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Image / Fashion

Five sustainable and eco-friendly swimwear brands to make a splash in


by Niamh ODonoghue
03rd Apr 2018
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Swimsuit shopping can be complicated enough as is, but the added pressure of trying to shop ethically to help avoid the looming destruction of the planet because of global warming is just extra pressure!

To help you become an informed, eco-friendly shopper, we’ve created a list of sustainable swimwear brands from around the globe, each of whom is striving for the same thing: to keep our precious planet alive. It’s more important than ever to understand where your products come from and how they came about, and, importantly, the impact of frugal, fast-fashion on the environment.

Instead of scrambling to the high-street before your next trip to the sun, remember there are plenty of planet-friendly shopping alternatives that are literally just a click away. From mix + match bikinis made from Eucalyptus trees (called Tencel, keep reading), to one-pieces and bodysuits, these versatile and ethical brands are making quite the splash.

Morena Jambo

Yellow bamboo bikini, €86 at marenajambo.com

When I heard that Portuguese brand Morena Jambo create their stunning swimwear range from 78% regenerated materials, I had to fact-check whether that was possible (check complete: it is, and they’ve done it). Founded by Brazilian-born designer Azenida Tenório, the brand now creates and designs from a studio in Portugal and is dedicated to promoting local businesses. Their ethos is simple and one I can get behind: create good design and care for the planet. The latest 2018 swimwear collection combines comfort and elegance with timelessness and sophisticated design. Geometric and abstract patterns merge with neutral colours inspired by nature; giving a beautiful earthy and fresh feel to the range. The brand also offers bespoke swimsuits so if you can visualise it, they can create it.

Mara Hoffman

Abigail bikini top, €130, Abigail bikini bottom, €130, both at marahoffman.com

Made using eco-conscious – including Tencel and organic cotton – materials in the USA, Mara Hoffman specialises in one-pieces, bikinis and beachwear. Hoffman founded her label in 2000 after graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York City. The brand did not begin as a sustainability-focused brand but has evolved into manufacturing responsibly and with care. “The more we grew, the more aware we became. That was the motivation for instigating change. And there’s no going back” it says on the brand’s website. Mara Hoffman is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and has multiple non-profit partnerships.

Hackwith Design House

Wrap one-piece, €130 at hackwithdesignhouse.com

Minnesota-based Hackwith Design House has built a loyal fan-base through sustainability and exclusivity. The brand launched a clever initiative back in 2003 where one item would be launched every Monday; creating no more than 25 of each design. Since then, HGH has grown to include a Core Collection, Swim, Basics, and Plus, as well as new limited-edition designs on Mondays. To reduce waste, many of the items are not made until they’re physically ordered by you. I really like how they showcase the various sizes of their products on real women sans photoshop or any big hulla-ballooh.

Bikini Empire

Peach and gold double strapped triangle bikini, €56.06 at bikiniempire.ca

Sweatshop-free and made in Canada, Bikini Empire is a line that creates sexy and functional swimwear for the young jet-setter, the high-end traveller and everyone else in between. Founded by Sisters Monica and Kelsey Rush, the pieces are ethically produced in Vancouver and are made to fit all shapes and sizes.

Reformation

Mandalay bikini bottoms, €55.25, Antigua bikini top, €55.25, both at reformation.com

Chances are you’ve come across Reformation’s dreamy designs somewhere before. Its design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure and are safe and sustainable to produce. Like most brands listed here, Ref uses Tencel to produce much of its garments, citing it as “the holy grail of fabrics that is almost identical to cotton but made from renewable plant materials”. Tencel uses 80% less water to produce than cotton and is certified by the European eco-label Oeko Tex 100 as containing low levels of manufacturing chemicals and byproducts; meaning you’ll look good and feel even better.

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