• Vicky Lesant

My Top 10 Sustainable Swimwear Brands

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

It's amazing to finally see so many brands are producing sustainable swimwear. Below I will highlight some of my favorite conscious brands, who are not only leading the way in innovative fabrics, ethical processes, inclusiveness, environmental projects but also fashion!



NATASHA TONIC

For decades, swimsuits have been made out of polyester, which is non-biodegradable. Many ethical brands are using recycled polyester and recycled nylon from fishing nets and plastic bottles, which is a step in the right direction but no-one is talking the harmful micro-plastics which are still shed into the oceans, and maybe even more so due to the shorter fibers of the recycled yarns. Read more about microplastic pollution here.

That's why I love this brand, as they have taken it one step further with their swimwear fabric based around a unique, natural hemp fiber that is anti-microbial, UV resistant, durable and a healthier choice for your skin.


Our Swimwear Does Not Pollute Nature By Releasing Toxic Poly Microfibers Back Into The Water.

The brand launched with the intention of changing women’s swimwear for the better

Their sustainable swimwear is season-less and the silhouettes are classic with a modern twist. Swimsuits can be multi functional and perform double duty as lingerie, bodysuits or active wear, prolonging its life and thereby reduces unnecessary waste. I love their tie dye prints which are low impact dyed to eliminate harsh chemicals like most polyester swimsuits. Another aspect I really like about this brand is that they mention the high cut on the bottoms and give style recommendations if you were looking for something more covered, I wonder how many of us have have bought something online and it is a little bit cheekier than we were expecting ;)


Price: USD

One Piece:$148- $225

Bikini tops: $80 - $98 Bikini Bottoms: $50-$70

Rashguard Body: $168-178

Photo credits: Natasha Tonic


BAOBAB

I also love this Colombian brand, they have some amazing unique modern styles. They are a very inspirational company with sustainability being their no.1 priority. They clearly having a passion for mindful production and consideration to the environment, which I hope can influence others.

Sustainability to them is:

Our core
Our Identity
Our number 1 priority

Their 2020 collection is inspired by nature and this is reflected in their beautiful earthy colours and prints. For next season all their collection will be made from recycled fabrics made from rubbish found in the sea. Their printing uses an eco-friendly process, which helps to reduce water waste. My favorite thing is, they use coconuts for their packaging, so simple but yet such a good use of otherwise disregarded waste! You can also use it as a cute little beach bag after, perfect! They are also working with local communities and foundations, and for every swimsuit you buy, they will plant a tree. Not only do they have a clear inspirational environmental practices but their styles look gorgeous, modern and eye catching. The style pictured is also reversible - what a bonus.


Price: USD

Onepiece: $180

Bikini: $165

Photo credits: Baobab


ABYSSE

Made in California out of 100% Italian Recycled Fabric (given new life through re-purposing ghost-fishing nets that pollute and kill their environment)

The company ethos is to: Produce less, Produce well! They are a conscious manufacturer who defines themselves as a sustainable brand by embodying these aspects: by being a small family business, women owned, locally produced, using recycled materials from the beginning to the end of their value chain (from packaging to production) and by supporting charities that they believe in.

⠀⠀

Sustainability should not be a marketing tool, it should be a requirement.

What I like about Abysse is that it really embodies the creators beliefs, she grew up on an Island, loving the ocean, and protecting the environment has always been a cause close to her heart and now she is applying that passion into the company. Being a surfer herself she also knows what the customer wants, her styles range from stylish and practical to more playful. They also have wet suits made out of 100% Japanese limestone based neoprene, which reduces the use of fossil fuels compared to standard neoprene. I have another Blog post about eco-friendly wetsuits coming soon!


Price: USD

Onepiece: $185 - $250

Top: $85- $95

Bottoms: $85- $95

Photo credit: Abysse


THE REFORMATION

Reformation, the trendy eco-friendly clothing brand. Reformation puts sustainability at the core of everything they do. They are committed to minimizing their environmental impact and achieving fair, safe and healthy working conditions throughout their supply chain. They've invested in green building infrastructure to minimize their waste, water, and energy footprints. They also seek out partners who share common visions of sustainability, accountability and transparency.Reformation invest in programs that replace the resources they've spent, in exchange for the emissions, water and waste our clothes used, they protected 1,000 acres of the Amazon Rainforest from deforestation and contributed 27 million gallons of freshwater to critically dewatered rivers and wetlands in California.

The vegetable bag that your cute clothes came in is 100% compostable.

You can read more about their sustainable practices here. I love the ethics of this brand and you also know you are buying good quality and good fit! Most of reformations swimwear uses ECONYL®

ECONYL® is made out of 100% regenerated nylon waste, rescued from oceans and landfills like fishing nets, carpet fluff, and fabric scraps. - which means no waste and no new resources were harmed in the production. Reformation do still acknowledge that their swimwear is still made with synthetic materials and may shed microplastics, but they give washing tips and recommend using a Guppyfriend bag when washing to reduce shredding.


Price: USD

One Piece:$ 98

Bikini tops: $58 - $78 Bikini Bottoms: $58-$78

Photo credits: Reformation


SERPENT & BOW

Serpent & Bow is Love and Magic born from the studio of Rachel Blodgett. While they were originally designed as undergarments, many people enjoy wearing them as swimwear. The hand done block prints are amazing! Working with with hand-carved imagery, Botanical dyes, Indigo, beeswax batik, and natural fibers, Rachel creates handmade lingerie and ritual garments that honor the connection between Body and Spirit, serving as talismans of courage, liberty, and the life-sustaining power of hope. The styles are made from super-soft Organic cotton-lycra and dyed in a closed loop system to protect water sources. Serpent & Bow focus on flexible styling and fit suitable for all body shapes. I think this brand really embraces the love of natural processes and fabrics and encourages their customers to be themselves.


Price: USD

Onepiece: $145

Top: $78

Bottoms: $68

Photo Credits: Serpent & Bow


MARA HOFFMAN

The company focus is on sustainable materials, processes, and production in order to improve and extend of each garment’s life. From sourcing to production is done with intention and care to produce responsible products.

100% of their swimwear is produced using recycled nylon or recycled polyester.

They prioritize fair treatment of workers and artisans, and aim to minimize waste and energy usage wherever possible throughout the production of each garment.

As like Reformation they are also using ECONYL®



In 2017 alone, their use of ECONYL® fabric diverted a total of 10,797 lbs of waste from landfills, including 2,744 lbs of fishing nets.

They also use REPREVE® a polyester fiber made of 100% recycled plastic, comprised mostly of post-consumer plastic bottles. Compared to using conventional fibers, styles made using REPREVE® offset the use of new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases while conserving water and energy throughout the process. The styles are glam and modern with nice cuts.


Price: USD

Onepiece: $290-$300

Tops: $150- $175

Bottoms: $145-$175

Photo credit: Mara Hoffman


VEGE THREADS

Vege Threads ethos is about keeping things simple and made local, they care about the world they live in and want to make a difference in the way they produce garments for their customers and the planet. Their collections are manufactured 100% in Australia using organic and eco-friendly materials and dyes in limited numbers. They are committed to transparency and an ethical supply chain and pride themselves on working with local knitting mills and dye houses. Their styles are quite simple and maybe a little basic for me, but I really like their inclusiveness that their styles are for everyone and they are breaking away from the norm and using real women for their marketing and website.

Their swimwear is also made from recycled nylon ECONYL® and LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™. The LYCRA® itself provides exceptional shape retention, chlorine-resistance and UV protection.

Vege Threads is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, to create positive impact through business.

A percentage of profits are donated to back to their chosen environmental projects

locally and around the globe. Really nice to see another brand involved in giving back. They also use a carbon neutral delivery service.


Price: converted to USD- website is in AUS

Onepiece: $120

Top: $80

Bottom: $60

Photo credit: Vegethreads


LOOP SWIM

Created by two friends, who were both fed up with the unnecessary waste they saw being generated first-hand by the fashion industry. After years behind the scenes at factories all around Asia, they decided to start their own brand focusing on eliminating supply chain waste, and making only ethically and sustainable sourced apparel. At present they just have a few styles but in many different patterns. The wrap around bikini style which is their key piece looks really flattering and modern. Loop swimsuits are made exclusively from REPREVE® - remember the recycled polyester! An added benefit of this fabric is that it has UPF50+ Loop use this for their sun protective rashies, so have the added bonus of blocking out 98% of UVA and UVB rays with no added chemicals. They also have collaborations with environmental projects such as Plastic Oceans. I personally love this brand because they are based in Shanghai, so this would be my local go to brand! And the best thing about this brand, is that they are circular, meaning that at the end of your swimsuits life, they can help you make sure it is recycled.

At Loop we are circular. There's no such thing as waste.

Unfortunately at time of writing their website is down, but they do have a wechat mini program with Chinese & English interface, for all those in china who are interested to see the full collection.


Price: USD

Onepiece: $157

Tops: $65

Bottoms: $65

Photo Credit: Loopswim


HOT AS HELL

So Hot As Hell (HAH) is super sexy, they have a lingerie range as well so you can see this influence in the swim range, creating some unique styles. There are lots of straps and tie details as well as some beautiful digital prints.

HAH uses an innovative fabric 'Extended fabric Life' EFL fabric is a game changing state of the art eco-friendly fabric, which is a polymer developed from renewable sourced corn sugar. It consumes less energy than traditional swimwear fabrics and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the styles are a bit too risky for me but they are very innovative which I love as most of the eco-friendly brands are also playing it very safe in the styling. They even have a style with pockets!



Prices: USD

Onepiece: $138 - $148

Tops: $88- $118

Bottoms: $78 - $238

Photo credit: HAH


ARKET

The Swedish company Arket has a big focus on sustainability. They are also using the recycled nylon ECONYL® which seems to be favorite among the brands.

Arket believes textiles should never be thrown away. A lot of unwanted clothes end up in landfills today, even though they could still be used as a valuable resource. If they’re not for you anymore, they could be swapped, resold, passed on to friends and family, or given to charity. Arket also offers the option to take any of your old textiles into their store and they’ll make sure they will be of new use in the circular fashion loop. Any profit made from the things you take in for recycling are invested in social and environmental projects. I have included this brand as feel it is more accessible and affordable than some of the others and they have some really sophisticated and stylish options.


Arket is part of the H&M group and their little sister brand Monki is also a great sustainable choice for a younger audience. Just search for 'Monki Cares' on their website to see the sustainable range.


And H&M have the most affordable options I have come across and their summer conscious collections usually have some really nice unique prints, this is actually where I bought my last swim suit from a few seasons ago, made from 100% recycled polyester.


Arket Prices: USD

Onepiece: $49 - $69

Top: $22 - $42

Bottom: $22- $34

Photo Credits: Arket


So, now you have your sustainable swimwear sorted, you are ready to hit the beach or the pool and relax with a strawberry daiquiri!! Thanks for reading and happy swimming! xx


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