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The secret to a plastic-free summer isn’t just about ditching the plastic water bottles or carrying around a reusable tote with you. It’s also about being conscious of the clothes you wear. While some fabrics like cotton, bamboo or tencel are all-natural and biodegradable other (and more popular materials) like nylon and polyester are man-made plastic-based fabrics. These also tend to be the fabric of choice for swimwear; even for sustainable brands. So, what’s a conscious shopper to do? One answer is to support the brands that offer eco friendly swimwear made from recycled or regenerated materials. These nylon and polyester fabrics are made from recycled plastic waste (most often plastic water bottles) that is usually sourced from the oceans. By recycling and reusing these materials, we are helping to clean up our oceans and find new ways to use our resources instead of allowing it to pollute our environment.
It’s estimated that polyester production alone uses 342 million barrels of oil yearly.
While buying a new bathing suit isn’t exactly plastic-free, regenerated / recycled materials are a solution for minimizing plastic pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels. When compared with buying a new plastic-based bathing suit, it’s the lesser of the two evils. So, when you’re searching for your next bathing suit, support a brand that doesn’t just make a well-fitting bathing suit. Try one that also helps to minimize plastic pollution and waste materials too.
Based in Los Angeles, Reformation has become known for their covetable dresses, but their swimwear is just as desirable and varied ranging from bikinis, one-pieces, beach bags and cover-ups.
Environmental Impact: All pieces are made of using a combination of deadstock, renewable plant materials textiles and recycled fabrics. This ethical fashion brand focuses on keeping the water clean, minimizing the consumption, and reducing their plastic and overall pollution. Additionally, over 75% of the management team are women or people from underrepresented populations.
Boden is an eco-friendly brand, with the primary goal to ensure that there is a life beyond the wardrobe and that clothing should never end up in landfill.
Environmental Impact: With a current mission to ensure that 95% of all womenswear clothing is polyester-free or made from recycled polyester, Boden is aware of microplastics and the impact from plastic-based materials. Their eco friendly swimwear is made from regenerated nylon, has a transparent supply chain, gives fair wages, has a give back policy and uses eco-friendly packaging.
Made in the USA, this eco friendly swimwear brand aims to reduce their impact, raise awareness and generate change, all through the sustainable practices. And, if you’re seeking luxury, this brand will fit the bill with the entire collection inspired by the ’70s glamour.
Environmental Impact: This is another brand that ditches virgin materials for recycled nylon, plant-based fabrics and packaging that is fully recyclable and biodegradable.
Mara Hoffman produces responsibly made products, which is done by choosing each material with intention and care. The style plays between the classic, basic and minimalist, in lots of earthy tones and shades.
Environmental Impact: When sourcing for designs, priority falls on natural, recycled and organic fibers. As a vegan brand there is no use of leather, molested sheep wool or feathers. The entire swimwear collection is produced from recycled nylon or recycled polyester.
Offering both men’s and women’s swimwear pieces, Outerwear is completely dedicated to being sustainable – from the start.
Environmental Impact: This brand offers pieces where 90% of the sources fibers are organic, recycled, or regenerated. 100% of the men’s trunks are made with recycles or renewable fibers, which directly contributes to cleaner oceans. Additionally, Outerknown is the first brand to pursue Fair Labor Association accreditation before ever shipping a product.