Sustainable Summer: the best eco-friendly swimwear

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Graphics by Eloise Newman

As summer rolls around and the days get (mildly) sunnier, it’s easy to get sucked back into the culture of buying a whole new summer wardrobe. Not only does your bank account cry out, but the climate around environmental issues and awareness makes it clearer than ever that consumers have to take as much initiative as they can, becoming more conscious of unnecessary consumerism. With that in mind, here are some sustainable swimwear options for men and women. While the cost does tend to be higher, the durability and ethics of these pieces makes them an excellent investment for the environment and for yourself.

Women’s Swimwear

allSisters (price: £), designed in Barcelona, allSisters pieces utilize textiles from Italy recycled using the Made in Green certification and upcycled garments made of stock from local factories, to support local economies.

Ohoy (price: £) was set up by two Scandinavians and its provider is a small family-owned factory in Sri Lanka, where the pair regularly spend time ensuring fair working conditions are in place. Made of 100% Econyl yarn, remade from discarded nylons (like fishing nets), Ohoy products are twice as resistant to substances that would decrease its lifetime, such as chlorine and sun cream.

Woodlikeocean (price: ££) make their swimwear out of all recycled or upcycled materials, which uses two-thirds less energy than it would using virgin materials. To keep packaging to a minimum, they offer the ‘Dirtbag’ which your swimwear gets folded into and which will biodegrade in 3-6 months in your compost.

Natasha Tonic (price: ££), based in California, is made with a natural hemp fibre that is anti-microbial and UV resistant to make it durable and better for the skin. The pieces can double as lingerie, bodysuits or activewear in an effort to minimise the consumer’s wardrobe. 5% of every swimsuit goes towards cleaning plastic from the ocean.

Kowtow (price: £££) are dedicated to sustainably producing their products using organic cotton and as much recycled material as possible, which are all explored in depth on their website. To limit waste, they offer a mending programme to expand your swimwear’s lifetime and then will take back the pieces after the owner has decided they no longer need them.

Men’s Swimwear

Panareha (price: £) is based in Lisbon and provides board shorts handcrafted by artisans in Portugal. Partnering with some of the most responsible logistics companies, Panareha is committed to minimising its impact on the environment. The shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles while the packaging materials are made from recovered waste paper.

Riz Board Shorts (price: ££) set out to create ‘the most beautiful and sustainable swim shorts in the world’ with a ‘British-Hawaiian style’ from its base in London. Each pair is made from Eco-Friendly 100% recycled fabric, is printed using non-toxic inks and is triple stitched to ensure it is long-lasting. Sea-themed prints remind the consumer of the need to protect the ocean, too.

Naeco (price: £££) is passionate about educating consumers about where its materials come from and how the production process works. The shorts are made of rescued and recycled plastic, that can be recycled again after use. Naeco monitors its daily business practises, including lighting, working conditions and fabric dying, in order to limit the influences that all of these have on the environment.

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