13 Jan

The Ultimate Guide to More Ethical and Sustainable Swimwear

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If you’re ready to give your swimwear drawer a responsible overhaul, we’ve got you (partially) covered with “Good” and “Great” rated swimwear brands from around the world.

Swimwear is one of those basics that needs to check a few boxes. It needs to be comfortable, look great, and not get warped after a couple of wears and washes. While it can be tempting to grab a few new trendy bikini sets or a couple of flashy one pieces every year as the warm weather rolls around, there is something to be said for supporting more sustainable swimwear brands that create timeless, flattering, and responsibly-made pieces that will take you from the pool to the beach and back again for years to come.

The fabric situation for swimwear

Unfortunately, swimwear is usually made with harmful synthetic fabrics like virgin nylon, polyester, and spandex. While they are good choices in terms of practicality, they are also bad news for the planet as plastic-based materials. Then there is the issue of microfibre release when washing, which you can read more about in our helpful guide. Hint: handwashing is a go.

Luckily, these more sustainable swimwear brands are stepping up and incorporating more eco-friendly materials such as ECONYL, hemp, and recycled nylon into their collections.

Read on to discover the more sustainable swimwear brands we’ve found from around the world.

USA and Canada

Vitamin A

Rated: Good
woman smiling on sand wearing sustainable swimwear by Vitamin A

Made locally in California, Vitamin A’s collections of swimwear and loungewear use a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including recycled nylon. The brand also uses a waterless process to print its designs with, reducing its chemical and water usage.

Find the pieces in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Vitamin A.

Shop Vitamin A @ Curate.

SEPTEMBER

Rated: Good
two images of person in bikini by September

SEPTEMBER was created by passionate surfer and designer, Erika Seiko Togashi, who noticed the lack of timeless, elegant, and more 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 the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop SEPTEMBER.

Shop SEPTEMBER @ Urbankissed.

Patagonia

Rated: Good

Patagonia is a brand that truly lives and breathes the great outdoors. It makes clothing for trail running, climbing, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, and snowboarding. Patagonia has strong labour rights and uses recycled, rather than virgin, polyester. It has also committed to reducing its energy use and emissions.

The brand stocks sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Patagonia @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Patagonia Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Patagonia Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Shop Patagonia.

LONDRĖ

Rated: Good
Modern white ethical bikini top by LONDRE

LONDRĖ is a Canadian minimalist swimwear brand making pieces from recycled plastic bottles. So far, LONDRĖ has recycled 90,000 plastic bottles from the streets and beaches of Taiwan. 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.

Find the range in sizes XS-5XL.

See the rating.

Shop LONDRĖ.

Mara Hoffman

Rated: Good

With a focus on mindful and conscious practices, Mara Hoffman uses more eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified cotton, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester, and even has a range of Oeko-Tex STeP certified products.

Items come in sizes XS-3XL, and the brand also has a gorgeous extended sizes collection, so you can be sure to find a new wardrobe addition no matter the bod you rock.

See the rating.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Farfetch.

Shop Mara Hoffman Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Mara Hoffman.

Outerknown

Rated: Good
kelly slater wearing outerknown trunks

Founded by surf champion Kelly Slater, Outerknown is a sustainable brand that aims to blend style and function with the protection of natural resources. The brand is Bluesign certified and has partnered with the Fair Labour Association.

Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Outerknown.

Shop Outerknown @ Wearwell.

Shop Outerknown @ Good.

Araks

Rated: Good

Araks is a lingerie, swimwear, and sleepwear brand that offers delicate pieces made from luxurious Italian fabrics.

Find pieces in sizes 2XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Araks.

Shop Araks @ Rêve en Vert.

Australia and New Zealand

Elle Evans

Rated: Good

Founded in 2013, Elle Evans Swimwear creates beautiful, more sustainable swimwear and activewear for people who care about fashion and the future. The brand uses post-consumer waste fabrics and traces all of its supply chain.

The range is stocked in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Elle Evans.

Sage Larock

Rated: Good
Classic sustainable string bikini in brown by Sage Larock

Made in-house by a small team in LA, more sustainable luxury brand Sage Larock produces timeless swimwear and activewear that is sure to turn heads. Its stunning pieces are made from an Italian recycled plastic fabric that is high-quality and long-lasting—and a percentage of profits from each sale goes to support marine conservation non-profits.

Sage Larock stocks sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Sage Larock.

Spell

Rated: Good

Spell is an Australian modern-bohemian fashion brand inspired by far-off places, vintage treasures, and childhood memories. Proudly designed and sampled in Byron Bay, and produced responsibly in factories around the world.

Most garments are available in sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Spell.

SNDSTNE

Rated: Good

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

The range is available in AU sizes 6-16.

See the rating.

Shop SNDSTNE.

peony

Rated: Good
black woman wearing green sustainable swimwear by peony

peony is a luxury swimwear brand that creates consciously from recycled and lower-impact fabrics. The Australian brand's factories are certified by Social Accountability International - SA8000, and it traces most of its supply chain.

Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop peony.

Europe and the UK

ColieCo

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

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 more ethical and sustainable underwear could still be fun, adventurous, and affordable. They create responsibly-made lingerie, underwear, and swimwear in an in-house studio in Portugal, exclusively from more sustainably-sourced fabrics.

Find your new set in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ColieCo.

Softandwet

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

Founded in 2019, Softandwet is an Italian label specialising in underwear and swimwear that perfectly blends comfort and simplicity with the luxurious. Committed to minimising its impact, its pieces are produced locally by a female-led, fairworking artisanal lab using the finest Italian fabrics. It operates on small production runs using more eco-friendly materials to create soft, seductive lines that celebrate the female form.

Find the collection in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Softandwet.

NIKIN

Rated: Good

If you’re the kind of person who likes to wear their morals, look no further. Not only is a tree planted every time you purchase a NIKIN product, you also get to show your tree pride.

Products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop NIKIN.

Anekdot

Rated: Good
two images of person in merlot/lin bikini from Anekdot

Offers

person sitting on grass wearing white bikini set by Anekdot.

Anekdot – Bikini Sets

Swimwear in versatile and timeless shapes and many different colors, made with seamless edges for body complimenting fit and long lasting quality. Exclusive 20% off Bikini Sets with code ANEKDOTSWIM20.   (Ends: 8 FEB)

Checkout code: ANEKDOTSWIM20
Shop now
person floating in water wearing maroon swimsuit by Anekdot.

Anekdot – Swimsuits

Swimsuits made in timeless shapes, body complimenting fit and long lasting quality. Exclusive 20% off Swimsuits with code ANEKDOTSWIM20. (Ends: 8 FEB)

Checkout code: ANEKDOTSWIM20
Shop now

Anekdot is a clothing brand that offers more sustainable designer underwear, swimwear, and loungewear handmade in Berlin. They create exquisite intimates upcycling materials from production leftovers, deadstock, and vintage trimmings giving them a new chance to be enjoyed in the process creating limited edition products.

Find most products in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Anekdot.

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
woman of colour wearing ochre recycled plastic bikini

Organic Basics offers high-quality more 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. Its swimwear range is made from recycled plastic from oceans and landfills.

Organic Basics’ clothes are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Organic Basics @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Organic Basics.

Kampos

Rated: Good

Seahorse Swimshorts – 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 lower-impact organic fabrics.

Find most products in sizes XS to 2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Kampos.

Underprotection

Rated: Good

Offers

side view of person in bralette by Underprotection with text reading 'Sale on Sale'.

Underprotection – Sale On Sale

Combining ethics with aesthetics, this Danish brand makes glamorous lingerie, swimwear, and loungewear you'll love. Exclusive extra 20% off sales with code UNDERPROTECTION20.   (Ends: 6 FEB)

Checkout code: UNDERPROTECTION20
Shop now

Underprotection is a Danish brand combining ethics and aesthetics, creating underwear, loungewear, and swimwear from lower-impact 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”. Underprotection exists to celebrate women of all kinds, and its goal is to make them feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible.

You can find the full range in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Underprotection.

Shop Underprotection @ Curate.

Shop Underprotection @ LVR Sustainable.

ASKET

Rated: Good

The Swim Shorts – Ships internationally from Sweden

ASKET has been creating timeless wardrobe essentials since 2015 with revolutionary sizing and fair pricing. The brand disregards seasonal collections, cuts out all the middlemen, and only sells directly to you—putting its entire focus on building a single permanent collection.

Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ASKET.

Rest of the world

Loop Swim

Rated: Great
two girls playing in water wearing colourful sustainable swimwear by Loop Swim

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.

See the rating.

Shop Loop Swim.

Looking for more swimwear inspiration? Have a look at our favourite sustainable bikinis

Editor's note

Feature image via Mara Hoffman, 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.

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