Photo: Girlfriend Collective
Eco-friendly and sustainable fashion is trending and for the right reasons. There are now more brands than ever that desire to protect the planet while wrapping us up in stylish threads.
Eco-friendly swimwear is no exception. After all, it’s very much part of our wardrobe. But whether you’re heading to the beach or lounging by a pool, your swimwear can unknowingly harm the environment due to the fabrics they’re made of.
In fact, regular swimsuits are fabricated from petroleum oil-based synthetic materials like nylon, spandex and polyester. These materials are not biodegradable and shed microplastics when washed, making their way into our oceans and infiltrating the food chain.
Recycled and eco-swimwear have become the new alternative to synthetic swimwear. These sustainable options are either made with plant-based fabrics or recycled materials. Here’s our pick of 10 eco-swimwear brands from around the world.
Did you know that about eight million pieces of plastic end up in oceans every day? Londre is a Canadian brand that looks to solve the plastic problem by making swimsuits from plastic collected in the streets and oceans. Their one-piece numbers are made from at least six recycled plastic bottles found in Vancouver alone.
The company has recycled over 200,000 plastic bottles since it was founded in 2017. It uses textiles that are Oeko Tex 100 certified while customers can opt to up-cycle their used garments. There’s also a Repair Program to repair any damaged pieces within the first year from purchase.
Remember the time when you felt carefree on the beach with sand in your toes and salt in your hair? Summersalt wants to make every woman feel that way with their inclusive swimsuits. The brand took over 1.5 million body measurements from 10,000 women to ensure that their clothing fits all body types.
Expect a range of swimsuits made with luxurious fabrics that are actually made from 78 percent Recycled Polyamide and discarded clothes. Most of its items are made from Tencel, a sustainably sourced natural raw material wood as well as recycled cotton linter called Cupro.
If you’re looking for timeless swimwear that fits like a glove and made with environmentally sound fabrics, then Los Angeles-based Galamaar is for you. The brand was founded in 2017 by designer Blakely Wickstrom and is known for using nylon from discarded fishing nets. It also utilizes recycled hang tags, regenerated mixed metal hardware, and eco-friendly packaging.
Australia-based Hakea’s recycled swimwear releases only four collections per year to reduce the excesses of the swimwear industry. The brand is known for its pieces made using Econyl, or nylon that’s been recasted from fishing nets, discarded ocean plastics and fabric mill scraps.
Orders are packed in re-usable calico bags while packages are 100 percent biodegradable by way of compostable corn starch postage satchels and labelled with non-toxic ink. It also donates one percent of its annual sales to For The Planet, a non-profit that works towards conserving our natural spaces.
Girlfriend Collective may be known for its activewear but it launched a sustainable swimwear collection for women of all sizes in early 2021. The collection is made from Econyl and features eight designs printed using eco-friendly dyes. That includes everything from bikinis to a timeless one-shoulder one-piece in sizes that range from XXS to 6XL.
This men’s label doesn’t only have handsome suits, button-downs and polos, it also makes some of the freshest swimsuits. The Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks range is not only stylish and vibrantly designed, it’s also eco-friendly being made entirely out of recycled polyester.
It’s hard to go wrong with Surf pro-Kelly Slater’s clothing brand Outerknown for its board shorts. But the range of Apex Trunks are also a choice pick for being made from recycled or renewable fibers. In fact, each pair of trunks is made out of 10 to 12 plastic bottles. Keep a look out for its range of trunks that include Nomadic Volleys, Tasty Scallops, and Adventure Shorts that are all made with four-way stretched recycled or renewable fibers which are certified Fair Trade.
Bold Swim is unique for using Amni Soul Eco®- a polyamide yarn that composts in five years when disposed of in landfills. Synthetics in comparison, take more than 50 years. In addition, the brand is size-inclusive going up to 3XL. There is no animal testing here and each eco-swimsuit is packaged in compostable bags.
Photo: Vitamin A