Give Back by Buying From These 8 Sustainable Swimwear Brands
These brands use eco-friendly textiles and give back to nonprofits.
In recent years, people have become more aware of the ever-growing threats of climate change, and with awareness comes change. The fashion industry, of course, is no exception. With plenty of new indie brands branching out from "fast fashion" and synthetic fabrics, it wasn't long before big brands followed suit. Now, many brands have taken the pledge to become more sustainable by using recycled swimsuit textiles such as Econyl (regenerated nylon made out of things like fishing nets, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic from landfills and oceans),Repreve (a fiber made from recycled plastic bottles), and Oeko-Tex certified fabrics that limit the release of any harmful substances that can be hazardous to our health and planet.
Although there is no such thing as a sustainable fabric that's 100% plastic-free—as all swimsuit fabrics release microplastics when wet—swimwear brands can commit to reducing waste, using plastic-free packaging, and giving back proceeds to help fight climate change. As consumers, knowing where our fabric comes from, using a GUPPYFRIEND washing bag (it protects synthetic garments and reduces the number of microfibers and microplastics that could end up back in the ocean), and supporting brands that are committed to bettering the environment on a long-term scale are small steps we can take to better the planet.
As we progress down a path to sustainability, there is always more to learn, new ways to adapt, and endless possibilities to evolve. Below, we share eight of our favorite sustainable swimwear brands that offer cute and eco-conscious bathing suits that we feel great about wearing and supporting.
Summersalt's fabrics are crafted from recycled plastics, post-consumer materials, and nylon waste. Beyond creating cute, eco-conscious swimwear, Summersalt also partners with organizations such as Lonely Whale, Charity Water, I Support The Girls, and, currently, the Black Lives Matter movement to support BIPOC women-run businesses. Additionally, Summersalt creates swimsuits with sizing up to 24, making it one of the best plus-size swimwear brands, too.
For Aerie's Real Good Collection, the brand partnered with Repreve to recycle plastic bottles and create the material used from its fibers. The collection was made from more than 1.2 million recycled plastic bottles and consists of 10 flattering styles in 35 color choices. To further its ongoing commitment to being more environmentally responsible, the company joined the United Nations' Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action to help drive the fashion industry to net-zero emissions and RE100, a global initiative run by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, to bring together industry-leading businesses committed to the use of renewable power. These initiatives will continue to support Aerie's sustainability pledge to reduce water, save energy, and reuse materials to build a more sustainable future—one cute, feminine suit at a time.
The main focus at Jade Swim is to keep production as environmentally conscious and responsible as possible. The majority of their fabric is made with Econyl (made out of regenerated nylon) and Oeko-Tex-certified fabrics that limit the release of any harmful substances. All fabric cutting, trim work, and packaging are done in house to reduce the brand's carbon footprint and waste. In addition to using ethical practices, the brand donates a portion of its sales to Oceana, an international advocacy organization that focuses on ocean conservation.
Designer Amahlia Stevens launched her brand Vitamin A while developing her own sustainable fabric, EcoLux, a premium swim fabric made from recycled nylon fibers. Since then, the company has gone on to expand its textile warehouse with eco fabrics like the EcoRib, EcoTex, BioSculpt, EcoCotton, and EcoLinen. The brand operates on the slogan "Think globally, act locally" and holds itself to the highest standards of workplace ethics, partnering with fair-trade artisans to produce materials ethically and provide women with fair-wage jobs in safe working conditions. Additionally, Vitamin A supports environmental organizations like the Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Oceans, and One Planted Tree.
Galamaar uses the fabric Carvico Vita, an Italian fabric made from regenerated nylon, which accounts for 78% of the material it uses. The brand also maintains a plastic-free production that saves thousands of plastic bags per season. By using biodegradable options for its "poly" bags, shipping materials, and hygienic liners, Galamaar is setting a new standard for the fashion industry.
This sustainable swimwear brand has been worn by the likes of Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and several other A-list celebrities. Ookioh's sporty-styled swimwear is traditionally made with Econyl fabric, and the brand will soon be launching a line made from Repreve fabric that uses recycled plastic bottles. It's run by an all-women team in L.A. and sets out to create affordable sustainable swimwear for all body types. As if all this wasn't enough, the company also donates a portion of its proceeds to helping its local community.
So far, Londre has taken over 90,000 plastic bottles from the beaches and streets of Taiwan to create its swimwear, and each swimsuit is made up of at least six recycled bottles. In addition to being low-waste, Londre has a repair and recycling program where customers can repair their suit within a year (at no extra charge) and recycle their suit to receive a 20% discount towards a new one. To further its commitment to saving the planet, Londre also donates a portion of its proceeds to environmental and women's health initiatives including Amazon Watch and The Ocean Clean Up Project.
All of Ayla's swimwear for this year's Coral Collection is made using Repreve nylon, created from 100% recycled materials. The nylon is created using an energy- and resource-efficient process that saves the equivalent of six million gallons of gasoline each year. For each sale from this collection, the brand will be donating 1% to The Coral Guardian nonprofit to support coral regeneration work in Indonesia. Drawing inspiration from this coral initiative, this new collection features feminine silhouettes and the prettiest patterns, all inspired by our beautiful coral reefs. Nature never looked so good.