Calm your ta-tas – figuratively and literally – sustainable swimwear is here. I know that slipping into a bathing suit sounds soothing and easy, but in reality, finding swimwear that fits your booty and your boobies is never easy, and finding swimwear that’s ethically and sustainably produced is near impossible. Not to worry – these super-brands are making ethical and sustainable swimwear for keeping cool around the pool and associated wet places.
Designed by an ex-firefighter and lifeguard from Bondi, along with a swimwear designer, Sunrise at Bondi is firmly about utility in design and sun protection. Choose from a range of bikinis, rashies, and compression leggings, all ethically made here in Australia.
What do you get when you cross one of Australia’s best surfing towns with a slow-living and sustainable mindset? Sustainable surfwear, of course. Salt Gypsy makes women’s surfwear from 100% regenerated nylon yarn called ECONYL® which is a long-lasting, durable recycled nylon lycra that is responsibly manufactured here in Australia. All of its practical pieces are ethically made at the Gold Coast.
Got buns, hon? Then LE BUNS have you covered. Its swim collection is produced with the use of reconstructed recycled fibres such as discarded fishing nets, saving them from otherwise polluting oceans and endangering wildlife. So you can have a little happy dance while you’re swimming in the ocean knowing you’ve saved a few animals with your swimmers.
Made with sun protection in mind, Bombshell Bay makes rashies in short and long sleeves as well as your classic swimwear in one- and two-piece styles. The patterns are a range of glorious greenery but the best part about them is the lycra they’re made from – it’s all recycled plastic! Design your own swimwear or pick and mix your pair on the site.
Melbourne’s Obus Clothing has dropped some sweet swimwear this season too. All of its swimwear is ethically manufactured in Sydney using a blend of upcycled polyester and lycra to ensure extra longevity in the life of the elastine so your swimwear will continue to fit and flatter for many seasons despite contact with chlorinated or salt water.
It sounds cute because it is cute. Bimby and Roy makes versatile undergarments in lovely prints for your butt and bosom. That’s right, none of this ‘swimwear only’ or ‘intimates only’ BS… these bottoms and bralettes can be worn from the bed, to the beach, to the bar (the latter option with clothes on over the top, I would hope). It’s a one-size-fits-all-occasions type of staple, and we like-y.
Shapes in the Sand’s swimwear is range of bikinis and one pieces in nature-inspired designs. As an ‘eco conscious’ swimwear label, Shapes in the Sand uses regenerated fabrics from recycled materials in its swimwear which is all handmade in Australia. The brand teams up with not-for-profit organisations and individuals to help create positive change for the environment and its inhabitants – include helping fund organised beach clean ups for our oceans as well as care facilities for Australian native wildlife.
Nobody puts these babies in the corner. This luxury Australian swimwear label out of Melbourne is 100% ethically produced right here in Australia at the Baaby studio. The bathing suits – which are a classic range of retro one- and two-pieces – are made from the finest Italian fabrics, woven from recycled fibres. It’s your go-to for a classic Baywatch one-piece in a pretty pastel.
Fancy your bathers up-cycled? Inspired by the mass amount of textile waste produced by the fashion industry, Re-Swim Club makes all of its swimwear entirely from offcuts, remnants, surplus, dead stock, vintage fabric and recycled fabrics. They are all ethically produced in Adelaide, and look like the saucy goods you could imagine your mum would have worn in the late 70s. Can I get a hell-yeah?
Baiia has created the ‘world’s first’ three piece swimsuit that is adjustable to suit your shape. The brand uses quality recycled synthetic fabric constructed in Italy from post-consumer waste, using a process that takes 90% less water to create than virgin polyester. Baiia is committed to paying well above the minimum wage to its employees in China and offers other benefits like paid sick leave, annual leave and more. Find out more here.
Brisbane’s NICO Underwear has a sweet range of swimwear. The brand opts for a small range of one and two pieces in staple colours and modest designs with subtle details. The pieces are cut from premium Italian recycled nylon/lycra, and chlorine resistant. They’re all ethically made here in Australia.
Known for its unique, printed and ethically made underwear, NZ’s Thunderpants has a cool collection of swimwear too. The brand sticks with its trademark design for the bottoms and has a nice swim shirt and dress as well. Thunderpants is committed to ethical and sustainable production and explains all of its processes and accreditations in depth on its website.
Brisbane artist Claire Ritchie has teamed up with Swedish design house Whip Appeal to produce a small range of colourful bathers. Whip Appeal’s swimwear is made with recycled polyester recovered from PET waste. All of their products are ethically produced within Europe and created functionally with a goal to prolong their life-cycle.
The Adelaide duo that make up Frock Me Out are also offering up some sweet swimwear. All of their collections are ethically printed and made in Indonesia. The swimwear range includes cute patterned one-pieces with a halter-neck made from 100% recycled nylon and spandex. They say that the fabric is super flattering, comfortable, chlorine and sunscreen resistant and shape retaining wear after wear.
This Brisbane-based brand is also on the sustainable swimwear train, making its wares with 78% Econyl (recycled nylon) and 22% Xtra Life Lycra. “Bright playful, contemporary style forms the philosophy behind the brand with prints and colours reflecting the care-free fun of summer.”