15 Ethical & Sustainable Swimwear Brands for Summer Bliss

Sustainable Swimwear

Are you looking to hit the beach in beautiful and sustainable swimwear that makes you feel and look wonderful? It doesn’t matter if you’ll be going on a staycation in your back garden or if you are keen to bite the bullet and travel, an ethical swimsuit is a summer essential.

But before you pack your vegan sunscreen and wooden sunglasses, there is something you’ll need to keep in mind, however. Swimsuits are made of plastic as it’s the plastic fibres that provide elasticity to your suit. As far as we know there is no way of getting around or removing plastic from swimsuit material with the textiles we have available today.

Similar to ethical underwear the most popular swimsuit fabrics are polyester and nylon – both of which are made from plastic as mentioned. And as you may know from our previous post about sustainable fashion, the trouble with plastic in clothing is that it sheds microplastic fibres every time it’s washed.

But this doesn’t mean that you can never wear a swimsuit again, you can still make smarter choices and take extra care when washing plastic containing clothing items not just your swimwear.

Where there is a will there is always a way!

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Sustainable Swimwear Brand to Love

Here is a list of our favourite ethical and sustainable swimwear brands that cover a variety of price points and styles to suit every body type:

Boden sustainable swimswear
Image by Boden

1. Boden

Location | London UK 
Price | $$

Based in the UK Boden creates planet-friendly, sustainable swimwear. Their stunning swimsuits are made with ECONYL®, regenerated nylon, and they are known to make items that last. Boden is so confident in the durability of its items, it comes with a 365-day guarantee on all products, which is very impressive!

Boden, a brand you’ll see the Dutches of Cambridge wear quite often, is definitely one of our favourite sustainable swimwear brands. Their styles are elegant and classic. We love their one-piece suits and super flattering cuts for any body type.

When it comes to sustainability they are always working to reduce their environmental impact. They also support a range of charities, from restoring the rainforest in Brazil to a helping hand for British Baby Banks. They are also actively participating in the “Who made my clothes” initiative.

Visit Boden Online

Tide + Seek
Image by Tide+Seek

2. Tide + Seek Swimwear

Location| Cornwall, UK
Price | $$

Tide + Seek is handmade in Bali and work to reduce the number of plastic bottles that go into landfills every year.

Their fabric of choice is REPREVE®, which is made from recycled plastics. This means the production of the fabric offsets the use of new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases while conserving water and energy throughout the process. It is chlorine resistant with a UV protection factor of 50.

Their range consists of one-pieces, bikinis and activewear, sporting vibrant colours and a hint of 80s for that true summer feeling. It’s the perfect companion for a lazy summer beach holiday.

You’d be happy to know that their products ship in biodegradable bags and the same bag can be reused in case you have to return it – no extra plastic bag is required here.

Find them on Asos

Summersalt Sustainable Swimwear
Image by Summersalt

3. Summersalt

Location | Missouri, USA
Price | $$

Summersalt’s swimwear is made of a super compressive, luxurious fabric crafted from 78% Recycled Polyamide. These fabrics are crafted from recycled plastics, post-consumer materials and nylon waste like old fishing nets that are pulled from our oceans.

They take a data approach when it comes to style and used over 1.5 million body measurements from 10,000 women to inform the Summersalt fit. We all know how difficult it can be to find a great fitting swimsuit, but with Summersalt there’s no need to worry, you’ll find a great suit for your shape.

Summersalt has quite a large range of travelwear, so if you need to stock up for a summer holiday this is the place to be. For their swimwear range, you’ll find anything from bikinis and one-pieces to tank tops with matching bottoms. While you’re there you should also check out their underwear collection, clothing and loungewear.

You’ll find their signature diagonal lines throughout their collection and as a company, they pride themselves on their thoughtful design principles.

See them at www.summersalt.com

O'Neil Swimwear
Image by O’Neill

4. O’Neill

Location | California, USA
Price | $$

O’Neill is definitely not a newbie when it comes to making swimwear. And you might not think of them when considering sustainable options. However, their blue collection is made with environmental responsibility and uses REPREVE®.

The company is committed to protecting our oceans and we hope that they will eventually make their whole range from responsibly sourced fabrics.

Even though O’Neill’s entire range isn’t made from sustainable materials at this time, they are taking proactive steps towards sustainability. They only use recycled and recyclable polybags and e-commerce packaging and have removed single-use plastic.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for their Blue Collection as this is their sustainable range.

Visit them at www.oneil.com

VitaminA Sustainable Swimwear
Image by Vitamin A

5. Vitamin A

Location | California USA
Price | $$$

Vitamin A is a truly sustainable and ethical brand with a commitment to the environment. They have also partnered with 1% For The Planet.

The company considers their full supply chain; textiles, their factories, distribution and even their packaging. If you are looking for an end-to-end sustainable brand Vitamin A is a good option.

They are transparent about all the actions they have taken to reduce their environmental impact, from home working to reduce travel and congestion to mailer packaging and charity partnerships.

If you’re looking for a super sexy swimsuit that shapes and hugs the right places then you should definitely visit the Vitamin A store.

Visit them at www.vitaminaswim.com

Reformation Swimwear
Image by Reformation

6. Reformation

Location | California USA
Price | $$

Reformation uses leftover materials (deadstock fabric discarded by other brands) and sustainable fabrics, along with eco-friendly manufacturing practices. 

They started out as a vintage clothing company and have since expanded to manufacturing their range in their own factory in Los Angeles. And aim to be climate positive by 2025. Visit their website to see the team behind the clothes.

They mainly use ECONYL® in their swimsuits, which means a large portion of the bathing suit is made from recycled materials. And you can recycle your old Reformation clothing with the company.

Reformation makes a big range of clothing these days including tops, dresses, jeans and shoes. Their swimwear range is playful and slightly whimsical, perfect for summer playtime.

See them at www.thereformation.com

Frakies Bikinis
Image by Frankies Bikinis

7. Frankies Bikinis

Location | Los Angeles, USA
Price | $$

Frankies Bikinis launched a sustainable collection made with Amni Soul Eco an eco-friendly fabric that takes roughly three years to decompose after being properly disposed of in landfills.

With this range, they aim to minimise water waste and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Find them at frankiesbikinis.com.

Stay Wild Swimwear
Image by Stay Wild

8. Stay Wild

Location| London, UK
Price | $$$

Stay Wild is a premium sustainable swimwear brand, made from ECONYL®. All items are made and designed in London.

The company considers people and the planet throughout their business and their designs are both practical and stylish.

They do stock Guppy Friend bags to help curb microplastics in the environment.

In terms of design, Stay Wild, does have an earthy feel to its range. We love that their models look like real women of all ages and shapes, no crazy photoshopping to be found here.

If down to earth, yet elegant is your style then Stay Wild could be just the brand you need.

You can find them at selfridges.com

Casa Raki Ethical Swimwear
Image by Casa Raki

9. Casa Raki

Location | London, UK
Price | $$$

Casa Raki is a premium, small independent boutique brand designed in London and made ethically in Portugal. Their beautiful designs are inspired by South America.

Created by fashion photographer and fashion industry maestro, Josefina A. Theo, their elegant designs will make you feel beautiful all summer long.

The company partners with eco-minded businesses throughout its supply chain, aiming to produce eco-conscious and ethical products. Casa Raki’s fabric of choice for their sustainable swimwear is ECONYL®.

You can find them in most countries, but if you’re looking for worldwide shipping then Matchesfashion will be your best bet!

Find them at matchesfashion.com

Do Good Swimwear

10. Do good Swimwear

Location | USA
Price | $$

Do Good Swimwear is a small, women minority-owned brand that supports eco-friendly and sustainable practices at affordable prices.

Made from recycled material, Do Good Swimwear focus on creating classic, timeless cuts in a fun, but a limited assortment of colours, which you can mix and match so it will last for many seasons to come. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste. 

They produce in small batches, which means that there is less waste produced. Fabric scraps are used to make cute earrings and scrunchies.

To make your suit last longer, they offer a repair programme for minor garment repairs. This means you can either get a voucher for a local repair or you can send it back to them to get your suit fixed.

See them at dogoodswimwear.com

Flap Happy Swimwear

11. Flap Happy

Location| California, USA
Price | $

Flap Happy is a true pioneer of UV protective baby and children’s sustainable swimwear. They use REPREVE® and is committed to the health of children and the earth.

The company makes a collection of swim hats and swimsuits for boys and girls. You can find them on Amazon or from flaphappy.com.

Their sustainable swimwear for kids is super cute, and you’re bound to find something adorable here. From swimming trunks to suits and protective swimsuits as well.

Find them at Amazon UK or Amazon USA.

Image by PrAna

12. PrAna

Location | California, USA
Price | $$

PrAna was started in 1992, with the aim to make sustainable and stylish clothing for active people. Their first garments were made in their garage, using fruit crates to transport their products. They have moved on from those days, but their values are still rooted in sustainability.

By buying PrAna you are voting for social and environmental responsibility. Their suits are made from 78% ECONYL ®, Recycled Nylon and LYCRA ® XTRA LIFE ELASTANE, a good combination of more sustainable fibres. Their goal is to make 100% of their products with preferred fibres by 2025.

Their suits are colourful, elegant and reasonably priced. They make a range of styles for all body shapes and types along with a range of sustainable clothing that is well worth a look.

Find them at prana.com

Saturday Swimwear
Image by Saturday Swimwear

13. Saturday Swimwear

Location| USA
Price | $$

Saturday Swimwear is an all women-owned company, and its products are handmade in the United States.

They are built around sustainability, and products are made by owner and designer Emily LaPlume and her sister Molly LaPlume.

They use a material that is blended with ECONYL and XTRA Life Lycra to deliver excellent durability and 50+ UPF sun protection. Their packaging is made from biodegradable and compostable materials.

Their hand tags are printed with soy-based ink – making all the little details a bit friendlier on the environment.

Saturday Swimwear’s designs are practical and versatile, made in a range of beautiful colours that are elegant and flattering to most skin tones.

Visit them at madetrade.com

Image by Hulya Swim

14. Hulya Swim

Location| Florida, USA
Price | $$

At Hulya Swim, they are dedicated to creating the highest quality ethical swimwear made from eco-friendly, sustainable and recycled materials including ghost nets, carpet fibres, and tulle, which are all found in the ocean.

They are committed to helping create a cleaner and more sustainable ocean, focusing on the greater good for the planet.

Their products are extremely flattering and copious amounts of time is put into creating each piece. 

The majority of their range are bikinis in earthy tones and pastels with the odd one-piece and splash of vibrant colour thrown into the mix.

We love how carefree their pieces look, perfect for those party days in the sun.

Visit them at hulyaswim.com/

Anatasia Top
Image by Lilliput & Felix

15. Lilliput and Felix

Location | London, UK
Price | $$$

Lilliput & Felix is a sustainable, luxury swimwear brand that creates beautifully high-end pieces with a luxurious, structured feel and a sense of romantic nostalgia. The designs focus on ‘multi-tie shapes that can be tied to fit all body shapes and celebrate your figure. 

It’s super girly and playful, reminding us of an old fashioned playsuit with a modern swimwear twist.

Their suits are made in small batches in Portugal from sustainable fabrics, and leftover materials are donated to schools, local projects and charities.

They hold Positive Luxury’s prestigious Butterfly Mark outlining their commitment to social and environmental sustainability.

See them at www.lilliputandfelix.com

Sustainable Swimwear Fabric Options

The most common fabric options for ethical swimwear usually include recycled plastics, they are: 

ECONYL® which is made from regenerated nylon. ECONYL® is a very popular choice with sustainable swimwear brands. It’s made from collected waste such as fishing nets, old carpets and industrial plastic from landfills and the ocean.

These plastics are recycled back to their original purity, which means it has the same properties as regular nylon.

Recycling plastics in this way saves large amounts of crude oil and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. So besides the microplastic issues during washing, ECONYL® is a great eco fabric option for ethical swimwear.  

REPREVE® is a branded performance fibre made from recycled materials (including plastic bottles). To guarantee the recycled content in their fabrics, REPREVE® uses a tracing technology that verifies recycled content claims for full transparency. At the time of writing, this post over 20 billion plastic bottles has been recycled to make REPREVE® fabrics.

These fabrics are a good option but aren’t always clearly listed on clothing labels, so you’ll have to dig a little deeper when evaluating options. The durability of these fabrics also plays an important role.

Filtering Microplastics when Washing Swimwear

Currently, there are two ways to filter out microplastics when you wash items of clothing, the first is using a Guppyfriend bag like this. With the Guppyfriend bag, all you do is put your swimsuit or other plastic containing fabrics within the bag before you put it in the washing machine. Then wash as normal – pretty easy!

And the second option is to invest in this Filtrol, microfibre filter. The Filtrol attaches to the outlet pipe of your washing machine and is perfect for filtering microplastics during every wash. We love this option as you only have to clean the filter out once in a while and forget about the process otherwise. It just does its thing in the background, which is a great timesaver.

Both of these options can be used to stop microplastic fibres from entering the outlet of your washing machine, which means you’ll be able to reduce the damage caused by washing plastic containing fabrics. When you wash any fabrics using an eco-friendly and zero waste laundry detergent will help to minimise environmental toxins from detergents.

Buy Classic Swimsuits that Last

To help reduce the environmental impact of your clothing and swimwear we recommend that you look out for items that will last. Avoid cheaply made fragile fabrics and poorly constructed seams – as the seams often fail before the fabric. Specifically, look for styles that are a bit more forgiving when you lose or gain weight.

And of course, taking good care of your suit will help it last longer, be careful when applying sunscreen as this can weaken and/or stain the fabric.

Disposing of a Swimsuit

Once your favourite swimsuit has come to end of life, make sure that you dispose of it responsibly so that it does not end up in a landfill – unless your suit was specifically created to decompose in a landfill for e.g. Frankies Bikinis listed below.

Our advice is to check with your local council or local authority to see if they have a clothing recycling programme as you’ll be able to recycle your swimsuit along with other clothing items.

Closing Thoughts

Living more sustainably is not a perfect journey. We often have to do the best we can and wait for technology to progress before we can make 100% sustainable choices.

Swimsuits are also not normally suitable for donation, but there are other options. For a few ideas read our post on what to do with old clothes that cannot be donated.

The fabrics used for swimsuits are still made of plastic and will shed microplastics when you’re swimming, but you can reduce the microplastics that enter the water system during the washing process by using a Filtrol or a Guppyfriend bag.

When you do buy swimwear that is made of recycled plastic you are in essence helping to make recycling more economically viable as you are helping to create demand for this type of plastic. This means that we have a chance to reduce the amount of “virgin plastic” used as well as the widespread pollution it causes when discarded.

Even though these fabrics aren’t perfect it’s a whole lot better for the planet overall than buying a swimsuit from non-recycled plastic fabric.

Do you have an eco-swim brand suggestion? Add it to the comments below!

1 thought on “15 Ethical & Sustainable Swimwear Brands for Summer Bliss”

  1. “The article lists down some best stylish and sustainable swimwear for you to buy for your next beach outing. Loved the colourful swimwear collections of each brand.

    Thank you for sharing the blog, looking forward to more fashion blogs.”

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