Swimsuit shopping can be overwhelming! Add sustainability to it and that’s another level. Finding a bathing suit with the perfect fit AND eco-friendly materials can be a lot.
Our shopping guide is here to help. Let’s explore some of the revolutionary fabrics and materials used to make swimwear and explore a list of the best eco-friendly swimwear brands.
You don’t need to sacrifice style for a sustainable future. Let’s dive into this list!
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Quick List of Sustainable Swimsuits
If you’re just looking for a quick list of brands with sustainable bathing suits, here you go! If you’d like to learn more about materials and why we recommend these brands, read on!
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What is Eco-Friendly Swimwear?
The concept is simple – create swimwear that flatters our different body shapes and sizes and is made with mindful materials.
At its core, eco-friendly swimwear is all the choices made when it comes to materials, manufacturing processes, and even packaging.
The swimsuits in this guide are crafted from sustainable materials, including recycled polyester and regenerated nylon, designed to reduce waste and conserve resources.
When looking for a socially responsible swimwear brand look for brands who prioritize ethical labor practices, conscious materials, small batch production, energy efficiency, compostable packaging, and a reduced carbon footprint.
Troubles with Regular Swimwear
The problem is that conventional swimwear typically isn’t made with the environment in mind. True, you get lower prices and the latest n trends, but that is because these big-name brands know what attracts us the most and want to earn as much money as possible. That can mean cutting corners.
Conventional swimwear often has the following issues when it comes to sustainability.
- Cheaply made mass-produced fabrics that can be harmful to the environment
- Extra waste from fast-production lines and overproduction.
- Materials made from synthetic, non-biodegradable materials.
- Cheap labor practices that go against most human rights standards.
- Not crafted to last you a long time. Made to be replaced, so you have to buy the next best thing.
- Chemical processes that harm the environment.
While cheap fast fashion swimwear may be a staple of summer, it carries an environmental cost that we cannot afford to ignore. That’s why it’s time to consider eco-friendly alternatives – a way to enjoy the sun and surf while protecting the planet we love.
What Eco-Friendly Materials Should You Look for in Swimwear?
If you’re ready to ride the wave of conscious consumerism and dive into eco-friendly swimwear, here are some sustainable materials to look for:
- Upcycled Fabrics: Utilizing waste fabrics and materials to create new products, upcycling keeps resources in use longer and reduces overall waste.
- ECONYL: This innovative material, created by Italian firm Aquafil, uses synthetic waste such as industrial plastic, waste fabric, and fishing nets from oceans, then recycles and regenerates them into a new nylon yarn that’s identical in quality to virgin nylon. This recycled nylon fabric can be great for eco-friendly bikinis and ethical swimwear.
- REPREVE: Made from sustainably sourced post-consumer plastic water bottles, Repreve is a specialized recycled polyester used in everything from swim trunks to outdoor gear.
- Deadstock Fabric: Deadstock fabric is typically left over from fast fashion brands that overproduce. When brands use these materials, it helps keep them out of landfills.
- Recycled Polyester: Giving plastic bottles a second chance, recycled polyester helps reduce plastic waste and cut down on greenhouse emissions.
- Amni Soul Eco: Created by Belgian company Solvay, this biodegradable polyamide accelerates the decomposition process, disappearing from the planet in about five years compared to other fibers that take decades.
- Yulex: A plant-based, sustainable alternative to traditional neoprene, Yulex is derived from Forest Stewardship Council® certified sources. Natural rubber, produced by hevea trees, reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80%, making it a green choice for your beach adventures.
Top Eco-Friendly Swimsuit Brands to Make a Sustainable Splash
If you’re ready to learn about some sustainable brands making bathing suits, this list is a great start. These eco-friendly swimwear brands prioritize upcycled and recycled materials, along with producing in small batches.
PrAna offers sustainable swimsuits for men and women! They uses a variety of materials in their eco-friendly swimwear collections.
Their men’s swim trunks are made from Recycled Polyester and Elastane. While their women’s swimwear line features ECONYL® Recycled Nylon and LYCRA® XTRA LIFE Elastane.
prAna offers a variety of different styles for women including bikini tops, tankinis, different style of bottoms, and one-piece swimsuits. Plus, their swimsuits are made in a Fair Trade Certified Factory.
This swimwear company extends its environmentally conscious ethos to its packaging too by using recycled materials.
Kitty & Vibe offers size inclusive swimsuits made with Recycled Polyester and X-Life Lycra. They offer a variety of styles making it easy for customers to find the perfect swim fit for their body. Styles include high rise, mid rise, halter tops, cheeky bottoms, triangle tops, and more.
What’s especially unique about this brand is the different options for “small booty” or “large booty.” These options are perfect for making sure those bikini bottoms fit perfectly and get full coverage if wanted. Kitty & Vibe offer bold prints with bright colors!
All Kitty and Vibe products are made ethically by their woman-run factory in Bogota, Colombia.
I’ve had two Kitty & Vibe swimsuits which I’ve loved! The fit is perfect and the swimwear is incredibly well made. I’ve had mine for about four years now and they’ve held up great. I also think Kitty & Vibe is one of the more budget friendly options when shopping for sustainable swimsuits.
Quince is a great affordable option as far as sustainable swimwear goes. However, they currently only offer women’s one piece swimsuits.
Their swimwear is made with recycled polyamide and spandex. The fabric is ethically made in Italy and sewn with care in Sri Lanka. Their swimwear has the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification.
Wolven swimwear features eco-friendly materials, with most options being reversible. Wolven’s sustainable swimwear is made with OEKO-Tex Certified Recycled P.E.T mixed with spandex. Their swimwear features a few bikini styles and a couple one piece options.
Wolven offers some bold patterns and prints on their stylish swimwear. Just because you’re rocking an eco-friendly option doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look fantastic!
Sensi Graves swimwear is ethically made in the USA using recycled materials.The founder states that they’re on a mission to “design swimwear that’s both fiercely functional and fabulously feminine so that you can feel confident and awesome.”
Sensi Graves swimwear uses recycled fabrics from REPREVE® and ECONYL®. By choosing to use these fabrics they’re saving waste from ending up in oceans and have a lower environmental footprint than brands using virgin materials.
Their USA factories also abide by fair labor practices as outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act for fair and ethical production.
Sensi Graves has some great options for women who do water sports as well as more traditional style bikinis. Sensi Graves also gives back through 1% for the Planet.
Saturday Swimwear utilizes fabric crafted from regenerated nylon sourced from abandoned fishing nets, textile remnants, and repurposed carpets. This regenerated nylon contributes to an 80% reduction in the environmental footprint associated with virgin nylon production.
To enhance longevity and provide exceptional durability, Saturday Swimwear combines this eco-friendly material with XTRA Life Lycra.
Their swimwear is ethically made in Portland, Oregon.
Frequently Asked Questions with Sustainable Bathing Suits
We know finding a new swimsuit brand can be overwhelming! Here are a few answers to popular questions.
Are eco-friendly swimsuits more expensive than regular ones?
While some eco-friendly swimsuits may have a higher upfront cost due to the sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing processes, they often last longer than cheaply made fast-fashion alternatives, offering better value in the long run.
Can eco-friendly swimwear offer the same performance as traditional swimwear?
Absolutely! Sustainable materials like ECONYL, REPREVE, and Yulex are designed to match, if not exceed, the performance and comfort of traditional swimwear materials.
How can I extend the life of my eco-friendly swimwear?
To extend your swimsuit’s lifespan, rinse it with fresh water after use, avoid harsh detergents, and let it air dry.
Switching to eco-friendly swimwear is a stylish and sustainable way to enjoy your beach days. As of 2021, 85% of people globally think sustainably when making purchases, and 48% of U.S. consumers are ready to change their consumption habits to save the environment. With 800 million people vulnerable to climate change impacts, our choices matter more than ever.
The next time you’re prepping to ride the waves, remember – you’re not just swimming for fun. You’re choosing a better, brighter, more sustainable future!