Suit Yourself – A Guide to Ethical Swimwear
Spring weather makes us want to take the long way to work, sip wine on patios, and whip out those sunglasses. It also makes us think about upcoming summer weekends and finally finding that perfect beach swimsuit. Easier said than done. No matter your size or style, finding the right suit can be a dreadful process. You’re just adding fuel to the fire if you are looking for a bathing suit that’s produced ethically or sustainably.
Swimsuits, in particular, are difficult to find if you are trying to be a more conscious shopper. They are typically made with heavy duty versions of Nylon and Lycra (made from petrochemicals which come from crude oil and natural gas) and include multiple elastic trims that do not biodegrade. Most second-hand stores don’t accept used or worn bathing suits, so you can’t resell or donate. As if that wasn’t enough, most swimsuit styles are super trendy. The patterns and colors change drastically from year to year, making you want to replace last year’s suit with a more current version.
Never fear. We did the research for you. Here are five brands that raise the bar when it comes to producing swimwear.
Bikyni, a basic swimwear brand, prides itself on making quality, minimalist swimwear that’s easy to wear without being over priced or over designed. Their fabric comes from an Italian mill that has been knitting performance fabrics for over 50 years. Every swimsuit is designed and produced in the USA.
Why We Love It: This suit has no clasps or ties making it an A+ in our book. There’s no need to worry about any slip-ups as you dive into the pool this summer. This sporty, high neck pullover with supportive criss-crossing straps is a classic style that’s easy to mix and match with other tops or bottoms.
Price Point: $95 for both or $50 separately
If you are the queen of vintage, this is the brand for you. giejo is a sustainable swimwear company who makes all of its bikinis and one-pieces out of locally sourced vintage and reclaimed textiles found in New York City’s Garment District. Their fun, versatile prints allow you to mix-and-match for a personalized look. Every giejo swimsuit is made in the USA.
Why We Love It: Aside from the fact that this suit is entirely made of recycled fabric, the bralette shape and cut out details gives it a unique feel. The adjustable straps make it work for almost every body type.
Price Point: $118 (top), $99 (bottom)
Founded by two brothers from California, Faherty’s eco-friendly swimwear is made from an innovative fabric blend that uses recycled polyester from plastic bottles. Designed in string, brief, hipster and one-piece forms, the line caters to many different body types and style preferences. And, did we mention that the brand makes dapper men’s trunks, so now your man can be styling too!
Why We Love It: This stylish, vintage-inspired suit is perfect for busty babes. Designed with underwire and padded cups, it offers more support than your typical triangle top. The straps are even removable, in case you’re looking for a strap-free suntan.
Price Point: $70 for top and $60 for bottoms
Best known for their chic details and neutral color palettes, the California-produced swimwear line, Vitamin A, is leading the way in terms of sustainable fashion. The majority of their suits are created with EcoLuxTM, a superfine matte jersey swim fabric, which is produced using recycled nylon fiber to conserve resources. On top of that, they also use a special type of fiber that extends the life of each swimsuit. Innovative and long lasting. What more could you ask for?
Why We Love It: This bathing suit is an investment that will pay dividends. You can’t beat the classic style of a triangle bikini, and it comes in over eight different colors and patterns. The racerback also gives the suit a bit of an edge, while still keeping it super easy to pull on.
Price Point: $67 for top and $58 for bottoms
HACKWITH DESIGN HOUSE
Hackwith Design House launched in 2013, designing simple dresses produced in limited editions of 25 pieces. Since then, they have grown a rabid and loyal following and expanded into basics, bridal, and swimwear. They produce all of their pieces in their studio in Minnesota.
The Suit We Love Most: Twist Back One Piece
Why We Love It: This one piece suit is the epitome of simple chic. If you rock a decent tan, then we absolutely say go for the white. You will be looking like Elizabeth Taylor circa 1962, beach goddess.
Price Point: $65-$160