Following on from our piece on ethical flip flops, we look at swim wear. Lori Smith guides us through nine of the best swim wear labels which will make you look hot on the beach, while keeping a cool conscience.
You’ve packed your organic cotton shorts, t-shirts and sarong, have found some amazing vegan sandals, and topped it all off with a vintage sun dress or two. But what on earth are you going to wear in the pool?
Natural fibres aren’t terribly useful for swimwear, as modern expectations of fit and performance in this area are somewhat exacting. So we have to have other eco considerations. If swim fabrics are made in mills where water is recycled and electricity is generated in a sustainable manner, manufacturers are doing their bit. If fabrics are hard wearing, the garments will last longer and so we will need to buy less. There’s a lot you can still do when using nylon and Lycra. Here are some of our recommendations.
Aguaclara uses local fabrics for its swimwear, which are ethically manufactured in Peru. We can now buy their bikinis and swimsuits in the UK via Amazon (a company notable for its war on unnecessary packaging)!
Fables by Barrie
Fables by Barrie sells the most divine sweatshop free retro swimwear via their website and an Etsy shop, so we can get hold of them on this side of the Atlantic too. But what if you’d rather have something that’s designed and made closer to home?
Kiss me deadly
I was delighted when one of my favourite lingerie brands, Kiss Me Deadly, announced this year that they were going to produce a small swimwear range. On their rather informative blog, I discovered that their playsuit style JoJo check swimsuit and retro Kitten bikini are both manufactured in the UK. Always good to know that your swimwear has been produced in fair working conditions and hasn’t travelled across half the globe to get to you.
Some swimwear companies like to give a little back to the world, in addition to producing pretty clothing. RubyMoon produces its striking reversible swimwear ethically in Europe, and 100% of their profits are donated to women entrepreneurs throughout the developing world.
Jinty Jones swimwear
If you’d rather your swimwear didn’t have to cross the Channel, check out Jinty Jones swimwear which is designed, printed and manufactured in the UK. ￡2 from the sale of every bikini goes to charity.
Also based stateside is Vitamin A. They have an ‘eco black’ fabric as one of the options for their gorgeous mix and match bikini separates. It contains fibre made from recycled plastic bottles.
The Eco Swim collection by Aqua Green is apparently the most sustainable swimwear on the market. The US market though.
There are also a handful of online boutiques like Fashion Conscience which sell eco and ethical swimwear, so it really is possible to pack for the poolside without leaving your ethics at home.
Read more from Lori on her blog Rarely Wears Lipstick