The Edit: Top Swimwear Brands

 
 

Summer for sure hasn't arrived yet in London but I have hope that presenting a special on swimwear might lure it into being. So whilst I am researching this piece and looking at gorgeous images of endless summers, glittering sunlight and dreamy beaches, I am sitting at my desk, wrapped up in a woolen blanket, sipping a hot brew of builders tea. 

I bought my own swimsuit about five years ago and I still remember how long it took me to find just the right style and fit. But it was worth it and I am still very much in love with my classic black one-piece that makes me feel like I have just stepped into the 1950's movie set of "Bonjour Tristesse", every time I wear it. 

Back in the day I did not even think about my swimsuit's environmental impact, but today I am aware that most conventional swimwear is produced under exploitative working conditions and is made of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, which derive from oil and therefore have significant negative impacts on the environment. 

The brands that I am listing, all approach their production in different ways but they have one thing in common: they create beautifully designed swimwear and produce responsibly by making conscious choices. Some of the brands only use eco-innovative, recycled or organic materials. Others still use conventional materials but do focus on creating positive impact in other areas, by producing locally and ethically, by supporting artisans through fair trade and by using renewable energies or reducing water consumption. I am listing categories in which each of the brands excel as a simple guideline, to make your search a little easier and aligned with your very own set of values.
 

Allsisters

Allsisters

ALLSISTERS
Local | Ethical | Recycled | Eco-friendly Production

Where are your swimsuits manufactured? 
All our products are locally made in Barcelona. In our attempt to support local economy, we use upcycled garments made of stock material proceeding from local factories. We want to be the ones who will eventually change the rules of the production system in the fashion industry, without renouncing cutting edge design and functionality.

What kind of material do you use and how are they sustainable?
We utilize high quality recycled textiles from Italy that carry the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® certification, guaranteeing that they are tested for harmful substances and are made in environmentally friendly facilities and socially responsible workplaces. We produce all our products using recycled fabrics derived from post consumer materials (like old fishing nets, PET plastic bottles, etc.). They are made with recycled polyamide (78% recycled polyamide and 22% elastan).

You can buy Allsisters' swimwear here.
 

Vivien Ramsay

Vivien Ramsay

VIVIEN RAMSAY
Local | Ethical | Natural-Dye

Where are your swimsuits manufactured? 
We make all our clothes in-house in our own studio in the Philippines, nestled in a province in the north called Zambales. We employ 13 sewers and two printers and dyers. All the pieces are garment dyed in pigments that we extract ourselves from natural sources such as leaves, huks, roots and flowers. 

What kind of material do you use and how are they sustainable?
We use a stretch silk charmeuse, that consists of  95% silk and 5% spandex. 

You can buy Vivien Ramsay's swimmers here
 

e.a. SEAWEAR

e.a. SEAWEAR

e.a. SEAWEAR
Local | Ethical

Where are your swimsuits manufactured? 
The knitted models are produced in a small knitting mill in Gütersloh in Germany. The crocheted pieces are designed and produced in cooperation with a group of craft-loving women from Berlin.

You can buy e.a. SEAWEAR's swimwear here.
 

MYMARINI

MYMARINI

MYMARINI
Local | Ethical | Eco-friendly Production

Where are your swimsuits manufactured? 
The MYMARINIs are produced in Germany and the MIX IT LADIES collection are produced in Hamburg a soon as an order is placed. All patterns and designs are developed in Hamburg, in the heart of Eimsbüttel, where we live and work. These short ways allow us great prices and a low CO2 emission. The clear advantages are also the fast and easy communication, the short ways and the flexibility, with which we can react to the market. From the beginning on it was always natural for us, that everybody is payed fair.

What kind of material do you use and how are they sustainable?
The fabric we use is manufactured in Italy in an eco-friendly way. Our supplier promoted sustainability and environmental awareness long before it became fashionable. An innovative chemical-physical waste water treatment plant ensures a minimum impact on the environment. Methane gas is used for the production, the cleanest fossil fuel currently available. The water used for the production is treated to remove most pollutants before sending it to the municipal purification system. Furthermore the thermal energy emitted by the machines and equipment is reused to reduce CO2 and emissions to values 10 times lower than those foreseen by the law. All production steps are in compliance with the current European regulations and national and international laws. The fabric itself is made out of 80% PA (Polyamid), and 20% EA (Elasthan) certified by the Öko-Tex Standard 100. It is washable, super soft, very robust and free from any toxins.

You can buy Mymarini's swimwear here.
 

Reset Priority

Reset Priority

RESET PRIORITY
Local | Ethical | Recycled (partly)

Where are your swimsuits manufactured? 
We work with local factories based in Spain and Italy, following all the design and production process very closely. The extended team that we work with is a very important part of our brand. Our products are reponsibly made and go through a controlled quality check.

What kind of material do you use and how are they sustainable?
We use Xtra Life Lycra fabrics made in Italy which are more resistant than non threated materials. We want to create a product that lasts more than just one season so we make it fabric proofed. Also we are including more and more recycled fabrics in our collections, we believe in regenerated fashion as a great possibility to use otherwise wasted materials to create new Polyamide fabrics. They look and perform exactly as other fabrics, so it is just a matter of making the right choice.

You can buy Reset Priority's swimwear here.
 

NUSWIM (left)
Manufactured at a small family-owned production sewing facility in their Californian hometown.
You can buy NuSwim here.


LALESSO (right)
Swimsuits ethically made in Cape Town, bead work ethically hand made in Kenya by South-African brand laLesso.
You can buy laLesso here.
 

BASERANGE (left)
Baserange works exclusively with small family based factories in Portugal and France and builds close and lasting relationships with their producers. The brand focuses on organic fibers and uses only Oeko-Tex or GOTS dyes. 
You can buy Baserange here.
 

UNDERPROTECTION (right)
Danish brand, using sustainable materials such as tencel, recycled polyester and organic cotton. The production is based in India and controlled by the Fair Wear Foundation  programme ensuring good labour conditions.
You can buy Underprotection here.
 

ARAKS (left)
Ethical swimwear designed and produced in New York, using Italian fabrics (partly organic).
You can buy Araks here.


LUZ (right)
Swimwear company committed to social responsibility and reducing water consumption, using GOTS-certified, fair trade organic cotton.
You can buy LUZ here.
 

ANEKDOT (left)
Swimwear, carefully upcycled from leftover fabrics, originally produced by Speedo. Designed and hand-crafted in Anekdot's Berlin-based studio.
You can buy Anekdot here.
 

AURIA (right)
Auria put environmental and social responsibility at the heart of their brand, from sourcing materials to paying close attention to every step of your supply chain. Their 100% recycled polyamide swimsuits are made from discarded fishing nets and manufactured in London.
You can buy Auria here.
 

VEGE THREADS (left)
Australian brand, using ACO or natural plant dyes and GOTS-certified materials. A percentage of their profits is donated to the Peduli Sesama Philanthropic Work Foundation in North Bali.  
You can buy Vege Threads here.
 

LIAR (right)
Ethical manufactured and locally sourced swimwear from Byron Bay, Australia. The brand donates 10% of our profits to the Kosgoda Turtle Care Sanctuary in Sri Lanka.
You can buy Liar here.

 
Ambika

Ambika

AMBIKA
Based in upstate New York, Ambika works with local fiber growers, solar and wind powered mini-mills and artisans. The artisans are hired per project to hand spin, naturally dye with wild harvested plants and crochet mostly from their home environment, which allows them to work stress free, at their own pace and still be available to their family. Buy here.

COCODUNE
100 % recyclable swimsuits, designed and manufactured at Cocodune's downtown factory in Los Angeles. Buy here.

RUBY MOON
High-quality, affordable swim wear made ethically, using sustainable materials – nylon from used fishing nets. 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are lent out as small loans, to empower women entrepreneurs in eleven nations. Buy here.

SPUNKY CHIC
Sydney based swimwear label, designing affordable and long-lasting swimsuits, using recycled or

Testex certified materials. Buy here.

VITAMIN A
California based swimwear label, that uses EcoLuxTM, a recycled nylon fiber locally produced in California, employs a waterless digital printing technology for its prints and works with factories that conserve water and energy use. 
Buy here.

WARD WHILLAS
High quality swimwear, manufactured in the USA. Buy here.

ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO
Produced in New York City’s Garment District with ecological and sustainable fabrics. As a company owned and run by women, the team continuously looks to develop special collaborations with women artisans around the world. 
Buy here.