By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Unlike say, dress hemlines or coat shapes, swimwear doesn’t change styles every season – or even every year – meaning whatever you buy for this year’s holiday should last for years to come. But at the same time, just as with other items in your wardrobe, you want your bathing suit to express something about who you are, right?
For example, are you a little bit creative, or quietly conservative? Love sports, or feel the beach is more a place to read a good book? Are you more likely to be hanging out on a nearly deserted beach in Africa, or at Nikki Beach Club in Ibiza?
No matter what the situation or personality, we’ve found some highly talented and innovative designers who are creating some of the best sustainable swimwear styles for every personality.
Sustainable Swimwear Styles For All Kinds of Personalities
Californian Vanessa Rivers believes that going green can be pretty damn sexy. All her swimwear is made from VITA, a sustainable techno-fabric with ECONYL ®, a 100% recycled polyamide fibre that’s made from pre and post-consumer materials such as discarded fishing nets recovered by the Healthy Seas initiative. The result? Teeny weeny bikinis that could ‘catch’ just about any guy’s attention!
Best for: Bold babes who got it, and aren’t afraid to flaunt it!
Finally! A swimwear brand that’s handmade, uses recycled fabrics and packaging and a sustainable manufacturing processes, too! And if that’s not enough, the brand supports the Regeneration System, which puts an end to unnecessary waste of polyamide material by using nylon fabric made from ECONYL® yarn.
If you love sports, you’ll be pleased to know these styles are designed for movement, whether it’s surfing, swimming, waterskiing or even volleyball!
Best for: The woman who believes beaches were made for surfing, swimming, volleyball….
Got a bad case of wanderlust? Eco Gypsy swimwear comes to you straight from Bali, where it’s handmade by local women from cotton, locally sourced shells and feathers and other materials. These gorgeous sustainable swimwear styles are loved by not only Victoria’s Secret models, but Gwyneth Paltrow, too, who is now selling them on her Goop website!
Best for: Instagramming!
The name kind of says it all: we all exist under the same sun, right? We are all one…It comes as no surprise that the founders of this company, Anna Engellau and Emelie Lindgren, met in a yoga class. They discovered they both had the same vision: to create high performance yoga and beachwear using sustainable practices and eco-friendly recycled materials that are easy on the planet.
Today, their lively printed, multi-functional shorts, bodysuits and bra tops comprise a unique line of swim and activewear that’s completely made of Newlife, a premium recycled polyester made from recycled water bottles.
Best for: Yoga bunnies
Patagonia is well known for its ethical practices, so it’s no surprise their swimwear line is produced under safe, fair, legal and humane working conditions throughout the supply chain. These sustainable swimwear styles are perfect for the practical thinking woman, as they work for loads of outdoor activities: water skiing, surfing, kayaking, and oh yeah – swimming!
Best for: Sporty swimwear basics
Beach culture merges with high fashion in this gorgeous swimwear, which wouldn’t be out of place in Ibiza, St Tropez, Punta del Este or any of the world’s other most stylish hotspots. The brand’s highly original and often hand-embroidered designs have made it one of the most recognisable names in organic-made swimwear, but La Isla has also been lauded for its use of recycled PET fabric in their creations.
Best for: Looking good in your lounge chair!
Highly instagrammable Vitamin A creations are often seen on the world’s most beautiful women, like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Rihanna to name a few. These are truly extraordinary swim suits, with a fit that is hip-slimming, curve-hugging, bust-boosting, figure-flattering perfection.
Designer Amahlia Stevens grew up on the beaches of Southern California, studied art history in London and Los Angeles, modelled swimwear, and traveled the world as a design consultant before setting out to design the perfect, luxurious bikini. Mission accomplished, we’d say!
Best for: Lounging on the yacht
Not keen on showing too much flesh on the beach, but still want to turn heads? RubyMoon swimwear is the solution. This sustainable brand offers vibrant, high-quality, affordable swim and activewear for women who want great design, functionality and ethics – in fact, RubyMoon helps women set up and grow businesses across the globe.
Yep, that’s right: 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are lent out as small loans to empower women entrepreneurs in eleven nations. And as a tribute to these females, the swimwear pieces are named after the women in whom RubyMoon has invested.
Best for: Modest women who love women
Criss crossed backs, enticing ties and humorous patterns are but a few of the sustainable swimwear styles Shapes in the Sand uses. They all appeal to the woman who likes to express herself with a bit of cheek. Handmade in Australia from recycled materials, Shapes in the Sand’s designs are perfect for the woman who thinks her most attractive quality is her sense of humour and fun.
Best for: The girl who thinks life is about having a bit of fun!
Despite their name, this brand is no liar when it declares to love the ocean and environment! It creates its collections by focusing on reducing the carbon footprint and ending exploitation in the workplace, by manufacturing in Australia and sourcing innovative, recycled, organic fabrics and trims.
Another cool thing Liar does is donate 10% of its profits to the Kosgoda Turtle Care Sanctuary in Sri Lanka.
Best for: Serious eco-activists who are sick of the ‘lies’ told by brands that greenwash
11. Arty: Auria
Creative cuts and prints define Auria, a swimwear brand we think would appeal to the woman who appreciates or creates art. Designed and developed in London and made in England from new generation recycled fabrics made from discarded fishing nets and other waste, it comes as no surprise that Auria’s innovative styles have shown at London Fashion Week for the past 3 years.
Best for: Hipsters on holidays
Fashionistas’ natural habitats are generally far from the beach – so they face a dilemma when leaving their urban environments: what to wear? Araks Yeramyan’s designs solve this problem: her work incorporates colours and shapes that are distinctively ‘now’ and are so stylish, you could easily incorporate some of these styles into an urban outfit: just imagine adding jeans or a skirt to one of her chic tops and you’ll see what we mean.
Best for: Retaining your sense of urban flare, even on the beach
13. Beach Babe: Koru
Koru swimwear is for women who feel they were basically born on the beach; those who are more comfortable barefoot than in boots. All tops and bottoms can be easily mixed and matched, increasing your wardrobe possibilities exponentially, and all fabrics are made of 100% ECONYL.
Best for: The woman who prefers the feeling of sand between her toes than shoes on her feet
First two image credits: Vitamin A
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