For years, fabrics such as polyester and nylon have been the norm in swimwear. While these fabrics continue to perform well, more people are considering sustainable fabric options as consumer behaviors evolve. More recently, a variety of awesome sustainable swimwear fabrics have hit the market.
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Sustainable Swimwear Fabrics 101
Consumers have become increasingly aware of their personal ecological footprint and are making fashion choices that reflect this. Fast Fashion is out, Slow Sustainable Fashion is in.
This is especially true when it comes to eco-friendly swimwear, sustainable bathing suits, and bikinis! Years ago no one would have ever thought of the term “ethical swimwear”…are you kidding? Dreaming about the possibility of clothing being made from regenerated plastic or recycled nylon… Getouttahere!
Thankfully technology and eco-conscious fashion designers and consumers have changed all that!
Our List of the Top Sustainable Swim Fabrics
Here we’ve listed but a few of the most popular sustainable swimsuit fabrics. This is an ever-changing field with new and interesting options being introduced often. We’ll work to update this list as new players come along. In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite eco-friendly swimwear fabrics.
As mentioned in our previous article here, ECONYL remains a very popular brand of sustainable swimwear fabrics, and for good reason. This Italian product is created from regenerated nylon collected from the landfills and oceans around the world.
Interestingly, the primary nylon products collected which create ECONYL are things like used clothing, carpets, and nets from fishermen! Here’s a great video from ECONYL, giving you a bit more info. The possibilities are endless!
The next type of fabric to highlight is Vita PL, made by the same people that create ECONYL. Interestingly, Vita PL is made of 100% recycled polyester from pre & post-consumer materials.
This sustainable swimwear fabric option is perfect for transfer printing and available in lots of great colors. Vita PL is ideal for creating swimwear (or even activewear) resistant to things like chlorine and sunscreen lotions.
One of the most innovative sustainable swimwear fabrics out there is Repreve. This unique material is made from recycled plastic bottles and turns them into usable fibers. It is used by some of the largest global brands that create fashion apparel, athletic wear, and swimwear.
Reliable and durable, Repreve is also known for its wicking, adaptive warming, cooling, and water repellency qualities. Repreve is proud of itself for emitting fewer greenhouse gases during production and conserving less energy and water.
AMNI SOUL ECO
A real innovator in sustainable swim, Amni Soul Eco is changing the eco-friendly and ethical swimwear world. Whereas other fabrics mentioned here are focused on recycling previously used materials, Amni Soul Eco has created a biodegradable yarn product.
Just as strong as other yarns when worn, this yarn will completely biodegrade within 5 years into organic matter. Now that’s an excellent sustainable swimwear option!
The Future of Sustainable Swimwear Fabric
All plastic-derived fabrics such as nylon and polyester shed dangerous microplastics into our oceans. That’s bad! But don’t lose hope – designers and consumers can make a difference! The future of sustainable fabrics is unknown so it’s important to keep our eyes open for new options.
Progress will come from advanced work being done in laboratories around the world, believe it or not. Exciting developments are happening now to create bio-nylon from plant oils. When done and ready to be rolled out, this product will be the first 100% sustainable swimwear fabric on the market! It’s still a few years away. But when it’s ready it’ll be a game-changer for the sustainable swimsuit fabrics industry.