21 Sustainable Swimwear Brands You Can Feel Good About Buying
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If you're about to head on holiday, or just looking for some new bikinis for the garden during the heatwave, let us encourage you to shop for sustainable swimwear. Whether you're looking for the best swimwear for your body type or have been looking to bag trending three-piece swimwear, shopping with an eco-friendly mindset can help you feel even better about your purchases.
Besides, it's plastic-free July, so all eyes are on our plastic consumption with reduce, reuse, recycle playing on repeat in our heads. Yet fashion has a complicated relationship with the material. As much as we parade our reusable water bottles and cotton tote bags, march in the streets to get plastic out of our oceans, and share our shock over documentaries like "Seapiracy" on social media, plastic fashion (like PVC shoes, clothes, and accessories) continues to be one of the industry's biggest trends. And plastic use is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fashion's sustainability problems.
According to a sustainable fashion report by McKinsey, the number of garments produced each year has doubled since 2000 and now exceeds a staggering 100 billion items annually. Add to that mind-boggling stat that for every five garments produced, the equivalent of three are incinerated or sent to landfill each year — that's 300,000 tonnes of this being in the UK alone, according to the Environmental Audit Committee — and we start to see the hugely concerning scale of the issue — not to mention labour exploitation, pollution, water consumption, or any of the countless issues.
But, while there's no quick-fix solution — and no core definition of what sustainable fashion actually is — there are a few key changes we can all make to have a less environmentally destructive wardrobe. Buying fewer, better quality pieces that you really love is a definite win. Wearing preloved clothing, as so fashionably demonstrated by this year's "Love Island" partnership with eBay, is another. And looking for more eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, or Tencel is a quick and easy step when deciding between two items you've fallen head over heels for.
If shopping for sustainable fashion has left you feeling a little overwhelmed, we get it. But with a little more conversation and a little more action, we should be able to get these worrying numbers to a much better place soon.
While swimwear won't change the world, it is an area where we're starting to see real change. Tight factory audits, locally produced garments, and eco-friendly fabrics such as Econyl — a recycled nylon made from discarded fishing nets, carpets, and many more nasty things usually floating around in the oceans — are all leading the way for better practices. So, if you're looking for a new swimsuit or bikini this summer that won't cost the earth, we've rounded up some of our favourite sustainable swimwear ahead.