Most swimwear brands rely on synthetic materials like virgin polyester and nylon as their base materials. When using new synthetic materials these can be problematic for several reasons, including that the oil they are made from is a rapidly depleting natural resource that has been linked with environmental pollution, as well as the leaching of micro-fibres (plastic) when wearing and washing. They also do not biodegrade easily at the end of their life. But there are now a few options for sustainable swimwear brands and we’ve picked up our favourites so you can try them too.
Not only do we love them for their style, but also their innovative materials that consider your skin and planet alike. Dive into our range of sustainable swimwear brands that fit your core ethos!
Natural Fibres Sustainable Swimwear
With more research emerging about the impact of synthetic clothing fibres leaching into the oceans in the way of micro-plastics, it’s time to cast the net further and explore natural fibre alternatives.
If you’re looking for ocean-friendly swimwear, natural fibres are considered to cause the lesser harm to our delicate eco-system as the fibres are more likely to break down organically. Natural hemp and organic cotton are the best options available to us at the moment. Natasha Tonic makes swimwear from an ECOCERT-certified blend of hemp and cotton. The hemp fabric has been tested to dry as fast as polyester when exposed to the sun, with the added benefit of being antimicrobial to help you sweat less. Being mixed with organic cotton and lycra creates a durable and comfortable fabric that is soft to the touch and doesn’t loose it’s shape when wet. Swimwear doesn’t get much more eco-friendly than this!
Recycled Fibres Sustainable Swimwear
Some of the most interesting developments in sustainable swimwear materials are made from recycled materials including nylon fishing nets, which not only help to rid the sea of old nets left forlornly floating away (estimated to make up to 45% of all ocean plastic), but also avoid the need to produce new nylon. Salt Gypsy choose to source and use ECONYL® regenerated nylon in their surf & swimwear, stating environmental benefits including reducing waste and crude oil, avoiding CO2 emissions, and reducing the global warming impact of nylon by up to 80% compared with the material from oil. Kowtow ethical swimwear is also made with pre and post-consumer nylon waste, including fishing nets, discarded carpets, plastic components and fabrics scraps. So far, Kowtow have recycled 120kg of discarded nylon to produce their range of environmentally friendly swimwear.
When washing recycled fibres swimwear, remember to use a Guppyfriend Washing Bag to help filter any micro-fibres and keep them out of our waterways, oceans and food chain.