There's no doubt that eco-friendly fashion has come a long way. Companies are increasingly mindful of their carbon footprint, and, fortunately, there are standout brands that are putting the environment at the forefront of their ethos. Sustainable swimwear is no exception—and it makes sense that beach dwellers and ocean lovers want to protect the eco-systems they cherish.
Most sustainable swimsuits are constructed with recycled yarns derived from plastic bottles, pre- and post-consumer remnants, or ocean waste such as fishing nets (Econyl and Repreve fabrics are leaders in regenerated fabrics so keep an eye out for these materials when shopping). Do your research on the brands as well—many sustainably minded collections commit to less dyes and water in the production process, produce less stock to reduce waste, use recycled and recyclable packaging, or offer recycling for your suit at the end of its life cycle. And while a lot of the technology and innovation to ethically produce eco-friendly materials is expensive, thus leading to higher price tags, there are still brands that offer relatively affordable suits. But if you do decide to invest, you can look and feel good knowing you are wearing something that is keeping trash out of landfills and causing less environmental impact.
Don't assume these bathing suits are basic and boring, either. Whether you prefer one-piece maillots, bikini sets, or long-sleeved numbers with coverage, you can pretty much find every style in all the seasonal trends, from retro floral prints to cutouts and low-back silhouettes. Here, we round up a selection of the best sustainable swimwear brands to consider as you refresh your swimwear drawer for the season.
Madewell may be known for its denim, but it also offers a sustainably minded swim collection that is not to be missed. Laidback styles like floral long-sleeved rash guards, cute bikini sets, and classic one-pieces are made from recycled fabric derived from post-consumer waste.
Lingerie brand CUUP is known for minimal yet gorgeous cuts that flatter a range of body types. Its swim collection follows suit, with signature silhouettes such as The Plunge and The Balconette recast in Econyl, a regenerated nylon formed from fishing nets, carpet remnant, and pre- and post-consumer waste. Bikini tops are available in bra sizes for the best supportive fit.
If you prefer clean and sleek lines, you'll appreciate Everlane's swim capsule, featuring square necklines, deep plunge maillots, and mix-and-match separates. Following the brand's No New Plastic initiative to remove virgin plastic from its entire supply chain, the pieces are constructed with regenerated Econyl material that is quick-drying and fade-resistant.
J.Crew's latest swim collection was produced using over 60 percent recycled materials. The extensive range includes everything from trendy one-shoulder numbers to separates that suit all body shapes and sizes (many styles are offered through size 24)—all in the happy and preppy prints the brand is known for. There's even a sporty active swim capsule designed to keep you supported and comfortable while swimming, surfing, paddling, and more.
For affordable and on-trend swimwear that will garner you lots of compliments, turn to Aerie. Within its larger swim assortment, the Real Good capsule features designs made with recycled nylon content—be sure to check out the strappy bikinis and cut-out one pieces.
As a certified B corp, Athleta has environmental and social impact top of mind. Like the well-loved activewear selection, the swimwear is also designed to support and flatter women's bodies in their active adventures. Sporty suits are consciously made from stretchy recycled nylon, and most offer added features like power mesh and removable padding—there are even tops and one-pieces specifically designed for fuller D+ chests.
Make a splash in a colorful Summersalt swimsuit that will make you feel good in more ways than one. Wearable silhouettes such as the bestselling one-shoulder Sidestroke or the wrap-front plunge suit feature built-in compression and strategic design details to flatter all body shapes (and many styles are available for long torsos, as well). In addition, the swimwear is comprised of 78 percent recycled polyamide derived from post-consumer and nylon waste—and offers UPF50+ sun protection.
No matter the bathing suit style (or coverage) you desire, chances are Andie will have it. With a wide range of styles including elegant one-pieces to versatile tankinis to cute two-piece bikinis, the brand aims to make swimsuit shopping easy and fun by offering an online fit quiz based off feedback and wear tests of over 300,000 women. On top of being super comfortable and wearable, the offerings in the eco group are made with an Eco Nylon that is sourced from recycled plastic and produced in a factory that adapts fair labor practices.
UK-based EVARAE embraces conscious luxury and the concept that well-made items possess longevity. Not only are the swimsuits sophisticated with special details, they are responsibly made in a small family-run atelier in Italy with regenerative Econyl materials. The brand further elaborates on its commitment to the environment by planting one tree for every online order and when your piece is ready to be retired, you can send it in to be recycled—see, it's easy being green.
L*SPACE is a well-established swim brand known for its good-looking styles in pretty prints and hues that flatter various body types. Its Eco Chic collection follows suit, using Econyl and Repreve fabrics to produce the pieces. Plus, the website has a page where you can see how many plastic bottles were used in specific styles—in 2021, they diverted over 100,000 bottles from landfills!
Rest assured: Sexy suits that are also eco-friendly do exist. Founded by a former fashion editor and stylist, JADE Swim nails the sleek vibe with designs such as cut-out details, asymmetric necklines, and ruched bandeau tops in beautiful textured fabrics. What's more impressive is that a majority of the collection is constructed from sustainable materials such as Econyl, and the fabrics are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they don't contain any harmful chemicals from the dyeing process. In addition, everything is made in Los Angeles with scraps upcycled for other usage.
Leave it to the Californians to make fun swim. Made locally in Los Angeles, almost the entire swim selection is made from recycled nylon, while even the foam padding and elastic are sourced from repurposed materials. In addition, digital printing is used in lieu of dyeing, which means less water and ink is used. You'll also be pleased that the on-trend designs are reasonably priced, with all suits clocking in under $100.
Newly launched brand Change of Scenery was founded to satisfy the craving for tasteful swimwear that wasn't too revealing, yet not frumpy either. The debut swim capsule features classic silhouettes made from Repreve, a polyester derived from plastic bottles, in a factory that follows sustainable and ethical labor practices. Plus, the suits boast power mesh compression, removable padding, and UPF50+ protection for a comfortable day in the sun.
In keeping with the surfer spirit that Roxy embodies, the swim selection pays homage to the ocean with its earth-friendly collection. Many of the sporty suits are made of recycled nylon without losing the comfort factor that active lifestyles need. Of course, you can't go wrong with any of the tropical prints, which instantly transport you to the beach.
Immediately recognizable, the incredibly chic designer suit with scallop detail is no doubt a Marysia signature. We love it even more now that it's reiterated in 100 percent certified recycled materials (90 percent pre-consumer recycled polyamide and 10 percent recycled elastane) as part of the brand's SWIMCLEAN capsule. Plus, suits are dyed following the Oeko-Tex standards, without harmful chemicals. While definitely a splurge, the designs have proved they are timeless and will last many years—and vacations—to come.
Inspired by the founder's childhood spent in St. Barth's, Fisch was created as a sustainable swimwear line using Econyl fabric, spun from discarded fishing nets and other nylon waste. Conscious of its carbon footprint, the brand partners with an Italian fabric mill located near the production factory to cut down on transportation impact. We love the purpose on its own, but what's even better is that the swimsuits are très chic, set apart by the beautiful cuts and vintage-inspired prints.
Whether your summer adventures include water sports or you just prefer ample sun protection, look to Line in the Sand, a collection of performance waterwear conceived to make women feel confident outdoors. Everything from the long-sleeved swim tunic to the swim leggings is constructed with high-quality Carvico fabric, which is derived from 100 percent regenerated nylon yarn, and ethically made in New York City by employees who earn a fair wage. The very best part? One hundred percent of profits go to cancer and ocean organizations—it doesn't get any more meaningful.
They like all butts and they cannot lie: Kitty and Vibe is an inclusive and innovative swimwear line that creates designs based off bum size. Their system offers two butt sizes for every hip size so you can find your closest fit and preferred coverage—say goodbye to bunching, saggy fabric, and wedgies! Bottom styles range from string bikinis to high-waist, while top silhouettes include underwire, plunge and ruffled scoop necks (top sizes go up to 3X). Additionally, about half of the collection is made in small batches with recycled poly fabric by workers who are paid above minimum wage.
All the low-key cool swimsuits in the Ookioh collection are made with Italian fabric derived from 100 percent regenerated ocean waste and pre-consumer recyclables. And while there is a hint of nostalgia underlying the designs (evident in the high-cut bottoms and charming retro prints), the suits are decidedly modern.