What Are You Made of? // The Sustainable Swimwear Guide

I realise when I first released this post, it was January, a time of year that not everyone is throwing themselves into water without a wetsuit. A lot of you have been asking about sustainable swimwear options again over the past month with this never-ending heatwave we are having, so I thought I’d update and repost this guide.

With environmental issues becoming much more prominent in the mainstream media, a quick google into the textiles and fashion industries will provide you with endless reasons to choose slow fashion. If you didn't follow Fashion Revolution and the #whomademyclothes movement go and check it out, alongside the documentary The True Cost. The price is often more because these companies pay workers a fair living wage, and source sustainably grown and produced materials. I've been trying to buy everything I wear consciously and not fall into the consumerism trap too often (although I'm occasionally slip up and find myself on the high street, damn those glittery topshop dinosaur socks). I try to follow the guide lines:

1.    Buy Less

2.    Pay More

3.    Keep it Longer

Side Note: This is not an ad. I don’t have any sponsors and I pay for all my swimwear, these are just genuinely the brands I wear and love. In no particular order...

1.    Davy Js

Lots of you asked where my little red cossie was from, Davy Js is the answer, a British made sustainable brand, making swimwear to last. They also have a classic black costume which is at the top of my "to buy" list, and they also do some really nice sport style tops and bottoms.

Davy Js use an innovative fabric made from 100% regenerated waste including ghost fishing nets, and are aiming at recycling their own suits to create a closed loop. These suits are designed to last longer, fighting the trend of throwaway fashion and creating something that can keep up with you in all conditions. My red suit is double lined, with hidden rubber edging, so it doesn’t budge when body surfing and swimming. My advice would be to send a quick email or call the women there to double check sizing, they were really helpful with me.

Use discount code SOPHIELOVES for 10% off.

* female owned * sustainable * ethical * UK based *

2.   Deakin and Blue

I met Deakin and Blue's founder Rosie at a Women in Action Sports evening this month, where we were discussing the challenges female athletes face. Research shows that the prospect of putting on a costume deters a lot of women from getting in the water: more than 500,000 women have given up swimming in England in the last decade because of body image concerns. Rosie is on a mission to change that by inspiring and empowering women to swim in style. Deakin and Blue combines femininity and athleticism, meaning these suits are not only designed to look good but you can actually swim lengths or surf big waves, and they are available in from AA-HH cup for those more busty than me. 

Deakin and Blue not only promote body positivity but they also work with environmentally and socially responsible suppliers, manufacturers and partners who pay fairly and source ethically. They also use sustainable fabrics made from 100% recycled and regenerated consumer waste materials, such as fishing nets, in all of their swimwear. These fibers make the swimwear two times more resistant to chlorine, sun cream and oil than standard lycra as well as being better for the planet.

Use discount code HELLYER for 15% off.

* female owned * sustainable * ethical * UK based *

3.    Salt Gypsy

I first saw Salt Gypsy in the Maldives, where Danielle, female owner, boss and ripper was surf guiding on an all female boat trip. I loved the look of them and the message they represented, and I finally bought a pair due to a sunburnt bum in Costa Rica. They have pretty much become my surfing staple now and I’d never go on a trip without them.

I really feel surf leggings have revolutionised the accessibility of surfing for women. So many women are wearing them on the beaches and in the surf that would have otherwise been too self-conscious, or that wouldn't even have been allowed to surf due to their cultures & traditions. They are also great for the lazy; taking me straight from yoga class to the surf without having to change, not having to apply slippery sun cream, no sunburn, no tan lines, no bum rash from wax, no bum flashing incidents when duck diving, and no bum floating inches from people's faces. I just said bum three times.

I’ve had one pair for 4 years and they are only just starting to go a little baggy on the knees now, but they haven't gone see-through and they’ve had their fair share of heavy wipeouts.  I’d highly recommend them and will definitely be getting another pair before my next warm water trip.

Use discount code hellyeah! for 15% off.

* female owned * sustainable * ethical * 

4.    Bower Swimwear

I came across Bower Swimwear on Anitbad Store, my favourite one stop online shop for sustainable luxury fashion. Think timeless black one piece costumes and beautiful classic styles, Bower is another luxury ethical & sustainable British swimwear brand using fabrics made from recycled fishing nets commited to eco sustainability and the environment. I'm completely in love with the pink high waist bottoms at the moment.

Use discount code Sophie for 25% off.

* female owned * sustainable * ethical * UK based *

5.    Finisterre

Finisterre are old friends and I’ve always believed in their 3 commitments; Product, Environment & People. They are always trying to seek and commit to the best and most sustainable way of making products that last, without harming the environment. I had the first bikinis from finisterre about 3 or 4 years ago and they are still going strong. Their swimwear is also made from ECONYL®, 100% post-consumer recycled materials, including discarded fishing nets. I love all the new styles for this summer but I'm struggling to choose just one, I want all of them!

Use discount code SOPHIESWIM for 15% off.

* sustainable * ethical * UK based *

6.    Batoko

I'm a sucker for a one piece, and even more so for a cute dinosaur print (you should see my dinosaur sock collection). BATOKO is a British environmentally responsible & ethical swimwear brand making swimsuits from recycled ocean plastic, so they get my vote. They also do matching women, baby and kids suits if you want to have the cutest family ever. Their costumes were recently ripped off by Primark who certainly do not use recycled fabrics or pay workers a fair wage, so please make sure to support Batoko and buy here instead. 

No discount code but these suits are really affordable at £40 a suit so definitely check them out, one of my favourites for sure. 

* female owned * sustainable * ethical * UK based *

7.    Vitamin A

I had a couple of suits from Vitamin A 3 years ago, and after plenty of surfing the tropics they are still in good condition. I even got the cover of Surf Girl Magazine wearing one of these bikinis. Think more high fashion and less sport compared to most the other brands I have mentioned, they market themselves as sustainably produced luxury bikinis, and all their suits are made from EcoLux fabric, a recycled nylon. They are really beautiful bikinis and I have to restrain myself from going on the website as I want to buy everything.

I have a shiny bronze top, high waisted bottoms with shiny panels and a couple other pieces that you really wouldn’t expect from a sustainable brand. Warning, they are posted from the US so you may get charged customs & import taxes. 

* sustainable * ethical *

8. Salt and Saunter

Years and years ago I bought a bikini top from Etsy, handmade by the lovely Aimee Kewn. I still have it and it's still my favourite top. Aimee has since started the hugely sucessful label Salt and Saunter, and they have just launched an all black eco range from recycled fabrics... if you didn't know all ready, that ticks all my boxes, classic styles in recycled fabrics made from discarded materials such as fishing nets, plastic bottles & plastic bags.

* female owned * sustainable * ethical * UK based *


Thank you soooo much for reading, and remember; 'every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of society you want.'

If you have an eco-friendly ethical swimwear or clothing company and would like me to review you for the blog get in touch via the contact page.