By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Ladies – rejoice! For I have wonderful news for you. News that may just change how you feel on the beach. And here it is: the thong is dead! No longer will we suffer that constant wedgie feeling when we hit the waves. No longer will we live in fear of sand getting into ‘intimate’ cracks. The latest swimsuits are taking their fashion cues from two of our favourite decades: the 50s and 70s. Expect to see a lot more of the high waisted, universally flattering bottoms from the decade that brought us Marilyn Monroe, and loads of tummy hiding maillots from the era of disco-loving roller skaters.
Of course, these are not the only two styles you’ll see on holiday this season – there are plenty of sporty, surfer-girl suits, as well as lingerie-inspired frills and complex cutouts seen on all-in-ones. But one look you definitely won’t see from sustainable swimwear brands this year? You got it – the dreaded thong!
This is the label that’s totally killing that abovementioned 50’s throwback look – and not only are these suits ideal for any vacation, but those giant (and comfy!) pants have also been sported by celebs like Emma Watson under sheer ballgowns, too! We love that the Reformation ensures all items are produced by responsible manufacturing partners, using sustainable methods and materials, too.
Newcomers on the sustainable swimwear scene, Sober & Naked use regenerated nylon, transforming ghost fishing nets into fashionable swim pieces. Jana, the founder has completely devoted herself to using the ECONYL® fabric and recycled polyester plus LYCRA® to provide elasticity and contribute to a cleaner planet. During an eye-opening trip to Asia she was overwhelmed by the amount of rubbish that covered beaches and decided to create a swimwear brand that would instill the importance of preserving the health of the marine realm. We’re loving the sporty cuts here, great for surfers!
Sporty-chic is Koru’s trademark, as the new collection attests to be practical and dashing on the female silhouette. The label that chose the New Zealand Maori word for spiral, symbolic for new life, hope, spiritual growth, purity, and peace, gives us creatively designed one pieces that feature sexy cutouts and interesting patterns. Oh, and did I mention that Koru is a member of 1% for the Planet and a partner of Healthy Seas? They’re utterly committed to environmental issues and give back to the environment through every purchase you make.
Amara shapes peek-a-boo gaps and cheeky cuts into swimwear from sustainable LYCRA XTRALIFE® fibers . The 50s inspired bikinis, created by designer Lisa Jackson, all come from a green energy facility that works to reduce pollution, protect green spaces, preserve water, and monitor gas emissions.
This vegan brand is best known not only for their cozy coats, but for also being completely cruelty-free and kind to the Earth. They’ve recently shifted from winter wear to summer swimsuits, many of which feature vintage inspired cuts from the 70s and 80s, like high cut legs and frilly bottoms.
6. Bare Beach
Rachel Power co-founded Bare Beach, an earth-friendly swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles. This Peta approved brand supports every body type, as it is designed and expertly stitched to hug, lift and support the female form. The eco-conscious label decided to focus on un-recycled plastic that is currently destroying our waterways and eco systems, and to transform it into a wearable piece of art! The beautiful swimsuits made with fabric comprised of recycled plastic bottles provides these hazardous materials a second life as zen-themed beach wear. Furthermore Bare Beach includes green shipping, using EcoEnclose packaging produced from 100% recycled content, and the dual adhesive strip allows reuse prior to being recycled.
7. May & Hugo
As the name states, May & Hugo is the result of the creative duo, Emily May Tait and Marcos Hugo Bello. The Australian couple gave birth to the brand in 2015 with the intent of creating flattering, minimalist swimwear, out of first grade environmentally sensitive fabric sourced from Italy. The stylish, high-waisted bikinis are produced using recycled polyester or nylon yarn, which comes from post-consumer waste, such as abandoned fishing nets, plastic bottles and carpets that have been rescued from oceans and landfill.
8. Aqua Green
Remember that shot of Marilyn Monroe in a frilly, white one-piece? This sustainable swim company has clearly been influenced by that, if their all-in-one below is any indication. Aqua Green not only participates in beach and waterway clean ups to remove trash from oceans, but also creates their Eco Peace and Eco Swim collections locally made in the USA following ethical and green productions processes.
9. La Isla
This fine California Swimwear company designs distinctively fashion-y kaleidoscopic bathing suits from a range of innovative, sustainable fabrics. It also supports many charitable efforts such as Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, the LA Youth Network, the First Nations Development Institute and Woods Humane Society.
Tired of the ‘made in Bali’ high cut, crochet bikini look? Magda Kine was, and so launched her own line of sustainable swimwear. Each sale benefits the Marine Megafauna Foundation, as well as two nonprofits out of Hawaiʻi, depending on the print you choose. Fabrics come from an Italian company producing ECONYL® Fiber in a process that reclaims abandoned fishing nets and discarded carpets in a process to create regenerated nylon for this sustainable swimsuit line. Enriching the brand’s eco credits further, all swimwear is sewn domestically at a family-owned-and-operated factory in California, and all the shipping products are reusable, recyclable and of course, made from recycled materials as well. But what we love most about this brand is the fact that all swimwear is reversible, giving you two outfits in one!
11. Agua Clara
Agua Clara is a Peruvian brand with a long history in sustainable fashion. In fact, it pioneered one off, custom-made swimwear all the way back in 1989, with the intention of providing jobs in Peru and paying homage its Amazon and Andean roots. Today, Agua Clara is a global brand that’s on the cutting edge of fashion. I mean, check out that suit below! It’s giving a nod not only to the 50s with those bottoms, but also the 80s with that power bra and vintage Versace-like print. Fierce!
Manakai Swimwear is owned and operated in Maui, Hawaii and ever since its inception, designer Kelley Chapman manifested the company with the intention of embracing ethical fashion. The brand’s pieces are made of sustainable techno-fabric created from regenerated ghost nets and industrial nylon 6, made by top Italian companies. Manufacturing also occurs in the USA, where workers are paid livable wages and treated with integrity. Manakai Swimwear truly honours the ocean, creating unique designs, and empowering women to embrace their beauty.
The MAARÏ brand highlights the natural beauty of women’s bodies by using 100% eco-sustainable luxurious Italian fabrics, namely high tech ECONYL® yarn, created from old fishing nets. In addition to its eco-credentials, the brand donates a percentage of profits to social NGOs that bring clean water to those in need through short and long-term solutions worldwide, but what we’re also loving are the chic cut-out styles incorporated into those on-point ’50’s silhouettes!