*This post was generously sponsored by Azura Bay. Sustaining Life only works with brands that align with our standards for ethical & sustainable operations. All opinions are, as always, honestly our own.*
There's nothing like warm weather to fill this California girl's head with picturesque beaches, rushing river waters, and afternoons spent frolicking in the sprinklers. What did your childhood summers look like? For me, the smell of fresh water hitting hot asphalt brings on some serious nostalgia. Whether you spend your sunny days keeping cool in the suburbs, lounging by the pool, or off discovering natural bodies of water, you're going to need a swimsuit to see you through your warm weather adventures.
If you're anything like me you wear your swimsuits out and about until the colors fade and the elastic begins to visibly shed. Most swimsuits are made from synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon - aka plastic. This means that the carbon footprint and environmental impact of a swimsuit is relatively high, and that it won't biodegrade once it's reached the end of it's life and been discarded. Being aware of the fact that my itsy-bitsy bikini will stay on this precious planet of ours indefinitely (alongside single-use plastics like straws and bags) I definitely aim to get #30wears if not #100wears in before seeking out a new style.
So when I opened my drawer this year to find one lone swimsuit still in good enough condition to wear in public, I knew that the time had come to bite the bullet and seek out a new, sustainable option. When I purchased that lone bikini two years ago I only had so many sustainable brands to choose from, but now, wow. The sustainable fashion world has expanded well beyond the realm of crunchy granola vs high-end bespoke wear to accommodate for any number of different styles, budgets, locales, body types, and coverage options. Now there are just as many teeny-weeny string bikini options as there are sophisticated one-piece suits out there being made from recycled plastic bottles, reclaimed nylon, and other eco-friendly materials. Discover some of my favorites below!
Born from a deep love for design and the sea, this brand is for ladies who like to look and feel super sexy in their swimsuits. Vitamin A designs all of their pieces to fit like a second skin and to invoke the glamorous beachy vibe that is eponymous with the Italian coast and Southern California beaches. Their suits are made from the brand's signature EcoLux - a performative and form-fitting fabric that they engineered themselves from recycled nylon. In addition to EcoLux, Vitamin A incorporates Tencel, linen, organic cotton, recycled cotton, and recycled polyester from plastic bottles into their line. All of the brand's EcoLux fabric is manufactured in California, as are their swimsuits. Vitamin A also partners with and donates a portion of their proceeds to environmental organizations. | SHOP VITAMIN A SWIM AT AZURA BAY.
This Danish brand takes a quirky and feminine approach to their swimsuit, lingerie, and loungewear styles. They design each piece to show that sustainable fashion does not exclude pieces that are fun and flattering! Underprotection works exclusively with their Fair Wear Foundation certified factory in New Delhi, India where they employ and seek to empower a team of 20 locals. The brand makes it's adorable swimsuits out of recycled plastic bottles, utilizing Lyocell, organic cotton, and even materials made from byproducts of the milk industry in the rest of their line. Underprotection is GOTS, OEKO-TEX, and Global Recycle Standard approved. | SHOP UNDERPROTECTION SWIM AT AZURA BAY.
Inspired by the strength, beauty, and resilience of Australian botanicals, this swimwear brand designs form-flattering styles for a range of different body types. Baiia's reversible swimsuits go up to a size 16 and are made with the utmost care for people and the planet in mind. The brand makes all of their swimsuits from recycled plastic bottles in an ethically-run factory in China (they break down the details on worker's benefits, environment, and wages on their website). Baiia's styles are always colored and printed with water-based inks to cut down on energy use and emissions and as a result their materials are OEKO-TEX, GOTS, and Clear to Wear certified. | SHOP BAIIA SWIM HERE.
Inspired by and named after the designer's great aunt, DETA does not follow the typical rules of life or fashion. This new swimwear brand creates delightfully retro-contemporary styles in unexpected colors. All of DETA's swimwear is designed and produced at a small-batch factory in Brooklyn that uses zero-waste knitting machines to create these seamless styles. After the styles are knit, the brand employs local grandmothers to embroider whimsical designs on their swimsuits. DETA does not use sustainable materials in their designs yet but they are working to incorporate recycled materials into their yarns as soon as they can. | SHOP DETA SWIM HERE.
This brand places quality and heritage at the top of it's priority list, producing styles that will appeal to those who appreciate the sporty, laid-back, beach-bum lifestyle. Faherty was founded by twin brothers who turned their nostalgia for their own beach town into a mission to create products that are good for the planet. Their swimsuits are all made from recycled plastic bottles, with the women's styles being manufactured completely in the USA. Faherty incorporates recycled materials, natural dyes, and durable natural materials in the rest of their line and always works with ethically run factories, with the founders themselves visiting and working alongside their production facilities for 2 months each year. | SHOP FAHERTY MEN'S & WOMEN'S SWIM HERE.
This cheeky beach brand was founded by a brother & sister duo who spent their childhood summers surfing off of Long Island. The founders were instilled with a deep love for the ocean and it is this along with a strong Northeast coast identity that carries through everything they do. Each preppy and sporty style is made from recycled plastic bottles and designed to last through an endless summer. Fair Harbor produces their swimsuits in overseas factories which they personally visit on a regular basis. | SHOP FAIR HARBOR MEN'S & WOMEN'S SWIM HERE.
Designer swimwear with a twist, Mara Hoffman's swim styles are just as innovative and exuberant as the rest of this NYC designer's line. Bursting with color and cut in unexpected yet flattering shapes, these styles instantly transport the wearer to a sun-soaked and glamorous vacation. Mara Hoffman makes all of their regular swimwear from ECONYL®, made from recycled nylon fishing nets, industrial plastic waste, and nylon fabric scraps. Their textured (think ribbed) swimwear is made from REPREVE® which is created from recycled plastic bottles. This brand sets the standard for sustainability in the swimwear and fashion industry by continuously improving their materials and processes over time while transparently telling that story. | SHOP MARA HOFFMAN SWIM HERE.
The leading fashion brand for sustainability, Patagonia creates swimwear for those who love being active in the outdoors. The styles in this collection are less on the skimpy side and more on the functional end of things. With bikini tops and bottoms designed to stay on the body while surfing or cliff-diving, Patagonia's swimwear is ready for an adventure. All of their swim styles are made from either recycled nylon or recycled polyester and all swimsuit production occurs in fair trade certified factories around the world. Ever the activists, Patagonia works with various groups to protect particularly wonderful and wild natural areas around the world. |
This go-to brand for sexy and sustainable styles expanded into swimwear last year. True to typical Reformation form, their swimsuits are cut to show skin and flatter the female figure. It's not all sexy and skimpy though, the brand brings in an element of summery fun with bright colors, cheeky patterns, and vintage-inspired shapes. Reformation makes all of their swimsuits out of 78% Global Recycle Standard approved fabrics (including pre and post consumer polyester waste) - a material which requires 50% less water to manufacture than virgin polyester. The brand's solid swimsuit fabrics are knitted and dyed in Italy and are OEKO-TEX certified, with their patterned styles being printed in Los Angeles. All of Reformation's swimsuits are cut and sewn in Los Angeles. | SHOP REFORMATION SWIM HERE.
On a mission to change the norms in the swimwear industry, this brand provides affordable, flattering styles. Summersalt is obsessed with the perfect fit, creating unique cuts and styles that are designed to give you the coverage and support you need in a swimsuit. The brand claims that it's fabrics have 4x the compression than most swimsuits do, meaning that their styles will last longer and won't easily stretch out of shape. Summersalt swimsuits are made from high quality recycled materials that are UPF 50+ and manufactured in NYC. | SHOP SUMMERSALT SWIM HERE.
This Canadian brand is new on the scene with a mission to include women of all shapes and sizes in the world of stylish swimwear. Svea Swim has created their own sizing system in order to accommodate a wider range of body types with their simple but flatteringly-cut styles. The brand launched this year with their first collection being made from non-sustainable materials, but they plan to switch to an Italian-made nylon that is 90% recycled within the next year. Svea Swim produces all of their swimsuits at a small manufacturer in Montreal. | SHOP SVEA SWIM HERE.
Inspired by the simple beauty of the female form, this Italian brand is committed to celebrating that natural beauty with their streamlined styles. These swimsuits are simple, with no embellishments, underwires, or seaming to enhance the female form - rather, they are cut in a way that embraces it as is. Und Swim makes all of their reversible swimsuits from recycled lycra made out of fishing nets recovered from the ocean. All of their styles are produced ethically at a manufacturing facility in Italy. | SHOP UND SWIM HERE.