For such a tiny garment, the swimsuit can have a monumental effect on the environment
For something so innocent looking, the question is how can this be? It is all in the synthetic materials that we traditionally utilise that results in the swimsuit being classed as problematic. From nylon, spandex to polyester these are all perfect for constructing swimsuits due to their ability to stretch and protect the body from friction in the water. Unfortunately, these synthetic fibres release plastic when washed and at the end of the garments life cycle will end up in landfill where it will never biodegrade due to its composition. However, there are a myriad of Australian brands who stand for change, embrace transparency and work to make a difference.
In addition to their swimsuits being cut from recycled nylon by way of reclaimed waste products like plastic bottles, carpets, textiles and marine debris, Baiia is also dedicated to a carbon neutral delivery process. Consciously designed to have a long life span, they are renowned for their reversible and interchangeable pieces providing ultimate versatility.
Crafted from regenerated fishing nets, textile & carpet nylon waste, Econyl forms the basis of Salt Gypsy. Furthermore, the brand works to remain low impact by producing locally in Australia, keeping production runs small and supporting a small team of local machinists, pattern makers and fabric cutters.
Shapes In The Sand
Produced using regenerated nylon made entirely from waste products, Shapes In The Sand also looks to alternative technologies beyond Econyl. Evo, which is generated from castor beans, is also embraced. In an effort to minimise pollution their garments are printed locally without the use of harsh chemicals and all their packaging materials are recycled and sustainably sourced. In addition, dead-stock is reclaimed and re-crafted into items forming the basis of their accessories line bringing new meaning to the term waste not want not.
Manufactured ethically in Bali by a small family run business, OceanZen Bikini incorporates sustainable practices into several aspects of their business. With their swimwear manufactured from recycled nylon waste they further operate on a low impact philosophy through the use of compostable packaging. Products are then shipped using a 100% carbon-neutral delivery service.
May & Hugo
Cut from both recycled synthetic and natural fibres, May & Hugo embraces many forms of sustainability. Handmade in Australia, conscious choices regarding fabrication has always been a core value for May & Hugo. Econyl and sustainably produced natural fibres like bamboo are featured across their collections due to their low impact capabilities.
She Made Me
Handmade by artisans in Indonesia, She Made Me seeks to empower local communities by supporting the development of skills pertaining to crocheting, which features across their collections. As each item is hand crafted, She Made Me is dedicated to keeping production runs small so as to minimise their environmental impact. In particular, they provide opportunities for women as their production house is female owned and managed with ethical manufacturing at the core of their brand.
Made in Australia to reduce their carbon footprint, Baaby produces their swimsuits from recycled fabric. In addition, in an effort to further minimise their pollution their collections are printed using non-toxic water based dyes to prevent chemicals entering waterways and damaging local environments.
By focusing on designing timeless swimsuits, Le Buns approach to sustainability starts with embracing style rather than being led by fashion trends. But their dedication to the cause doesn’t stop there. Italian regenerated nylon forms the foundation of their line and fabric fibres sourced in Turkey & China are certifiably grown. Reducing their environmental impact also extends to their packaging as biodegradable recycled paper is used for all online orders. Lastly, understanding that fibres are released during the laundry process, Le Buns provides a free wash bag at purchase demonstrating extensive responsibility and awareness as a brand.