Sustainable Swimwear | Living North

Sustainable Swimwear


Image of turtle swimming underwater
Sustainable swimwear leaves the rest of the fashion industry in its wake
Image Flora Hoffman Swimwear

Solid & Striped new sustainable collection is made from Econyl, a fabric made from recycled fishing nets and industrial plastic waste, reducing its carbon footprint by 80 percent. It’s just one of several swimwear brands turning their attention to the damaging effects of fashion manufacturing on our seas and oceans.

The swimwear market is embracing sustainability, leaving other fashion sectors in its wake. New brands including Talia Collins and Ohoy produce pieces using Econyl, and US-based Mara Hoffman, well known for her exacting standards on sustainability, uses Rpet, a polyester fibre made from recycled plastic bottles. Recent winner of the Champions of Sustainability leading the Change Award at New York Fashion Week. Her buttons and trims are also made from recycled materials. Mylo Swimwear is handmade by artisans on the island of Mallorca. Each piece is crocheted to order so no two are ever the same and they are all made from certified cotton.

For sportier swimwear, Woodlike Ocean’s feminine, eco-friendly pieces have a sporty twist. The brand’s commitment to the environment goes beyond the choice of sustainable material as they are partner member of the 1percent For The Planet organisation, which means that for every piece you purchase you make a direct donation to the Healthy Seas initiative that helps recover ghost fishing nets from the seas. Over 600,000 tons of fishing gear end up in our seas every single year, and fishing lines are one of the most deadly dangers to marine life. The specially designed Italian fabric has built-in UV protection, is chlorine resistat and boasts a higher shape retention than most mainsteam swimwear brands.

Natasha Tonić’s new ethical range includes swimwear from a unique, natural hemp fibre that is anti-microbial, UV resistant and durable. As a completely natural fibre, these hemp swimsuits can double as lingerie, bodysuits or even activewear and 5 percent of all her sales are donated to 5 Gyres to help fight plastic pollution in our oceans. 

Like traditional swimwear, most sustainable pieces do contain a small amount of elastane or lycra which helps give the swimwear its shape, and it’s these synthetic fabrics which shed the tiny damaging plastic microfibres. As yet, there isn’t a totally free-from manmade swimwear line out there but you can help reduce the amount of microfibres entering our water supply by using an eco-friendly washing bag which acts as a helpful filter.

Published in: June 2019

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