The tide is turning on cheap, unsustainable fashion that falls to bits after one season – and that includes your swimming gear.
It’s time to opt for sustainable swimwear that reflects your values as brightly as the ocean reflects the sun.
Whether you’re looking for a new swimsuit, bikini, or board shorts, swap mass market-produced virgin nylon for ethical swimwear that looks good and helps the planet.
A Quick Wave At Our Top Ethical Swimwear Brands
Beat the sag or the too-tight cup with Kitty and Vibe’s fit quiz that helps you find the perfect swimwear. They have an impressive range of inclusive sizing too.
Portuguese swimwear and lingerie brand ColieCo makes all their products in-house, giving them complete control of their ethical supply chain. Plus, at under $100, this sustainable swimwear is accessible to all.
RubyMoon is a social enterprise which empowers female entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds.
From lounging on the beach to breaking a personal best, having the right swimming gear matters. But it’s not just about performance.
Standard swimwear is made from petroleum-based synthetic materials like nylon, spandex and polyester. These materials are a form of plastic which is made from fossil fuels and isn’t biodegradable.
Eco-friendly swimwear uses recycled or upcycled materials that help remove plastic from our oceans. They’re ethically made and they tend to last longer than the stuff you find on the high street.
So, forget the bikini body and wear bathing suits with pride knowing you’re supporting independent brands and ethical products that go the distance.
Keep reading to discover our favorite ethical swimwear brands or dive to the bottom to find out how we chose them.
Our Curated List Of Ethical & Sustainable Swimwear For More Impactful Fun In The Sun
1. Kitty and Vibe
Price Range | $17–$118 | Shop Kitty and Vibe
Materials | All patterns are made with fabric from 100% recycled materials, including polyamide nylon and Lycra spandex.
What We Love | There’s no one-size-fits-all for our body shapes and Kitty and Vibe has embraced it by creating affordable ethical swimwear that actually fits. Their secret? A fit quiz that helps you find your perfect swimmers from bottom to top.
Kitty & Vibe’s Sustainable Swimwear
Kitty and Vibe is all about fostering positive vibes in their wide range of swimwear to suit every body type.
From bikinis to one-pieces, cut-out pieces and more, the brand has a style to suit you. Shop by product or explore their fun collection of patterns, dubbed ‘vibes.’
Leading with bottoms that have become a best-selling hit, the High Hip Bottoms have a flattering, high-waisted style and a bow which can be tied front or back. We love it in the retro gingham Dolly vibe.
Pair it with the Front Tie Top with adjustable shoulder straps to match.
Kitty & Vibe’s Sustainability
Supply Chain | All Kitty and Vibe products are made ethically by their woman-run factory in Bogota, Colombia
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | The brand champions inclusive sizing for all with fit charts and size ranges from XS1 to 5XL2.
Price Range | $26–$56 | Shop ColieCo
Materials | ColieCo uses deadstock Lycra from other luxury swimwear. Made in Italy, it has UV protection and chlorine, sunscreen, oil and pilling resistance. All fabric and elastics are OEKO-TEX certified.
What We Love | The eco-friendly swimwear brand has taken their production line into their own hands by manufacturing the products themselves. Along with their Code of Ethics, these ethical swimwear manufacturers guarantee fair working conditions throughout their supply chain.
ColieCo’s Ethical Swimwear
ColieCo creates bikinis that are designed to be mixed and matched from five different colors.
Choose from triangle, longline, faux wrap and crop style bikini tops, and low and mid-rise, high leg and high waist style bikini bottoms. Or, pick from a range of four bikini sets.
The PALOMA wrap-around bikini set is flattering with light boning for extra support. Go bold with mulberry red or stay sleek in black.
Can’t find your size?
No problem! As each bikini is produced on demand, custom sizing is available.
Supply Chain | ColieCo’s sustainable swimsuits are made in-house by a small team in Sagres, Portugal. All suppliers are certified ethical and the brand has implemented their own Code of Ethics to follow.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | They work to ensure all workers, stakeholders and customers can feel respected and valued, regardless of their backgrounds or characteristics.
3. Vitamin A
Price Range | $60–$250 | Shop Vitamin A
Materials | Vitamin A uses innovative sustainable fabrics made out of eco-friendly materials for their swimwear collection. For example, Biosculpt is the world’s first premium swim fabric made from plant-based fiber. While not organic swimwear, it’s a step (er, lap?) in the right direction.
What We Love | The California-based sustainable swimwear brand wants you to feel good in bathing suits that prioritizes the planet. They put the ocean first through innovative materials and regular beach cleanups.
Vitamin A’s Eco-Friendly Swimwear
Super stylish swimwear that stands the test of time – both as fashion trends and durability – is what Vitamin A is all about.
Shop bikinis with a wide range of colors, patterns and styles. If you’re not a bikini person, you can keep it classic with flattering sustainable one-pieces too.
The Jenna High Leg One Piece is designed to help you feel beach-ready no matter what. The ultra-sleek shape has a sculpting effect for a smooth silhouette.
It’s comfy too with an internal bra for added support—a big tick from us for practicality!
Vitamin A’s Sustainability
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Vitamin A uses a combination of sustainable swimwear fabrics, local sourcing and renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint.
Supply Chain | They work closely with factories to ensure they follow strict environmental and ethical practices. Most of their products are made in California.
Pay It Forward | The brand is a member of 1% for the Planet. They also work with Oceana to help restore the world’s oceans.
Price Range | $59–$175 | Shop Outerknown
Materials | Outerknown’s recycled swimwear is made from a combination of recycled polyester and spandex.
What We Love | A people-first brand, Outerknown is all about circular fashion and innovation. They plan to make 100% of their clothing circular by 2030.
Outerknown’s Eco Swimsuits
Outerknown creates a winning combination of sophistication, high-end fashion and practicality in their eco-friendly swimsuits.
Dive into men’s swim trunks and board shorts designed by professional surfers. Or shop duo-toned bikinis and one-piece sustainable women’s swimwear.
The Seea x Outerknown Dara Surf Suit x Sage is inspired by retro ’80s athletic swimwear, combining function and form.
Made to handle both big ocean waves and splashing about in the pool, it gives you extra coverage and looks stylish too.
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Their swimwear is made from recycled polyester sourced from post-consumer plastic bottles, which reduces CO2 in manufacturing. All shipping is carbon-neutral.
Supply Chain | The Fair Labor Association (FLA) member is transparent about their supply chain. Their factories in Mexico, Peru, and China are fair trade certified, and you can see their full supplier list on the Open Apparel Registry, some of whom are Certified B Corps suppliers.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | They have set up a Fair Labor Program which helps improve workers’ lives. So far, they’ve invested over $130,000.
Pay It Forward | Outerknown works with Bergman Rivera to support farmers implementing Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) practices. They’re also regular donors to Ocean Conservancy.
5. Ruby Moon
Price Range | £55–£95 | Shop RubyMoon
Materials | The fabric in all RubyMoon’s swimwear is made with ECONYL® yarn, a 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from nylon waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic.
What We Love | RubyMoon is the world’s only not-for-profit sustainable swimwear company that gives 100% of net profits as micro-loans to businesswomen across 14 developing countries.
RubyMoon’s Ethical Swimwear
RubyMoon has a versatile ethical and sustainable swimwear line featuring crop tops, sports bras, leggings, rash guards and bathing suits which take you from the gym to the pool.
Look triathlon-ready (even if you don’t feel it) with a sports bra bikini top all-in-one like the Leilani Sports Bra. It’s fully adjustable for exercise impact and maintains support from running to swimming.
Carbon Goals & Achievements | The social enterprise produces 42% less carbon emissions than its conventional counterparts.
Supply Chain | They have a transparent supply chain and all products are manufactured ethically and safely in Spain.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | RubyMoon champions female empowerment by providing financial resources to help disadvantaged women escape poverty.
Price Range | $48–$78 | Shop MeUndies
Materials | The brand’s swimwear line is made with recycled polyester, recycled spandex, ECONYL® regenerated nylon and elastane.
What We Love | No gatekeeping here! MeUndies is on a mission to make cheaper sustainable swimwear inclusive for everyone.
MeUndies’ Affordable Swimwear
MeUndies makes affordable sustainable swimwear for men and women.
Choose between understated swim trunks, bold-printed briefs, jazzy bikinis or classic one-piece swimsuits. We love that you can play around with patterns to find a style that suits your personality.
For a swimsuit that cleans up the oceans and looks the part, their One Piece Swimsuit has got you covered with sizes from XS to 4XL.
It has adjustable straps and removable pads to help you feel supported. Opt for an adventurous suit with shark prints or keep it understated in navy and black.
Supply Chain | MeUndies works with suppliers in Los Angeles, Turkey, Sri Lanka, China and Guatemala. All factories are audited to ensure they operate with fair working conditions and wages.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | They work with partners that put their employees first and have pledged to help customers live true to their authentic selves.
7. Fair Harbor
Price Range | £35-£84 | Shop Fair Harbor
Materials | All Fair Harbor’s shorts are made from a combination of spandex, cotton, and recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles.
What We Love | Fair Harbor makes swimwear out of recycled plastics and upcycled ocean waste to protect the beaches they love.
Fair Harbor’s Ethical Swimming Trunks
One of our favorite eco-friendly men’s swimwear brands, Fair Harbor wants you to hit the beach, surf, yoga, boat, running track and pool with their range of trunks and shorts for men and women. Whatever the activity, comfort and performance are guaranteed.
The men’s Anchor swimming trunk has five-star reviews that speak for themselves.
They’ve got you covered from sea to land and have a variety of colors, prints and patterns to mix and match—all made from recycled plastic bottles.
Fair Harbor’s Sustainability
Supply Chain | They work with WRAP-certified factories, a non-profit that monitors safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Fair Harbor is a Certified B Corp. They create a safe working environment and they have inclusive sizes.
8. Stay Wild Swim
Price Range | £50-£180 | Shop Stay Wild Swim
Materials | Stay Wild Swim uses ECONYL® yarn, a 100% recycled nylon fibers made from nylon waste.
What We Love | Got a pair of saggy bikini bottoms or a chlorine-destroyed swimsuit you don’t know what to do with? Stay Wild Swim offers swimwear recycling from any brand. You’ll get 10% off your next order as a thank-you.
Stay Wild Swim’s Swimwear
Stay Wild Swim is one of the best sustainable swimwear brands, combining premium style with function. Choose from bikinis and one-pieces in bold block colors that look good enough to wear outside the pool.
If you’re looking for something sporty, the Odyssey One Piece offers a higher level of support and double-lining to handle anything from beach volleyball to surfing. It has a flattering feminine shape and zip-up detail to give you plenty of confidence.
Stay Wild Swim’s Sustainability
Carbon Goals & Achievements | All shipping is carbon-neutral and products are delivered in biodegradable packaging.
Supply Chain | All pieces are designed and produced in London by local artisans in a small factory that meets their ethical standards.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | The brand is a Certified B Corp which means they put people and the planet first.
9. Picture Organic
Price Range | €50–€70 | Shop Picture Organic
Materials | The collection is made from an eco-friendly swimwear fabric called polyhemp which combines recycled polyester, cotton, hemp and spandex.
What We Love | Picture Organic provides adventure lovers with the clothing they need to enjoy the outdoors in an eco-friendly way. They’re one of the few brands making highly technical outdoor garments (such as ski shells and wetsuits) out of recycled and alternative fabrics.
Picture Organic’s Hemp Swimwear
Picture Organic provides the gear you need for all your ocean-bound adventures. Find wetsuits, surf tees, swim trunks, boardshorts, bikinis, rash guards and swimsuits.
The Andy Heritage Print 17 boardshorts have a classic cut and a choice of two colorways. The stretch polyhemp is quick-drying and comfortable, in addition to being chlorine and sunscreen-resistant too.
Picture Organic’s Sustainability
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Picture Organic regularly analyzes their carbon footprint. They also work with suppliers to help them switch to renewable energy.
Supply Chain | They’re a Certified B Corp and a member of the Fair Wear Foundation which works to improve worker conditions in the garment industry.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | They publish an annual Index of professional equality between women and men in the workplace.
Price Range | $65–$619 | Shop Patagonia
Materials | Patagonia’s swimwear is constructed out of bluesign® approved recycled nylon, recycled polyester, and elastane. Their wetsuits are made from Yulex® natural rubber which is a sustainable alternative to oil-based neoprene.
What We Love | Patagonia put their money where their mouth is and made Planet Earth a majority shareholder in their company. They prioritize purpose over profit across their business.
Patagonia’s Sustainable Swimwear
Purveyors of sustainable outdoor gear, Patagonia has you covered from outer shell jackets to shorts and just about every type of casual and outdoor clothing in between.
While their range also includes standard swimwear like recycled plastic board shorts, Patagonia stands out for their more unique water-bound offerings: eco-friendly wetsuits for men and women.
The R2® Yulex® Regulator® Front-Zip Full Wetsuit handles water temperatures between 55°–60° F/13°–16° C. It fits snugly to the body without being restrictive and contains natural, FSC-certified rubber.
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Patagonia has found that 97% of their emissions come from their supply chain, and they’re working on becoming carbon-positive.
Supply Chain | Their eco-friendly swimwear manufacturers are monitored by their Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Program.
Pay It Forward | Patagonia stock is structured so that profits either go to making Patagonia a more sustainable company, while the rest goes directly to climate change fighting causes. They also co-founded 1% for the Planet, and make it easy for everyone to get involved through their Action Works program, where you can look up causes near you.
How Did We Choose The Best Sustainable Swimwear Brands
Can swimwear be eco-friendly? If so, what makes a bathing suit sustainable?
There isn’t a uniform approach when it comes to sustainable fashion. Still, we like to see brands make a splash with their conscious effort to do and be better.
To help us narrow it down, we’ve created a set of criteria to look at all areas of the brand’s business and see how they fare. Let’s dive in.
bluesign®, Global Recycled Standard (GRS), B Corporation (B Corp), Fair Trade Certified, Fair Labor Association (FLA), OEKO-TEX, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Regenerative Organic CertifiedTM (ROC), Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Fair Wear Foundation
Fabrics & Materials:
Materials like nylon and polyester are often used in swimwear as they’re lightweight, moisture-wicking and flexible.
Unfortunately, they’re not so eco-friendly—and because swimwear needs to be stretchy, elastic, and quick-drying, we haven’t found a way to make, say, organic cotton swimwear that performs the same.
So what are eco-friendly materials for swimsuits?
To reduce the impact of petroleum-based materials, we like to see recycled materials, like excess fabric, recycled nylon from recaptured ocean plastic, and recycled polyester from plastic bottles.
Carbon Goals & Achievements:
Overall, the fashion industry is responsible for ~4% of annual carbon emissions. This is not good enough if we want to curb the effects of global warming.
We want to see brands take steps to not only offset their emissions but also reduce the amount they produce.
Responsible fashion brands should be aware of their impact on the people who make their swimwear.
We want to see companies be transparent about their supply chains. They should take measures to ensure their factories maintain fair labor practices and workers are paid a fair wage.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
Sustainable clothing shouldn’t just be for the few. We like to see brands accommodate inclusive sizing with the same attention to comfort and functionality.
Pay It Forward:
Supporting charities isn’t essential to small fashion brands as we know margins can be tight. However, we like to see them take an interest in their communities or environmental causes.
Closing Thoughts On Eco-Friendly Swimwear
Plastic comprises much of the estimated 1.4 billion tons of waste that enters our oceans each year and one-tenth of that is abandoned fishing nets.
Many of these ethical swimwear brands source ocean plastics as their main material.
They also craft pieces that last as the longer you hang on to your new suit, the fewer of them end up in landfill.
Some brands make sure landfill is never an option by creating recycling schemes that close the loop on swimwear. That’s a current we’re happy to get swept up in!
Swim-spired by this list?
Make sure you share it with a friend to synchronize your eco-friendly swimming gear.