What Is Sustainable Swimwear And Why Does It Matter?
Sustainable swimwear is significant since it is constructed of materials that are simple to clean and won't harm the oceans when it is recycled.
By picking eco-friendly items or creating your own at home, you can make a difference! Continue reading if you're interested in learning how to create your own eco-friendly swimwear.
Because these clothing are made of better for the environment materials, sustainable swimwear is important. Sustainable swimwear is in high demand, and we want people to understand why they should buy it and how it may help them. If you're interested, keep reading!
Any swimsuit manufactured from fabric that was produced utilising environmentally friendly methods falls under the category of sustainable swimwear. Although many people may find this term unfamiliar, you have likely heard of this kind of content before since it has been around for so long.
Many individuals are unaware of how much harm is done to the environment when they purchase and wear clothing. For instance, producing textiles like cotton or polyester involves the use of numerous chemicals and amounts of water that harm wildlife and contaminate waterways.
Nylon, which takes thousands of years to degrade in landfills, is used in the manufacture of even synthetic materials like spandex. Therefore, it's crucial to select environmentally friendly swimwear wherever possible!
As a result, you can feel good about your purchase and look adorable at the beach. Fortunately, there are lots of fantastic brands out there that produce high-quality swimsuits utilising recycled fabrics, organic cotton, low impact colours, etc.
The goal of the sustainable swimwear movement is to lessen the waste and pollution produced during the creation of swimsuits. About 1.4 million tonnes of textiles are thrown annually, according to The Huffington Post.
This figure excludes the usage of any additional clothing materials. Reduced environmental effect and an emphasis on producing high-quality, inexpensive, or animal- or human-exploitation-free swimwear are the two main objectives of sustainable swimwear.
In order to prevent sweatshops, child labour, or animal cruelty in their factories while yet maintaining costs that are reasonable for customers, sustainable businesses collaborate closely with manufacturers. These businesses seek to benefit neighbourhood communities in addition to reducing their carbon footprint.
For individuals who want to protect their skin and preserve our oceans, sustainable swimwear is currently very popular. You should be aware of sustainable swimwear and why it matters.
Growing in popularity is sustainable swimwear, and with good reason. Purchasing swimwear is third on the global shopping list behind socks and underwear, so why not make a long-term investment?
Sustainable swimwear is created from materials that are good for the environment and your skin, such as organic cotton farmed without pesticides or recycled plastic bottles. Discover more about eco-friendly swimwear by reading on!
Let's start now!
What is sustainable swimwear?
Materials that are environmentally benign and won't affect marine life are used to make sustainable swimwear.
Sustainable swimwear manufacturers collaborate with vendors who uphold all labour rules and make items in secure facilities. Additionally, they employ environmentally beneficial production techniques like wind or solar power, which reduce hazardous emissions.
Early attempts to make sustainable swimwear employed recycled plastic bottles to make fabric, but the end product was frequently unsightly. The most popular method right now is to mix eco-friendly bamboo fibre, which is inherently antibacterial and hypoallergenic, with other fibres.
Why is it important to switch?
Every time swimwear made of non-renewable materials is washed, hundreds of tiny bits of microplastic are released into the marine ecosystem, posing a serious threat to fish and other species.
One piece of clothing may release more than 700,000 microfibers per wash, according to some studies. Not only does this plastic wind up in the water, but it also gets into the food chain and ends up on our plates.
Due to all of this study, numerous garment manufacturers have started to alter their production procedures to prevent the pollution of the oceans by microplastics.
Benefits of sustainable swimwear over traditional polyester and nylon swimwear
There are microplastics everywhere. They are even present in the air we breathe and our oceans. If you consume seafood regularly enough, there is also reason to suspect that these microscopic plastic fragments may also find their way into your diet.
So what can be done?
You may lessen your carbon imprint on the world by switching to bamboo swimwear, which is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. By purchasing one of these goods for your upcoming beach trip, you'll be able to feel better about yourself knowing that you're helping to protect our ecosystem.
Additionally, bamboo cloth feels wonderful against the skin, so wearing it is a pleasure!
Sustainable swimwear benefits both the environment and the workers who make it. They not only utilise healthier products to work with, but materials that are better for the environment.
Every worker in a sustainable swimwear brand's supply chain is given the respect and fair treatment they deserve. This prohibits the use of forced labour or child labour.
All of this results in a higher quality of life for those who get to wear sustainable swimwear as well as for industry employees!
What are the implications for this?
What repercussions result from this?
By choosing sustainable swimwear over conventional apparel manufactured from non-sustainable fibres, we as customers may significantly influence the industry.
When purchasing a bikini or bathing suit, seek for one that was created with eco-friendly materials that won't harm marine life. For instance, choose recycled polyamide swimsuits over those made of traditional polyester.
By making this sort of apparel your choice, you may encourage other businesses to produce them by increasing the demand for them.
Where can you find sustainable swimwear?
Fortunately, it is easy to locate eco-friendly swimwear.
Several online stores, including Econyl, provide a sizable selection of bamboo- and recycled-plastic-made styles and sizes.
A excellent place to purchase handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items manufactured by regional craftsmen worldwide, many of whom cater to the eco-conscious community, is Etsy.
You might already live near a store that sells the eco-friendly swimwear you want, given their rising popularity. You'll be astonished by how many brands of eco-friendly swimwear there are now.
Why sustainable swimwear is everywhere now
Visitors to the show attended the inaugural Upcycle Challenge to open Paraiso at Miami Swim Week. Competition pairs specially chosen fashion students from Parsons, FIT, Miami International University of Art and Design, and Miami Dade College's Miami Fashion Institute to create swimwear pieces out of deadstock fabric donated by Cynthia Rowley, L*Space, Maaji, Vitamin A, and Volcom. The Upcycle Project, a programme that promotes upcycling by providing fashion schools with discarded textiles and garments, hosted the competition.
Along the way, students were mentored by designers from these companies. Finalist Hannah Myers of FIT won the $5,000 top prise for her Cynthia Rowley outfits after the students presented their looks to a panel of industry professionals (I was one of the judges).
"If you're a designer, you should be aware of the origins of your materials, the structure of your supply chain, and the ethical manufacturing practises used in the creation of your clothing. That begins a cycle of life that is sustainable, "says Gabriella Smith, the founder of The Upcycle Project. In the end, sustainability begins with the learner through education.
Throughout Miami Swim Week, sustainability was a hot topic among brands, runway shows, events, and even the venues themselves. Colombian swimwear brand Maaji launched its Earth Warriors line, an environmentally conscious line built from recycled materials, as it closed Paraiso with a runway show at Brickell City Centre.
Several models walked the catwalk in "Sustainability is sexy" T-shirts for Vitamin A's Resort 2020 presentation. The Miami Beach Convention Center hosted the trade expo Cabana this year, which touted its list of eco-friendly brands, as well as its restriction on single-use plastics, provision of reusable water bottles for participants, and provision of donation receptacles for used swimsuits.
Most swimwear companies stood out by emphasising their sustainability initiatives, which are now more crucial than ever to consumers. Additionally, the category need innovation to fuel future growth after sales in the U.S. fell by 4% to $5.8 billion over the previous 12 months, in part because of the delayed onset of summer temperatures, according to NPD.
Why not start by aiming towards sustainability? Although several companies have already begun selling eco-friendly clothing, this ethical trend is growing.
Climate change was on Chromat's Becca McCharen-mind Tran's during New York Fashion Week; she has been creating eco-friendly swimwear for the past five years.
Her most recent collection, "Climactic," was heavily influenced by Miami, where she established a second studio. I never really discussed our own sustainability because there were so many things to dissect and I assumed that our customers weren't interested,
In her notes for the runway show, McCharen-Tran revealed. But now that I see how crucial it is, I want to incorporate sustainability more into our narrative.
Additionally, in February, Madewell unveiled their first-ever line of recycled plastic swimwear. In March, Reformation debuted new sustainable swimwear that is also constructed from recycled plastic trash.
Mara Hoffman began implementing ecological methods within her own brand over four years ago. Her initial move? switching to a fabric comprised of 78% recycled polyester in place of one of the regular fabrics used in its well-liked swimsuit line.
According to Chantell Fenton, senior trend forecaster of swim and intimates at WGSN, "[Sustainable swimwear] has been there for quite a while, but it's now becoming the major talking point, a main message, and a main selling feature."
"I believe that one of the things before the last few years was that people were almost a little frightened to disclose what they were doing, but now, brands are feeling a little more secure about actually telling that story," the author said.
According to Fenton, recycled materials like Econyl, which is made of regenerated nylon, and Repreve, a fibre derived from recycled materials including plastic bottles, have become widely available and of high quality, which has contributed to a rise in the popularity of sustainable swimwear.
She continues, "They look exactly like [synthetic materials]; switching them out is so simple." "And I think it's simple to foresee a world where virgin attributes and virgin materials become outmoded, particularly in swimwear," she continued.
But what more remedies may swimsuit labels do outside the use of recycled synthetics? "I believe the brands who are really succeeding in this market are virtually adopting a 360-degree strategy, realising that the full lifecycle of the clothing, from fibre all the way through to packaging, can only be calculated in terms of sustainability," adds Fenton.
Smith says that even when caring for their swimwear, people may practise environmental responsibility. For instance, Guppyfriend washing bags can aid in reducing microplastic contamination that happens during laundry.
She also suggests being more careful while purchasing swimwear. Smith argues that it is ineffective to purchase 17 bathing suits per season. "If you don't, you'll end up with a tonne of bathing suits that you'll want to toss away. Only purchase items that you genuinely love. Then, that's a whole different story."
Natasha Toni, who established her own hemp-based, sustainable swimwear brand, would want to see more advancements made with natural materials as opposed to more synthetic fabrics being produced.
"Regenerating garbage from the ocean is a wonderful notion, but it still enters the water stream," she claims. "I would like to see more research on how to make hemp fabric even better." She has experimented with materials created from mushrooms for her own line as a potential replacement for padding in bathing suit tops.
Marcus Eriksen, co-founder and research director of the non-profit 5Gyres, claims that it is difficult to develop a solution for plastic contamination from textiles. He claims that "every human on the earth is probably wearing some type of synthetic textile apparel."
"There are roughly 80 billion pieces of clothes that are all shedding microfibers around the world, with each person wearing three to 10 different articles of clothing on average." With this, he has developed a system called waste, wear, weave, and wash that swimwear companies can use to run more sustainably.
Businesses can leverage the circular economy to manage waste in the textile industry by providing services like accepting used swimwear. Encourage heirloom culture by encouraging people to buy and wear high-quality, perhaps pricey swimsuits that will survive for much longer than just one season.
In the words of Eriksen, "I think putting it back into society is going to help get us away from this single-use, manufacture it to break it, canned obsolescence, a really wasteful economy that we have on materials.
When it comes to weaving, companies should consider how recyclable each component of a swimsuit is, including the label and stitching. "Perhaps a swimwear business can sign on a buyer to take the bulk garbage and other fragments from them—all the excess," the author continues. "And re-spin that into a reusable fibre."
Laundering clothes can have an influence on the environment, similar to how Smith suggested using Guppyfriend bags, therefore front-load or hand washing is better for the environment. (Heat from drying your swimsuit can also weaken the elastic, which could lead to future microfiber contamination.)
"Waste has no more place in the world. Reverting to a circular economy is necessary. When all materials were formed of natural resources like metal and decomposed naturally through rust and biodegradation, we lived in a circular economy "affirms Eeiksen.
"Then, without considering how long they would last, we started producing technical materials. We are now becoming aware of this, and customers are demanding that we stop producing items that contribute to environmental destruction."
If You’re Shopping For a New Swimsuit, Try a Recycled One
Petroleum-based spandex contributes to the discharge of microplastics into the water supply. What is the greatest option for purchasing eco-friendly swimwear?
Consumers felt liberated in the early half of the year, before the threat of the delta variant appeared.
Swimsuits joined the must-have list of items for consumers eager to leave quarantine, alongside tickets for flights and designer heels. According to NPD Group's industry experts, consumers spent $2.7 billion on swimwear globally in the first half of 2021, a 19% increase from the same time in 2019.
Spandex, which was created in 1959 as a lighter, more breathable substitute for rubber by materials scientists at DuPont, has been used to make the majority of swimsuits for many years.
Speedo was the first company to produce Spandex swimwear in 1972. The petroleum-based material swiftly became the norm in the textile sector. Approximately 65% of the textiles used in the swimsuit market as of 2017 are polyester and spandex, according to Allied Market Research.
The worn-out bikinis, one-pieces, and briefs generally end up in landfills when new ones rotate into people's closets. According to Shannon Bergstrom, sustainability brand manager at Recycle Track Systems, spandex is a particularly challenging material to recycle.
There are currently no efficient chemical ways to recover the spent material because the synthetic fibres are too short to be sorted by mechanical techniques. Although consumers can always give or sell their worn suits, even if they are brand new with tags, there is no guarantee that anyone will purchase them. Bergstrom continues, "I'm hopeful that businesses will foot the money to develop answers.
Some are attempting. The EcoMade line from The Lycra Company uses recycled polythene terephthalate and fibres made from pre-consumer Spandex waste.
Speedo offers performance suits with added features made of chlorine-resistant Spandex and Lycra's Xtra Life fibre, which is claimed to last longer than regular fibres and produce less waste.
Econyl, produced by the decades-old Aquafil, which recovers fishing nets from oceans and industrial carpets from landfills to spin into yarn, is possibly the most well-known among boutique and fashion-focused swimsuit manufacturers.
According to Dana Davis, head of sustainability at the environmentally aware company Mara Hoffman, "Swimwear is our toughest challenge." The business uses Econyl and Repreve, a performance fibre made from recycled resources like plastic bottles, in the creation of its suits. It will soon function with Q-Nova, another recycled nylon.
We don't use virgin fossil fuels, but let's be honest, this isn't the only option, adds Davis. An existing swimsuit cannot be converted into another one. Additionally, just like new Spandex, these recycled plastic suits leak microplastics into the water supply, notes Davis.
The manufacturers of Econyl and Repreve are hoping that their parent firms will quickly discover a way to repurpose the components in these goods.
Abigail Lorick, creative director of eco-friendly swimwear brand Ansea, states, "We're messaging them very frequently to find out when we can recycle these fabrics." Finding a way to start returning used swimwear is our main objective for 2021.
6 Sustainable Swimwear Picks from Our Team
1. Patagonia Reversible One-Piece Swimsuit
I adore my one-piece swimsuit from Patagonia. The fit is excellent, and the colour is a lovely shade of blue. You practically get two swimsuits for the price of one because it is two-sided.
Like the company claims, the fit is ideal for active swimming and surfing. The bikini is made with Fair Trade Certified sewing, which is another crucial factor for me.
2. Wolven Santorini Swimsuit
The feel of a Wolven bathing suit is unparalleled. Despite being comprised of 84% RPET and 16% spandex manufactured from recycled water bottles, it lacks the slick sensation that one might anticipate.
Many of their swim tops feel comfortable enough to use as a workout bra or undershirt as an added benefit of this softer material. I would advise going up a size if you're in doubt about your size. However, their closer fittings provide excellent support.
3. prAna Vivienne Bikini
Bikini shirts with ties in the front are my favourite. They're really flattering all the time! This one is particularly fantastic because it has adjustable straps and a safe back to hold everything in place. The fact that the bottoms aren't cheeky is another plus.
PrAna swimsuits have side ties so you can custom-fit them to your body and offer far more coverage than other options. Another advantage is that the Fair Trade Certified factory used recycled materials to create the eco-friendly swimwear.
4. Ansea Reversible Sporty Bikini
I purchased the reversible sporty top and high-waisted bottom from Ansea. The colours and fit are wonderful. With the reversibility of both components, you get four different swimsuits in one!
The fabric used in both pieces, Econyl recycled nylon, which is created entirely from landfill and ocean refuse, is produced in New York (such as industrial plastic and fabric scraps). What a cool thing!
5. SEPTEMBER Eden Swimsuit
September Swimsuit - I think this is one of my favourite swimsuits ever. Since I don't have a long torso, I don't often appreciate the way high-waisted bottoms look on me, but this one is very attractive thanks to its belt that ties into a bow at the back. I adore the square-neck top as well.
The content is also great. It's silky, luxurious Italian recycled cloth that has SPF 50, and it's incredibly comfy. I'll be wearing it all summer long!
6. prAna Ruby Sands Swimsuit
It was fantastic that this bikini arrived in plastic-free packaging. Additionally, the fabric seems to be strong; it won't seem to fade or stretch out after a few swims. I really like how it ties in the back rather than using a latch since it feels much more secure.
Traditional swimsuit can be replaced with environmentally friendly sustainable swimwear. It can be just as fashionable and doesn't damage the environment during production.
Reduce your carbon impact by switching to eco-friendly swimwear made of bamboo or recycled plastics like Econyl.
Additionally, if you purchase one of these items for your upcoming beach trip, you'll feel better about yourself knowing that you're helping to protect the environment.