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. 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 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 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.
UBU Swimwear is Singapore’s first sustainable and ethically-made swimwear brand.
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. 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.
The Miami one piece is made of recycled and regenerated waste plastic
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. 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.
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 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. Designed in Tulum and made in Mexico by local artisans, its Italian fabric 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.
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 create ultra-daring suits for ultra-daring silhouettes. When tested in real life, the costumes 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’s Secret, meaning you can shop Fae there or directly from its site.
Shop mix and match bikini tops and bottoms and one-pieces from Reformation
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 its 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 top? Reformation is selling GuppyFriend bags on its website alongside its swimwear, which filters out even the tiniest of microfibers 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’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 pieced 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.
Madewell just launched its first-ever line of sustainable swimsuits
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 it’s upped the ante to add sustainable swimwear to its repertoire. 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.
Bikinis & one-pieces for surf and swimming
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.
Beautiful prints from places close to the founders’ hearts
Not only does Ayla swimwear use a regenerated nylon fabric called Econyl but its bikinis also feature beautiful prints from locations close to the founders’ hearts. Its latest collection is inspired by the Taisho period in Japan, with pieces including delicate ruffles and cherry blossoms that speak to all the girly girls out there. Ayla also uses Cupro, a fabric made from a by-product of the cotton process that would usually be thrown away that is repurposed to make beautiful sarongs for cover-ups after a dip.
Sustainable suits for cup sizes A to H
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, its sturdy 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?
A local brand that ships for free to many Asia countries
This local Singaporean brand handcrafts Econyl swimwear with timeless designs, closing the loop in the buying and dumping circle. Its colourful yet simplistic designs are intended to become aligned to your body. It also ships free to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Batoko has matching sustainable swimwear for you and your child
Comfortable, sustainable swimwear from the North West coast of England
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!
These minimalistic swimsuits are 100% carbon neutral
STAY WILD SWIM
Sustainable swimwear that flatters all body types
Stay Wild Swim’s 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. These swimsuits flatter all body types, and you know that you’re doing your part for the environment while snorkelling in the vibrant ocean in your Stay Wild Swims.
Swimwear inspired by Thai designs
Sustainable swimwear that comes in a variety of colourful prints
Satisfy your artsy self by wearing swimsuits from Ancha. Its summer collection features prints sparked by Thai landmarks and the tradition of meticulous craftsmanship. Ancha uses sustainable fabrics sourced from Italy and the USA, and are composed of used fishnets and plastic. Although they’re literally made from trash, Ancha swimwear is very durable and resistant to oils and lotions.
Sustainable swimwear designed to last for years to come
Sexy swimwear in bold tones
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!