Summer is almost here, and whether you’re planning to kick it poolside, or you’re gearing up for a tropical getaway, you’re going to want to restock your swimwear with some cute new pieces for the season. Before you start adding suits to your cart, it’s worth rethinking what types of bikinis you’re buying. As we get ready to take in the views of the ocean this summer, why not support those who are doing their part to keep our beaches clean and beautiful?
In a report from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), about 10% of marine litter is estimated to be fishing waste, with 500,000 and 1 million tons of fishing gear filling ocean waters. Some swimwear brands are doing something to make a difference. Lokiki, GAS Swimwear, Jade Swim, and Oceanus Swimwear are using a new type of fabric to create their pieces called, Econyl. It’s a regenerated nylon created from abandoned fishing nets, ocean landfill waste, nylon clothing scraps, and old carpets.
With so many brands out there, it can get a bit overwhelming to find something that best suits you while simultaneously taking care of the earth. Luckily, brands like Dipping Daisys, Batoko and Kitty and Vibe, are also doing their part to make swimwear more sustainable. Shop our favorite lines, below.
Lokiki is a N.Y.C.-based brand that’s manufactured in Long Island City that produces in small batches to help reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. Lokiki creates all of its swimwear with 100% recycled nylon from fishing nets. They are known for their sleek, and comfortable swimwear, making sure each suit is flattering to different bodies as well as providing a range of coverage.
In addition to turning the ocean’s trash into your treasure, Lokiki’s minimal packaging is made from 100% compostable plant materials. In light of recent events, Lokiki has also pledged to donate 4% of its profits to Planned Parenthood.
The Georgina Plunge One-Piece, $165, via Lokiki. SHOP NOW.
A brand on the rise, GAS Swimwear, (short for Girls Acting Sustainably) is produced locally in Queens, New York, and is known for its durable and affordable bikinis. Karissa Stevens launched the swimwear brand in 2019 when she was having a difficult time compromising her eco-friendly habits when buying fast-fashion swimwear.
GAS creates all of their swimwear using Econyl and recycled nylons, but it’s how she makes every suit that stands out. “Where my brand shines is in our production process,” Stevens tells GRAZIA USA. “We tie sustainability and true ethical fashion together at a realistic price point for all buyers.”
She continued, “My team and I cut and sew every piece by hand. We limit production waste by repurposing every fabric scrap for things such as pillow stuffing and other personal home decor so that we maintain a net zero fabric waste business.”
Stevens added a note on the brands transparency, “For most people, their GAS Swimwear bikini is the only piece in their collection where they know exactly who made it. When we buy from popular sustainable or ethical brands, we know little of the hands the product passes through to get to us.”
The Bandeau Top, $35 via Gas Swimwear. SHOP NOW
Batoko is a UK-based brand (ships internationally and affordably) known for its vibrant graphic swimsuits. The brand got its start in 2017, after the founders participated in a beach cleanup and were affected by how much trash was washing ashore.
All of their swim is created using recycled plastic from the ocean. Batoko swim is manufactured through two suppliers in China, and both specialize in recycling plastic: one supplier to source the recycled ocean plastic and another to cut and sew the patterns to create the suits. (The company also pays workers 30% above minimum wage for another win.)
Each piece is designed digitally, only requiring the ink that is necessary to give each suit its unique colors and patterns. Batoko is produced in small batches, greatly reducing Batoko’s waste, water use, and overall energy use.
The brand has unique partnerships with the National Lobster Hatchery as well as the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Batoko has special swimsuits (one with lobsters and one with seals on them) and if you purchase a lobster swimsuit, you set a baby lobster that was caught for harvest, free. If you purchase a seal swimsuit, a portion of the proceeds goes to helping rescue and rehabilitate gray seal pups.
Batoko has also done fundraisers with organizations such as Marine Conservation Society UK, Love My Beach, Surfers Against Sewage, Action For Dolphins and The Ocean Project, the team behind World Oceans Day.
Lobster, $75 via Batoko. SHOP NOW
Seal, $75 via Batoko. SHOP NOW
Jade Swim is a Los Angeles-based brand that produces all of its swimwear in the US. Jade Swim is made of Econyl, specifically, recycled nylon from fishing nets and debris. The fabrics used are certified and tested to ensure there are no harmful chemicals used in the dying process. Jade also offers only solid colors to reduce excess water usage that is typically used in the pattern making progress.
The brand works with local trim vendors and cuts all styles in-house. The swimwear is then shipped directly from the factory (instead of traveling to a fulfillment center to then be sent out) to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, the collections are limited and produced in small batches. All of the packaging is biodegradable.
Contour One-Piece, $198 via Jade Swim. SHOP NOW
Bare Minimum Bottom, $90 via Jade Swim. SHOP NOW
Dippin Daisy’s creates its bathing suits in small batches with recycled nylon and recycled foam for padding and uses a low carbon process to produce and deliver its products. Its new collection gives deadstock swim a makeover by dying it a new color thanks to its female-owned dye house in L.A.
According to the website, the brand has created a two-year plan to create a recycling program for old swimsuits in addition to eliminating plastic packaging.
Zen Top, $48 via Dippin Daisys. SHOP NOW
Kitty and Vibe
Kitty and Vibe uses 82% recycled polyester in swim styles, it reduces the use of plastic when creating and shipping the products, and is dedicated to improving its sustainable practices.
The brand produces its swim out of a small, family owned factory in Bogota, Colombia, specializing in flattering swimsuits for all body types. (There’s even a fit quiz online to match you with your perfect suit!)
Ruffle String Top, $58 via Kitty and Vibe. SHOP NOW
Oceanus Swimwear is a UK-based brand that specializes in fun, glitzy prints and patterns, while using 100% biodegradable beading and Econyl to create its sustainable swim. The pieces are made responsibly and hand stitched in London, then shipped out in recyclable packaging.
Oceanus is working towards being a zero-waste company. According to the website, it reuses all the beading from damage or defective items, and uses left over materials from the swimwear production process to create face masks and smaller accessories. The unused stock from previous collections is always used whether it is recycled or remade into a new style.
Stella Bikini, $340, via Oceanus. SHOP NOW