Make a splash with these ethical swimwear brands for summer

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Summer's coming, the heat is on. But what have you got on? 

If you're looking for a new swimsuit, bikini or boardshorts, swap mass market produced Lycra for one of these gorgeous ethical swimwear brands.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 29 May 2018

Are you getting ready for your summer holiday? Perhaps you're going to try wild swimming for the first time or you're about to get back in the water, for a SUP session or a summer surf. 

Whether you're looking to lounge on the beach or break a personal best, our featured swimwear brands have been ethically made, often using recycled or upcycled materials; they give back to the planet and we think they're all superior to the stuff you'll find on the high street. 

This summer, sod the bikini body and wear your swimwear with pride, knowing you're supporting independent brands and ethical products that go the distance.

9 ethical swimwear brands for summer

Stidston swimwear

Stidston is seriously sustainable and seriously sexy swimwear. Made to order in London, Stidston creates one and two pieces that somehow work from beach to bar, possibly because some of them come in velvet.

Stidston focuses on quality cuts, recycled materials like polyester and Lycra and local production. This one piece, the Hope, is not only gingham gorgeous but fully reversible.

The Cove Ethical Swimwear 2018 1

Turn heads in this retro gingham number that's fully reversible

Davy J

Davy J's swimsuits are engineered to survive a deep dive and not let you down. Made for swimmers rather than sun loungers, the cleverly cut one and two pieces are made from plastic waste - ghost fishing nets, one of the unsung scourges of the sea (these nets account for one tenth of all marine litter).

If you're surfing, SUP-ing, waterskiing, wild swimming or anything else aquatic this summer, Davy J's an excellent, ethical choice.

Davy J Ethical Swimwear

Beachwear you can actually move, swim and dive in - without flashing your bits.


Long time pebble favourites, Finisterre's new ethical swimwear collection really steps up to the (plastic free) plate. The Microplastics collection aims to raise awareness about marine plastic waste at the micro level. The patterns on its mens and women's swimwear and beachwear collection have been inspired by microplastics and made from ECONYL, which turns plastic waste and fishing nets into reusable yarns.

The women's swimsuits come in bikinis, one pieces, long sleeved versions and all in one body suits. The collection will also help fund research into plastic waste solutions and cleaner seas, 10% of each piece goes to Surfers Against Sewage.

Finisterre Ethical Swimwear 2018

Microplastics inspire Finisterre's new collection and it will fund research into more plastic free seas

Ruby Moon

Is it a swimsuit? Is it yogawear? Or is it both? Ethical swimwear brand Ruby Moon has debuted its new Gym-to-Swim collection this summer.

This fabulous bold printed, versatile collection reflects our growing desire to combine different workouts and includes croptops, sports bras, leggings, rash guards and swimsuits. Best of all Ruby Moon is a not-for-profit that uses the profits to fund micro-loans to women entrepreneurs in 13 counties (and names its styles after them).

But it's not just people Ruby Moon looks after, its manufacturing process has been certified as producing 42% less carbon emissions thanks to being made from ECONYL (you remember, it's upcycled fishing nets) and other waste materials.

Ruby Moon Ethical Swimwear 2018

Ruby Moon captures the move to more active swimwear with its unique gym to swim collection


Riz have become our go to for men's ethically produced boardshorts. The self-styled 'tailors of sunshine' mix bright and bold prints, inspired by things like endangered flowers, with sustainable materials made from plastic waste and Savile Row quality tailoring. The shorts come in three lengths (depending on how much you want to bare). Each pair donates £1 to the Marine Conservation Society as well.

(Read about what it's really like to run an ethical swimwear company here).

Riz Ethical Swimwear 2018

Mix ethically inspired prints with materials made from plastic waste for modern shorts


Definitely an ethical swimwear brand that's on the less active side of things (sometimes no bad thing on holiday) and perfect for relaxing with a cocktail or two, is new brand Arkitaip. Its handmade, crocheted swimwear harks back the 70s but the modern halternecks and croptops flatter in all the right places.

Each piece is made to order (so almost zero waste) by the co-founder, using 80% recycled linen, and each piece is lined with ECONYL.

Arkitaip ethical swimwear

Arkitaip creates handmade crocheted swimwear made to order

Deakin & Blue

Deakin & Blue create excellent ethical swimwear for women who don't want to bare it all. Its flattering one pieces suit all sizes and shapes, from from AA-HH cup. This British brand wants to empower all women to swim in style and encourage everyone to be more active in the water.

Ethical swimwear is no longer a choice between form and function, Deakin & Blue makes its swimwear from 100% recycled and regenerated waste materials (those fishing nets again). What you might not know is that swimwear made from fishing nets is twice as resistant to chlorine, sun cream and oil than Lycra. 

Deakin & Blue also wants to remind women to check for breast cancer signs, so each piece comes with a#BraHijack label and info card.

Deakin And Blue Ethical Swimwear 2018

Dive in in style and remind yourself of the sheer joy of swimming - confident and comfy

Bikini Empire

If you're looking for something more eco luxe when it comes to swimwear, Canadian designed, Bikini Empire has just the thing. Its one and two pieces are the kind of thing you sling in a suitcase for a romantic weekend on the Med or a pool party in Palm Springs.

This is full on retro glamour, complete with innovative swimsuits and flattering bigger bottomed two pieces for those of us who aren't model-thin. The fabric is sourced from a solar powered Italian factory that works to preserve wildlife and even the fastenings are ethically produced.

Bikini Empire Ethical Swimwear 2018

Capture the spirit of California with this eco luxe swimwear brand

We Are Nativ

Bringing a dose of the brightly coloured 80s to the ethical swimwear market is We Are Nativ. There's a range of one and two pieces, with high leg cuts, deep V necks and more two tone colourways than Jane Fonda would know what to do with. The Ibiza-meets-aerobics style hides a serious message - everything's created from post-consumer waste, 100% ECONYL and made ethically in Indonesia.  

We Are Nativ Ethical Swimwear 2018

Post consumer waste turned into swimsuits - now where's the pool?

Meet more people who care about ethical brands and ecofriendly ways of living - in the pebble pod

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