Eco-friendly bikinis: 7 striking styles

As an ocean-friendly brand, we take pride in our sustainable swimwear. It’s an art that we’ve been perfecting over the years (one of our first styles was a pair of boardshorts!), honing both the materials that we use and introducing more styles and cuts. Our ultimate aim is to make you feel comfortable and beautiful whether at the beach or by the pool, knowing that you’re wearing ethical and sustainable swimwear

That applies in equal measure to our eco-friendly bikinis. Think: high-rise bottoms, gathered tops, retro romance and classic bikinis. They’re designed to be timeless, personal, comfortable and of course, sustainable. So if you’ve been scouring the web for sustainable swimwear brands delivering to the UK and beyond, you might just have found the right place.

But wait a second…

Can bikinis be eco-friendly?

The short answer is yes: absolutely bikinis can be eco-friendly. The longer, wiser answer is that there’s a trade-off involved.  

Bikinis have a plastic problem. They’re most often made from synthetics like nylon, spandex and polyester. Wrapping around the body to reduce water resistance, these fibres are great for swimmers, not so great for the planet. 

Because plastics are:

  • Fossil-fuel derived
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Shed microplastics 

Furthermore, bikinis can be a fast fashion item: worn one summer, discarded the next - if they don’t break before. Combine those issues and you end up with a formula for environmental harm. Swimwear that doesn’t last, made from plastics that do = an eternal waste problem! 

The solution

Currently, we make eco-friendly bikinis from ECONYLⓇ regenerated polyamide and elastane. Wondering what ECONYLⓇ fibre is? Said to be a ‘breakthrough material’, it makes use of nylon that already exists to create ultra-stretchy, UV-resistant swimwear and other sustainable clothing. Source materials include: industrial plastic, fabric scraps, and fishing nets from the ocean. 

We love it because it reduces the amount of waste plastic in different industries, keeping materials out of landfill. Disused fishing nets also look so much better as bikinis, right?  

The trade-off

This material allows us to make eco bikinis and swimwear that is high-quality but low impact, cutting out the need for more fossil fuels and emissions. Due to our designs and our customers, we also know that our swimwear will be used for years to come. But even though it is more sustainable, it’s still not biodegradable. However, we think ECONYLⓇ is the best material out there for eco swimwearhaving the technical edge over natural alternatives like hemp.   

Affordable sustainable swimwear

The other doubt you may have is expense. Sustainable fashion tends to be seen as the preserve of the rich and wealthy, and there certainly are luxury swimwear brands that will charge you double just for the green credentials. That’s not our philosophy. We make sustainable swimwear at fair prices for both the UK and Europe. Our prices reflect fair labour standards too: as everything is made in Northern Portugal, meaning you’re also wearing ethical swimwear. Plus you can enjoy 20% off when you pre-order (which reduces waste)!

Best eco-friendly bikinis for women 2022

Without further ado, here are our top 7 sustainable swimwear types for summer 2022. 

Terry Textured bikini

One of this season’s star styles: the Bulan. For the first time, we’ve incorporated a terry texture fabric, which feels extra soft and adapts wonderfully to the body. This eco-friendly bikini top and bottom (which you can buy separately) looks elegant and unique. With a halter neckline, triangular design and smooth inside lining, the top itself is well worth giving a try. 

For more coverage and a dynamic two-tone effect you can also try this lush terry texture in our Koch. Or there’s the Conic, just one letter away from being iconic…

Print bikini

For the more free-spirited, print sustainable bikinis are a must-have. Our new collection includes the Mavor top and bottom, which features an intricate white blossom design. A symbol of your dedication to nature. This style ties up at the front, giving it a distinctly californian twist. 

Contrast floral

For a more emphatic style that cuts a cool figure, try the Adonara. With lowrise bottoms and a u-shaped top that is nonetheless well-secured, it shows both confidence and class. A sustainable bikini you can count on, that was made especially for those who spend all summer in the sea.

Gathered

A retro trend, back with a vengeance! Our gathered bikini tops are adjustable for a better fit. An indispensable sustainable bikini example would be the Nabih top with a gathered neckline and base. Easy to adjust, even easier to love. 

Olympic back

Slip effortlessly with this sporty, streamlined style! Making the most of the stretchy ECONYL® regenerated polyamide, the Auskerry wraps around the body in a curvaceous elliptical design. Maximum coverage on the front, full support on the back. We also love the beautiful grape colour.  

Swimsuit

If bikinis just aren’t really your thing, and you much prefer eco-friendly swimwear that embraces all things ocean, try our one-piece Tamara. This playful, detailed design was requested by our ocean loving community!

The Tamara is made from a high percentage of recycled polyester, typically sourced from single-use plastic bottles. Pretty neat. 

Diverse fits

Our eco-friendly bikini bottoms now come in a variety of fits. One of the newest is a 90s throwback: the high-rise bikini bottom. You can find this shape in our eco-friendly styles like Berneray and Conic. On the other hand, try our high-waisted bottoms - such as the Amini - for a vintage take on summer. You’ll also find classic low and mid rise cuts. With so much choice for sustainable swimwear, you can’t go wrong. 

A last word on sustainability

Beyond the production stage, how sustainable your swimwear is will come down to two things: how much you like it and how well you take care of it. Try to choose a style you can stick with; a timeless choice, like any of the eco bikinis above. And once you start wearing it, a few key garment care rules will come in handy. These include drying your swimwear in the shade to reduce colour-fading and washing in cold water. 

A recipe for summer success.