This year why not make your annual swimwear purchase one that’s better for the environment with a sustainably made version of your go-to cossie.
Whether you’re a cheeky bikini kind of gal, or it’s a one-piece all the way, here are our favourite ethical and sustainable swim brands you should be investing in this summer.
If you’re a fan of pastel tones and quirky florals, look no further than Peony. Made from recycled ocean waste such as old fishing nets, carpet and fabric waste, styles range from skimpier triangle tops and side-tie bottoms to mixed fuller coverage ‘50s silhouettes. This season we are loving their ready-to-wear collection of organic cotton, hemp and linen cover ups and dresses too.
Monte & Lou
Founded by friends, Kay Howitt and and Lynne Tramonte who met while working with iconic ‘80s swim designer Brian Rochford, Monte & Lou has serious design credentials. Their latest collection, Off the Grid transitioned the brand to being 100 per cent sustainable (in COVID-19 lockdown, no less) where the duo scrapped their entire range of fabrics and replaced it with Global Recycled Standard certified nylon. Plus, you’ll also get your shopping in a compostable mailer.
Not only are these swimsuits made from sustainable fabrics – think fabric with a carbon footprint that’s up to 10 times lower than conventional fabric made from recycled bottles – they’ll give you a nip and tuck at the same time. The smoothing styles are perfect if you need a bit more coverage and you can rest easy knowing they’ve also been ethically made in Australia.
Reversible and multi-functional, you’ll never tire of your Baiia swimwear, simply because there’s so many ways you can wear it. We love that it’s inclusive – and flattering – for all shapes with sizes starting from Australian size 4 through to 26. What’s more, it’s ethically produced from recycled and Oeko-Tex certified fabrics. We love their vintage tropical and Australiana prints. The versatile signature wrapsuits can be worn up to three different ways while bikini tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched.
Palm offers elevated designs with the environment in mind. They have recently introduced a made-to-order model, so your swimsuit will only be created once you’ve paid for what’s in your cart. With added UV and chlorine protection, it means unlike your regular swimmers, they’ll also go the distance.
Founded by surfer Danielle Clayton, Salt Gypsy began with a humble pair of surf leggings and has expanded into rashies, crops, functional and full coverage bottoms and surfsuits. Made from ECONYL aka salvaged plastic, ghost fishing nets and carpet and textile off-cuts, styles are made for performance and as well as in the water and can be worn on soft sand runs or in the yoga studio. Like other brands, it too embraces the slow fashion movement with items made to order.
Although being a relatively new brand, Georgi Swimms was founded in 2019, sustainability has always been innate to their DNA. With a goal to become a 100% sustainable brand by 2025, Georgi Swimms is already taking tangible steps to achieve these measures in all facets of their business, including materials, manufacturing and packaging. Best of all, when you purchase a ‘swimmsuit’ you’ll take solace in the fact the fabric is made from ocean-filling plastics.
Charlie Mae swimwear pieces are made from recycled and sustainable fabrics including their textured and printed fabrics and tags. Their materials are recycled from pre and post consumer waste and are manufactured in safe environments aligned with BSCI standards. When you choose swimwear created with recycled material, rather than new nylon, you are helping to clean up oceans, clear landfills and help close the loop.
Zulu & Zephyr
As one of Australia’s beloved lifestyle brands, Zulu & Zephyr are ensuring sustainability is at the forefront of their swimwear offering. In 2020, the brand underwent an overhaul of their collection and relaunched with Econyl fabric. Not only is it made from waste, but it’s infinitely recyclable reducing waste and pollution in the long run.
Matteau prioritises sourcing materials from regenerative, organic, renewable and recycled sources and are committed to long term sustainability and responsible business practices. Imperative to the brand is a dedication to responsible consumption and cultivating sustainable buying habits. When selecting materials, Matteau assess the environmental impact of all fabrics and the sustainability of that material’s production, in addition to consideration of the lifecycle of those materials.
Cooke & Kin
Cooke & Kin place the environment as a top priority in every decision made, including responsibly manufacturing all garments on home soil along with a guaranteed safe working environment, full entitlements and fair wages for manufacturers. Since launch, the brand has worked exclusively with naturally grown, compostable components and processed fibres, meaning that the garment will completely break down and leave no final trace.
Cult brand Nude Lucy has recently launched their swimwear range. The end result? A conscious collection of premium swimwear made with recycled fabrics, including recycled yarn spun from post-consumer waste. The capsule offers a range of styles and cuts to cater to a variety of sizes so there’s something for everyone.
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