It’s June and odds are that the sun is shining where you are, or you’re planning to go somewhere where it will be! As the summer holiday season approaches, we all start thinking about bikini bodies and a summer wardrobe. Instead of visiting the usual high street shops for that most crucial of holiday staples – swimwear – I’d like you to think about an alternative; an eco-friendly bikini or boardshort.
I’ve recently been on the hunt for an eco-friendly bikini myself and was surprised at the variety of eco-friendly options there were out there, not just for women but for male swimwear as well! Whether you’re into a skimpy two-piece, a practical sports suit, or a more modest offering, I’ve collated a few of my favourite eco-friendly pieces that are currently on the market.
Faherty Brand is a US company that was started by twin brothers Mike and Alex Faherty. They use 100% organic cotton and recycled materials to make swimwear and other leisure clothing. Their factory in India uses a closed-loop filtration system that recirculates the water used in the manufacture of the clothes, making the process less wasteful and therefore more sustainable.
I really like their bohemian style swimwear and it’s great they cater to both men and women! They also produce some other lovely beachwear pieces that I will be keeping my eye on!
La Isla started out in a bedroom but has grown into a much larger company. Their factory is in Medellin, Colombia and most of the fabrics they use are Oeko-tex certified, although they are working towards being able to use recycled PET materials. La Isla also regularly partners up with charities such as Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society to support the environment.
La Isla swimwear is a little bit surfer-oriented by quite playful (check out those coffee and doughnut trunks) and sexy. They have styles for men and women.
Inspired by New Zealand and its reputation for being one of the most environmentally aware countries on earth, Koru Swimwear is definitely at the top of the food chain for eco-friendly swimwear. Their products are made in Italy from fabrics using ECONYL® from AQUAFIL and recycled materials, they are then bulk dyed to minimise water waste and pollution. I like that they are trying to incorporate environmentally friendly practices in every aspect – from recycled hangtags, to the organic cotton accessory bags, and the production of the fabric they use for their swimwear.
I like the idea of this reversible bikini , two styles for the price of one and more room in your holiday suitcase! At the moment, Koru only make swimwear for women, sorry fellas!
The Odina brand sets out to create very functional swimwear (especially for surfers and very active women – again, no suits for men!) that was eco-friendly and still fashionable. If you’re spending as much time in the ocean as surfers and scuba divers do, you’re got to care about the environment! Odina uses recycled nylon and organic cotton to make their swimwear which is manufactured in the US.
I really like the Odina styles, but some of their bikini bottoms are a little too revealing for my taste (or modesty), but I say go for it if it makes you feel good!
Technically, Patagonia is more of an outdoor wear brand (think camping and hiking), but I’ve recently discovered that they have an impressive swimwear range for men and women as well. Patagonia use recycled polyester in many of the clothes they produce and only organic, rather than pesticide-intensive, cotton, and have more initiatives to encourage and promote sustainability than I can talk about here!
I love this bird fabric bikini, these tropical boardshorts for women and these beach hut inspired shorts for men!
I hope this little round-up is helpful and encourages you to think about buying your next bikini or swimshort from an eco-friendly company. It’s definitely got me thinking!
Have you ever bought from one of these companies? How do you rate them? Give some advice to us eco-swimwear newbies!