[nextpage title=”1″ ]
If you’re anything like me, you live in your swimsuit. While some girls are obsessed with shoes, I’m obsessed with bikinis. And rightly so, as I spend most of my time on the water. Unfortunately, each year 70 million barrels of crude oil are used to produce virgin stretch fabric, the material most bikinis are made from. Why use such harsh and environmentally destructive products when there are alternatives? Here, we’ve rounded up seven sustainable swimwear companies that not only make function suits, but suits that are good for the planet.
Owners Kelley Chapman and Anna Lieding are long-time ocean lovers and both are passionate about leading the high-end swimwear industry to more sustainable practices. The Maui based company uses sustainable techno-fabric created from regenerated nylon—they’ve partnered with Carvico and Econyl to ensure their materials are top-notch. Econyl creates the yarn from 100% regenerated nylon fibre from fishnets and other nylon waste and Carvico weaves the yarn into soft swimwear fabric. When compared with traditional fabrics, Econyl yarns used 2/3 less energy, less water, reduces global crude oil extraction, reduces air, water, and soil contamination, and recovers nylon waste from around the world.
Akua Oceanwear was founded in mid-2016 when owner Zoe Strap, felt that her Environmental Science degree wasn’t being put to good use. Akua is committed to protecting the environment through every step of production and so has a “plastic free” policy. Plastic serves as a huge threat to marine life, so Strapp implemented the policy in an effort to reduce Akua’s impact as well as raise awareness on the detrimental effects plastics can have. To protect the suits, Akua uses 100% biodegradable organic bags, packs the suits in re-usable swimwear bags, mails them in fully recyclable paper postage bags, and prints all labels on recycled paper. At the moment, the suits themselves aren’t made from sustainable fabrics, but instead are made from regular, high-quality fabrics. Strapp has provided the funding for Akua Oceanwear entirely on her own, so she was unable to purchase costly recycled fabrics for her initial launch. However, thanks to the support from women worldwide, she has committed to making the 2017/18 summer collection from fully sustainable fabrics and couldn’t be more excited.
[nextpage title=”2″ ]
Cheeky Carlyle Swim
Kayla Carlyle launched Cheeky Carlyle Swim in January 2016, a dream that for her, had been a long time coming. The suits are made from Italian Carvico/VITA Lyrca, a sustainable techno-fabric made with Econyl that is 100% regenerated polyamide fiber from post-consumer materials. When tested, it proved 2x more resistant to chlorine, sun creams and oils than competitor fabrics. The sustainable fabric has proven to be a great material for both fashion and competition suits, is indeed resistant to chlorine and sun creams, maintains its shape, is ultra-soft, and even provides UV protection. All of the tops and many of the bottoms are adjustable, meaning you can wear them loose or synch them up tight in more trying conditions. All of the suits are reversible, offering two fun prints for you to mix and match.
Twin brothers, Alex and Mike Faherty grew up in a quiet beach town, surfing and spending most of their lives in swimsuits and on the water. They spent a year researching sustainable practices and how they could implement them into their designs. What they found was a way to repurpose plastic waste and refine it into yarn. They were excited to discover a process that allows them to offer stylish and functional clothing with a minimal impact on the environment. With six in-store locations and an online catalog, Faherty offers a wide selection of swimwear from men’s board shorts to women’s one-pieces and bikinis.
[nextpage title=”3″ ]
Odina Surf is a California based swimwear company with a large focus on functionality and sustainability. Their suits are made from 100% recycled materials including plastics, recycled nylon, and reclaimed textiles. From start to finish, the suits are fully manufactured in the U.S.
In addition to an eco-conscious mindset, the folks at Odina Surf are committed to the functionality of their suits for athletic girls. Each suit is tested by their team of athletes in a variety of conditions: big waves, diving, SUP, and body surfing. The suits are designed and cut to stay on in all conditions.
all Sisters is a Barcelona based company that was born out of an admiration for the ocean and the water sports community. The folks at all Sisters believe “that we are all interconnected, forming part of a big whole, and that we should work together to protect our planet.” In turn, they believe that fashion and sustainability go hand in hand. Their suits are made from high-quality, recycled textiles form Italy that are made in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible work space. The suits are lightweight and soft, yet functional and durable, making them ideal for both lounging on the beach and tearing it up in the surf.
California native, Amahlia Stevens, founded Vitamin A in 2000 with the mindset that style and sustenance could coexist. When Amahlia first founded her company, she discovered that there weren’t sustainable fabrics available on the market, so she set out to design one herself. After three years of hard work she launched EcoLux, a swim fabric made from recycled nylon that fits like a second skin. In addition to a sustainable manufacturing process, Vitamin A donates a portion of proceeds to environmental organizations that work to protect our oceans.