If you’re a sustainable traveler, you probably value living a mindful lifestyle. You try to choose sustainable travel destinations, green methods of transportation, and eco-friendly accommodations. Yet many of us forget a crucial part of a sustainable lifestyle — our wardrobe! As we dive into the summer season, swimsuits float to the top of our shopping list. Sustainable swimwear should be the number one thing you pack before embarking on your next epic adventure to surf, swim or sail throughout the globe.
We know- looking for cute bikinis and new swimsuit brands is already a struggle for many. This makes switching to eco swim feel somewhat daunting. The good news? Finding incredible sustainable swimwear brands has truly never been easier. As the demand has grown, so has the variety and quality of ethical swimwear offerings.
Why Sustainable Swimwear?
The typical swimsuit is definitely not sustainable. Made from various synthetic fibers, filled with petrochemicals and microplastics, your swimsuit’s carbon footprint is high.
Not to mention, most swimwear brands fall into the fast fashion category.
Most fast fashion brands mass produce, cheap, hazardous chemical-filled clothing in places where workers are often exploited. They don’t pay their employees a fair wage, or at all, and expose them to dangerous workplaces with very little environmental controls. Fast fashion business practices have become the norm in the fashion industry, prompting the relatively recent sustainable and slow fashion movement in response.
What is Sustainable Swimwear?
Sustainable swimwear is typically made from recycled fibres, like ECONYL, natural dyes and low-impact materials. From production to distribution, ethical swimwear companies ensure employees are paid fair wages, and that they work in safe and environmentally sound conditions. Most swimsuit collections are small-batch, made locally, and have minimal waste throughout production.
Additionally, you’ll find many eco-friendly swimsuit companies that pair with local charities or environmental initiatives to further give back and leave a positive impact.
What once was a new concept, recycled swimwear is so common now that we struggled to narrow down our favorites for this article.
After extensive research, we chose these 15 sustainable swimwear brands. We made sure to include both male and female swimsuit brands, as well as lines that carry a wide range of sizes, and styles.
Although we’ve been diligent about our research, we encourage our readers, as always, to do their own due diligence in ensuring the companies they support are ethical and sustainable.
Made in USA.
Pricing: $49-$189 USD.
Made Trade is an incredible women-owned platform that makes living a sustainable lifestyle easy. They are an e-commerce site that partners with hundreds of sustainable and ethically sourced brands, with a focus on BIPOC + women-owned businesses.
Everything they sell, from clothing to furniture, follows their fair trade and sustainable guidelines.
Since Made Trade is a collaborative platform, they have extensive and affordable sustainable swimwear offerings for women. Made Trade allows you to discover various sustainable swimwear brands and easily compare them. All swimsuits are made from “ECONYL, eco thread or other rescued materials.” They offer inclusive sizing, and some collections use UPF 50+ material, which blocks 98% of the sun’s UV radiation.
Made in Asia in ethical factories.
Pricing: $45-$125 USD.
Ships to USA, Canada and Australia.
Summersalt is a sustainable women’s clothing brand geared toward travelers. They focus on fashion and function in their collections of travel essentials. Summersalt ensures that their operations and their products are as “eco-friendly as possible.” They pride themselves on their custom fit apparel, designed to fit and flatter a wide range of women’s bodies.
Summersalt offers some of the most stylish eco-friendly swimwear out there, with a range of versatile styles, and designs. Their swimwear is made from 78% Recycled Polyamide, and they offer various suits with UPF 50+ protection.
Made in USA.
Pricing: $45-$110 USD.
Vitamin A, a high-end, California based company, is the definition of stylish and sexy swimwear. They are the best sustainable alternative to designer bikini brands. The founder, Amahlia, used to work with Patagonia. She was inspired by their use of recycled plastic bottles in clothing and decided to create a swimwear line using this concept.
Amahlia created her own recycled fabric, EcoLux™, which became the “first premium swim fabric from recycled nylon fibers.” Vitamin A now uses several eco-friendly bathing suit materials, including organic & recycled cotton. They pride themselves in creating and maintaining a fully ethical swimwear brand, from the manufacturers to the materials to the distribution. A portion of all sales are donated to various environmental organizations.
Made in USA.
Pricing: $18-$80 USD.
Dazey LA is the perfect choice for the more retro, creative ladies out there. Everything is designed and hand made by the founder, Dani Dazey. Her funky swimwear patterns are hand drawn, and made from sustainable fabrics and wash processes. Her swimwear line focuses on vintage styles and high-waisted, feminine cuts.
Dazey strives to create a zero waste company. She wants to make a positive impact on both the environment and her staff through ethical, fair wage employment, and clean, environmental production standards. She features her art work, and the work of other artisans throughout her collections.
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Made in USA.
Pricing: $84-$255 USD.
Jade Swim is all things chic and minimalist. Their eco-friendly bathing suit material is made almost entirely from ECONYL. Using ECONYL reduces ocean and landfill waste by recycling common pollutants like plastic bottles and fishing nets.
Jade only chooses solid colored fabrics, as it uses less water to produce than patterned fabrics. All of their dyes are hazardous chemical free. Each small-batch collection offers a wide range of styles, with plenty of one-pieces and bikinis to choose from, and all designed to last.
Jade Swim ensures all workers are paid a living wage and repurposes any fabric scraps during production. They choose to make everything in house and ship direct to cut down on C02 emissions. Additionally, they ship using recycled and biodegradable materials.
Made in USA.
Pricing: $75-$276 USD.
Galamaar produces long-lasting, high-end swimwear made from recycled ocean waste. This LA-based, family-run company designs chic, sixties-style swimwear for women. They focus on flattering, feminine cuts and creating comfortable yet functional, timeless designs.
Galamaar prides themselves in their attention to every sustainable detail — with recycled hang tags, eco packaging and recycled nylon fabrics. These fabrics are made from discarded fishing nets, which creates 10% of ocean pollution. Galamaar is a tight-knit family operation- from design through to production.
Pricing: $145 USD.
It’s no surprise that Kelly Slater, the professional surfer, went on to channel his love of the ocean into a successful men’s sustainable swimwear company. Outerknown uses 90% recycled, organic or regenerated fibers. 100% of their board shorts are made from recycled plastic, and they are a fair trade and fair labor company.
Outerknown focuses their swimwear on stylish, surfer approved board shorts. With a standard cut, they offer bold and simple prints and colors. Outerknown is more than just a sustainable swimwear brand. They also have a full men’s clothing line and a small women’s clothing line.
Made in Brazil.
Pricing: $45- $183 USD.
This Brazilian sustainable swimwear company is serious about creating cute bikinis through sustainable practices. Their small batch collections feature fun prints, sexy cuts, and bright swimwear. They ensure that their designs are cut in a way that accentuates women’s bodies, in order to ensure customer satisfaction to minimize waste.
Bold Swim makes their swimsuits from Amni Soul Eco®, a polyamide, biodegradable yarn. They focus on toxin free dyes, UV protection, and they never test on animals. Each collection is only curated once a year, and leftover designs are re-used.
Bold strives to be zero waste, but any leftover fabric is donated to local artisans in Brazil to support their businesses. They also use recycled packaging, and 100% carbon neutral shipping.
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Made in Europe.
Pricing: $55-$120 USD.
Recycled board shorts made from a team of ocean lovers best describes this UK-based sustainable swimwear brand. Riz was designed by two best friends, with the help of some local artists. They describe their small-batch men’s line as “British-Hawaiian style.”
Each boardshort is made from 100% recycled material, and digitally printed with eco-friendly inks. Riz partners with The Marine Conservation Society to whom they donate 1 Euro from each purchase. They also encourage you to donate your old pair of Riz board shorts, offering a 25% discount on a new pair if you do! They then recycle your old shorts into new ones for a completely sustainable, circular model.
Made in an ethical factory in China.
Pricing: $48-$168 USD.
If you have Instagram, you’ve probably come across Wolven in those handy targeted ads. This sustainable company has taken social media by storm, gaining popularity among younger women for their funky prints, trendy cuts, and “making sustainability sexy.” This makes Wolven the top pick for any of you sustainable travel influencers.
This hippie-chic sustainable swimwear company has both a women’s and a (small) men’s swimwear line. They encourage wearing their popular activewear line in the water as well. Wolven uses recycled fabric from ocean plastic and partners with Climate Neutral, and is focused on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to be carbon-neutral.
Shop here and use our special coupon code HIDDENLEMUR21 to receive a discount on Wolven products.
Made in Australia.
Pricing: $54-$80 USD.
This Australian sustainable swimwear brand is geared toward younger women, with fun prints, pastel colors, and daring cuts. Isla in Bloom swimwear is made from long-lasting, high quality recycled fabric. They use recycled polyester yarn in their swimsuit lining, which creates a quick drying swimsuit.
Their fun prints are designed locally in Byron Bay and they print them using soy-based, eco-friendly inks. Even the tissue used to wrap your cute bikinis is sustainable, as is the compostable shipping packaging.
Made in USA.
Pricing: $100-$335 USD.
Araks is a New York-based, women-owned company with a sustainable mission. Chic, simple and feminine, from their swimwear to their lingerie, Araks strives to produce timeless, luxurious items. 50% of their swimwear collection is made using ECONYL- recycled nylon. Araks primarily produces one-pieces and bikinis, in a simple, plain print with both daring and modest swimwear designs.
Throughout production, they strive to reduce, recycle and reuse- in that order. For example, they use sustainable and recycled materials to reduce their environmental impact, and they recycle their leftover textiles by reusing or donating them.
Araks also only works with partners and manufacturers that use solar power, measure their fabrics carbon footprint, and conserve and recycle the water used in production.
Made in USA.
Pricing: $60-$80 USD.
Available at select retailers in the U.S.
Popular among LA Locals, Vissla creates some of the best sustainable swimwear for men. What makes Vissla unique is their recycled fabric — it’s made from coconuts! Vissla recycles unused coconut husks into board shorts by combining them with recycled Repreve polyester. They call it Cocotex®.
These stretchy and chic board shorts are hazardous-chemical-free, and water repellent. Their signature 4-way stretch, and UPF 50 material, makes them perfect for surfers and loungers alike. Vissla also offers a full wetsuit and clothing line for men. Vissla doesn’t sell their products online, but you can find them for sale at most surf shops or sporting good stores like REI.
Made in Brazil and Portugal.
Pricing: $38-$95 USD.
Sizing: S-L women’s, M-XXL men’s.
Vanilla Sand, based in Portugal and Brazil, is a vegan, organic swimwear company. They work to prevent ocean waste and also help women in São Tomé and Príncipe learn how to surf. For every purchase made, Vanilla Sand plants a tree in the Amazon through their partnership with One Tree Planted. They also only use plant-based dyes, and their swimwear materials consist of recycled ocean plastic.
Vanilla Sand offers both men and women’s bathing suits. Their collections are small, since they focus on quality over quantity. Most swimsuits feature funky or tropical prints, as well as bold colors and revealing cuts.
Made in UK.
Pricing: $155 USD.
Che, a UK-based men’s sustainable swimwear line, uses 100% recycled nylon in their swimsuits. Che has a retro feel, with 70’s era designs and short, boxy cuts. Created by a former model, the line is definitely tailored toward the more fashion conscious, beach chic man.
Che recycles and repurposes any leftover materials back into their nylon yarn. The result? Quick-drying, long-lasting, stretchy swimwear for all. Che also offers an additional sustainable men’s line. They focus on upscale athletic and loungewear.
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