Our ongoing and comprehensive guide to the best in sexy and sustainable swimwear to make your next beach vacation a little more ethical.
We’re so lucky in Asia. Idyllic sun destinations with powder white sand beaches and crystal blue waters are plenty and often close enough that weekenders to tropical destinations are on regular rotation. Never-ending summer also means swim season is year-round. Then again, we’re also not so lucky because the harsh reality is that too many of our beaches are littered in plastic and ocean ecosystems are struggling. And too many fashion brands are cashing in to make a quick summer buck (Missguided and the £1 Bikini, we’re looking at you).
In a widespread effort to combat this, initiatives like beach cleanups are becoming increasingly popular and the latest industry to join the plight is fashion. Sustainable brands are becoming increasingly sought after and available. Even more recently, the bikini has been reinvented with brands transforming ocean waste into super chic swimwear that’s easy on the environment, too. As such, we’re on a mission to make a comprehensive list of these brands. This is just the beginning; we’ll update it whenever we find a new brand that shares our love for the sun, sea and sustainability.
ASIA AND OCEANIA
Ethical swim and resort wear brands as well as hand-crafted accessories
Ethics: This super chic multi-brand label is based out of Singapore and only retails items from socially responsible companies. All of its resort wear and accessories are made of natural and sustainable fibres, while its hat and bag designs are unique, handcrafted and dyed by eco-friendly vegetable dye which is azo-free. It also preserves the ancient techniques of its artisans – their designs are inspired by the exploration of eastern and western traditions interwoven in unique and original pieces. Thanks to this, you can be 100% sure that no one else will be upstaging you.
Price-ranges: Varies by brand
Sustainable suits for cup sizes A to H
Ethics: Baiia is famous for its sustainable wrap suits. These stylish yet durable swimsuits are reversible and transform into different styles with the help of a handy waist tie. This one swimsuit can be worn in several ways, meaning you get multiple swimsuits for the price and output of just one. Moreover, their supportive fabric offers bust control for cup sizes A to H, uses recycled nylon, and has ethical manufacturing practices. What more can a girl ask for?
Collections: Womenswear, kids
Origins: Australian-based, made in China
Price range: Separates start at AU$99
UBU Swimwear is Singapore’s first sustainable and ethically-made swimwear brand
Responsible swimwear with an uncomplicated style
Ethics: Ubu produces modern yet timeless and fashionable swimwear that’s designed entirely in-house using luxury eco-friendly Italian fabric. It’s more resistant to chlorine, sun creams and oils than alternatives and has the highest possible UV protection rating (UPF 50+) but without ever sacrificing look and feel (they are soooo soft). Bikinis can be mixed and matched, and swimsuits are made to last for seasons to come with many styles coming in a reversible print. It also sells the highly versatile and in vogue Turkish towels as well as an organic bikini wash that’s an all-natural, eco-friendly, wonderfully smelling and affordable liquid soap for swimwear and delicates.
Origins: Singapore-based business, garments made by a family-owned business in India or by female artisans in Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia.
Price range: Separates start at S$65
The Miami one piece is made of recycled and regenerated waste plastic
Honest swimsuits at beautiful prices
Ethics: This fun-loving brand makes bikinis from recycled waste plastic that would have ended up in a landfill, or worse, the ocean. It uses collected plastic waste that’s purified into raw material and spun into yarns before being turned into a fabric. The magic happens in a Balinese factory that treats and pays its employees well (twice more than the minimum in fact). Every piece captures that effortless joie de vivre that spirits the brand.
Origins: Singapore based business, Bali made swimwear
Price range: S$89
Sustainable swimwear designed to last for years to come
Sizzling swimwear by a Bali brand that not only puts sustainability at its heart but also celebrates and supports Balinese women
Ethics: Rimmba makes their clothes with no intention of them ending up in the landfill. By using the luxury material Carvico Vita, they make durable swimsuits that are UV, chlorine, and sunscreen resistant. When you find that your Rimmba swimsuit is not getting as much love as before, don’t fret. Just head to their Instagram to learn how to repurpose your soft suit into a Once Loved Clothes Pillow Case!
Origins: Bali-based and made
Price-ranges: Pieces start at S$35
Eco swimwear for the conscious dreamer
Ethics: Amara Tulum encourages a lifestyle of freedom and abundance, full of turquoise oceans, freshwater cenotes, pink rivers and blue lagoons while doing things a little differently – and this is apparent through its swimwear designs that cultivate a conscious lifestyle. From concept to creation, it wants to teach the world to do more with less, and that starts with reducing its impact without compromising on luxury or aesthetic. It utilises smart designs to create infinite possibilities within the collections that encourage style and individuality without harming the planet. is sourced from fishing nets recovered from our oceans. It’s milled in a facility that works to reduce pollution, protect green spaces, preserve water & monitor emissions.
Origins: Designed in Tulum. Made in Mexico by local artisans. Italian fabric
Price range: Pieces from US$95
TROPIC OF C
Swimwear that offers a modern approach to vintage silhouettes
Ethics: Within this highly lustful swimwear collection designed by Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel, you’ll find an elegant and sustainable swimwear collection inspired by vintage silhouettes with a modern approach. High cuts paired with muted and neutral colours make up the brand’s few eponymous pieces that are designed to go beyond the beach and look good when styled with clothing. Launched this year, sustainability is at the core of the collection with fabrics made from regenerated nylon that turn waste problems into fashion solutions. Eco-friendly methods are employed at every step of the way to lighten the environmental footprint a little more each time. Furthermore, the packaging is 100% recycled paper hang tags, ‘tree-free’ stone paper packaging, and biodegradable plastic garment bags. $100 eco sets are also available to help clean the oceans.
Price range: Starting at US$70
Get California cool in this vibrant collection
Ethics: Sleek lines and zesty colours combined with sustainable and ocean-friendly fabrics. Vitamin A puts ethical business first from materials to packaging and distribution. Vitamin A sustainable high-performance fabrics along with eco-conscious textiles like organic cotton, linen, recycled cotton and Tencel®.
Origins: Made in California
Price range: Starting at US$92
Bikinis & one-pieces for surf and swimming
Ethics: Chasing waves but still can’t seem to track down sustainable surfwear? September caters to all the surfer girls out there, featuring a luxurious recycled fabric made from 100% regenerated nylon yarn, sourced from fishing nets and carpet fluff. Alongside selling bikinis and one-pieces tailored for active movement, it also sells rash guards, which are perfect for protecting your skin while waiting for the next big wave to arrive.
Origins: Designed in New York City. Fabric sourced from Italy. Tested in Bali.
Price range: Pieces start at US$86
Batoko has matching sustainable swimwear for you and your child
Seriously fun swimwear made for the young at heart!
Ethics: Batoko makes its swimsuits out of 100% recycled plastic waste that otherwise would have ended up in landfills or oceans. Its swimsuits are durable, lightweight, and full coverage. So there’s no need to worry about any slippage while going on all sorts of adventures in them. It even sells matching swimsuits for children so that you can twin with your mini eco-warrior!
Collections: Womenswear, Kids
Price-range: Batoko suits are £50
These minimalistic swimsuits are 100% carbon neutral
STAY WILD SWIM
Sustainable swimwear that looks great on all body types and you know that you’re doing your part for the environment
Ethics: Stay Wild Swim is a women-owned business and all their swimsuits are made of regenerated ocean plastic using the most sustainable practices possible. Its suits are made of econyl, and every part of its product, including the tags, are recycled and recyclable.
Price-range: Stay Wild suits start at £140
Designed for performance, Ocean Positive by Fourth Element is a range for the style-conscious and sporty
Ethics: The range has a collection of wetsuits, swimsuit and bikinis in tropical-inspired colours and prints. From products to packaging and professional practices, Fourth Element has sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. Fourth Element uses recycled nylon from ghost fishing nets to make their garments. The range is made in Mexico at a small family run business.
Collections: Womenswear, menswear
Origins: UK-based business, Mexico made
Price-range: Positive suits start at £20
Simple Scandi style meets Hollywood glamour
Ethics: – Ohoy’s latest collection is inspired by bombshells like Brigit Bardot and Cindy Crawford. Made from Econyl, their collection comes in gorgeous nature-inspired hues. Ohoy swimsuits will have you looking like a bond-girl and feeling like an eco-warrior. All pieces are made with 100% ECONYL® yarn coming from discarded nylons including fishing nets collected from the sea. 1% of OHOY sales goes to support the recovery of nets by volunteer divers.
Origins: Dubai-based business, manufacturing is done in a small family-owned factory in Sri Lanka
Price-range: Pieces start at €45
Deakin and Blue
Sleek, sculpting and sustainable, a truly size-inclusive brand that makes sustainability look great and feel even better
Ethics: Deakin and Blue has been praised for its commitment to sustainability as well as being a body-positive company on a mission to make women of all shapes and sizes look and feel incredible. Every swimsuit and bikini in three distinct silhouettes based on body shape and bust size, from size 8-20 and cup size AA-HH. All fabrics used in their pieces are made from fabrics created with regenerated ocean waste. They even offer a repair service on all items promoting longer-lasting buying habits.
Origins: UK-based and made
Price range: Suits start at £70
Suits and bikinis in classic colours and shapes, with cut-out detailing that, are guaranteed to turn heads
Ethics: “Made to survive a dive” these swimsuits don’t just look striking, they are designed with the active beach babe in mind. Davy J swimwear is designed to last and is made from 100% regenerated waste. They are also planning to launch a recycling scheme in an effort to close the loop.
Origins: UK-based company, all pieces made in the UK
Price Range: Pieces start at £140
Chic and sexy swimwear for the environmentally conscious ocean lover
Ethics: So Active is passionate about slow fashion and about the ocean. They use ‘Yulex Pure’ they use to make their swimsuits, a plant-based alternative to traditional petroleum-based neoprene that wetsuits are typically made from). Their collection is small but perfect and their classically beautiful pieces are a purchase to stand the test of time.
Origins: Born in New Zealand. Designed in London. Made in Italy. Worn Across the Globe.
Price range: Swimwear starts at £210
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