When shopping for eco friendly swimwear, it’s hard to completely avoid plastic since it provides stretch and elasticity, but there are some amazing brands I love that make nearly or completely plastic-free swimsuits.
There is currently a trend of using recycled plastic in clothing and calling it sustainable. Although this can help reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean and landfills and it’s good to reuse materials, there are many other issues with it.
If you buy an item that is made out of 70% recycled plastic, that means the remaining 30% is still new plastic, which is harmful to the ecosystem. On top of that, there isn’t enough recycled plastic to go around. Buying clothing with recycled plastic increases the demand and takes the material away from industries like construction that can put it into products with a much longer lifespan.
The process of recycling plastic into clothing items like swimsuits can actually do more damage to the environment than if the material was sent to a landfill.
To add to it all, plastic microfibers simply aren’t suitable for clothing that is washed often, like swimsuits. They end up in the ocean, on your skin, and in the fresh water system.
Unfortunately, it’s currently very difficult to make a swimsuit completely without plastic, because it needs to at least have elastic bands to get it on and off and keep it snug to your body. Some brands are solving this by designing lace-up suits and other solutions. If you want to make sure your swimsuit is 100% plastic-free, you can also choose a vintage piece that uses buttons or has a looser fit.
I’ve put together my favorite brands that make swimsuits using either zero plastic or just a minimal amount of elastic in the bands.
Steer clear of recycled and virgin plastic with these nearly plastic-free eco friendly swimwear brands.
8 Plastic-Free & Eco Friendly Swimwear Brands
Most people associate wool with winter clothing, but it turns out that if you use it the right way, it’s perfect for the summer too. Outerknown uses 100% merino wool for their sustainable swim trunks for men.
Check out Outerknown
If you love how neoprene swimwear feels but you don’t love what it does to the planet, look no further. SLO Active, a Kickstarter-funded business, creates swimwear out of a plant-based alternative to neoprene called Yulex Pure. In addition to using sustainable materials, for every item you buy, the company plants a tree to offset the carbon emissions and also makes a donation to ocean-focused charities.
Be sure to check out the limited edition pink collection the brand created in collaboration with my friend and fellow Hawaii resident Alison Teal!
Check out SLO Active
While sustainable fibers are important, Reformation knows that the manufacturing process can be just as damaging to the environment. They have put extensive energy into producing their plastic-free swimwear with sustainable practices, operating with complete carbon neutrality since 2015.
Reformation even offers a unique Guppyfriend washing bag. The bag prevents plastic fibers from ending up in the water when you wash clothing that contains plastic.
Check out Reformation
Looking Stunning in Sustainable Swimwear
Every choice we make affects the world around us. While it can be exhausting to try to find the best option for everything we buy, taking small steps in the right direction makes a difference. The brands above make it easy with their plastic-free swimwear that also happens to be gorgeous and comfortable.