Thankfully I don’t have to buy a swimsuit this year. This is a task I absolutely abhor and it is something you need to do you have my sympathy. Here are a few swimwear companies that may offer a more ethical, sustainable option than your high street. The first two consider the sustainability of the materials that they use, while the others are simply made closer to home, i.e. the UK.
Under the Same Sun (see above) are a Swedish brand creating sustainable swimwear, and other garments, in factories in Portugal. They use low impact textiles such as recycled polyester, tencel, and organic leather. The recycled polyester that they use is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Testing for harmful substances includes; illegal substances, legally regulated substances, known harmful (but not legally regulated) chemicals, as well as parameters for health care. Tencel is spun by reconstituting cellulose, often taken from the beech or eucalyptus tree and as it’s made out of wood pulp, the company claims that it is both biodegradable and recyclable. The company also claim that they use a printing technique that is safe for the environment and the worker and produces zero waste.
Rubymoon is a UK-based swimwear company offering products made from plastic salvaged from the oceans. 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are lent out as small loans, hrough lendwithcare.org, to empower women entrepreneurs in eleven nations. Also RubyMoon uses ECONYL® nylon yarn recycled from old fishing nets and other waste material and Xtra Life Lycra, a chlorine resistant fabric durable that lasts for more than 100 hours of exposure. RubyMoon swimwear is validated to produce 42% fewer emissions compared to other high street swimwear by The Princes Accounting For Sustainability Project conducted by Ecodesignbloom.com. In addition RubyMoon claims that all of their products are manufactured in an ethical and transparent supply chain. You can buy their swimwear from the RubyMoonSwim etsy store
Patagonia is a high-street that makes swimwear from recycled nylon printed with PVC- and phthalate-free inks and their board shorts and bikinis are fair trade certified. The company also gives 1% of their sales to support environmental organizations around the world. There is tons of information on the Patagonia website about the ethical and sustainable way they do business.
French company Base Range makes swimwear from recycled fibres.
Danish brand Underprotection makes their swimwear from recycled polyester in a small factory in New Dehli, India. They only use certified materials and in 2013 they obtained the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) young designer license.
Two Thirds is a Spanish brand offering clothing from men and women, some of which are made from organic or swimwear made partially with nylon recycled from salvaged fishing nets.
Finisterre is a UK-based company that promises innovation built to last from responsibly sourced fabrics and factories while developing relationships with people they believe in. Their swimwear is made from ECONYL®, a nylon yarn recycled from old fishing nets and other waste material and they donate 10% of profits from the sale of ECONYL® swimwear to Surfers Against Sewage, an environmental charity protecting UK waves, oceans and beaches.
Auria in London make eye-catching swimsuits from ECONYL®, a nylon yarn recycled from old fishing nets and other waste material.
All Sisters is a Barcelona based, swimwear brand that uses recycled fabrics to create high-end swimsuits.
The following companies don’t focus on the sustainability of their materials or dyes. They simply manufacture in England.
Kiss Me Deadly, is an independent lingerie brand in the UK that claims to insist on ethics certificates for any manufacturers outside of the EU.
Kiniki have been making their lingerie and swimsuits in England for over 40 years. They also have a range of tan-thru swimwear, which as you can imagine allows you to get a tan through them. They also do a men’s range.
To Dive For designs and makes its Swimwear in the UK.
Tahlulah Ray, is another swimwear brand that makes its garments in the UK.
Another UK made swimwear brand is Samantha Sage. They also make swimsuits for teenagers and children.
Halcyon Blue is a UK swimwear company that makes Brazilian inspired swimwear in its UK based factory from components made in Europe. Be warned their bikini’s are tiny and their swimsuits are very high-cut and see-through in some instances!
Although a UK based company Ethical Stories. Ethical Me has their long-lasting swimwear made in Italy.
Rankabrand is a very useful website that, as the name suggests, ranks brands based on their sustainability.