The tide is turning – these nine ethical and sustainable swimwear brands make a stand by using recycled materials to create their beautiful and sport-friendly swimsuits.
A new tide of independent brands are creating gorgeous one and two-pieces from everything from recycled carpets to ghost fishing nets – and use the profits to do good, too. Buying a recycled or ethically produced swimsuit one of these nine sustainable swimwear brands is a simple but effective way to show you love the ocean even as you’re diving into it.
Bored with sensible swimwear? Let Batoko’s seriously cheerful prints come to the rescue. All their suits are made with 100% recycled materials, and to date, Batoko has recycled the equivalent weight of 220,000 plastic bottles. It’s impossible not to feel cheerful in one of their classic-cut suits plastered in puffins, whales and lobsters, and a proportion of their profits also goes to support real sea life via the Marine Conservation Society.
Surf and yoga lovers, look no further – this is activewear for activists. RubyMoon makes swimwear and activewear designed for working out in, all made ethically and sustainably from recycled ocean plastics in the UK & Spain. Your money goes far when you buy a RubyMoon swimsuit – 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are lent out as small loans to female entrepreneurs, and their swimsuits are even named after the women they help, which I love. Their rash vests and ‘gym to swim’ sports bras and leggings are perfect if you’re more into getting physical than lounging by the pool.
3. TIDE AND SEEK
These bright bikinis and suits in pastel mermaid shades are handmade in Bali using Repreve fabric, which is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Their surf bralettes are indeed perfect for surfing and stay put when you’re swimming or paddling hard.
I love Monki’s flattering bikinis and suits in shirred fabrics and retro colours (pictured), so I was extremely pleased to see that their new Monki Cares collection is made from a 80% recycled polyester blend. I’m a big fan of the diverse models who show off the suits on the Monki website. You can also take any garments or textiles into a Monki store and they’ll recycle them for you.
5. DAVY J
These beautiful British-made pieces are created using 100% recycled materials including ‘ghost’ or used fishing nets, which account for 10% of marine litter. Davy J’s one and two-pieces are designed to ‘survive a dive’, and their high-waisted bottoms and crop tops are great if you want a little more coverage for surfing or stand-up paddle boarding – I love this body top. This is another brand championing models of varied ages and body shapes, too.
Proof that bigger labels can easily switch to recycled materials, Australian brand Seafolly’s new Inka Gypsy collection of swimwear, activewear and beach coverups isn’t just seriously pretty – it’s also made from recycled Mipan nylon.
The Cornish brand has always taken sustainability seriously, and there’s plentiful information about everything from their factories to their fabrics on the Finisterre website (I’d love to see more outdoor brands doing this). Their swimwear is made from Econyl, a fabric made from sources including old carpets and recycled fishing nets. Sporty swimsuits and rash vests offer great coverage for swimming and surfing.
8. STAY WILD SWIM
Hello, pretties. Stay Wild Swim’s streamlined and classic pieces in primary colours are perfect for minimalists, and are all created with Econyl, made from regenerated ocean plastic. Their British-made zip-up one pieces are perfect for wearing for water sports, and the brand also offers carbon neutral shipping.
Seasalt’s lovely Cornwall-inspired swimsuits and clever reversible bikinis fit beautifully and really last – and they’re now made with Repreve, a fabric created from recycled plastic bottles. Inspired to go wild swimming and exploring on the Cornish coast? Read my Seasalt guide to creative Cornwall.
Do you know and love a sustainable swimwear brand that’s working to save the planet? Let me know and I’ll add them to my list.