8 Ethical Swimwear Brands You Need To Try

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8 Ethical Swimwear Brands You Need To Try


Ethical swimwear is for everyone and every budget. These labels cover everything from pretty sustainable bikinis to boardshorts.

Jessie Dodd

Wed 12 Aug 2020

If you’re anything like us you always leaving buying bikinis or boardshorts to the last minute.

But online ethical swimwear brands have just the thing all year round.

Choose from sporty or stripped back, practical and pretty, whether you’re off to learn to surf or just want to sit by the sea, we’ve just the sustainable style for you.

Have you tried one of these brands? Let us know in the comments below.

8 Ethical Swimwear Brands You Need To Try

1. Davy J

If you're one for outdoor swimming or partial to a spot of wild swimming, this is the label for you.

British made and created from ghost fishing nets that are left in the oceans (just one ton these ghost nets will make 10,000 swimsuits), Davy J is swimwear you can actually swim in.

There are double lining and cross back styles to make sure all your bits stay in one place, no matter how high the dive or whatever waterfall you plunge under, but it's super comfortable too.

And when you're done, send the suits back to be recycled and let's close that loop.

Read our interview with Davy J's founder and her mission to create zero waste by 2020

Woman swims in Davy J in the river

Sustainable swimwear to actually tackle the sea in

2. Riz

British boys Riz use Savile Row style skills to add bright colours and superior tailoring to the humble beach shorts.

Pick from long all day shorts, or the shorter Buckler version but whichever awesome pattern you go for, these shorts have been made from plastic bottles that have been collected on beaches. The bottles are made from 100% recycled polyester or rPET, which drys quickly.

Read our interview with Riz here: 'Beautiful and environmental' - the highs and lows of a sustainable swimwear brand

Riz sustainable board shorts on 2 men

3. Shapes In The Sand

Australia isn’t short of ethical swimwear labels but Shapes in the Sand celebrates our place in the natural world and isn’t just for looking pretty.

This eco-conscious swimwear label is handmade in Australia from ECONYL - which is made from 100% regenerated materials and the prints use sublimation printing which doesn’t use any water or harsh chemicals.

Bikinis, crop tops and one pieces are all available in awesome patterns and colours.

Woman on the sand in Shapes in the Sand sustainable swimwear

Shapes In The Sand's prints are made from plant dyes and not chemicals

4. Liar the Label

Byron Bay has always had an eco-focus so it seems like the right home for sustainable swimwear Liar the Label. Shop for cute bikinis (we love the sunflower print) and Aussie beach babe style.

This fairtrade and ethical brand use ECONYL as well (which is made from fishing nets and plastic bottles) and 10% of its profits from the Exoskeleton collection go towards turtle conservation.

woman on diving board in white bikini

Capture the Aussie beach babe look but don't harm the planet

5. Outerknown

Founded by surf champ, eco warrior and all round good guy Kelly Slater, Outerknown sit somewhere between fashion and serious outdoorswear.

Their classic surf trunks are made from recycled polyester (from plastic bottles and ocean waste) and feature secure pockets and a hidden bungee chord ring. The sustainable swimwear company is also tackling the textile crisis at every level from raw materials to packaging.

Hit The Beach: 6 Best Ethical Men’s Swimwear Brands

6. Underprotection

Danish label Underprotection create pretty and girly swimsuits and bikinis alongside their ethical underwear business. Sustainably made with recycled polyester, Underprotection's swimwear's cuts and shapes are flattering and generous - the clam shell bikini will have you humming The Little Mermaid and the Zenia (seen below) has a cute off the shoulder ruffle that's more beach bar than sand bar.

Woman on wooden balcony in Underprotection swimsuit

Danish label Underprotection create ethically made underwear and swimwear that's delicate

7. Speedo

Speedo’s H20 Active range has been designed to work as hard as you do in and out of the water - so think stand up paddleboarding and SUP yoga as much as lounging around next to the pool. We love the crop tops, leggings and swimwear you’re not going to pop out of.

Even better it uses POWERFLEX ECO, a fabric that is made from fibres made from old fishing nets. It also has a Take Back Programme which feeds Speedo’s own waste into raw material into eco-friendly nylon.

10 Best Ways To Go Wild Swimming In The UK

three women get out of swimming pool

Fishing nets become forward thinking activewear at Speedo

8. Ruby Moon

British ethical swimwear label Ruby Moon has pioneered the reversible bikini and swimming costumes, with a cool print on one side and easy to wear black on the other. This is gym to swim, sustainably made swimwear, so think sports cuts and fashion prints. The other reason we love Ruby Moon is all of its profits are lent out as microloans to help women entrepreneurs in 11 under developed countries.

How To Give Your Sportswear An Ethical Edit

A woman sits on the beach in a Ruby Moon top

Help turn swimwear into small loans for female entrepreneurs

Save our seas: Watch your micro plastic waste!

As much as buying ethical and eco-friendly is important, it’s also key to wash less and wash better to try and limit the billions of micro or nano plastic particles that end up in the ocean.

Try washing your swimwear in a bucket of warm water and gently squeeze the excess water out before hanging it up to dry. If you can use the water in the garden rather than down the drain then even better.

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