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These 22 Sustainable Swimwear Brands Are the Definition of Hot Girl Summer

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Skinny dipping is the most sustainable option—these suits are next.

These 22 Sustainable Swimwear Brands Are the Definition of Hot Girl Summer

Photo by Matthew Sprout courtesy of Cuup

It’s estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. As we know, the fashion industry is ever growing—and all consuming. Our oceans are filled with waste and landfills have been overflowing for some time now. But, thankfully, some brands have altruistically embraced responsibility to help our planet, rather than hurt it. So, who’s showing up the strongest to the fight? Swimwear.  

Maybe it’s because swimsuits are made to enjoy the great outdoors that the health of our ecosystems are top of mind for the swimwear industry. Many brands have implemented countless sustainable factors to help rehabilitate our ecosystems (or, at least to prevent any further damage) from designing to shipping. Fabric composition, eco-conscious manufacturing, and even compostable mailers are small solutions that are making a big impact. Take for instance recycled materials like Econyl, which is made of recycled plastics and regenerated into soft nylon ideal for swimsuits. 

There’s a heap of trendy suits from environment-loving brands that are so high-quality, in-style, and long-lasting that you’d never guess their fabrics might be on their second life cycle. So we rounded up 22 of the very best swimwear brands using only recycled materials in everything from their bikinis to shipping and production. And of course, their collections range from hyper trendy to timelessly minimalist for soaking up the sun in style—with proper SPF.Oh, and they all happened to be female-founded, -owned, and -designed, which is a big plus in our book. Now, without further ado, here are the sustainable swimwear brands to have on your radar this summer (and beyond).

Shop the Best Sustainable Swimwear Brands

Summersalt has become a crowd favorite for it’s emphasis on size inclusivity, specifically its best-selling one pieces, which are constantly selling out. The eco-friendly brand uses fabric consisting of 78 percent recycled polyamide crafted from post-consumer materials and nylon waste (like old fishing nets salvaged from the ocean). The compressive and durable fabric offers a UPF of 50+ (Ultraviolet Protection Factor measures the amount of radiation exposure that will reach your skin through fabric.) The rest of its fabrics include Tencel, Tencel Modal, and Cupro. Tencel is made of sustainably sourced raw wood. The fibers are certified by Oeko-Tex (a European eco-tracking label), whose Standard 100 initiative tests and confirms that the textiles contain low levels of harmful substances (like chemicals from manufacturing) and are “harmless for human health.” Tencel Modal is naturally made from Beechwood trees, so it’s biodegradable and compostable—plus, it’s extra soft. Lastly, Cupro is made of what was previously the leftover waste from cotton (effectively making cotton a no-waste plant) while the water used to produce the fabric can be cleaned to reuse. Summersalt’s dyes are Oeko-Tex–certified and every order is shipped in poly bags made from recycled materials. Additionally, the brand’s shipping mailers have a double adhesive for multi-use, which reduces waste (and comes in handy for making returns). Even its promotional postcards are made from FSC-certified paper.

Victoria’s Secret Angel turned brand founder Candice Swanepoel launched Tropic of C with the intent of making sustainability sexy. Starting with its fabrics, the majority of its swimsuits are made of Econyl, which gives post-consumer waste (like recycled fishing nets, industrial plastics, and fabric scraps) a stylish second life. Other suits are made from Lycra Xtra Life (which resists fading and damage from chemicals like chlorine and lotions) or Repreve (a polyester fiber made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles). The supermodel’s brand also uses digital screen printing on Regen fabric—which is also made of recycled plastics and uses significantly less water and electricity than other popular printing methods. The fabric tags are made from recycled polyester while hang tags are made of bamboo. Items are packed in compostable garment bags and are protected with bioplastic hygienic liners (made from tree pulp). So, yes, wearing Tropic of C is as good for the planet as it looks.

Co-founders Noyes Hutchinson and Mandi Glynn founded Skatie on the idea that “sustainability encompasses more than just an environmental responsibility,” according to the brand’s site. Every piece from the West Coast brand is hand-made in Los Angeles and shipped in biodegradable packaging. “Staying local gives us the ability to ensure our production team is being treated and compensated fairly,” says Glynn. “Additionally, manufacturing in the United States cuts down on carbon emissions that are unavoidable when producing and shipping overseas.” Skatie sources its fabrics in one of two ways: fibers made of recycled materials or locally sourced, pre-existing stock from a textile marketplace. This helps keep plastics out of landfills and oceans while also preventing pollution from further textile manufacturing. The process of dying and printing on fabric can require incredibly high water consumption—plus, the run-off can contain harmful chemicals when not properly disposed of. To avoid this, the brand uses a heat process to transfer prints and colors.

Founded in October 2014 by siblings Raffaella and Stefano Raffo, Capittana is focused on sustainability and female empowerment. Originally rooted in swimwear with an expansion into activewear and loungewear, the revolutionary Latin brand uses a factory that recycles its water, uses solar panels for energy, and has tree plantations to neutralize its carbon output. Plus, the suits are created by at-risk women in Lima, Peru. “[Our suits] are a way to give back to our community, while protecting the planet,” share its founders. The retro floral of the new Teresa suit is perfectly on par with this summer’s favorite Seventies trend—and the matching Funky Flowers Sarong just might be the ultimate vacation outfit.

Jade Swim founder and designer Brittany Kozerski has encapsulated the meaning of multifaceted minimalism and eco-conscious practices. The brand uses a regenerated nylon called Econyl (made of fishing nets, plastic bottles, or fabric scraps). This effectively reduces ocean waste and prolongs the life cycle of the fabric. Made in the United States, Jade is also a member of 1% For The Planet as well as the Eden Reforestation Projects, which plants one tree per sale. And if that wasn’t enough to sway you, Jade is Climate Neutral certified, which is a certification earned by companies that equalize their carbon emissions. Jade partners with this eco-saving organization by constantly submitting its supply chain for audit to ensure that it’s reducing future emissions. “Our collections are designed to be timeless and less reactive to fast-fashion fleeting trends,” the brand shares with Editorialist. “Many of our classic designs carry over seasons in order to reduce clothing waste.”

San Lorenzo was founded in beautiful Hawaii, where it continues to be designed. Its team is devoted to conserving the world’s beaches and ecosystems. “We want sustainability to be a standard in this day and age—especially when it comes to fashion,” shares Lisseth Figueroa, owner and designer. “We’re the opposite of fast fashion.” How, you ask? At its start in 2009, the brand launched with a collection of organic cotton. Since then, it has produced its collections in extremely limited quantities and practiced a direct-to-consumer business model. “We’ve made mini collections out of deadstock, and upcycled fabrics into accessories, swim, and cute patchwork bikinis.”

Though every suit is covetable, the new retro ’70s collection embodies free-spirited style, inspired by the idea of vintage. San Lorenzo partnered with The Solvay Group (a Brazil-based eco-tech company) to make every piece out of 100 percent biodegradable and recycled nylon. The yarn’s formula allows garments to decompose upon being discarded in landfills, where it can completely dissolve in three years. The fabric is soft, light, comfortable, and quick to dry, saving water. The environmentally friendly fabric even has a UPF factor of 50+ to block the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Next to thrifting, these suits are earth’s best friend.

Beloved for its inclusive sizing and perfected fits, the intimates brand kicked off this summer with a long-awaited swimwear line inspired by its signature bras and underwear. Cuup’s swimwear delivers water-friendly versions of its most popular silhouettes in 53 different sizes. You can even schedule a virtual appointment with Cuup’s “fit therapist” to find your perfect size. (Spoiler from someone who’s done it: I have been wearing the wrong bra size for years.) Out of its five core bras, three crowd-favorites—The Plunge, The Balconette, and The Scoop—arrive in swim with the brand’s classic sizing, which ranges from 30 to 42 (bust) and A to H (cup). For bottoms, the Tap, Highwaist, and Bikini bottoms offer light- to high-coverage options in sizes XS to XXXL. The fabric is constructed in Italy with Econyl yarn and is offered in five summer-loving shades: Seaweed (green), Lava (red), Shell (white), Earth (brown), and Black.  

The trendy Gen Z brand has been spotted on the likes of Bella Hadid and Kourtney Kardashian. So, finding out that Heart of Sun is as committed to the environment as it is to fashion is the cherry on top. “We value ethical and sustainable practices. Our earth and friends always come first,” says the brand’s website. Designed by founder Sophia Lima, every item is made start to finish in an in-house factory, effectively reducing the brand’s carbon footprint and prioritizing ethical practices. “Our goal is to minimize waste, which is why we make limited productions using lycra made of recycled plastic water bottles,” says Beltran. The Econyl fabric decreases energy use by about 92 percent while reducing CO2 emissions by about 72 percent. Furthermore, each suit comes with a matching bag (also made of recycled materials) that can be repurposed into a cute cosmetic bag or even a mini purse. Its poly mailers and tissue paper are also produced of decomposable recycled materials. If you’re sold, Heart of Sun’s new Summer ’94 collection serves as a complete how-to in styling the current retro swimwear trend with throwback bangles and beaded belly chains.

Pronounced o͞okēō, OOKIOH is inspired by the Japanese Ukiyo-e genre, which is all about traveling, female beauty, and living in the moment. This syncs with the brand’s theme; OOKIOH is mindfully creating clean swimwear that uplifts its wearers as well as the planet. Its suits are made from 100 percent regenerated materials, like recycled fishing nets—with the exception of a special collaboration with Rachel Wang. This high-end collection is completely composed of post-consumer waste (recycled nylon and recycled plastic bottles) that has been revived into timeless, minimalist designs. All the while, the pieces remain at affordable price points, ranging from $79 for separates and $158 for one-pieces. 

“To mitigate the damage done by fast fashion, we believe that it is critical to ensure that environment-friendly fashion is affordable,” says founder Vivek Agarwal. “Designing pieces that are stylish, trendy, and within reach of the masses is the only way to create more demand for recycling waste into fashion.” Its latest headline-making collection features a special collaboration with cool-girl cult brand Lisa Says Gah, debuting a juicy handful of covetable prints and silhouettes. We know, it’s nearly impossible to pick just one, so we suggest grabbing a few of this super exclusive drop before its gone forever.

Brand owner Audrey “Rey” Swanson draws influence from her world-class travels and her architecture background to combine fashion and art through sustainable swimwear. Made in Bali, the eponymous label is an Insta-favorite among popular It girls like Brittany Xavier, Sophie Turner, and Madelaine Petsch. Luckily, you can sport its trendy styles with a clear conscience since Revel Rey is going the extra eco-mile. A majority of its fabric is made out of regenerated nylon and doesn’t contain or release any harmful substances that could be hazardous to your health or environment. Revel Rey’s Bali factory partners with a recycled thread company in Jakarta, Indonesia. Since 2019, the company has repurposed its extra textiles by spinning them into new knits for other companies to buy, successfully eliminating any fabric waste from the brand. Some scraps are even turned into matching hair ties. Garments are packaged in poly bags made from biodegradable materials (that won’t spend the rest of eternity in a landfill) and recycled cardboard for mailing.

The Laguna beach–based brand boasts a lengthy list of sustainability efforts. The brand’s founder Amahlia Stevens patented its EcoLux fabric (a signature, sustainable weave made of superfine matte jersey) and stretch-ribbed EcoRib fabric—both of which are made from recycled nylon. Its strictly monitored factories are based in California with a dedication to fair trade, partnering with artisans for global production. A majority of Vitamin A’s patterns are digitally printed, which greatly reduces water waste (because it requires less wash and rinse cycles than the common wet-printing method). This also rids the need for screen print and coloring baths that create further waste. The list continues: Its headquarters and warehouses only uses LED bulbs (cutting its electricity demand by 90 percent) and are equipped with solar-powered fans, low-flow water fixtures, motion-sensored lighting, and 100 percent recycled, post-consumer-waste paper products. The brand’s recent launch is a low-waste, versatile collaboration with Misha Nonoo that features one of our favorite fashion gals, Amy Julliette Lefévre. The riveting Sustainable Summer Getaway capsule is dipped in summer shades of sea green, sapphire, and rust and specifically designed for “beach to après” on steamy summer nights.  

From its textiles to mailers, Lokiki is firmly rooted on a mission dedicated towards sustainability—thanks to the initiatives of co-founders Jen Dwin and Jen DeLory. The brand’s core fabric is Italian-made of recycled nylon from fishing nets. Each batch is created in small quantities (to reduce the carbon footprint) in New York City. And each suit is dual-layered for a supportive fit without any bulky padding. Its shipping bags are constructed of recycled paper and printed with earth-friendly ink (as opposed to some inks that may break down into pollutant chemicals). The brand is also working towards 100 percent compostable packaging materials for shipping as well as 100 percent recycled paper handbags by the end of summer 2021. The founders also donate 4 percent of profits to clean water funds, which may help provide filtered drinking water to those in need or work to clean up ocean waste to protect our sea life.

Sanctuary’s mission statement is a call to action for greater eco-awareness. “With every new partner, Sanctuary requires that the brand focus on sustainability, give-back components and inclusivity,” says its creative director Debra Polanco. The brand specializes in jeans and has created a smart creation process to help undo the water-heavy creation process of denim. Ultimately, it also applies to its swimwear. Its three-point plan includes low-impact fibers, recycled plastics, and an advanced wash process. The brand partnered with Amerex Swim Group for its swim line, which has enabled Sanctuary’s swim to consist of 90 percent recycled materials. Fibers like linen and tencel use up to 20 times less water; non-toxic production processes reduce minimal waste and pollutants. Internally, the brand avoids plastics as a whole (from the office to photoshoots) and sources recycled paper wherever possible.

“Sqorpios was born from the strong desire to create a brand that is sustainable yet sexy and modern,” says founder Chiara Bransi. “We want to show the world that sustainability is something that can be integrated into our daily lives in a joyful way.” Sqorpios fabrics are made from recycled plastics pulled directly from the ocean and landfills around the world, including fishing nets and industrial plastic. It undergoes a cleaning and regenerating process that creates new textile yarn that’s resistant to oils, chlorine, and sunscreen. For every 10,000 tons of this Econyl material, the brand is able to save 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoid 57,100 tons of CO2 emissions (according to its site). Sqorpios doesn’t stop there: all of its swimwear accessories (like tags, labels, and liners) are also made from recycled materials. Plus, the brand produces small quantity stock to ensure that products sell through and no materials go to waste.

Andréa Bernholtz believes that being eco-friendly should never mean sacrificing luxury—which she proves with her line of cabana couture, Swiminista. “Swimwear takes you outside, where trash and pollution are in your face—or, you’re swimming in it,” says Bernholtz. “Our goal is to leave the environment cleaner than you found it so that our future is something we can be proud of.” The recycled-bottle-to-suit brand is created from sustainable fabrics made from post-consumer plastics (aka discarded plastics that have been cleaned and reimagined). Prolonging the life cycle of plastics not only prevents adding more virgin plastics to landfills, but it also reduces the carbon footprint by slowing the production of polyethylene terephthalate (the most popular plastic used for clothing fiber). Swiminista also uses compostable bags and boxes for its orders. But the brand is most popular for its fully adjustable sizing range that spans from XS to XL as well as its cohesive accessories (like this adorable matching sarong).

Hermoza’s main goal is to make suits that don’t require a single sacrifice—whether that’s in terms of style, fit, or investment. The brand’s care for the planet is consistent with its practices. All of its fabrics boast a high UPF; Made with a regenerated nylon fiber from pre- and post-consumer materials, its UV transmission is less than 2.5 percent when exposed to both UV and UVB light. The environmentally friendly dying and cleaning process ensures no harmful toxins or chemicals are leaked into the environment. Hermoza even insists that its suits are significantly resistant to wear and tear—even with the most intense use like water sports. The recycled fabric is durable enough to resist abrasions and chlorine as well as body lotions and oils so that nothing affects its vibrancy. All of this combined was enough to make Oprah a fan. The Genevieve was featured in O magazine and, obviously, anything Oprah-approved has to be great.

With nearly a decade as one of Australia’s favorite swim brands, Zulu & Zephyr is dedicated to its long-term sustainability efforts in several ways. “Since the launch of our Econyl swimwear in 2020, we have saved 28,000 barrels of crude oil and 26,040 tons of CO2 emissions,” shares the brand in an interview with Editorialist. Econyl is a type of regenerated nylon that sells its textiles for fashion, sportswear, and swimwear. The covetable brand also partners with Healthy Seas to support marine protection and uses organic cotton. The brand is working towards plastic neutrality and donates one percent of gross annual sales to 1% For The Planet.

PQ Swim sources fabrics that are both recyclable and biodegradable. Its packaging, tags, and labels are all made out of recycled paper. “Just like you, PQ cares to help preserve the future of our planet,” says its CEO, Amber Delecce. “We’re always trying to stay on the cutting edge with technological advances that help reduce waste and energy use whenever possible.” Its lyrica fabrics are made of a recycled polyamide (raw material regenerated out anything from old carpets to manufacturing waste) blended with biodegradable nylon. Ten percent of PQ’s proceeds from its Eco capsule (which was so popular it sold out, so stay tuned for restocks) are donated to Coral Vita, a company dedicated to restoring our ocean’s dying coral reefs.

“Whether or not Momma was going to be sustainable was never a question for me,” says its founder Jackie Robinson, adding “it’s just the right thing to do.” The designer decided to use recycled nylon for its superior stretch and feel. “After testing hundreds of swatches on our journey to find the right fabric, we ultimately made our own custom blend for peak comfort,” says Robinson. The original fabric is 80 percent recycled nylon and 20 percent spandex. Every suit is wrapped in a biodegradable plastic, our tissue and stickers are recyclable, and our mailers can be recycled as you would grocery bags. Momma also makes donations to support One Tree Planted (which plants one tree in a US National Forest for every order purchased) and the United States Forest Service. Comfortable, multifunctional, and confidence-boosting suits are what you can expect from the inclusive brand. “We love to appeal to women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities and our customers really reflect that.”

Myraswim is sought after for its timeless designs and versatile hues. Sleek shapes and neutral shades (black, chocolate, vanilla and clay) are a minimalist’s dream come true. “Since I started bulk manufacturing in 2014, I frequently traveled to my manufactures overseas to always ensure my garments are being constructed in a healthy environment,” says the founder, designer and owner Bianca Anstiss. Anstiss is a pro surfer so “having ethically made garments has been a long-term thing for me,” she says.  “I consider (Myraswim) 110 percent slow fashion.” The brand has since transformed its shopping experience to be fully long-lasting with reusable, multi-purpose garment bags and environmentally friendly postage materials. Lastly, its national deliveries are sent with Australia Post, which is a carbon-neutral option. Its staples like the Diego top and Aloe one piece are ideal options for mixing swimwear into your daytime wardrobe. Its terrycloth Resort line is also the perfect embodiment of trying the toweling trend

Hannah Hayes debuted Seven Swim in 2016 on a mission to achieve the highest quality version of sustainable swimwear. Since then, her creations have been co-signed by fashion’s biggest MVP’s, including Kim Kardashian, who has been spotted in the Blaze bottoms. All of Seven Swim’s solid color bikinis are made out of an eco-friendly fabric called Amni Soul-Eco. This specific fabric naturally breaks down significantly faster than most fabrics: it takes about five years instead of decades or more. It also decomposes into non-toxic, organic matter that safely goes back into the environment. That said, don’t worry about your suit’s longevity the decomposition process only begins when the fabric is left untouched in the unique conditions of anaerobic landfills. Every order is shipped in compostable mailers and the Seven Swim factory is PETA-certified as cruelty-free and vegan. As an absolutely adorable bonus, all of the extra fabric scraps from production are used to make doggy beds for shelters in Brazil. And, to make the brand even more irresistible, it’s 100 percent female-owned and female-operated. Even its factory employs an all-female staff. 

Making clothes that “look good, feel good, and do good” is VDM’s motto, and they’re certainly following through. Its owner and creator Allanah Rosenwald has always prioritized the environment, from the great outdoors to that of her factory. “Rosenwald, works closely with our manufacturer in Indonesia, ensuring working conditions are ethical and optimal,” reads VDM The Label’s site. VDM’s packaging is made from corn starch which is 100 percent biodegradable. The brand also uses electronic invoicing, return slips, and gift cards to be as paper- and plastic-free as possible. Its solid color suits are made of DNV GL-certified Econyl (each bikini uses roughly 10 recycled plastic bottles) while its prints are made from Repreve. Repreve is also created from recycled materials like plastic bottles, but its composition holds patterns better, plus its production uses 45 percent less energy, emits over 30 percent fewer greenhouse gases and uses 20 percent less water. To seal the deal, most of its bikini separates are reversible with equally cute linings so you can truly get double the wear from a single suit. Plus, its matching cover ups are also sustainably made out of 100 percent eco-rayon, which is made of wood cellulose that has been grown in farmed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. If you need a little summer outfit inspo, the pink paisley bikini’s matching top and skirt make for a stunning coordinating set.  

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