Our ongoing and comprehensive guide to the best in sexy and sustainable swimwear to make your next beach vacation a little more ethical. All brands found here are either available in Asia or ship here.
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. Neverending 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.
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 highly sought after and increasingly 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 that are either available in Asia or ship here. 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.
Ethical swim and resort wear brands as well as hand-crafted accessories
This super chic multi-brand label is based out of Singapore and only retails items from socially responsible companies. All of their resort wear and accessories are made of natural and sustainable fibres, while their hats and bags designs are unique, handcrafted and dyed by eco-friendly vegetable dye which is azo-free. They also preserve the ancient techniques of their artisans- their designs are derived from 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.
Responsible swimwear with an uncomplicated style
Ubu produces modern yet timeless and fashionable swimwear that’s designed entirely in-house using luxury eco-friendly Italian fabric that’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 one pieces are made to last for seasons and seasons to come with many styles of both coming in a reversible print. They also sell the highly versatile and in vogue Turkish towels as well as an organic bikini wash that’s an all natural, eco-friendly, amazing smelling and affordable liquid soap for swimwear and delicates.
Honest swimsuits at beautiful prices
This fun loving brand makes bikinis from recycled waste plastic that would have ended up in a landfill, or worse, the ocean. They use collected plastic waste that’s purified into raw material and spun into yarns before being turned into a fabric. This all happens in Bali in a factory that’s 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.
Eco swimwear for the conscious dreamer
Amara 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 their swimwear designs that cultivate a conscious lifestyle. From concept to creation, they want to teach the world to do more with less and that starts with reducing their impact without compromising on luxury or aesthetic. They utilize smart designs to create infinite possibilities within their collection that encourage style and individuality without harming the planet. Designed in Tulum and made in Mexico by local artisans, their Italian fabric is sourced from fishing nets recovered from our oceans and is milled in a facility that works to reduce pollution, protect green spaces, preserve water & monitor emissions.
Sustainable, timeless swimwear for those who aren’t afraid to show some skin ⚡
Team FAE have teamed up with the Aquafil group who produce techno-fabric made with regenerated polyamide fibre to produce ultra-daring suits for ultra-daring silhouettes. When tested in real life, the suits also proved to be two times more resistant to chlorine, sun lotions, and oils than their competitors’ fabrics. The Fae cutting edge swimmers produce daring designs that have even caught the attention of Victoria Secret, meaning you can shop Fae there or directly from their own site.
Swimwear for all your summer hours spent in oceans, pools, rivers and lakes
We at Green Is The New Black are huge fans of Reformation. From super chic dresses to ultra-polished shoes and now to-die-for bikinis, their collection makes a regular appearance in our offices not just for their cuteness but because of their commitment to a sustainable model. Pretty and clean, Reformation launched their first collection of bikinis in 2017 and the output is super cute and one-of-a-kind pieces made from Econyl which is derived from recycled fishing nets. The material also “has the potential to be recycled infinitely.” The cherry on the cake is that Reformation is also selling GuppyFriend bags on their website alongside its swimwear, which filters out even the tiniest of microfibers that are released from textiles during washing.
TROPIC OF C
Swimwear that offers a modern approach to vintage silhouettes
Within this highly lustful swimwear collection designed by Victoria 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 pieced that are designed to go beyond the beach and look good when styled with clothing. Launched just 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 their environmental footprint a little more each time. Furthermore, the packaging is made from 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.
Modest swimsuits by a household brand
Madewell by J.Crew is long known for its eco-denim and clothing made from recycled plastics but now they’ve upped the ante to add sustainable swimwear to their credit. In a collection called Second Wave, all the pieces are made from recycled plastic and retail for under $100. In the making of the collection, the company used approximately 50,920 bottles. Madewell’s 32 classic bikinis and one-pieces are simple, modest, and oh so darling.