ECA accreditation, the beach-approves range is the perfect accompaniment to the brand's cult basics.

Vege Threads is most commonly a go-to for their designed ethically-made organic underwear and basics. Still, this Australian brand's range of eco-friendly swimwear is made from recycled Italian nylon – a blend of 78 per cent nylon and Xtra Life Lycra is gaining in popularity.

Vege Threads produces a swimwear range of ethical one-piece swimsuits and two-piece bikinis to flatter different body types.

17. Seapia

Seapia chooses their fabrics based on their impact on the environment; the Australian made swimwear brand looks to fabrics created by new technologies that reclaim discarded plastics.

Collaborating with local artists for their exclusive prints, the brand's ethos is to produce swimwear that respects our planet and celebrates its soul by continually aiming to reduce its waste and carbon footprint. 

18. Camp Cove Swim

Love retro prints? Then you'll lurrrve Camp Cove, whose new range offers prints inspired by Australian native flowers and the Australian landscape. 

All of Camp Coves' dreamily patterned numbers are handmade using recycled fabrics in their linings and are offered in various high waisted bottoms, tops and one-pieces. Swoon!

Camp Cove Swim is a super cool swimwear label well known for its retro styles and exclusive in-house designed prints. Their collections are ethically-produced in small batches on the south coast of Australia from fabrics printed in Australia. 

The brand also incorporates recycled fabrics into the lining of its swimwear. I especially love their inclusive and diverse photoshoots featuring women of all sizes and shapes!

Try saying "Camp Cove cossies" five times fast – you'll have to practise as everyone on the beach asks you where you got your cute bathers. Designed and made on the south coast of NSW and printed using a water-free dyeing process, we love that this brand is good in the water AND for it!

Camp Cove Swim ethically-made swimwear is bright, fun and perfect for women of all colours, shapes and sizes.

19. She Made Me

Working with local artisans in Bali, She Made Me creates handmade crochet swimwear produced in limited quantities.

With the intention of the pieces being timeless and instilling confidence in the women who wear them, She Made Me aims to celebrate the artisanal tradition and value of the human touch. 

She Made Me designs crocheted swimwear made by Balinese artisans.

20. OceanZen Bikini

Sustainable swimwear label OceanZen Bikini was founded by Queensland-based environmental scientist Steph Gabriel. Like many other eco-friendly swim products, it is made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets from the ocean.

“I wanted a voice for sustainability, but I didn’t want to go down the scientific research path. OceanZen Bikini is completely built around a strong foundation for sustainability and marine conservation.” – Steph Gabriel says.

21.  Kowtow

Swimwear is quite new to this ethical fashion label, launching its first swimwear collection in October of last year. 

In true Kowtow style, their swimwear comes in organic shapes and pops of colour using ECONYL, regenerated nylon made from pre and post-consumer waste such as discarded fishing nets. 

While not technically an Australian brand but a New Zealand one, they’ve been so popular and accessible in the land down under it makes sense to keep them on this list).

The big hitters of the ethical clothing league, Kowtow, have released a range of art-inspired swimwear (think Hockney and Matisse) that'll have you dashing to the surf every chance you get. 

Made of Econyl – Italian-made nylon crafted from pre-and-post-consumer waste including carpets, plastic scraps and recycled fishing nets – the range includes simple bikinis, one-pieces, tees and sarongs. It is perfect for long days at the beach.

22. Tigerlily

Tigerlily is making ethical sourcing and sustainability an integral part of their brand, implementing changes that reflect these new priorities. Last year the brand committed close to 50 per cent of all their swimwear made using recycled fibres. It also introduced new compostable packaging for all online orders. Great start to a sustainable journey Tigerlily!

23. Atmosea

Throwing back to all the best bits of the 80s, surf and swimwear brand Atmosea gives a modern nod to the era that unashamedly embraced aerobic wear and big hair (think a surfing Jane Fonda). 

Artfully combining comfort, cuteness and practicality, the fun range of colour-blocked and tie-dyed bikini crops, full suits, wetsuits and, even swimming bike shorts are made for active sea life, both on and off the waves. 

Bringing it into the future, all pieces are made from regenerated nylon and sent in compostable packaging made from cassava.

24. Active Truth

Created with a mission to "celebrate women regardless of size, shape or stage of life by offering performance activewear across an inclusive size range", Active Truth is walking the talk, with sizes ranging from 6-26. 

Known and loved for their extensive tights range, they have now dived active swimwear – all made in Australia using recycled nylon and packed in biodegradable packaging (minus any swing tags or unnecessary printed invoices). 

25. The Firefly Collection

Celebrating your body *should* know no age limits, and that’s something The Firefly Collection embraces wholeheartedly with their range of eco-luxe swimwear. Inspire your daughters, nieces and granddaughters to love their bod’ too, with oh-so-cute mini matching versions! 

Made ethically in classic black, navy or cool leopard print and sizing up to 18, their small but stylish recycled nylon range can be mixed and matched to get your perfect top and bottom size.

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