15 Sustainable Swimwear Brands You Need To Know About
Shop my edit of 15 responsible swimwear brands that put sustainability first
The UK government has announced that we are able to travel abroad for non-essential trips, and upon returning back in the UK will be exempt from the usual 2 weeks in quarantine (depending on the country). My family and I had convinced ourselves that we wouldn't be able to go on our summer holiday this year, and thanks to the latest news it is all going ahead.
Shopping for swimwear is my favourite pre-holiday activity, where I normally tend to treat myself to a bikini or swimsuit. This generally acts as the central point of all my excitement leading up to the holiday, which I will go on to wear all summer long, and every summer after. Having had plenty of time in lockdown to think about my shopping habits, this year I want to invest in something that is sustainable.
Most swimwear on the market is sadly made from synthetic fibres that make nylon and polyester, which need tons of water and produce lots of nitros oxide. With nine out of ten items ending up in landfills, it is clear that we need to shop better and make careful decisions with how we consume.
Thanks to the recent surge in designers and consumers voicing their concerns about fast-fashions impact on the environment, there has been a growth in brands producing swimwear made from sustainable material - the most popular being ECONYL® - a 100% regenerated Nylon fibre made from recycled fishing nets and any waste products found floating around the ocean. Did you know that Ghost nets are responsible for entangling millions of marine animals a year? So by removing them from the ocean and turning them into something functional we are helping to clean up the oceans.
Founded in 2012, Frankies Bikinis has recently launched a sustainable range using fabric that is produced using Amni Soul Eco, the only eco-friendly polyamide yarn in the world. This innovative technology allows clothing to quickly decompose after being properly disposed of in landfills. Unlike other fibres that take decades to be decomposed, Amni Soul Eco takes approximately three years to be eliminated from the planet. I think it is safe to say, we shouldn't be throwing any clothing into landfill, however, Frankies Bikini offers a solution to the problem if this scenario does arise.
Belize's motto is "that loved clothes should last", with attention being heavily weighed on the ability to care for each item, and how this will help avoid colour fading, shrinkage and misshaping. By changing your washing habits to hand-washing, you are instantly opting for an ecologically friendly approach, which will help extend the life of your garment. Belize uses the very best Italian crepes, cottons and swim fabrics, hand woven Indian cloths and English printers to give each garment credibility and longevity. Belize collaborates with small, specialised factories and craftspeople to develop, grow and learn together. Check out Belize's sustainability page to discover how you can incorporate their care habits into your own washing, drying and storing routine.
Founded in 2018, AWAY THAT DAY is committed to producing eco-friendly sustainable swimwear and does this by using 100% regeneration nylon - ECONYL fabric. In short, ECONYL fabric is made from pre and post consumer waste including nylon scraps, ocean plastics and fishing nets. As well as the sustainable materials being collected from the ocean, AWAY THAT DAY uses 100% compostable mailing bags, and recycled tissue paper from a company called NO ISSUE, who contributes to global reforestation.
Peony is an independent, family run business that cares deeply about the environment and community, with every single piece of swimwear being made from sustainable fabrics. For their printed fabrics they use ECONYL® and for the custom textured fabrics, Peony have developed these in-house using GSR certified recycled fibre, such as Repreve®. These fabrics are incredibly unique and exclusive to Peony. The end result is premium quality swimwear and resortwear materials that are beautiful and good for your soul.
Tucca Swim was established in 2018 by Helaina and Chloe Thomas. After completing degrees in Textile Design and Photography, the girls took advantage of this opportunity to work together. Tucca Swimwear is made in London using ECONYL®, a regenerated and recycled nylon made from waste. As well as the importance of using sustainable material, all of Tucca Swim's packaging is biodegradable and plastic-free.
Talia Collins is a former Vogue Paris stylist, and has combined her love of fashion with her concern for the marine environment to design sustainable, timeless swimwear. By using fabric based on ECONYL® yarn, ethically produced from discarded fishing nets and plastic litter. On top of this, Talia Collins also donates 10% of their global profits to the Healthy Seas organisation. If you feel like you have reached the end of your swimwear life and have finished with it, send back your swimsuit so that they can give the fabric a new life. They will also offer you a complimentary 20% discount on your next purchase after you send it back.
Founded in 2017 by Brighdie Grounds and Dorothy Day, inspired by their travels around the world they combining their lifetime experience in fashion. However, after they learning that the fashion industry is the third leader of carbon emissions in the world, they became committed to reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 40%. As of 2020, their collections are made from fully sustainable materials that are produced in Los Angeles, CA, and made with earth-conscious fabrics from Italy and Japan.
Stidston Studio is grounded in ethical manufacturing and uses sustainable materials, and is designed, cut and sewn in the UK. Handmade in small batches to ensure product waste is kept to a minimum. All Stidston Studio Lycra swimwear is made from ECONYL, the regenerated nylon that is helping clean the oceans and landfill of hazardous waste. Stidston Studio is routed in producing conscious, vibrant clothing, designed and made in England, that is centred around an English summer - from the beaches and countryside of Devon, to the swimming ponds and lidos of London.
Launched in 2009 by Anna Laub, an ex style editor, Prism London produces high-quality, durable pieces that look as great on the beach as they do in your workout classes, and made from a technical knitted fabric in Italian factories. What makes PRISM² range unique is their one-size-fits-all - but, don't worry as they are not wrong as you can see from their imagery that their swimwear fits a diverse range of models.
Originally born as Hunza in 1984 under the direction of Peter Meadows, the label enjoyed huge success with its signature, unique crinkle-stretch fabric. The labels one-size stance is not only an effort to remain an inclusive brand made for women by women, but also lessens chance of over-purchased sizing on a commercial level. Each piece has a six month warranty to ensure that there is a chance to repair any potential issues that can arise with wear, rather than tossing an otherwise wearable garment. Hunza G is passionate about reducing waste, not quality or cost, and by keeping a small London team of less than ten individuals, there is no outsourcing of fabric, trimmings, or production, and absolutely no sweat shops.
Founded by Kirsty and Heidi created Ayla for their love of styles and shapes that suit different body types.Their shorts, high waisted trousers and mini-skirts are made from Tencel™, made by turning ethically sourced wood pulp into fibre in a process that uses far less energy and water than cotton. Ayla uses 100% recycled fabrics for their swimwear like ECONYL® and Repreve® (a nylon that is created using an energy and resource efficient process that saves the equivalent of 6 million gallons of gasoline each year). To create their swim and resort wear they work closely with two small boutique factories in Bali, allowing flexibility with order sizes and minimising waste.
Founded in 2016 by two Scandinavians, Henna and Anna, their aim was to create a label that focused on Scandi simplicity and responsibility to look after the environment, with all OHOY products being sustainably and ethically made. All pieces in the collections are made with 100% ECONYL®, and with every purchase, you are giving back to Healthy Seas. 1% of OHOY sales goes to support the recovery of nets by volunteer divers. All their manufacturing is done in a small family-owned factory in Sri Lanka, where they spend extended periods of time with the staff during production to make sure the working conditions are ethical and fair.
Founded by Philippa Thackeray and Kelly Townsend, PAPER encapsulates cool and contemporary luxe swimwear that is also 100% sustainable. Their solid swimwear uses ECONYL, and their textured swimwear is made using REPREVE yarn (in short, made from plastic bottles that get turned into polyester yarn). Since 2018, PAPER London have recycled the equivalent of 112,500 plastic bottles! In addition to this, the production of REPREVE yarn emits fewer greenhouse gases, conserves an extreme amount of water and energy compared to making conventional fibres.
Josefina A. Theo, an Argentinian born fashion photographer founded Casa Raki in 2018, and after working for the likes of Net-a-Porter and Matchesfashion.com, felt compelled to go back to her routes of being by the ocean, and create a unique sustainable luxury brand. Ethically made from high-tech, but ecological fabrics - ECONYL - Casa Raki commits itself to sustainable and responsible practices from the outset. As well as their drive for sustainable swimwear, Casa Raki have partnered with an ethical, women-owned and operated factory in Portugal. This progressive factory boasts many highly regarded industry certifications for labor, social, and ecological practices.
Launched in 2017, the brand was born from the desire to create statement swimwear with a superior fit and timeless design that helps to keep waste out of the ocean by up-cycling. FISCH’s entire collection is made from ECONYL ®, and if that doesn't excite you, each piece from every FISCH collection is handmade in Italy from fabric woven in Lombardy, to ensure the highest quality possible while helping to minimise their carbon footprint.