A bit of good news: Summer’s not cancelled. Regardless of what’s going on the world, we still have long days, sunshine, and days spent swimming to look forward to (hopefully not at a too-crowded public pool or beach).
While we love a classic cut, typical suits are not the most sustainable pieces in our wardrobes: synthetic fabrics like nylon, Lycra, and polyester all rely on plastic for elasticity and durability, and worse, release microplastics that wreak havoc on aquatic habitats and water sources alike. We’ll admit, it’s hard enough finding a well-fitting option, let alone a good one that’s also better for the environment than traditional options. That’s why we rounded up nine eco-conscious brands that make flattering, comfortable, well-made swimsuits that won’t trash the water you’re swimming in.
Lively’s first-ever sustainable collection made its recent debut on May 21—and features core styles that you know and already love (hello again, The Bikini) in a new outer layer fabric that’s made from 87% recycled plastic. And to sweeten the deal, Lively made sure the new collection is the same price ($45) as the rest of their swim designs. Lively is currently running a two swim tops and/or bottoms for $80, so you might as well get The Bandeau along with the uber-cute High Waist.
Mara Hoffman Swim
Mara Hoffman is a smart brand with sharp design, and its swimwear is no exception. One hundred percent of Mara Hoffman swimwear is made from recycled polyester and nylon—utilizing a special fabric called Econyl, which is a 100% regenerated fiber made from consumer and industrial waste like fishing nets, plastic, and fabric scraps. We love the tie-front, cutout Kia One Piece ($192.50), but the Abigail Bikini (starting at $84) is a real showstopper with its graphic designs and flattering lines.
Not only does the team at Summersalt make ridiculously cozy (and unique) everyday staples, they also make some of the most wildly good-looking one pieces we’ve ever seen, and they make all of their suits with recycled polyamide. Their packaging is made from recycled materials, too. We’re digging the Sidestroke one piece ($95), which also comes in a fun Confetti variation and even a cut special-made for long torsos. Some of Summersalt’s other must-have one pieces include The Horizon ($95) and The Marina ($95). If you’re on the hunt for a bikini, we recommend the High Dive Bikini Top ($50) and the Marina Bikini Top ($50).
Reformation also uses Econyl in its swimsuits. Plus, the brand has an ongoing commitment to make their brand more sustainable—from raw materials to the supply chain to the packaging. And just like their clothing designs, Reformation’s swimwear is dreamy, feminine, and timeless. We recommend the sharp Brittany One Piece ($98), the Sporty-Spice-from-the-future-esque Costa Bikini ($78), the subtly sexy Wave One Piece ($98), and the universally perfect Mandalay Bikini Bottoms ($68).
Body Glove Eco Sanctuary Collection
If you’re looking for a suit that can handle wave riding, lap swimming, and still look good while sunbathing, look no further than the Mindful Eco-Conscious Aro Bikini Top ($72) and Marlee Bikini Bottom ($62) from heritage beach-bum brand Body Glove. The suits in this collection are made with recycled polyester and designed by pro surfer Tatiana Weston-Webb.
Patagonia Swim Women’s Nanogrip Collection
Patagonia is a brand on a mission. The company has unveiled a slew of sustainable initiatives in recent years, so the fact that this outdoor company has swimwear made from 83% recycled polyester or recycled nylon isn’t a surprise. But how stylish and well-fitting those designs are is a bit of a shock. The Nireta Bikini Top ($75) has a high neckline that looks cool, not prudish, and fits like your favorite halter top. There are only eight designs in the collection, but they are all pretty damn cool.
Woodlike is probably a brand that you haven’t heard of yet, but we’re glad we can be the intro to this European-born goody. Woodlike uses Econyl as well as Xtra Life Lycra in its swimsuits (so they can last even longer), and it makes a donation to the Healthy Seas initiative with every purchase. But most impressively, Woodlike’s suits are reversible, so each purchase gets you two different looks (which is perfect for a suit built to last multiple seasons). The Anais Reversible Top ($108.54) and the Ami Hipster Reversible Bottoms ($86.61) make for a sweet, simple look that will never go out of style, while the Sole Reversible One Piece ($174.32) makes a subtle statement with its plunging back. Because Woodlike has small stock of each style, we suggest you check out all of the one pieces or bikinis that are currently available.
We love a brand with personality, and that’s exactly what Batoko’s got. They have ridiculously fun prints on their classic-cut one pieces—which also happen to be made from 100% recycled plastic waste. We dare you to see their Puffin or Fruit Punch suits and not click “Add to cart.”
Looking for swimming trunks?
There are plenty of men’s swim trunks made from recycled polyester as well. We’re fans of Outerknown Men’s Trunks, which utilize recycled polyester made from plastic bottles (and are endorsed by Kelly Slater). Patagonia’s board shorts are also made from recycled polyester, nylon, and are certified Fair Trade for an extra dose of do-good that you’ll want to dive into.
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