08 Jul

The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Bikinis

Bikini season is upon us and finding a sustainable summer staple can be quite a challenge. Discover our roundup of the most ethical ‘kinis around.

Sustainable bikinis for all body types

I’m not sure why, but when it comes to swimsuits—particularly bikinis—I tend to pick favourites. This bottom always gets loose in the water, that one doesn’t cover me up enough, this other one squeezes me in all the wrong places… as you can imagine, the list can get quite extensive, and is something most people go through on their quest to find their Goldilocks set. Like lingerie, a bikini doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should make you feel good. From taking a dip in the pool to snorkelling to simply lounging around, a bikini can fulfill many purposes. But along with style and practicality, it is equally important to consider the ethical impacts of our swimwear, which is why we’ve tracked down the best sustainable bikinis for you.

Common sustainability problems in swimwear

For those of us who live in the sun year-round, perhaps we can get carried away (myself included), filling our drawers with the newest statement trend or print. Aside from succumbing to a fast fashion cycle, swimwear also presents another problem when it comes to sustainability: plastic. Synthetic fabrics—like nylon, polyester, and spandex—are perfectly suited for swimwear because they wick moisture and stretch across the body, reducing friction in the water. They are also versatile and inexpensive to make, so the fashion industry relies on them heavily: not just for swimwear, but also activewear, outerwear, and other cheap fast fashion garments. This is a major problem because plastic is not biodegradable, meaning it never decomposes, which is an issue from the production phase to the release of microfibres when washing, all the way to disposal of the garment at the end of its life. Luckily the best way to look after your swimwear—gentle hand washing—is the best way to reduce microfibre releases, too. It also makes the most sense, since swimwear is most often worn for a very short period of time and should rarely require a machine wash.

Eco-friendly bikini materials

Thankfully, there are alternatives to these polluting plastics most swimwear is made from. More eco-friendly materials such as ECONYL, created by Italian firm Aquafil, use synthetic waste like industrial plastic, waste fabric, and fishing nets from oceans, then recycle and regenerate them into a new nylon yarn that is exactly the same quality as virgin nylon. Even better, other swimwear brands are meeting this need, innovating in their own capacity, and creating their own luxe materials from recycled nylon fibres or other natural alternatives. Quick caveat, however, is to be wary of greenwashing when it comes to this kind of stuff. It’s important to remember that it’s not just materials that matter, but also labour and animal scoring.

So, without further ado, read up on this ultimate guide for the brands that are making the biggest splash in sustainable bikinis.

Elle Evans

Rated: Great
A woman in a pink bikini bottom by Elle Evans.

Linda Bikini Bottom – Ships internationally from Australia

Elle Evans designs, prints, and creates its beautiful pieces in Melbourne, Australia. Overwhelmed by the impact of the industry they had worked in and loved for years, the team at Elle Evans decided they’d be doing things a bit differently. Since day one, the brand has been using luxurious Vita ECONYL®—regenerated nylon made from 100% nylon waste from oceans and landfills. Attention to detail, innovative cuts, and its signature nature-inspired prints come together to create magic in every collection, including sustainable bikinis galore. Find Elle Evan’s swimwear range in sizes XS-3XL.

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Shop Elle Evans.

Underprotection

Rated: Good
A sustainable floral bikini top by Underprotection.

Lotus Bikini Bandeau Rose – Ships internationally from Denmark

Underprotection is a Danish brand combining ethics and aesthetics, creating underwear, loungewear, and swimwear from sustainable materials like recycled polyester and organic cotton. All of its packaging, paper, and polybags are either recycled or biodegradable, and it only works with certified factories as it believes “fair working conditions and fair wages are human rights”. You can find the full range in XS-XL.

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Shop Underprotection.

Shop Underprotection @ LVR Sustainable.

Loop Swim

Rated: Great
woman wearing sustainable bikini in red and blue coral pattern by Loop Swim

Coral Deco Loop Bikini Top – Ships internationally from China

Founded by two women from the US and India and headquartered in Shanghai, Loop Swim is a brand on a mission to close the loop on waste and promote circular design. It transforms post-consumer plastic bottles into phenomenal REPREVE UP50+ sun protective swimwear for men, women, and kids. Its trendless, high-quality designs are developed to retain shape and colour swim after swim. Find most items in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Loop Swim.

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
woman of colour wearing ochre recycled plastic bikini

Re-Swim Bikini Top – Ships internationally from Denmark

Organic Basics offers high-quality sustainable fashion basics for men and women in organic materials. The Denmark-based brand puts sustainable thinking at the centre of everything—it only chooses fabrics that care for our environment, and only ever partners with factories that care about their impact, including for their swimwear line. Organic Basics clothes are available in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Organic Basics @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Organic Basics @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Organic Basics.

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
person in Canggu two piece swimsuit by 1 People

Canggu Two Piece Swimsuit in Red Coral – Ships internationally from Denmark

1 People is a Danish-designed lifestyle and luxury brand. It blends Scandinavian colour palettes and minimalist design to create effortlessly elegant collections for the conscious-minded. Its pieces are thoughtfully crafted by small family-run manufacturers using sustainable and certified materials. Find the collection in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop 1 People.

Anekdot

Rated: Good
A woman in a sustainable bikini by Berlin based brand Anekdot.

Lin Bikini Top – Ships internationally from Germany

Because personal style should not cost the earth. Anekdot is a clothing brand that offers sustainable designer underwear, swimwear, and loungewear handmade in Berlin. They create exquisite products using upcycled materials. Find most products in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Anekdot.

allSisters

Rated: Good
Colour blocked black and white ethical bikini by allSisters brand

EUTERPE TOP BATHING SUIT – Ships internationally from Spain

Never sacrifice sexy for sustainability again. Created for all types of goddesses, allSisters promises ethical bikinis with complete coverage, support, and comfort. The Barcelona based brand also raises money for biodiversity protecting non-profit Surfers Against Sewage, tackling plastic pollution and working to keep our oceans clean. Items go from XS-XL.

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Shop allSisters.

ColieCo

Rated: Good
two images of woman in red paloma bikini set

Paloma Wrap Around Bikini Set – Ships internationally from Portugal

Being recognised for their uniquely fun, simple, and striking designs is as important to ColieCo as their commitments to the environment. ColieCo was born with a vow to prove that ethical and sustainable underwear could still be fun, adventurous, and affordable. They create ethically made, sustainable lingerie, underwear, and swimwear in an in-house studio in Portugal, exclusively from sustainable and sustainably-sourced fabrics. Find your new set in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop ColieCo.

The Nude Label

Rated: Good
A black sustainable bikini set by The Nude Label

Bikini Swim Bottom – Ships internationally from Spain

Offers

Two people wearing colourful triangle cut-out bralettes by The Nude Label.

The Nude Label – Site-wide

Comfy, colourful, and sustainable underwear and swimwear. Ethically made in Spain and Portugal. Up to 20% off site-wide. (Ends: 23 OCT)

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The Nude Label curates comfy cotton underwear and swimwear for women and men that feel as good as they look. The brand’s swimwear collection is truly a classic and made from regenerative polyamide, giving mid-coverage with a low-rise flattering design. Find the full range in sizes XS to L.

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Shop The Nude Label.

Softandwet

Rated: Good
closer back view and front view of person in white filled bikini top and thong by Softandwet

Luna Bianca Frilled Bikini – Ships internationally from Italy

Founded in 2019, Softandwet is an Italian label specialising in luxurious underwear and swimwear. Its pieces are produced and sourced locally in small-batch runs by a female-led, fairworking artisanal lab. With its simple but playful look, its signature frilled bikini set uses recycled materials designed for comfort and wear. Find it in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Softandwet.

Stay Wild

Rated: Good
A sustainable bikini top by Stay Wild Swim.

The Neptune Bikini Top – Ships internationally from the UK

If you’re looking to add to your capsule wardrobe, you’ve come to the right place. Stay Wild is a London-based swim brand founded by Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk. Designed to be flattering, feminine, and functional, the brand’s capsule collection features a sports luxe style with a thick strapped bikini top and a high waist bottom for a firm fit and feel. The slightly cheeky cut means you get all the coverage with plenty of confidence. The collections are available in sizes 6-18.

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Shop Stay Wild.

la fille d’O

Rated: Good
Pink lingerie and swim set plus size by la fille d'O

CHANGES in pink – Ships internationally from Belgium

La fille d’O, or “the daughter of O,” is the voice of a generation. In 2003, designer Murielle Scherre created this lingerie and swim brand with the vision of being a role model. The brand produces long-lasting products, adhering to the principles of slow fashion, and manufactures locally. Designed as swimwear and lingerie, CHANGES offers the best support and look in or out of the water. Tops are available in sizes 1-9 (A-G) and bottoms in 1-6 (XS-3XL).

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Shop la fille d’O.

Natasha Tonic

Rated: Good
red and white striped eco-friendly bikini by Natasha Tonic

Destiny, Top – Ships internationally from the US

Swimwear made out of hemp? Yes, please. For decades, swimsuits have been made out of polyester, which is non-biodegradable and bad for the skin. Natasha Tonic’s hemp swimwear fabric is based around a unique, natural hemp fibre that is anti-microbial, UV resistant, durable, and a healthier choice for your skin and our oceans. Even better, each piece is slightly different since it is printed by hand, allowing for each sustainable bikini to be tailored for the most gorgeous you. Find their collections in sizes XS-L.

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Shop Natasha Tonic.

Kampos

Rated: Good

Tie-Side Bikini – Ships internationally from Italy

Kampos is an Italian luxury brand that believes in creating a world with integrity and conscience now and for future generations. The brand aims to raise awareness of over-fishing and marine pollution and offers consumers unique pieces that are made of recycled plastic bottles, fishing nets and sustainable and organic fabrics. Find most products in sizes XS to 2XL.

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Shop Kampos.

Vitamin A

Rated: Good
The Gia Triangle Top in two colours

Gia Triangle Top– Ships internationally from the US

Sexy, classy, and good for the environment? You got it. Made locally in California, Vitamin A has revolutionized sustainable swimwear. Founder Amahlia Stevens realized the need for creating swimwear out of recycled plastics. However, when she began to research the options, she was told by fabric suppliers that there was “no market” for swimwear made from recycled fibres—so she decided to design the fabric herself, working with the top mills in Italy, Canada, and California to create EcoLux™—the first premium swim fabric made from recycled nylon fibres. All materials are certified to meet the global Oeko-Tex standard for safe textiles. Swimwear comes in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Vitamin A.

Finisterre

Rated: Good
A sustainable sporty bikini top by British brand Finisterre.

Anella Reversible Bikini Top – Ships internationally from the UK

Born from the needs of hardy British surfers, Finisterre designs functional and sustainable products for those that share a deep love for the sea. Whether paddle boarding or going out for a surf, the brand’s sustainable bikinis are both practical and cute. You can find the full range in sizes 8-16.

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Shop Finisterre.

Spell

Rated: Good
A floral sustainable bikini set by Australian SPELL

Poppy Cheeky Pant – Ships internationally from Australia

Spell is a modern-bohemian fashion brand inspired by far-off places, vintage treasures, and childhood memories. The brand’s adorable suits come in sweet peach or other florals offering a feminine, medium coverage swim style with a dash of seaside sass. Find most products in XS-XL.

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Shop Spell.

Afends

Rated: Good
A sustainable bikini top by Afends

PASCALE – Ships internationally from Australia

Offers

Afends – Site-wide

Shop your new wardrobe essentials by AFENDS, a  Byron Bay-based brand, born in 2006 and leading the way in hemp fashion. Exclusive 15% off with code WELCOMEGY20. (Ends: 17 OCT)

Checkout code: WELCOMEGY20
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Afends is an Australia-based fashion brand leading the way in organic hemp fashion, using renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact. You can find the full range in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Afends.

CasaGIN

Rated: Good

High-Waisted Bikini in Recycled Fabric – Ships internationally from Italy

CasaGIN is a positive place, designed for those looking for a sustainable and conscious lifestyle where you can find products capable of conveying well-being and harmony. Find most items in sizes S-XL.

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Shop CasaGIN.

LONDRĖ

Rated: Good
Modern white ethical bikini top by LONDRE

The New Classic Top – Ships internationally from Canada

LONDRĖ is a Canadian minimalist swimwear brand making pieces from recycled plastic bottles. Looking to create the smallest impact possible, all water used in the brand’s process is able to be reused and recycled. The brand is also creating positive change in our global community, using the business to raise awareness and funds for women’s health and environmental initiatives, donating over $10,000 to organizations such as Amazon Watch and the Yellow Hammer Fund. Most pieces come in sizes XS-2XL.

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Shop LONDRĖ.

Dedicated

Rated: Great

Bikini Bottom Forest Green – Ships internationally from Sweden

If you love a great graphic print, Swedish label Dedicated has you covered. Dedicated is an ethical streetwear brand for men, women, and children. All cotton used in its pieces are 100% organic and most are Fairtrade-certified, which means that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to dress in style. Find the clothes in XS-XL.

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Shop Dedicated.

Shop Dedicated @ Curate.

Shop Dedicated @ Earthkind.

Casa Raki

Rated: Good
A caramel coloured bikini top by Casa Raki

Clarisa Top in Caramel – Ships internationally from the UK

Casa Raki is a London based resortwear brand with items made from high-tech, organic, and recycled fabrics. It manufactures locally to reduce its climate impact. Find most sizes in XS-L.

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Shop Casa Raki.

Nightswim

Rated: Good
A woman in a sustainable terry cloth bikini top and bottom by Nightswim

Terry String Bottom – Ships internationally from the US

Nightswim is an emerging leisurewear brand made with care for the Earth and for her people. Find the collection in sizes S-L.

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Shop Nightswim @ Curate.

Shop Nightswim.

SEPTEMBER

Rated: Good
A sustainable bikini bottom by SEPTEMBER

Alice Bottom in Morning Glory Print – Ships internationally from the US

SEPTEMBER was created by passionate surfer and designer, Erika Seiko Togashi, who noticed the lack of timeless, elegant, and sustainable surf and swimwear in the industry. Founded on modernist design principles, pieces are made using luxury Italian recycled fabrics in a small, female-owned factory in Bali, delivering high performing, timeless classics made fairly. Find pieces sized in XS-2XL.

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Shop SEPTEMBER.

Shop SEPTEMBER @ Urbankissed.

SNDSTNE

Rated: Good
A woman in a sustainable clay coloured bikini top

Bronte Top in Clay – Ships internationally from the AU

SNDSTNE is an Australian-made swim and resort wear brand. Its pieces are made from a soft luxury recycled plastic fabric. Find pieces sized S-XL.

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Shop SNDSTNE.

Mara Hoffman

Rated: Good

Abigail Bikini Top – Ships internationally from the US

Create to empower, transform with care. With a focus on mindful and conscious practices, Mara Hoffman uses eco-friendly materials including GOTS-certified organic cotton, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester, so you can feel good about every piece you purchase. Swimwear comes in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Mara Hoffman @ Reve en Vert.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Farfetch.

Shop Mara Hoffman Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Mara Hoffman.

BAYTHE

Rated: Good
A woman in an ethical bikini set by BAYTHE.

Lila Top in Burnt Orange – Ships internationally from Australia

BAYTHE is a premium swimwear-meets-activewear label designed in Bondi Beach giving women of all shapes and sizes the confidence, comfort, and understated sexiness they’ve always wanted in a swimsuit. The brand’s active crops are an easy summer staple made to be multi-functional and move with you throughout your day. You can find the full range in XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop BAYTHE.

That’s all folks. We hope this guide allows you to find a sustainable bikini that works for your lifestyle and summer aesthetic, without needing to sacrifice your ethics.

Not really the bikini type? Here’s our ultimate guide to swimwear

Editor's note

Feature image via Londré, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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