Recycled Plastic Swimwear: What It Is & The Best Sustainable Swimwear
Recycled plastic swimwear solves two problems at once: it provides a second life for plastics and offers a more sustainable alternative to traditional swimwear. All clothing containing synthetic fibers is not biodegradable, and that problem extends to most swimwear. However, there are better options out there for our oceans and our planet.
Why switch to recycled plastic swimwear?
Traditionally, we make swimwear from synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex, and nylon. These fabrics are the standard in swimwear because of their performance capabilities – they’re moisture-wicking, stretchy, and versatile.
All of these properties make them comfortable to swim in – which makes sense. Can you imagine swimming in a cotton or linen swimsuit? Plus, synthetic fibers are cheap to make, which the fast fashion industry loves – this is why they use them in so many of their offerings.
We create about 65 million tons of plastic-based synthetic materials each year. These fabrics cannot biodegrade. Instead, they sit in landfills or break down into microfibers, which can end up in our oceans.
By switching to recycled plastic swimwear, you create no demand for new synthetic fibers. Instead, you’re driving demand for recycled plastic clothing, which gives new life to plastic that would likely end up in landfills or in our oceans. The plastic already exists – we have the power to do something better with it.
Five awesome recycled plastic swimwear brands
Ruby Moon offers recycled plastic swimwear as well as activewear. They’re the only not-for-profit swim and activewear brand in the world. They donate 100% of profits to female entrepreneurs all over the world through microloans. To date, they’ve helped 1200 women and their families work their way out of poverty. They use Econyl, which is regenerated nylon made from 100% recycled plastic, using things like fishing nets.
We (mother and I) are wearing the Sorphea swimsuit, made from recycled ocean plastics and designed to last. Enter “mia” at checkout for £10 off.
Summersalt swimwear contains 78% recycled polyamide, which is made from post-consumer materials and nylon waste. The remainder of materials includes Tencel which uses sustainably sourced wood, Cupro which uses recycled cotton linter, and cruelty-free wool and cashmere yarns.
This brand makes swimwear from Econyl and Repreve, both of which contain 100% recycled plastics. Apart from their swimwear, they also offer other articles of clothing that are use responsible fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, and climate beneficial wool.
This brand exclusively makes its swimwear from recycled plastic and has recycled the equivalent of 300,000 plastic bottles into swimwear so far. They’re also working on offsetting their carbon footprint through rewilding and planting trees. They are also involved in other charity projects, including restoring reefs and lobster conservation. They’re a micro-business that wants to stay small and produce slow, thoughtful products.
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This swimwear brand offers products that use Econyl, so they are 100% recycled plastics. They also use recycled paper hangtags and compostable packing bags. They ensure that their factories offer fair wages and good working conditions. Plus, they partner with artists to create signature designs.
For more responsible clothing brands to check out, read up on plastic free activewear here. Before you go, leave a comment below and let me know if you have a favourite plastic free swimwear brand!
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