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Sustainable Swimwear: the 17 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

Sustainable Swimwear: the 17 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

Summer

Last Updated on May 27, 2021

Summer is finally here! And, if you’re in the market for some sustainable swimwear, then you’ve come to the right place!

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready to hit the lake, go camping, and head to the beach this. If you’re feeling the same way, you’ve got to check out this guide for eco-friendly beach essentials!

Sustainable Swimwear: the 17 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits from goingzerowaste.com #eco #swimsuits #swimwear

Some of the links below are affiliate links for more information please see my disclosure policy.

The two most popular kinds of fabrics used to make swimsuits are polyester and nylon – both of which happen to be plastic. Do you remember the post about Microfibers? It talks all about the problem with plastic fibers.

So, does that mean you can never wear a swimsuit again? Of course not, it’d be silly to avoid swimsuits simply because they’re made from plastic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make smarter choices.

A few ways I like to make more eco friendly choices when it comes to swimwear is by opting for ethical manufacturing where the workers are paid a fair wage, recycled and sustainable materials, and of course a range of fun colors and shapes.

So, here are 17 sustainable and ethical swimwear brands you’re gonna love, and a few things you should be looking for when shopping. Obviously, wearing the swimsuits you already have is always the best options.

If you’re lookin for a little refresh, you could always mix and match with your existing pieces or pick up a scarf or hat secondhand to complete the look. And, if getting a secondhand swimsuit doesn’t bother you, then be sure to check out my blog post Thrift Stores and Vintage: The 12 Best Secondhand Shops Online.

eco friendly fabrics:

As I mentioned prior, most swimwear is made from virgin polyester or nylon. This kind of material not only sheds micro-plastics into the water with each wash, but it’s also a waste of resources.

Thankfully, there are several innovative, sustainable swim fabrics out there.

One of the best eco-friendly materials is ECONYL – it’s regenerated nylon from pre and post-consumer products. 

To make ECONYL, waste like fishing nets, fabric scraps and carpet flooring are used in a regeneration and purification process.

Then, the nylon is processed and turned into new swimwear products.

There are other types of recycled swimwear fabrics, such as REPREVE, which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

Yet another material is EcoLux, which is just another term for recycled nylon fibers. 

If you’re truly hoping to avoid plastic at all costs, you could invest in a yarn bathing suit, or a biodegradable one made from Marino wool.

quality products:

As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid brands that are pumping out new swimsuit collections almost every week.

Most sustainable and ethical swimwear brands will limit the collections they release each year to ensure the quality of their pieces. Not to mention, less collections also means less materials and resources needed to make the swimwear, keeping it sustainable.

When a brand isn’t constantly releasing new collections, it means they can pay more attention to detail and develop durable pieces that will last you more than just one summer.

Less collections released also mean natural resources aren’t being overused. Even if the products are made from recycled content, it still takes a lot of energy and resources to make.

Slow fashion is much better for the planet and doesn’t encourage overconsumption.

ethical production:

It’s important to question how your swimwear is made, just like you would your shirt or your shoes. Is it contributing to harmful environmental practices and the mistreatment of factory workers?

You want to support brands that don’t harm the environment as the item is being crafted. Better yet, you want to make sure the people making the items aren’t being exploited or paid pennies.

It’s important to look for transparent brands that ensure their garments are made ethically. Ideally, swimwear production should be energy efficient, value water, be produced locally, and support ethical working conditions.

17 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands

Ready to explore the world of sustainable swimwear? I’ve compiled a list of sustainable, ethical and durable swimwear that’ll last more than one summer.

I’ve gone ahead and highlighted some of my favorite features of each brand, but it isn’t an exhaustive list. Be sure to check out their websites for more information.

Here are 14 ethical and beautiful bathing suits you’ll want to wear all summer long.

loveocean

  • Women’s swimwear
  • 78% ECONYL regenerated nylon
  • STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certification
  • Ethical and eco-friendly manufacturing in Bali, Indonesia
  • Carbon neutral shipping
  • Left-over fabric scraps get recycled again

/ SHOP LOVEOCEAN /

Loveocean, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

girlfriend

  • Women’s swimwear
  • Extended sizing XXS-6XL
  • Made from recycled fishing nets and post and industrial waste recovered from the ocean
  •  Certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex
  • Give back to clean ocean
  • Ethical and eco-friendly manufacturing in Taiwan and Vietnam

/ SHOP GIRLFRIEND /

girlfriend collective sustainable swimwear

wolven

  • Women’s swimwear
  • 84% RPET material
  • Each sale removes one pound of waste from oceans
  • Shipped in 100% recycled poly mailer or bio-degradable paper box
  • Carbon neutral certified
  • Charitable, 1% For The Planet

/ SHOP WOLVEN /

Wolven, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

outerknown 

  • Women and men’s swimwear
  • Recycled polyester from plastic bottles
  • REPREVE and ECONYL materials
  • Suppliers are Fair Labor Association (FLA), Bluesign, or Fair Trade certified

/ SHOP OUTERKNOWN /

Outerknown, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

everlane

  • Women’s swimwear
  • 82% ECONYL® Regenerated Nylon, 18% Elastane
  • Radically transparent pricing
  • Made in Sri Lanka with ethical factories that pay living wages.

/ SHOP EVERLANE /

Everlane eco friendly swimwear

marda 

  • Men’s swim trunks
  • 100% recycled materials
  • 7 plastic bottles removed from our oceans and landfills with each swim trunk
  • All trims, labels and threads are recycled or responsibly sourced
  • Arrives in a matte black box made out of 100% recycled paper

/ SHOP MARDA /

Marda, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

vitamin a

  • Women’s swimwear
  • EcoLux material made from recycled nylon
  •  Oeko-Tex standard
  • Mailers are 100% recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable
  • Donate portion of sales to environmental nonprofits
  • Made in California

/ SHOP VITAMIN A /

Vitamin A, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

summersalt

  • Women’s swimwear
  • Maternity swim options available
  • 78% Recycled Polyamide
  • Shipped in poly bags made from recycled materials
  • Post cards are made from recycled or FSC certified paper
  • WRAP certificated factories

/ SHOP SUMMERSALT /

Summersalt, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

nomads

  • Women’s swimwear
  • 78% Recycled polyester
  • Ethically made in NYC or a family-owned factory in Colombia
  • Black owned
  • Size inclusive

/ SHOP NOMADS /

Nomads, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

jessica rey

  • Women’s swimwear
  • Made from 100% regenerated materials, like fish nets
  • Cut and sown in ethical Los Angeles factories
  • Full coverage swimwear
  • Rewards program

/ SHOP JESSICA REY /

Jessica Rey, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

peony swimwear

  • Women’s swimwear
  • ECONYL and Repreve fabrics
  • Linings are made from recycled content
  • Bags made from biodegradable materials
  • Swimwear suppliers SA8000 approved

/ SHOP PEONY SWIMWEAR /

Peony Swimwear, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

dippin daisies

  • Women’s swimwear
  • Recycled nylon materials in 2021 swimsuit collection
  • Digitally printed instead of water wasting dyes
  • Biodegradable packaging
  • Planting a tree for every purchase in April

/ SHOP DIPPIN DAISIES /

Dippin Daisies, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

patagonia

  • Women, men and kids swimwear and wetsuits
  • 64% of fabrics this season are made with recycled materials
  • 82% of their line is Fair Trade Certified sewn
  • Transparently shows suppliers for each item
  • Charitable, 1% For The Planet

/ SHOP PATAGONIA /

Patagonia, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

made trade

  • Women’s swimwear
  • ECONYL, eco thread, and other rescued materials
  • Size inclusive
  • Made in the USA
  • Women-owned brands
  • Donates 1% of each purchase to environmental non-profits

/ SHOP MADE TRADE /

Made Trade, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

prana

  • Women and men’s swimwear
  • 78% ECONYL and 22% LYCRA
  • 100% recycled paper labeling tags
  • Made in Fair Trade Certified Factories
  • Thoughtful packaging

/ SHOP PRANA /

Prana, Sustainable Swimwear: the 15 BEST Ethical and Eco Swimsuits

rei

  • Women and men’s swimwear
  • REPREVE, recycled nylon and upcycled yarn materials
  • Bluesign certified products
  • Fair Trade certified options
  • Invests in renewable energy
  • Charitable, donates to non-profits

/ SHOP REI /


galamaar

  • Women’s swimwear
  • Recycled Econyl from discarded fishing nets
  • Ecofriendly packaging
  • LA pad inserts, recycled hang tags, regenerated mixed metal hardware
  • Made in Los Angeles

/ SHOP GALAMAAR /

So, have you tried any of these sustainable and ethical swimwear brands? Would love to hear your favorites in the comments!


Guest Post: Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me.com, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Green Matters, The Penny Hoarder and several other publications. Get her free e-book “10 Ways to Reduce Trash” by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.

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