Summer + swimwear = love! Fast fashion + swimwear = microfibre and ethics issues. Discover a detailed, up-to-date comparison of international sustainable swimwear brands in this brand new product guide!
Yes, I am indeed talking swimwear in late August! Mainly because I also finally bought two swimsuits that I’ll review next AND because it took some time to research and to put together the guide.
But also because I don’t really consider swimming a seasonally exclusive activity. What’s more relevant than timing anyway is the closer look at just how green eco swimwear brands can get.
We know today that synthetic (or: petrochemical) fibres shed non-biodegradable microfibres into our rivers and oceans. Remember my posts on Skincare and Clothes that Threaten Our Food Supply or Our Synthetic Future? Or the (somewhat scary) plastic-related toxin breakdown in Welcome to the Toxic Wasteland? That’s the exact point.
But if you think of it, about 99% of all swimwear and surfwear are made from synthetic fibres.
Does it mean every surfer and swimmer is destroying the ocean?
The sad – and very short – answer is: yes.
So what do we do about it?
Are all eco-fair brands created equal?
Since probably last year, eco magazines and bloggers have started to list dozens and dozens of really gorgeous-looking sustainable swimwear labels to get consumer attention to the facts that a) there are better options than the high street and that b) sustainable swimwear looks great and has become affordable.
But shall we look at what exactly qualifies brands to be sustainable swimwear brands?
Sustainability street cred generally comes in two flavours: committed manufacturers or sustainability standards. Sustainability standards are available for socially responsible production (Fairwear), for organic garments made of natural fibers produced in an eco-fair way (GOTS), and then there’s bluesign for synthetic fibres. There are more, but these are some of those that set the highest standards.
But the consumer shouldn’t forget about her part in the sustainability process. What good does it to buy an eco swimsuit locally sourced and manufactured in, say, Italy, if you live in Australia?
It’s definitely much greener to shop regionally – and most of all consciously –, making sure that no items are unneccessarily sent back only because you didn’t read the size chart, and that no products are shipped across the planet if you could have bought something very similar from a local company.
Now, from what I saw during maybe last three or four years is that 99% of swimwear out there is made of synthetic fibres. Some swimwear brands use remnants (or deadstock, or vintage fabrics) from other companies and call themselves sustainable for this practice alone, which I truly don’t think is enough – it’s basically just a very affordable way to source fabric. What matters here is whether or not each particular brand is really ecological and fair. You have to look closer. Maybe it is. But maybe it is not.
Other companies use recycled fibers, plastic bottles (= PET or polyester) and recycled fishing nets (= Nylon). Again, this is a good start but I feel it’s not enough: there must be fair production, toxin-free fabrics – ideally certified with GOTS or IVN Best for natural fibres or bluesign, the eco-fair standard for synthetic fibres.
Some brands produce locally under fair working conditions, again, this may differ depending on the production country’s labour right regulations and, of course, on the brand’s definition of fair wages.
As you can think, upon closer investigation, my list of several dozens of brands and companies was bound to quickly boil down to maybe only a dozen – by the way, if you know of a brand NOT listed but definitely eco-fair or if you spot an inaccuracy, please let me know. ❤
Download now the first edition of the
BEAUTYCALYPSE Eco Swimwear Guide 2016
To read and to download the guide, click on the image below.
The click will open a 68 KB PDF file in a new tab.
WHAT’S IN THE FREE ONE-PAGE GUIDE FOR YOU:
1. One list with international brands that work using recycled synthetic fabric from oceanic waste
2. One list with international brands certified with different international sustainability labels/ standards
3. Great shopping ideas for gorgeously designed swimwear
4. You’ll also see what each individual brand is offering apart from swimwear for women
5. …and how much the most expensive onepiece of each brand would cost you
6. Links to online shops (only few brands are without)
7. And of course the fact that this list will be regularly updated!