There’s a new trend within swimwear that won’t leave you with weird tan lines: sustainable fabrics. More brands are turning to recycled nylon, recycled polyester, or fabrics made from ocean plastic waste.
Designer Mara Hoffman uses either recycled nylon (ECONYL) or recycled polyester (REPREVE) in her swimwear, which is beloved by fashion girls for its rainbow hues. Vitamin A also makes swimwear from recycled nylon — and donates a portion of all profits to organizations that work to conserve the oceans. And Fair Harbor is a Brooklyn-based company that uses recycled plastic bottles to make their nylon fabric. Scroll down to see suits by all three brands, plus many more.
One note: Unfortunately, right now there’s a real dearth of eco-friendly swim options for plus-size women. But if you’re looking for ethical (though not sustainable) swim in plus sizes, check out Malia Mills, who makes all of her super-cute swimwear in America.
The Most Affordable Option
Athleta (Gap’s athletic off-shoot) is a certified B-Corporation, meaning they put their values at the center of their company. Forty percent of their fabrics are recycled, and they’re shooting to make that 80 percent by 2020. This fuchsia bikini is cute and affordable.
The Sporty One
The french straps and the bow in the back make this simple yet feminine, and the color and clean cuts add an athletic edge.
If You’re Buying Into the Rainbow Trend
Whenever people talk about sustainable beachwear, Mara Hoffman’s name always comes up. Aside from her ethical efforts, she’s known for her colorful patterns and prints.
If You Like Classic Silhouettes
Araks, the lingerie and swim brand famous for clothing Scarlett Johannson in the opening scene of Lost in Translation, recently launched a sustainable swim capsule. It’s constructed of ECONYL, a recycled fabric made of fishing nets and other nylon ocean waste.
If You’re Into Cut Outs
Vitamin A gets bonus points for doing sustainable fashion before it was cool. This black suit offers sophisticated cut-outs at the rib cage.
If You’re Feeling a Bit Melodramatic
The Baywatch Option
This is the kind of comfortable, full-coverage option a lifeguard might wear — but the peachy hue is a nice update to Baywatch’s famous red shade.
The Vintage-y Option
Gingham is hot right now. Pack a prairie dress as a coverup.
The Black One-Piece Option
Add a large hat and this look screams “drama.”
The One Made From Recycled Bottles
This suit might be made of recycled bottles, but the aesthetic is less granola, more Montauk.
The One That Won’t Fall Off
Patagonia has consistently led the way in sustainability for a long time (remember when they sued Trump?) Plus, if you’re planning on, you know, doing something in the water, their swimwear is a practical bet.
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