Sustainable swimwear to have a pretty bad rep as being all hippie, “crunchy” and “granola”. In short, it wasn’t the peak of style. But times have changed, and more and more companies are now putting out “green” fashion offerings that are pretty fashionable.
Most people don’t think of swimwear when it comes to sustainable fashion, but a handful of brands are starting to change that. Besides design, there’s also plenty to consider when it comes to creating sustainable swimwear. One important aspect is the type of dye used for the fabric – swimsuits go through a lot of wear and tear, being exposed to the sun, saltwater, and even chlorine. The chances of dye leeching is higher than with normal, everyday clothing, and that means brands have to pay extra attention to the type of fabric dye they use.
On top of that, you can’t just use regular recycled fabric – it’ll break down way too easily thanks to exposure to the elements. Enter Econyl, a regenerated nylon fibre made from recycled fishing nets, carpets and other plastic polymers. It’s designed to be super-durable, which means you can have fun in the sun without worries.
Besides Econyl, there are also other eco swimwear fabrics made from recycled nylon, plastic bottles, Lycra, hemp and even coconuts. We can’t vouch for the durability of these fabrics, but if you’re more of a “lounge-on-the-beach” kind of girl, you’re good to go.
Read on to check out some of our favourite sustainable swimwear brands.
Reformation is best known for its vintage-y French girl chic – no thanks to countless Instagram It-girls proclaiming their love for the brand. But besides pretty dresses, did you know that Reformation also makes swimwear? The swimsuits are made from Econyl and elastane, while Reformation itself has carbon-offset shipping.
NOW_THEN looks like a luxury brand, feels like a million bucks, and everything is made from sustainable resources. The brand uses Econyl, Ecoprene (a petroleum-free neoprene), and is Oeko-Tex 100 certified to be free from harmful susbtances.
Made in the USA, Mara Hoffman utilises recycled fibres and organic resources, and also pays attention to environmentally conscious and ethical manufacturing processes. Plus, the products are effortlessly chic. We love
Designer Agnes Fischer was inspired to create the brand when she was struck by how the coral reefs at St. Barths were rapidly becoming less vibrant. The brand features pieces adorned with cute, kitschy marine-inspired illustrations. For those who prefer something a little more low-key, we recommend the Fregate v-necks, with just enough detailing to keep things interesting.
Ookioh was founded with the intention of being sustainable, fashionable and affordable. Brand founder Vivek Agarwhal wanted to creating a fun swimwear line, and along with his all-female team, they’ve done just that. The brand draws inspiration from the 80s – we’re particularly taken with the Baywatch-esque high-thigh cuts. And the best part? Every piece rings in at under US$100.