girl in swimsuit

7 Plastic-Free and Eco Friendly Swimwear Brands

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Quick Links – Eco Friendly Swimwear Brands Featured in this Post

What Makes a Swimsuit more Eco Friendly?

Most swimsuits are made from plastic textiles that are harmful to both the planet and your body. Living in Hawaii I spend a lot of time in the ocean, so I take extra care to find eco friendly swimwear that won’t leak microplastics into the water.

When shopping for eco friendly swimwear, it’s hard to completely avoid plastic because it provides stretch and elasticity, but fortunately there are some amazing brands I love that make nearly or completely plastic-free swimsuits.

There is currently a trend of brands using recycled plastic in clothing and swimwear and calling it sustainable. Although recycled swimwear 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.

Why Switch to Plastic Free Swimwear?

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 and creates greenhouse gas emissions. 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 so it doesn’t end up in landfills or the ocean.

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 because it requires energy, water, and transportation. 

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, ties, or has a looser fit.

I’ve put together my favorite brands that make eco friendly swimwear 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.

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    Every product is carefully selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

    7 Plastic Free and
    Eco Friendly Swimwear Brands

    1. Hand-Dyed Hemp Swimwear

    When it comes to eco-friendly fabrics, it doesn’t get much better than hemp. Natasha Tonić’s biodegradable swimwear is made with hemp fibers and it’s so comfortable that it can double as day-to-day lingerie or even activewear.

    Check out Natasha Tonić

    2. Used Swim Trunks

    man wearing eco friendly swimwear
    Image by Outerknown

    Outerknown has made many strong commitments to sustainability. They embrace a circular fashion model by taking back customer’s used products, cleaning them up and reselling them. Many of their products are made from recycled polyester, so although not plastic-free, by purchasing used swim trunks men can extend the life of these products so they don’t end up in a landfill.

    Check out Outerknown

    3. 100% Cotton Swimwear

    Image by Akoia Swim

    Akoia Swim makes beautiful 100% organic cotton swimwear, hand-crocheted on the island of Bali.

    Check out Akoia Swim

    4. Plant-Based Rubber Swimwear

    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 eco friendly swimwear out of a plant-based rubber 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

    5. Hand-Crocheted Swimwear

    True to the name, She Made Me is a brand that centers around the sustainable practice of handmade craftsmanship. The brand’s eco friendly swimwear is hand-crocheted by Bali artisans, doing away with the eco-straining methods of mass manufacturing.

    Check out She Made Me

    6. Zero Waste Swimwear

    Australian-based brand, SWIMM, has an eco-friendly, zero-waste swimwear line made from Merino Wool, with a flattering fit for every body type.

    Check out SWIMM

    7. Carbon Neutral Swimwear

    Image by Reformation

    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 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

    Now, Go Explore the Earth in Eco Friendly Swimwear!

    Every choice we make affects the planet. 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 eco friendly swimwear brands above make it easy with their plastic-free, eco friendly swimwear that also happens to be gorgeous and comfortable.

    Every product is carefully selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

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