Dive Deep into Sustainable Swimwear by Making Waves with these 20+ Ethical Brands
Updated: Dec 1
Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time to start thinking about swimwear. But before you rush out to buy the latest trendy bikini or one-piece, have you considered the environmental impact of your swimwear choices? Traditional swimwear production can be harmful to the environment and even your health, but there's a solution: sustainable swimwear. Made from eco-friendly materials and produced with ethical and environmentally responsible practices, sustainable swimwear offers a way to look good while doing good. In this blog post, we'll explore the world of sustainable swimwear, from the materials used to the benefits of making the switch, and even some tips for maintaining your eco-friendly swimwear. So, let's dive in and learn more about sustainable swimwear!
What is wrong with regular swimwear
Regular swimwear may be fashionable and functional, but it comes with a hefty environmental cost. The vast majority of traditional swimwear is made from synthetic materials, such as polyester and nylon, which are derived from petroleum and take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. These materials release harmful microplastics into our oceans and waterways, contributing to the alarming rise of plastic pollution. Additionally, the manufacturing process of traditional swimwear involves toxic chemicals and dyes that can harm both the environment and workers' health. In short, regular swimwear is a major contributor to the global plastic crisis and unsustainable fashion industry practices. It's time to make the switch to sustainable swimwear and make a positive impact on the planet.
In addition, regular swimwear is not built to last in harsh aquatic environments. A prolonged exposition to chlorine and salt can compromise the strength of the fibers and promote the breaking. The sun is a problem too. Ultraviolet rays damage the structure of plastic, making fibers more brittle and prone to breaking. This not only releases microplastics into the ocean but also results in traditional swimwear being disposed of after just a few wears, further contributing to the textile waste issue. Sustainable swimwear, on the other hand, is designed to be durable and long-lasting, making it a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice.
What makes Swimwear Sustainable?
What makes swimwear sustainable is its commitment to eco-friendliness from production to disposal.
One of the key components of sustainable swimwear is the use of eco-friendly materials. Instead of relying on traditional materials like polyester and nylon that are harmful to the environment, sustainable swimwear brands opt for materials like recycled plastics, Repreve, and Econyl. These materials not only reduce the amount of waste produced by the fashion industry but also have a smaller carbon footprint, making them a more environmentally conscious choice. Plus, these sustainable materials are often softer and more comfortable, making for a more enjoyable swim experience.
What is Econyl?
Econyl is a game-changing material that's revolutionizing the sustainable swimwear industry. This innovative fabric is made from 100% recycled nylon waste, including discarded fishing nets and other nylon scraps. But what makes Econyl truly remarkable is its regenerative properties - it can be infinitely recycled and turned into new products, without any loss of quality or performance. This means that Econyl swimwear not only helps reduce plastic pollution and waste but also promotes a circular economy that minimizes the use of new resources and lowers the carbon footprint of the fashion industry. With Econyl, sustainable swimwear is not only stylish and comfortable, but also a powerful force for positive change.
What is Repreve?
Repreve another amazing material when it comes to sustainable swimwear. It is a high-performance, eco-friendly fiber made from recycled plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills or oceans. By using Repreve in swimwear, designers can create products that are not only stylish and functional but also environmentally conscious. Repreve has quickly become a popular choice for sustainable swimwear due to its versatility, durability, and softness. Some brands use Repreve in 100% of their swimwear collections, showing just how committed they are to reducing their environmental impact. So, if you're on the hunt for sustainable swimwear that looks good and does good, Repreve should be on your radar.
Why natural materials are not suitable for swimwear
While natural materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and linen may seem like eco-friendly choices for swimwear, they are not suitable for prolonged exposure to water and sunlight. Natural materials absorb water, which makes them heavy and can cause chafing and discomfort when wet. They also take a long time to dry, which can lead to odor and bacteria growth. Additionally, natural materials are not resistant to the damaging effects of UV rays and saltwater, which can cause fading, discoloration, and deterioration of the fabric over time. For these reasons, sustainable swimwear brands opt for synthetic and recycled materials that are specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the ocean while minimizing their impact on the environment.
When it comes to sustainability in fashion, social responsibility is a crucial factor to consider. Sustainable swimwear is not only about reducing the environmental impact of production and waste but also about ensuring fair labor practices and supporting the communities involved in the production process. By choosing swimwear brands that prioritize social responsibility, you can feel good about your purchase knowing that the workers who made your swimsuit were treated fairly and received a living wage. Additionally, some sustainable swimwear brands also give back to the communities they work with, supporting initiatives such as education and environmental conservation. By prioritizing social responsibility, sustainable swimwear can truly make a positive impact on both the planet and the people involved in its production.
How to take care of your sustainable swimwear
Taking care of your sustainable swimwear is not only important for prolonging the lifespan of your favorite swimsuit but also for reducing the environmental impact. On average, sustainable swimwear fabrics release 0.0035% weight per weight (which means 0.0035 g microfibres per 100 g of fabric) microplastic fibers per wash. This means that even sustainable swimwear can shed microplastics into the water system if not properly cared for. To help prevent this, it's recommended to hand wash your swimwear in cold water with a mild detergent and avoid using fabric softeners or bleach. By taking the time to properly care for your sustainable swimwear, you can help reduce the environmental impact and enjoy your swimsuit for seasons to come.
How to extend the lifespan of your swimwear
One of the best things about investing in sustainable swimwear is that it's made to last. However, like any piece of clothing, it requires some TLC to ensure that it stays in great condition for as long as possible. To extend the lifespan of your sustainable swimwear, start by rinsing it with fresh water immediately after swimming to remove any salt, sand, or chlorine that can damage the fabric. Then, avoid wringing out your swimwear or putting it in the dryer, as this can cause the fibers to stretch and lose their shape. Instead, lay your swimwear flat to air dry in the shade, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or high heat. Finally, be sure to follow the care instructions on the label, and never use bleach or fabric softeners, as these can harm the environment and your swimwear. By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy your sustainable swimwear for many summers to come!
20+ Sustainable Swimwear Brands
Size Range: XS - XXL
Price from: $50 - 130
Ete Swimwear is not your average swimwear brand. Based in California, their luxurious and unique designs are coveted worldwide, with custom prints that are exclusive to the brand. But Ete Swimwear is more than just a pretty face - their designs are all about celebrating and inspiring confident, happy women to live their best lives. The Ete girl is a feminine adventurer who embraces bold colors and prints, bohemian details, and flattering cuts that focus on comfort and support for all body types. And they're not just beautiful on the outside - starting in 2021, Ete Swimwear has committed to using 100% sustainable fabric and packaging in their products, with certifications from SEDEX-SMETA and Oeko Tex Standard 100 to ensure ethical manufacturing and responsible use of chemicals. Join the Ete Swimwear journey to preserve our fragile ecosystems and make a positive impact on the world.
Size Range: XS - XL
Price from: $75 - $200
Get ready to make a splash in style with Syvênde, the sustainable swimwear brand that's making waves in the fashion industry. Founded in Sweden in 2019 by the visionary woman Merima Zeljkovic Abrigo, Syvênde is all about empowering women to feel confident and beautiful on the beach, without compromising the environment. They believe that swimwear should celebrate a woman's body, rather than hide it. That's why they use ECONYL® regenerated nylon, a high-quality fabric made from abandoned fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastic waste from landfills and oceans worldwide. This eco-friendly alternative to virgin nylon is not only good for the planet but also feels silky soft to the touch, ensuring you look and feel your best on the beach.
Size Range: XS - XL
Price from: $100 - $250
FISCH is more than just an eco-friendly swimwear brand, it's a passion project inspired by the Creative Director's childhood in Saint Barthélemy. With a deep love for the ocean and a desire to make a difference, FISCH was born to create swimwear that not only looks and fits great, but also helps to clean waste from the ocean. From the very beginning, FISCH was a trailblazer in the use of upcycled materials, being one of the first brands to use ECONYL® - a 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from abandoned fishing nets and other types of nylon waste. Each piece in the FISCH collection is handmade in Italy using fabric woven in Lombardy to ensure the highest quality and to minimize their carbon footprint. Join the movement and discover how FISCH is making waves in sustainable swimwear.
Size Range: XS - XXL
Price from: $55 - $120
SEPTEMBER is a unique swimwear brand that seamlessly blends the urban sophistication of New York City with the natural beauty of Bali. Founded by Erika Seiko Togashi, a seasoned designer with a passion for sustainability, the brand offers a stunning collection of surf and swimwear that is both elegant and eco-friendly. Inspired by modernist design principles that emphasize simplicity, form, and function, SEPTEMBER creates timeless classics that never compromise on performance. But what truly sets SEPTEMBER apart is their unwavering commitment to ethical manufacturing. All of their swimsuits are crafted at a small, female-owned factory in Bali, where employees are paid a living wage three times higher than the Indonesian minimum.
Size Range: XS - XL
Price from: $90 - $300
At Peony, sustainability isn't just a buzzword - it's a core value that runs deep in our roots as a brand. Inspired by the Australian coastline and the beautiful bloom of summer, we are committed to creating stunning swimwear that is as sustainable as it is stylish. We understand that true sustainability requires ongoing effort and reflection, which is why we approach our work with a commitment to progress, not perfection. From our materials to our production processes, we're constantly innovating and pushing toward circularity, inclusivity, and transparency. And we know that we can't do it alone - that's why we invite our suppliers, retailers, and customers to join us on this journey towards a brighter, more sustainable future.
Material: Recycled Polyamide
Size Range: S - L
Price from: $80 - $120
Ana Paola, a visionary Mexican woman, founded Raffia Swim in 2017 to create timeless and sustainable swimwear pieces that move away from fast fashion practices. With a degree in textile development & marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology and after living in New York, she launched Raffia Swim between Zurich and Cancun. Raffia Swim has set the standard for marrying luxury with sustainability, with their eco-luxe swimwear made using high-quality, regenerated, and eco-friendly fabric from Italy. All of their fabrics meet the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, ensuring the responsible use of chemicals during production and making sure that no toxic substances are entering your pores while wearing it. With Raffia Swim, you can enjoy swimwear that is as conscious as it is chic.
Material: Recycled Polyester
Size Range: 16 - 28
Price from: $18 - $90
BERLOOK's journey began during the pandemic when the founders became acutely aware of the fragility of the environment. With a decade of fashion industry experience, they launched a brand that would benefit women and the planet. BERLOOK's sustainable swimwear is designed to make women feel free and beautiful while making a positive impact on the environment. Each timeless piece is crafted from 100% natural or recyclable fabrics, ensuring that every woman can look and feel her best without harming the planet. The high-stretch materials provide coverage and comfort for all body types. The swimwear is also designed to be versatile, with each style tested on women with different body shapes and sizes. BERLOOK's commitment to sustainability and style makes it the go-to choice for eco-conscious fashionistas looking for comfortable, timeless swimwear that doesn't compromise style.
Material: Recycled polyamide
Size Range: 34 - 46
Price from: $40 - $95
Olly Lingerie is a brand that is changing the game in the lingerie industry. Founded by two women, Mathilde and Clementine, in 2017, they had a simple yet essential need - to create underwear that respects both humans and the environment, without sacrificing style. To achieve this, the brand works with European factories to support local know-how and minimize their carbon footprint. But it doesn't stop there. Olly Lingerie is also committed to using natural, organic, and recycled fabrics to ensure its products feel good in every way possible. Their recycled lace is made from a unique process that recovers production scraps and reconstitutes them into a new thread, saving an incredible 90% water and 80% electricity. Plus, all their fabrics are certified to be free of harmful and toxic substances, so you can wear their underwear with confidence. Olly Lingerie is proof that fashion can be both beautiful and sustainable.
Material: Recycled Polyester
Size Range: XS - XXXL
Price from: $15 - $85
Get ready to turn heads with Dippin' Daisy's luxurious and trendy swimsuits that will take your collection to the next level! But that's not all - Dippin' Daisy's is committed to reducing their environmental footprint by using recycled fabrics in their sustainable swimwear collection. With their stylish designs and dedication to sustainability, Dippin' Daisy's is the ultimate choice for eco-conscious fashionistas who want to look good while doing good for the planet. Whether you're lounging by the pool or hitting the beach, you can feel good knowing that your swimsuit is not only fashionable but also eco-friendly.
Size Range: XS - XL
Price from: $24 - $125
Oceanchild Swim is a sustainable and sassy swimwear collection. Using ECONYL®, a regenerated nylon yarn made from synthetic waste and discarded fishing nets, Oceanchild Swim has found an innovative solution to tackle ocean pollution while still looking fabulous. Not only is their fabric Oeko-Tex certified, but their ethical production process has also been moved to Portugal, reducing their carbon footprint and transport routes. With a focus on longevity and quality, their double-lined seamless finish is resistant to sun cream, oil, and pilling, ensuring you feel fresh and confident all summer long. Designed in Germany and made with love in Portugal, Oceanchild Swim is the ultimate choice for fashion-forward and eco-conscious beach lovers.
Size Range: S - XL
Price from: $70 - $125
1 People is a Danish sustainable lifestyle brand that believes that fashion can be both stylish and ethical. Their range of effortlessly timeless essentials and looks is designed for conscious-minded women who want to stay chic in high-quality fashion all day long. With a Scandinavian color palette and minimalist design, 1 People's collections exude elegance and strength. What sets them apart is their use of sustainable materials in their range, from Econyl for their activewear and swimwear, to Tencel for their sustainable underwear, and Piñatex for their vegan leather bags. Their manufacturing process is also meticulously done, partnering only with small family businesses in Indonesia that use safe products and treat their workers ethically. To top it all off, 40% of their profit goes towards a global educational program to support social businesses around the world. 1 People is truly a brand that puts sustainability and ethics at the forefront of its business.
Size Range: XXS - XL
Price from: $20 - $75
Sustainability is not just a buzzword in fashion, it's a necessity. PacSun knows that looking sexy in swimwear shouldn't come at the expense of the planet, which is why they've created an ever-growing collection of sustainable swimwear that not only makes you look good but also lets you feel good about sustainable shopping. Each piece in the collection is made from recycled or sustainable materials. From cheeky bikini bottoms to crop tops and bralettes, this collection has something for everyone, including animal prints, florals, and tropical patterns. With sunny days fading away, don't wait any longer to snag a sustainable bikini (or two) to soak up the sun while it's still here.
Size Range: $55 - %140
Price from: XS - L
Narah Soleigh, a German brand founded by Katrin & Finn in 2019, is leading the charge sustainably. With over 150 billion new garments produced each year, the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet. That's why we're thrilled to work with Narah Soleigh, whose commitment to ethical and eco-friendly practices is unmatched. By producing their swimwear in small, socially responsible factories in Portugal, Narah Soleigh ensures that every piece is crafted with quality, care, and fair working conditions. Plus, nearly 100% of the energy needed for production comes from the factories' solar panels. What's more, their bikinis are made from ECONYL® - a regenerated nylon yarn made from abandoned fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastic. And with most of their apparel made with 100% certified organic cotton, Narah Soleigh is proving that sustainable fashion can be both stylish and good for the planet.
Price from: $50 - $100
Snapper Rock's story began in 2003 when a family from New Zealand moved to Annapolis, one of America's sailing hotspots. They quickly noticed the need for protective and stylish gear for kids on the water, leading to the launch of Snapper Rock for the junior sailing market. As the brand grew, it expanded its range to include sun protection for children up to 16 years old and even launched matching prints for dads and timeless silhouettes for women in 2016. But the journey didn't stop there - in 2020, Snapper Rock launched a sustainable swimwear collection made from fully recycled materials, taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. The brand's commitment to protecting our planet is evident in their UPF50+-rated swimwear that blocks harmful UV rays without adding chemicals, ensuring that kids can have fun in the sun while staying safe. From baby sunsuits to beachwear, Snapper Rock has your family covered from head to toe, so you can create your own Snapper Rock look and enjoy the water with peace of mind.
Size Range: Xs - XL
Price from: $25 - $95
OSIRISEA is a Barcelona-based premium ready-to-wear brand that has taken the fashion industry by storm with its comfortable and stylish swim and activewear collections. Their locally designed collections, made with high-quality regenerated fabrics, are produced in a small atelier in Barcelona with an unwavering commitment to the environment and fair labor practices. Inspired by the city's unique blend of vintage designs and urban influences, OSIRISEA has carved a niche in the sustainable fashion world with its timeless, earthy hues and exclusive designs. The brand's name itself represents the essence of its philosophy, combining the elements of earth and water. With their love for the sea and a commitment to conservation, OSIRISEA uses only ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated nylon fiber, in their products, ensuring that their swimwear is as sustainable as it is fashionable.
Material: Recycled Polyester
Size Range: XS - XL
Price from: $65 - $140
Stone Fox Swim is not your average swimwear brand. Founded in 2011 by California native Chelsea Bell, the brand is all about beauty, sustainability, and experience. Inspired by the coastal surf town Pacifica, where Chelsea grew up, Stone Fox Swim was born out of a desire for freedom and creation. The brand's garments are hand-dyed with plants and made from recycled and raw materials, championing sustainable manufacturing practices. Stone Fox Swim partners with a family-run factory in Bali, Indonesia, that prioritizes minimal environmental impact and operates in an eco-friendly way. Together, Stone Fox Swim and its community of fierce, creative women are pushing for awareness of the need to slow down fashion and make more conscious choices. By protecting and supporting Mother Earth, Stone Fox Swim is creating a harmonious and balanced relationship with the planet that we all share.
Material: Recycled Polyamide
Size Range: 2 - 22
Price from: $50 - $120
At Summersalt, we understand that the journey is just as important as the destination, which is why we create travel essentials that combine comfort and style. We believe functionally, and we know that packing for a trip can be stressful, so we've made it our mission to make it easier for you. We also know that being comfortable doesn't have to mean sacrificing style, so our pieces are designed to help you look and feel your best. We're committed to providing honest pricing, using earth-friendly practices, and creating pieces that are made for going places. We even took data from over 1.5 million body measurements to ensure our fits are perfect for you. With Summersalt, you can explore the world in style, comfort, and with a clear conscience.
Material: Recycled Nylon
Size Range: XS - XL
Price from: $100 - $300
The New York fashion designer Mara Hoffman has been making waves in the fashion industry since 2000, catching the eye of top stylist Patricia Field with her vibrant tribal-inspired prints. Now, Hoffman is focused on taking her brand in a more sustainable direction. Her dedication to sustainability is evident in each collection, which is crafted in socially responsible conditions and uses only ethically sourced and recycled fabrics. From printed beachwear to feminine silhouettes, every piece is designed to stand out on vacation while also minimizing its impact on the environment. With Mara Hoffman, you can look good and feel good about your fashion choices.
Material: Recycled Nylon
Size Range: XS - XXXXL
Price from: $45 - $90
The founder's search for the perfect swimsuit was a journey that began on an apartment floor, surrounded by countless ill-fitting options. She had always loved fashion, but swimwear had never made her feel good. Frustrated and desperate for a solution, she said out loud what she wanted: a swimsuit that fit like her favorite raw-cut underwear. And that's when it hit her. The key to creating swimwear that made women feel confident and comfortable was to make it feel like a second skin. Thus, onewith was born. Through meticulous research and development, our team created a signature, patent-pending fit that features universally flattering silhouettes, smoothing bonding, and raw-cut edges that are seamless on the skin. Say goodbye to uncomfortable and unflattering swimsuits and hello to onewith.
As we wrap up our exploration of sustainable swimwear brands, it's clear that these companies are leading the way in the fashion industry. By prioritizing eco-friendly materials and ethical production practices, they are setting a new standard for what it means to create stylish, high-quality swimwear. By choosing to support these brands, we not only get to rock a killer swimsuit, but we also get to feel good about the impact our purchase has on the planet and the people who make our clothes. So, next time you're on the hunt for a new swimsuit, consider investing in a sustainable option. Trust us, your wardrobe and the planet will thank you.