6 Ethical and Sustainable Swimwear Brands

Summer is finally here! Are you ready to hit up the beach? If so, you’ve got to check out this guide for eco-friendly beach essentials!

I’m sure one thing you’ll be packing is a swimsuit… and there’s something you need to know… most swimsuits are made from plastic.

6 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainable #swimwear #beach #ecofriendly #zerowaste #swim #pool

Yup. 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.

Here are six sustainable swimwear brands you need to check out ASAP, but first let’s chat about eco-friendly swim fabrics. Some of the links below are affiliate links for more information please see my disclosure policy.

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. But, more on that later.

Ready to explore the world of sustainable swimwear? Here are some ethical and beautiful bathing suits you’ll want to wear all summer long.


I love Reformation. They’re based in Los Angeles, California, and they have so many beautiful swimwear options to choose from women’s bikinis, one-pieces and even beach bags to choose from.

The best part? Reformation uses sustainable and deadstock fabrics, along with eco-friendly manufacturing practices. 

If you’re wondering what deadstock fabrics are, they’re leftover materials so if a designer ordered a bunch of fabric and they had some leftover, Reformation will pick it up, prevent it from going to landfill, and make a limited number of pieces with that fabric, pretty great, right?

They mainly utilize ECONYL in their swimsuits, so a large portion of the bathing suit is made from recycled materials.

That said, even Reformation recognizes their swimsuits are made from synthetic materials, which may shed microplastics. They encourage the consumer to wash in cold water and line dry, or wash with a filter to prevent the microfibers from going out to sea!

MY TOP PICKS are this sweet one piece and this bikini bottom and top.

6 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainable #swimwear #beach #ecofriendly #zerowaste #swim #pool


Summersalt focuses on quality, their swimsuits are made to last. They use recycled textiles, and their swimsuits boast five to four times the strength of compression compared to other swimwear. 

This brand crafts their swimsuits from 78 percent recycled polyamide. That means this fabric is crafted from recycled plastic, post-consumer materials and nylon waste, like old fishing nets, that are literally pulled straight from the ocean.

Yet another thing to love about Summersalt? They have many unique styles, patterns and cuts to choose from. 

There’s everything you can imagine: Bikinis, one pieces, and coverups galore, celebrating all kinds of body shapes and sizes.

To make your life even easier, Summersalt took over 1.5 million measurements from 10,000 women to make finding the perfect fit for you a breeze. Just take their style + size finder quiz to get fitted instantly.

They even have maternity bathing suits (and not just a one piece, but a maternity bikini too).

MY TOP PICKS are this retro inspired bikini and very mod one-piece

6 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainable #swimwear #beach #ecofriendly #zerowaste #swim #pool


Shopping for sustainable men’s swim trunks doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, Outerknown makes it pretty easy.

Outerknown has several different kinds of men’s swim trunks to choose from, but all of them are sustainably made.

I personally love their latest release: Woolaro trunks. They’re made from 100 percent Australian Merino wool. This fabric is natural, renewable and biodegradable, which means it can be composted at the end of its life. (but no worries, these are designed to last a long time)

For those who prefer a vegan option, they also offer trunks made from 86 percent recycled polyester. There are even some trunks made from 100 percent ECONYL, meaning they’re made from 100 percent recycled nylon from reclaimed fishing nets and other waste.

Along with the variety of eco-friendly materials to choose from, they also have a wide range of patterns, colors and sizes available for men. For those who may need it, they also have a size guide available to get the perfect fit.

JUSTIN’S TOP PICK the nomadic stretch trunks


vitamin a:

Want a cute bathing suit that’s also incredibly sustainable? Vitamin A has you covered.

Vitamin A is leading the way in EcoLux, a superfine matte jersey swim fabric produced locally in California from recycled nylon fiber. This fabric produces far less greenhouse gases than conventional fibers, and also conserves energy and water in the process.

Vitamin A also has some other unique, eco-friendly fabrics, such as EcoRib and BioRib which are made locally in California.

EcoRib is a stretch-ribbed swim fabric made from nylon fiber scraps while BioRib is another ribbed fabric made from plant-based raw material sourced from castor bean.

No matter what kind of material your Vitamin A bathing suit is made from, it’s bound to be super cute! Vitamin A has a ton of shapes, colors and sizes to choose from. 

I love how you can shop via cut and style too. So, let's say you wanted a halter top bikini with a cheeky bottom. You could easily find that on Vitamin A with how they organize their selections.

They sell a surplus of bikinis, one pieces and bodysuits in tons of solid colors, stripes, florals and more. You’re bound to find something you like.

Another bonus? You can grab coverups and beach accessories from this brand too. Their coverups utilize various different eco-friendly materials such as recycled cotton, linen, and tencel a wood pulp textile made in a non-polluting, closed-loop manufacturing process.

MY TOP PICKS are this sweet one piece and this really fun t-shirt bikini

6 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainable #swimwear #beach #ecofriendly #zerowaste #swim #pool

amour vert x kore swim:

Amour Vert makes some of the cutest sustainable clothing pieces ever, so when they teamed up with KORE SWIM, it got me pumped.

Together, Amour Vert and KORE SWIM released an exclusive collection of super chic, sustainable swimwear you can feel good about and look good in. There are three different suits in the collection, each tailored to compliment the female form perfectly.

Each suit is made from recycled nylon and spandex. The recycled nylon in it is created from waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic. 

Each suit is made from 78 percent recycled nylon and made locally in Los Angeles. To keep suits in the best condition, it’s recommended to hand wash in cold water and dry flat.

This unique bathing suit collection features stunning one pieces that come in a variety of colors.

MY TOP PICK is the GAIA one piece in Riad

6 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainable #swimwear #beach #ecofriendly #zerowaste #swim #pool


If you’re looking for a swimsuit made from no plastic whatsoever, you’re in luck. Mamadelta, an Esty shop, sells handmade bathing suits made from yarn. 

Yes, it’s water resistant. It’s also lightweight, but very durable. It’s crocheted with love and care in a Vietnam traditional handicraft village.

One of the coolest things about these bathing suits is the fact Minh, the owner of Mamadelta, employs impoverished middle-aged Vietnamese women at fair-trade wages. She creates safe working environments for the women and dependable income, making her bathing suits fair trade.

These handmade bathing suits are so charismatic and unique! You’ll definitely be the talk of the beach wearing one of these. The beautiful yarn bathing suits come in ivory, olive, burnt orange, and burgundy colors.

At the end of its life cycle, you can definitely compost this bathing suit. But don’t worry, it’ll last you a long time before you have to.

MY TOP PICK this crocheted top and this crocheted bottom

Which one do you think is the cutest?

6 ethical and sustainable swimwear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainable #swimwear #beach #ecofriendly #zerowaste #swim #pool

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.

Ethical and Eco-Friendly Summer Trends for 2019

I’m so excited about writing this post. Most of y’all know that I have had an interesting journey when it comes to my wardrobe.

I used to have A LOT of clothes, and was always very fashionable, but of course that involved a lot of fast fashion and a mild shopping addiction. Then I decided just to cut the whole thing and drop down to an 18 piece wardrobe which crashed, burned, and went up in flames which you can read about here.

where to find ethical and eco-friendly spring and summer trends from www.goingzerowaste.com #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #springtrends #summertrends

Some of the links below maybe affiliate links please see my disclosure policy for more information. All of the brands that I will be linking to are eco-friendly and ethical brands!

I’ve been on a wardrobe quest for a while now, and I’m finally starting to get serious about it and started the Wardrobe Project, which I’ve honestly been a little bit too embarrassed to post about…

But, it all boils down to building the wardrobe of my dreams. I tend to buy basics sustainably and ethically made and opt to grab trendy pieces from secondhand stores. I figured I’d round up all of the trends I’m looking for and keep you updated on the status.

You can get my 6 tips for mastering shopping secondhand and 10 places to buy secondhand online.

finding the latest trends at ethical and sustainable stores:

It’s not impossible, but it is a bit more difficult because sustainable and ethical brands typically focus on pieces that are meant to stand the test of time.

That’s not saying you can get cute prints and fashionable pieces, but it will be difficult to find hyper/seasonal trends… and you’re not going to be able to get ahead of the trend. You’ll always be a bit behind.

finding the latest trends at secondhand stores:

It can be difficult to find trends secondhand for a few reasons:

  1. most people haven’t bought the trends and then had enough time to decide to donate it.

  2. the trendy pieces will be the FIRST pieces snatched up so you’ll have to be super vigilant.

Speaking of donating clothes have you checked out my ultimate guide to recycling clothes? Yes even your holey socks and undies!

finding the latest trends at vintage stores:

You might have the most success finding trendy pieces at your vintage stores because all trends are cyclical. I mean the 80s have been back for a while and the 90s are in full SWING.

1. short suits:

Short suits are technically a 2018 summer trend, but I’m obsessed. I have never felt more Kathryn than wearing a pair of high-waisted shorts, a blazer and loafers or sneakers.

I’ve managed to thrift the perfect pair of vintage, high-waisted khaki shorts! If you’re in my area then you have to check out my Zero Waste Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area so you can eat all the best foods and score the perfect vintage finds.

I got black high-waisted paper bag shorts and the PERFECT slightly oversized khaki blazer from thredUP and you can get $10 off your first purchase with that link!

I had a long black blazer that I was about to donate because it had a sheer ruffle lapel, but I took the ruffle lapel off. Combine that with my black and shorts and BOOM - the perfect set!

khaki shorts
Linen cotton slightly oversized blazer

2. watches:

Now, it’s not like watches are all of the sudden in trend. I’m pretty sure watches will always be in trend, but it just happens to be one that I’m picking up on right now. I think that wearing a watch really brings a whole outfit together.

I have been searching for a watch with a white face, silver hardware and a tan leather strap FOREVER. And, I’m so excited to have FINALLY found one with Nordgreen a sustainable, Scandinavian watch company.

Nordgreen is a new Scandinavian watch brand. They have minimal, classic watches and offer inter-changeable straps so you (me) can finally get that watch you’ve been dreaming about!

They’re also partnered with three non-profit organizations and every purchase you can provide two months of clean water to one person in the The Central African Republic, two months of education to a child in India, or preserve 200 sq. ft. of rain forest in Latin America.

This is the watch I got and you can get 15% off with the code ZEROWASTE15

Citizen Stainless Steel Watch <——— I also got this watch, and is one of my favs!
Classic Engineering Minimalist Watch
Lux Wood Watches

where to find ethical and eco-friendly spring and summer trends from www.goingzerowaste.com #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #springtrends #summertrends

3. slip skirt & dresses:

I want to love this trend, I have really struggled trying to find a slip skirt secondhand. I’m not super crazy about the patterns on the ones available at Ref right now, but they do have a cute selection!

classic slip dress
slip dress with buttons down the front
slip skirt <——— this is the skirt I’m highly considering getting!

As far as slip dresses, I’m not entirely sure it’s for my body type since I’m pear shaped.

4. animal print:

I’ve never been really into animal print, but some sort of animal print is always in season. Starting last year snakeskin was THE HOT item. And, while I’m not going to be picking up any snakeskin pieces, I did pick up a pair of leopard print loafers from thredUP.

They look to be very high quality, and I’ve already worn them a few times! They’re made in Italy, leather, and pony hair. I always look for natural materials esp for shoes so the shoes are more breathable and last longer.

Check out this blog post if you’re interested in learning about the problem with synthetic clothing.

I think the loafers are a great subtle way to play into the trend, and hopefully since they’re a classic shape and a fairly classic animal print, they’ll serve me for a long time.

I think that leopard is the animal print with the most longevity, and I’ve noticed the slip skirt/animal print trend has naturally gravitated towards each other.

Leopard print slip skirt
Snake skin slip skirt
Leopard Print Bikini <——— GORGEOUS!


5. sneaks:

I do a lot of walking around town. Walking is my preferred form of transportation!

And, as much as I love my flats and loafers, after a few miles they can start to rub blisters so I decided it was time to invest in some sneaks. I picked up the perfect white pair from thredUP as well as a cute tan pair that I will be wearing all year long.

White sneakers are so in this spring and summer. I also think I should make a post dedicated to cute sneakers.

I don’t typically love the sneaker look, I’m not really a tennis-shoe kind of gal, but I’ve been seriously convinced and gravitating towards my white pair time after time.

THE cool girl sneaks <—— Meghan Markle brought a lot of awareness to this sustainable brand
Navy sneaks
Black sneaks with gold rivets
White Sneaks <——— Made using ocean plastics!

6. sandals:

Strappy sandals and squared off toes are in. I don’t think I’ll be opting for any sharp squared off heels, but I am interested in some strappy sandals.

Reformation just launched footwear and to be honest - I’m DYING.

The Menage Sandal <——— these are the ones I reallllyyy want!
Lucia Block Heel
Olivia Sandals
Mythologia Sandals

where to find ethical and eco-friendly spring and summer trends from www.goingzerowaste.com #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #springtrends #summertrends

7. hair accessories:

This is one trend that I really want to try, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. I really love all the hair clips that I’m seeing around, but want to make the trend a little more Kathryn I’m looking for clips with pearls, bur I might get a few that are tortoise shell.

I’m not sure when or if I’m going to get to try this trend out.

I have found some super cute secondhand and ethical silk scarves that I’ve been using for my hair.

favorite silk scarf

8. neutrals:

Neutrals are classic so they’re always in style, but beige is all the rage! This one will be super easy to implement for me because I own a lot of khaki!

And, I just realized as you scroll through all of these photos you will see a recurring theme!! KHAKI.

Good news is this trend should be super easy to pick up on but the one item I am lusting after is a smaller wicker basket for the summer!

That’s a Wrap <——— a very versatile piece!
Bristol Pant
Kass Jumpsuit
Neutral Patchwork Tee <——— I think we’re going to be seeing patchwork come back in style in the fall
Lumi Bucket Bag

What trendy pieces are you looking to pick up this year?

I Wore the Same Shirt for a Week — And Here's What Happened

If you’ve been following me for any period of time then you probably know I HATE laundry. I hardly ever wash my clothes because I A. hate it and B. like to think that I’m doing my part for saving the environment.

I love getting to justify my laziness with saving the planet. I ONLY wash clothes when they stink and by following a few simple rules, that hardly ever happens.

  1. I can’t wear the same shirt back to back

  2. I spray it with my homemade Febreze

  3. It has to air out between washes

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from www.goingzerowaste.com #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

The reason I don’t normally wear the same shirt back to back is because giving the fibers space and time to breathe between wears keeps the washing down.

However, Icebreaker sent me one of their tees, and challenged me to throw my rules out the window. They challenged me to try and wear the same shirt for seven days straight to see if it could hold up without washing.

And, well, Icebreaker - challenge accepted.

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from www.goingzerowaste.com #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

This post was sponsored by Icebreaker. All thoughts and opinions are my own for more information please see my disclosure policy.

about the shirt:

I was sent the women’s cool-lite solace short sleeve scoop tee in sky blue. It was shipped to me in a small cardboard tube without any plastic packaging.

The shirt is made from merino-wool which is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and rockstar for temperature regulation. Wool has been my favorite natural fiber for a very long time.

Icebreaker has a very strict animal welfare policy that ensures a healthy, low stress quality of life for the sheep.

I know there have been some questions about the ethics of wool, but sheep have to be sheared or else they’re at risk for over heating, immobility and at risk for infections from urine, feces, and other materials that can become trapped in the wool.

Of course, this isn’t to say that all wool producers treat their sheep with respect so you still have to be careful which farm your wool is being sourced from, but I do not have a problem with wool if it comes from a small family farms who treat their sheep with care!

Icebreaker produces a transparency report every year that covers everything from social responsibility, worker safety, animal welfare, and environmental integrity. Read the Report

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from www.goingzerowaste.com #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day one - friday:

To be honest, I went into this with a goal of really trying to test this shirt and not hold back on my daily activities.

I kicked day one off by being late to my brunch meeting (my favorite type of meeting) which meant Nala and I were careening at breakneck speed toward the rendezvous point.

I was wearing my lined trench coat which got really warm after traveling about two miles to the brunch spot. After brunch Nala and I had a breezy stroll back to the house where I proceeded to work from home.

Day One - PASS

day two - saturday:

Day two was filled with wine tasting. My dad came into town speaking of which did you see my guide to eco-friendly father’s day presents?

And, we hit up a few wineries. We went to Opus One and Gamble with a few family friends. Now, what I learned was while my shirt might be odor resistant… it is not clumsy resistant. Thankfully, I managed to skate by without pouring red wine all over myself. A challenge indeed.

After spending most of the day in Napa, I came home and went to bed.

Day Two - PASS

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from www.goingzerowaste.com #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day three - sunday :

Ah, day three… almost half way through! I walked a lot in the morning. I walked around town, took Nala on a walk, walked to brunch and went down to East Bay Booksellers to sign a few copies of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste.

In the afternoon, I lounged in the hammock all day drawing and watching TV on my laptop. That evening I made a really nice dinner for both Justin and me and we opened one of the bottles of wine I picked up from wine tasting the day before.

While cooking, I wore an apron because remember - these tees might be the sturdiest tees in the world, but they're not clumsy proof!

Day Three - PASS

day four - monday:

Today was a lot of sitting in my office writing, answering emails, and then of course - taking Nala on a walk. I know that the rest of the week is going to be pretty busy so today was all about buckling down and getting ahead of my work for the coming week.

Day Four - PASS

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from www.goingzerowaste.com #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day five - tuesday :

Oh boy did we me and my scoop tee go on an adventure today! First up I had an interview, I dropped Nala off at dog daycare, then a voice lesson, followed by a doctors appointment, and then after I picked Nala up from day care we went on a walk.

It’s was a day where I was bouncing all over the city running from place to place.

When Nala and I go on walks I like to listen to audio books, and I just finished my books and I really need to find a new one….

Day Five - PASS

day six - wednesday:

Here we are the final stretch, and I have to say that while the shirt doesn’t smell bad, it certainly does seem like it could go for a nice freshening up.

I didn’t do much today at all. I pretty much just stuck around the house doing the normal things, answering 5,000 emails, cooking, and picking up the house.

Nala was so tired from yesterday at day care that she didn’t even wake up until 2 pm! If she’s feeling up for it, we might go on a walk a little later around 6. Just need to find a good book…. promptly spends 3 hours on good reads instead of working


I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from www.goingzerowaste.com #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day seven - thursday:

Today is the final day of the challenge and as I was seasoning my cast iron skillet after breakfast I splash oil all over myself - remember - not clumsy proof.

So, alas, I removed my shirt applied a bit of liquid soap, ran it under cold water and hung it to dry. I’m hoping that I got the stain out in time, and then I’ll throw it in the wash. All in all though 7 days, one shirt and I’m really impressed!

Day Seven - PASS

final takeaways:

My final takeaways from this challenge might be a little surprising… but the main one is that I really enjoyed the ease of knowing what I was going to wear in the morning.

Knowing that I was going to be wearing this baby blue tee eliminated the question of, “What am I going to wear today?”

Now, I probably wouldn’t wear the same shirt seven days in a row again, but it’s nice knowing that I could if I needed too. However, Icebreaker tees would be perfect for traveling when you’re crunched on space!

I’ve loved the baby blue tee so much, that I’m actually planning on buying this tee in blush pink.