Looking to up your eco-travel game this summer? If you need new swimwear, peruse some of the top eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear brands, for women and men, this year that will show how stylish and environmentally conscious you are while on the beach.
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Why is Eco-friendly Swimwear Important?
What we wear in fresh and saltwater environments matter. Like using reef-safe sunscreen limits toxic chemical exposure to marine life and coral reefs, eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear brands, and caring for them properly, also protect marine life and limit plastic waste headed to our waterways and oceans.
Ethical, Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Fashion
Eco-friendly, or environmentally sustainable, fashion brands strive for a circular economy – closing the loop to from a linear, open-ended economic system (take, make, waste) to a closed-loop economic system (not sourcing virgin resources), by re-using existing or rapidly renewable materials to create products that do not negatively impact the environment (waste production and excessive water and energy use).
Ethical, or socially sustainable, fashion brands conduct themselves “in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice”, in regards to all people involved in the supply chain and society (e.g., no poor working conditions, unlivable wages, or child labor).
Sustainable fashion is a brand that conducts itself reaching financial wealth by only being environmentally and ethically responsible. It’s a tall order to be considered “sustainable”, but there are fashion brands that are achieving it or working towards it.
Read more about the difference between ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable fashion here.
Eco-Friendly Swimwear Materials
One man’s trash… Nylon is not biodegradable and produces microfibers that get released into our fresh and salt water environments. Recognizing that our planet is not made of endless resources, and that we are also facing a plastic pollution crisis, here are some transformative materials recycled from old into new appearing in eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear.
ECONYL® is able to create multiple types of new products by transforming pre- and post-consumer nylon waste (e.g., carpet and fishing nets) into regenerated nylon that can be recycled, recreated and remolded repeatedly and thereby not extract virgin resources. ECONYL® is able to save 70,000 barrels of crude oil and over 65,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions for every 10,000 tons of raw material produced.
REPREVE® makes a performance fiber from recycled plastics – over 26 billion plastic bottles included – that end up in fashion and athletic products by leading brands. REPREVE® manufacturing process conserves enough energy to power over 236 thousand homes and removes 646 million kgs of CO2 emissions annually.
AMNI SOUL ECO® is a biodegradable polymide yarn produced by Solvay that is used in multiple fashion products. When disposed in a landfill, AMNI SOUL ECO® will biodegrade in approximately 5 years, compared to the 50+ years synthetics take, which will help reduce the size of landfills and reduce the human carbon footprint.
Fashion Third Party Certifications
Let’s not forget about third-party certifications. If you see a product OekoTex, Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or Bluesign labels, for example, this means this brand is working to give you an environmentally and human safe product you can rely on. Go here to see more third-party certifications involved in the fashion industry.
10 Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Swimwear Brands for 2021
The better the quality the swimsuit, the longer you can wear it, the fewer number of swimsuits you have to buy. This is part of being a conscious consumer – reducing waste through reduced consumption.
To be more conscious, shop only eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear brands. These are the brands that warrant support through your dollars.
Sustainable Swimwear Brands
The following swimwear brands are reaching for sustainability through environmental and socially responsible efforts locally, and within its supply chain.
Environmentally, they are employing initiatives such as using: less energy and water usage in its operations; carbon offsets for manufacturing and/or shipping; recycled packaging materials; locally sourced materials; donating to or partnering with environmental programs; and receiving third-party certifications or more.
Socially, they are employing initiatives such as: Fair Trade practices, joining the Fair Labor Association, operating under SA8000 standards, giving back to the community, or more.
1 – Vivida Lifestyle
Sustainability Highlights Global Recycled Standard, Control Union and Bluesign Certified, United Nation Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action member, works with WRAP certified factories and supports fair wages and safety training, and uses renewable energy resources, OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified dyes, compostable packaging, and recycled and recyclable cards.
2 – Wolven
3 – Girlfriend Collective
4 – Outerknown
5 – Vitamin A
Sustainability Highlights All manufacturing is in California under fair wages and ethical working conditions that uses less energy and water in production, recycled nylon and Tencel® materials, and 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and backyard compostable packaging.
6 – prAna
Sex Women’s & Men’s
Sustainability Highlights Fair Labor Association and Fair Trade certified, Responsible Forest Project member, uses recycled polyester and nylon, organic cotton and hemp, and launched Responsible Packaging Movement to reduce plastic waste.
7 – Sensi Graves
Sustainability Highlights Made locally in the USA, it uses ethical Fair Labor Standards Act practices, REPREVE® and ECONYL® materials, recycled hand tags, labels and packaging, compostable hygienic liners, and partners with 1% for the Planet and Climate Neutral to limit its carbon footprint.
(or shop through MadeTrade)
8 – Summersalt
Sustainability Highlights A Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) member, most factories are also WRAP (or equivalent) certified, and uses 78% recycled polyamide, GOTS and GRS certified materials with UPF 50+ protection and poly bag packaging made from recycled materials. See more. I have two of their suits and love them.
Eco-Friendly Swimwear Brands
The following swimwear brands are focused on eco-friendly initiatives, locally and within its supply chain, such as using: less energy and water usage in its operations; carbon offsets for manufacturing and/or shipping; recycled packaging materials; locally sourced materials; donating to or partnering with environmental programs; and receiving third-party certifications or more.
9 – Londre
Eco-Friendly Highlights Products are made from recycled materials in an Oeko-Tex 100 certified textile factory where water is chemical-free and recycled. Packaging is compostable and recyclable, and they donate to the Amazon Watch and Ocean Clean Up Project.
1 0 – Bold Swim
Eco-Friendly Highlights Products made from Amni Soul Eco® polyamide yarn that has enhanced biodegradability and is Oeko-Tex 100 certified, offsets carbon emissions, uses 100% compostable bags and recycled materials in all packaging, and partners with like-minded organizations.
(or shop through MadeTrade)
Sustainable Swimwear Care
Even recycled nylon or other plastic materials can release some microfibers that contribute to the microplastic pollution problem. Go the extra mile to protect the environment and your eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear by washing it in a Guppyfriend Washing Bag. This bag collects the microfibers so they don’t end up in the ocean or water ways. Use it for any synthetic textiles and simple clean out after each wash. Read more ways you can prevent microplastic pollution. The fish will thank you.
Let Me Hear From You
I would love to hear if any of these 10 eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear brands worked for you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!
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Gwen, CORR Concepts Founder
Gwen is a Sustainability professional with an MBA in Sustainable Enterprises and LEED AP ID+C accreditation from the GBCI. She is also the Founder of CORR Travel. As a Sustainability professional and Earth Steward, environmental sustainability and biodiversity protection is her “religion”. Travel is her passion.