Summertime sustainability: Conscious (and cute) swimwear brands

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Ah, summer. I’ve been looking forward to this season all the more so because last winter was long, and Seattle summers are an absolute treat. If you’re looking forward to welcoming summer with some splashin’ in a body of water, you may be wondering where you can purchase a cute swimsuit that hasn’t contributed to climate change or pollution or landfill waste or the exploitation of workers. I mean, is that too much to ask for???

No, it’s not! I’ve rounded up some conscious brands that make swimsuits you’ll want to wear not only this summer, but for many summers to come. One of the core tenets of sustainable fashion is buying high-quality clothing that lasts longer in order to produce less waste. I encourage you to invest in something you’ll love for years.

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Lively

Based in the U.S.; ethically made in China
Price range: separates are $45, one-pieces are $65

This WOC-owned lingerie brand, which focuses on “redefining sexy” as being comfy in your own skin, just launched their first swim collection. Lively owns the factory in China where all their products are made, ensuring that they have control over quality and how their workers are treated. Plus, they have a great loyalty program where you can earn points (i.e. discounts) for buying and referring friends. Get $10 off for signing up!

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Naja

Based in the U.S.; ethically and sustainably made in Colombia
Price range: tops start at $45, bottoms start at $35, one-pieces start at $78

Naja (also run by WOC) was cofounded by Gina Rodriguez, Golden Globe winning lead of one of my favorite TV shows, Jane the Virgin. Naja has a program called Underwear for Hope which teaches women head of households in poor communities in Colombia to sew, then employs and pays them above-market wages with child education stipends and health benefits. In addition, they use digital printing to create their unique printed fabrics, which saves billions of gallons of water used in traditional dying techniques and create products from recycled plastic water bottles. Get $15 off!

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allSisters

Based in Barcelona, Spain; ethically and sustainably made in Barcelona
Price range: tops start at 45 euros, bottoms start at 40 euros, one-pieces start at 118 euros

With sleek, sexy, and minimal designs, the allSisters collection is the most timeless yet standout swimwear I’ve seen. This eco-friendly brand believes that high fashion, quality, and luxury should not be at odds with protecting the environment. allSisters uses recycled textiles from Italy that carry the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® certification, guaranteeing that they are tested for harmful substances and are made in environmentally friendly facilities and socially responsible workplaces. (This brand may be my next swimwear investment, once I actually need a new swimsuit!)

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LÉ BUNS

Based in Melbourne, Australia; ethically and sustainably made in Bali, Indonesia
Price range: tops are AU$109, bottoms are AU$69, one-pieces are AU$149.99

LÉ BUNS is an eco-friendly underwear and swim brand with minimal, sexy designs. They use renewed fabrics containing nylon from fishing nets and clothing, and their swimwear is made from 100% regenerated fabrics, reducing landfill waste, while their undies are made from GOTS certified organic cotton. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that they don’t Photoshop their models’ stretch marks! Yay for booty acceptance, stretch marks and all.

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Vaute Couture

Based in New York City; ethically and sustainably made in New York City
Price range: (currently on sale) tops start at $70.40, bottoms start at $57.60, one-pieces start at $142.40

Vaute Couture is a 100% vegan, eco-conscious, and ethical brand. Their clothes are made in New York City’s garment district, where workers are paid a living wage. They also use organic and recycled fabrics, including recycled plastic bottles and leftover textiles. And although I admittedly didn’t know much about how animals used for fibers are treated, this brand cares a lot about animal welfare and is 100% vegan to avoid cruel and inhumane practices. Lastly, they have women of color and women of different body sizes as models, and that’s always great to see in the fashion world.

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Vitamin A Swim

Based in southern California, ethically and sustainably made in California
Price range: tops starting at $88, bottoms starting at $80, one-pieces starting at $169

Vitamin A has a ton of trendy yet minimal styles, all made from fabric which uses recycled nylon fiber. They also use waterless digital printing technology and factories which conserve water and power. Their swimsuits are made to last, reducing the waste created by disposable clothing. Vitamin A also donates to environmental organizations.


Do you know any ethical and sustainable swimwear brands that I didn’t mention? Let me know!

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