25+ Ethical Swimwear Brands For Beach Lovers and Pool Siders

by | May 30, 2018 | Sustainable Fashion

Swimsuits have been made out of polyester and nylon, non-biodegradable materials, for decades. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world behind oil, and accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. It is estimated that 19,000 individual micro plastic fibers are released when washing polyester or nylon. Polyester and nylon can be recycled, and many apparel items can be made from these regenerated materials. The solution to micro plastics when washing – using a MICROFILAMENT WASHING BAG.

Aside from the environmental impacts, there are some unfortunate side effects from fashion manufacturing that effect workers. Workers all over the world are treated poorly, paid unfair wages, work in unsafe conditions, and face harassment – approximately 80% of the world’s garment workers are women!

We can support businesses striving to make a difference. These swimwear brands are working toward a better future by using sustainable materials and ethically manufacturing their apparel:

VITAMIN A swimwear is designed and produced locally in California. Suits are made of their signature EcoLux fabric – created from recycled nylon. They also give a portion of proceeds directly to organizations who help to protect our oceans.

PRICE: $$$

GREENLEE swim im is designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, California. The suit’s fabrics are sourced from recycled and sustainable origins. Greenlee gives back to Global Green USA, Heal The Bay, Honey Love Org, and The Rainforest Partnership.

PRICE: $$$

MANAKAI is proud to manufacture in the USA where workers are paid livable wages and treated with integrity. The suit’s are made of sustainable techno-fabric created from regenerated nylon. ECONYL® is made from 100% regenerated nylon fibre from fishnets and other nylon waste.

PRICE: $$$

via [prana.com]

PRANA is headquartered in Southern California, their swim line is made of recycled polyester and other recycled materials. prAna is proud to be one of the first major clothing companies to offer Fair Trade Certified™ products.

PRICE: $$

SUMMER LOVE features a range of mix and match separates made exclusively from VITA, a sustainable techno-fabric with ECONYL, a 100% recycled polyamide fiber that’s made from pre and post-consumer materials. They are also proud members of 1% for the Planet.

PRICE: $

via [VYBSwim.com]

VYB swimwear is made out of deadstock. Deadstock is excess fabric from garment factories that will most likely end in consumer waste. VYB uses rescued fabric destined to end up in landfills!

PRICE: $$$

PETITE TERRE turns old waste sitting in our landfills & oceans into high quality products. The brand is also cutting unnecessary packaging & plastic consumption by using only natural, biodegradable or recycled packaging. Their fabrics are made from 78% recycled polyamide – ECONYL, produced from old fishing nets & plastic bottles.

PRICE: $$$

OCEANZEN is a swimwear label based on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Their fabric is sustainably made with a soft, recycled ocean-saving textile that comes from recycled water bottles. They support marine conservation & sustainability.

PRICE: $$$

REFORMATION’S pieces are made from sustainable materials, rescued deadstock fabrics, and repurposed vintage clothing. They buy old, leftover, and over-ordered fabric from other designers and fabric warehouses. Remanufactured clothing can save more than 13,000 pounds of CO2 emissions a year.

PRICE: $$

NATASHA TONIC is located in Los Angeles, CA. The swimwear fabric is based around a unique, natural hemp fiber that is anti-microbial, UV resistant, durable & a healthier choice for your skin. Their revolutionary hemp fiber allows their swimsuits to perform as lingerie, bodysuits or activewear.

PRICE: $$ – $$$

FINCH DESIGNS is based in Shanghai, China. They exclusively use Repreve® recycled PET fabric to make their suits. Learn more about Repreve® here. They are “Product Just” approved.

PRICE: $$$

ABYSS’ swimwear material is UV- protective, fast-drying, has a higher shape retention over time, a correct muscular compression and an excellent power. They can be worn for running, climbing, stretching, but also swimming, sailing, surfing, as their garments are made for water.

PRICE: $$$

JESSICA REY swimwear is made in sweatshop free factories in L.A. Employees are paid fair wages and treated with dignity and respect. The suits are knit using yarn made from 100% regenerated pre & post consumer waste (fish nets).

PRICE: $$ – $$$

KORU ECO SWIM is made of recycled nylon. They are members of 1% For The Planet.

PRICE: $$$

ALBION is a family owned company in Utah and designed by women. They follow fair labor practices, recycle plant waste, and use eco-friendly materials.

PRICE: $$$

via [befauna.com]

FAUNA lives by the three Ps – product, people, planet. They utilize recycled textiles and materials, and select natural materials and processes to create swimwear that last and is highly versatile. Products are manufactured with a focus on ethical production and fair labor practices.

PRICE: $$$

via [skatie.com]

SKATIE uses mostly surplus fabric sourced locally in LA. It’s the excess fabric that another designer was unable to use, and probably would have ended up in a landfill. In addition they use material made from 100% regenerated polyamide fiber from post-consumer materials. They are also a woman-owned company.

PRICE: $-$$$

SUMMER SALT uses premium recycled materials to make all of their high quality suits. The fabric in the suits is more technical, softer, and more durable than traditional swim fabric. The suits offer UPF 50+ protection and can stand up to sand, sweat, chlorine, oils and sunscreen.

PRICE: $$ – $$$

via [barekini.com]

BAREKINI suits are made of 78% ECONYL® fiber, a 100% regenerated Nylon comprised mainly of discarded fishing nets recovered from our oceans & old carpets. The material is then blended with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ for lasting durability & shape retention. The suits are 50+ UV protected & ultra-resistant to sunscreens, tanning oils, and chlorine.

PRICE: $$ – $$$

ECO MONO suits are made from regenerated Lycra. They are also proud of their ethical manufacturing, fair wages, and minimal waste initiatives. The suit also has 50+ UV protection.

PRICE: $$ – $$$

WOLVEN swimsuits are made out of OEKO-TEX certified fabric made from 84% recycled bottles. The Wolven Team is made up of artists, vegans, and environmental activists.

PRICE: $$$

AMARA suits are made out of ECONYL + LYRCA XTRA LIFE. They pledge to support Mexican communities by creating livable-wage jobs, minimizing negative impacts of tourism, promoting cultural exchange and helping to preserve local traditions. Plus, they regularly organize beach clean-ups.

PRICE: $$

PATAGONIA chooses Fair Trade, to ensure that the people who make their gear are treated with the respect they deserve. All board shorts and bikinis are made in Fair Trade Certified facilities.

PRICE: $$

FAIR HARBOR swimwear is created out of recycled polyester – recycled water bottles – transformed into functional fabric at factories they visit personally and regularly.

PRICE: $$

VEGE THREADS swimwear material is made in Italy from recycled nylon ECONYL® and LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™. The LYCRA® itself provides exceptional shape retention, chlorine-resistance and UV protection, while the ECONYL® fibres are made from recycled post-consumer waste, such as fishing nets.

PRICE: $$$

SAGE LA ROCK creates all suits in L.A. from upcycled plastic debris from the oceans and upcycled ghost-fishing nets – ECONYL which has an SPF 50. They also u Okeo-Tex standard organic cotton, hemp, and dead stock.

PRICE: $$$

LA ISLA uses recycled PET fabric to create their swimsuits. The company also supports many charitable effort including the Woods Humane Society and LA Youth Network.

PRICE: $$$

SWOON has a mission to support female owned businesses, keep jobs in America, and sell directly to consumers at an honest and affordable price. Every party involved in making Swoon Swimwear is paid a fair wage for their work.

PRICE: $ – $$

ELLE EVAN’S supply chain starts all over the world where the waste that becomes their fabric is collected. It then moves to Slovenia where 100% regenerated fabric Econyl is produced – fabric from recycled plastic waste dredged from the sea. The fabric is printed using water-based, non-toxic inks.

PRICE: $$$

BETH RICHARDS products are made in Canada, where they ensure working conditions adhere to environmental & labor standards. They produce only what they need, keeping production runs controlled. The company started the CENSOR PROJECT, a non-profit that donates 100% of proceeds to Planned Parenthood & The Gloria Steinem Foundation.

PRICE: $$$

via [volcom.com]

SIMPLY SOLID a collection by VOLCOM is primarily composed of a swim fabric spun in Italy from ECONYL recycled yarn produced from lost fishing nets and other discarded nylons.

SURF WEAR AVAILABLE
PRICE
: $-$$$

via [lunamar.com]

LUNAMAR swimsuits are designed in Canada & ethically handmade in Colombia supporting local makers. Suits are made with reactive dyes AVITERA to reduce dyeing times, water/energy consumption, & gas emissions by 50%. All fabric comply with eco international standards of OEKO-TEX. 25% of profits go toward ocean conservation, reforestation, and youth empowerment projects in Asia, Africa, & Latin America.

SURF WEAR AVAILABLE
PRICE
: $ – $$

GUPPYFRIEND WASHING BAG protects synthetic garments and reduces the amount of microfibers that may enter rivers and oceans from washing.

One of the main reasons fibers break out of a garment’s structure is because of mechanical bending and abrasion stress during washing and daily use. The diameter of a thread is as small as 11 microns. It could theoretically slip through the tiny openings of the bag, however To get through, it would need to poke directly through the mesh. Most often even if the fiber sticks out, it will be pushed back inside the bag.

via [coraball.com]

CORA BALL catches microfibers in the ball so they can be discarded appropriately and stops them from entering the septic system.

The fibers tend to tangle together into fuzz balls that you can see and pick out of the Cora Ball. The concept evolved from Coral, which catches tiny things from flowing water. Using that same principle in the design of the Cora Ball you can drop it in your washing machine and let it do the work of catching those microfibers. It can catch up to 35% of microfibers per load, depending on factors such as load settings, materials being washed, & wash frequency.

SWIM FOR MEN

via [prana.com]

PRANA The Fair Trade swim line is made of recycled polyester and other recycled materials.

PRICE: $$

OUTERKNOWN suits are made of ECONYL. The company is dedicated to ensuring safe working environments and fair compensation

PRICE: $$$

FAIR HARBOR swimwear is created out of recycled polyester

PRICE: $$

PATAGONIA’S board shorts and bikinis are made in Fair Trade Certified facilities.

PRICE: $$

LUNAMAR’S fabric comply with eco international standards of OEKO-TEX.

PRICE: $$

LA ISLA uses recycled PET fabric to create their swimsuits.

PRICE: $$ – $$$

Friendly reminder to try wearing out the suits you already own in good condition before purchasing something new!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.