Europe is opening up for UK travel and so summer beach holidays seem possible again – or at the very least day trips to the British seaside. With most swimwear from fast fashion labels being made from harmful synthetics and only lasting a season, that small bikini can quickly do big environmental damage. Luckily, there are loads of eco-friendly alternatives to choose from at a range of pricepoints. Here are some of my favourite sustainable swimwear brands to consider for your next dip in the sea.
Many swimwear brands are now making their suits from ECONYL, which is a regenerated nylon made from recycled plastics like bottles and fishing nets. It’s infinitely recyclable, meaning that it can help close the loop caused by harmful plastic waste in the future.
1. Aava swim
Mood: flirty, high-femme one pieces
This eco-chic label markets themselves as ‘the ocean’s favourite’ swimwear label, and not without good reason. Their swimsuits are composed of 78% ECONYL fabric, which is made from recycled plastic waste found in the ocean, like bottles and fishing nets. Aava produce their suits in small batches according to demand, to ensure that a minimal amount of stock goes to waste. Should you decide to order a suit from Aava, it will arrive in its own reusable recycled cotton pouch, wrapped in compostable postal packaging, minimising plastic. Aava go beyond merely reducing waste – by repurposing waste found in the ocean without producing new plastics they go full circle, having a positive impact on the planet.
Mood: 90s aesthetic bikinis in fun prints
Like Aava, FISCH’s entire collection is made from ECONYL – a 100% regenerated nylon fibre crafted from abandoned fishing nets and other types of nylon waste. Their fabrics are woven in Lombardy, and then remains in Italy when it is handmade into a piece of swimwear. The handmade process limits waste from production, while ensuring high quality. Their suits may be on the pricier side, but considering that their suits are made to endure both style and use, the cost per wear could be quite low, making FISCH worth splashing out on.
3. Aya label
Mood: sexy earth-mama
Aya also use ECONYL made from regenerated plastics to create their chic bikinis, but their efforts to help the environment don’t stop there. They use biodegradable packaging to wrap up their suits, and donate a percentage of their profit towards environmental organisations that protect the oceans. Their suits are made in a small factory in Istanbul, which the brand visits regularly to ensure fair treatment, pay and working conditions for employees.
4. Ohoy swim
Mood: timeless silhouettes in soft, muted colours
OHOY makes their minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired swimwear sustainably and ethically. Using only regenerated ECONYL yarn, they give discarded plastics like fishing nets a new purpose. OHOY also work with organisations like Healthy Seas to help better the environment, contributing 1% of all sales to support the recovery of fishing nets left in seas and oceans.
5. Paper london
Mood: structured suits with classic Hollywood glam
Paper London’s journey to sustainable manufacturing starts with their creative director’s return to a beach in Mexico. Shocked to find a once glimmering beach destroyed by litter, she set out to make a positive environmental impact. Paper make their swimwear line from ECONYL and REPREVE regenerated fibres, and since 2018 have recycled the equivalent of 112,500 plastic bottles. Paper suits come with care instructions and a promise for longevity, further minimising future waste.
Mood: bold colours and chic, minimalist shapes
Londre has given new life to over 90,000 plastic bottles from the beaches and streets of Taiwan, with at least 6 recycled plastic bottles used in the making of each suit. During manufacturing, Londre avoid using chemicals in water treatments, meaning that water can be reused rather than wasted afterwards. Their timeless designs are made to last, but at the end of their long life can be returned to Londre and recycled into a new suit.