One of the best ways to make sustainable fashion (opens in new tab) choices is to support brands that adhere to responsible practices, including fair and ethical labor conditions, carbon-neutral manufacturing processes, and non-harmful fabric choices. While we’ve covered sustainable handbag brands (opens in new tab), jewelry brands (opens in new tab), and footwear brands (opens in new tab) to support, the same principles go for swimwear—an industry notorious for using not-so-sustainable synthetic materials like nylon and spandex.
So, how can we make more sustainable choices for our time in the surf? Opting for swimwear brands aware of their environmental impact is a great start. From brands that use recycled and upcycled materials to slower production models to better working conditions, these designers will keep your swimsuit wardrobe sustainable for impending heatwaves and beyond.
Londre’s swimsuits, crafted from upcycled plastics, have diverted over 250,000 plastic bottles from Tawain oceans and streets. Swimsuits are ethically produced in small batches in British Columbia, while the brand offers a recycling program for suits that have reached their end life.
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Australian swimwear label Cleonie abides by a made-to-order model to minimize overproduction. Its fabric choices include Australian-made fabrics, like eco-crinkle Cienna, ECONYL (a regenerated nylon fabric), and recycled polyester. Cleonie also avoids using harmful chemicals by incorporating water-based inks to achieve vibrant color combinations.
Cuyana recently launched its first-ever swimsuit with eco-conscious swimwear designer Vanessa Sposi. The classic one-pieces are handmade in Portugal and crafted from ECONYL enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.
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Carolina Kleinman’s vibrant, summer-ready swimwear collection is ethically-made in Uruguay with the help of local artisans. The brand includes sustainable materials, including Ecocean, made from eco-friendly viscose, recycled polyesters, and upcycled fabrics.
Australian-owned brand Bondi Born ethically produces all of its swimwear in Sydney at female-owned and operated manufacturers. Bondi Born is B corp certified, (opens in new tab) using fabrics made in Italy.
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Carbon neutral brand Hunza G uses a seamless crinkle fabric that allows the brand to use a one size fits most sizing model. The approach combats material waste and the over-purchasing of numerous sizes.
Faithful The Brand
Based in Bali, Faithful The Brand produces its swimwear locally by Balinese artisans. Their sustainable materials include Repreve— a sustainable performance fiber— recycled polyester, and regenerated nylon. In September 2021, the brand became B Corp certified and continues its commitment to conscious business practices and community outreach.
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Made in Australia, Matteau is committed to supporting the Australian textile industry however it can. Matteau’s swimwear uses eco-friendly materials such as Repreve, ECONYL, and yarn spun from waste, including fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastics.
Zulu and Zephyr
Zulu and Zephyr’s brand continually focuses on growing their sustainable business practices. To ensure they offer a safe and healthy work environment, the Zulu and Zephyr team conducts onsite factory visits as often as possible throughout their manufacturers in India, China, and Indonesia. The brand has been an active member of 1% for the Planet (opens in new tab)since 2020, committed to donating 1% of its gross yearly sales to support environmental non-profits that align with their company values.
Vanessa Sposi’s swim collections are designed in Paris, while fabrics are woven in Italy and assembled by hand in Porto, Portugal, by lifelong expert seamstresses. The brand designs classic, seasonless swimwear using ECONYL fabric derived from regenerated ocean waste, like fishing nets and carpet fluff.
Baserange’s minimalist swimwear pieces use sustainable materials certified by the Global Recycle Standard (opens in new tab). The brand’s swimwear collections are produced ethically in small batches in Portugal.
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Christy Dawn is committed to honoring Mother Earth through all of its practices. Swim included, the vintage-inspired silhouettes are made ethically in downtown Los Angeles from recycled polyester.
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Recently launched brand Mylo Swim provides sustainable swimwear options at accessible prices. The brand uses recycled polyester from plastic bottles diverted from oceans and landfills.
In 2015, Mara Hoffman began implementing more sustainable and responsible practices in every facet of her designs, including her size-inclusive swimwear options. Today, they’re ethically produced in Los Angeles from recycled nylon and recycled ECONYL.
Akoia Swim’s unique crochet swim pieces use organic cotton dyed with plant-derived pigments. Each piece, produced by hand, can take up to seven days to make by artisans in Bali.
Girlfriend Collective provides data on how their sustainable choices help conserve oil, CO2 emissions, and energy output. Their edited collection includes thirteen swim styles, available in five colorways per style.
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UK-based brand Boden offers a range of figure-flattering swim styles. By 2025, the company aims to use 100% recycled materials for its swimwear collections.
Vitamin A offers swimwear made not only from recycled materials but plant-based fibers derived from castor beans. The brand produces ethically and locally in California to reduce its carbon footprint. They contribute to organizations that protect our oceans through 1% for the Planet (opens in new tab).
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Hack with Design House
Hackwith Design House makes everything in-house in Minnesota on a made-to-order model. Its mission is to provide consumers with a simple aesthetic and quality fabrics using sustainable practices. The brand’s swim sizing and silhouettes are size-inclusive.
BOLD swim was born with the mission to diversify swimwear, producing size-inclusive styles in small curated collections. The brand uses a biodegradable nylon fabric called Amni Soul Eco® and recyclable materials throughout its packaging.
All Leni Swims pieces are handmade in Bali using sustainable materials, and manufactured in a small family-owned factory. All faulty swim styles are upcycled into new pieces to ensure minimal waste. Leni also uses a plastic-free process from beginning to end.
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