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How to Choose Sustainable Swimwear for Open Water Swimming

5 min read

How to Choose Sustainable Swimwear for Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming (AKA wild swimming) is the sporting trend that just won’t quit, with everyone from David and Victoria Beckham to Ed Sheeran taking the plunge in their sustainable swimwear, often going the extra mile to build their own personal lakes. While we think that taking things that far is somewhat counterproductive to sustainability efforts (not to mention the opposite of wild), an ocean brand like TWOTHIRDS obviously takes note when a water-based activity takes a hold on the general public and eco-friendly bikinis and sustainable bathing shorts are in demand.

However, given that there are stark differences between standard pool-based swimming and open water swimming that takes place in oceans and lakes, it stands to reason that there are some additional things to factor in when choosing an eco-friendly swimsuit, sustainable bikini, or ethical boardshort. As ever, we are here to lend a helping hand.

Why Sustainable Swimwear is a Must

Strictly speaking, no one is obliged to wear sustainable swimwear when they go wild swimming, but for those who truly want to feel a connection to their natural surroundings, eco-friendly bikinis and sustainable swimsuits are the way to go. That’s because our range of eco swimwear goes the extra fathom or nautical mile, to put the ocean first, using only the finest recycled materials, which keep oceans, lakes and rivers clear of plastic waste.

Ask anyone from our ocean community and they will tell you, wearing a TWOTHIRDS sustainable swimsuit or eco-friendly boardshort gives them a genuine sense that they belong in the ocean, or indeed river or lake.

Premium Portuguese Recycled Fabric

Another benefit of TWOTHIRDS’ ethical swimwear is that it is all made close to home, either in Portugal or Spain – two countries with deep connections to the sea. This is important because the seamstresses who lovingly handcraft all our eco swimwear pieces have often lived for generations by the ocean, and so know a thing or two about how to make comfortable, stylish bikinis and eco-friendly swimsuits.

It therefore stands to reason that much of our new sustainable swimwear collection for 2024 is made of premium Portuguese fabric, the majority of which is derived from recycled plastic waste. Take the Pakin eco swimsuit and its gorgeous peach-feel fabric, which is 78% recycled polyester while also boasting a lining that consists of 55% recycled polyamide. The same goes for the beautiful vichy patterned Gannet eco bikini set, which is 85% recycled polyester and with a lining that consists of 90% recycled polyester. Because such fabrics are sourced locally, their overall environmental impact is much reduced when compared to fabrics that come from further afield.

Classic Designs Meet Retro Stylings

Another important factor to consider when choosing ethical swimwear for open water swimming purposes are the styles and designs that will both be comfortable and not look out of place in nature. That’s where our eco-conscious fashion designers step in, who since 2010 have been creating designs that never look out of place in the water or on the beach.

For this year, all of our sustainable swimwear designs fall into three style categories: retro, classic, and ocean. Obviously, for open water swimming, it is the last of these that will probably most appeal. This category includes the already mentioned Pakin sustainable swimsuit, the Remire eco-friendly swimsuit, the Kleides sustainable bikini, and the Dorre eco-friendly bikini. That’s not to say, though, that the more classic and retro designs will not also work perfectly for wild swims in your local sea, river or lake.

Men’s Eco Boardshorts: Mesh or No Mesh?

While our sustainable bikinis and eco swimsuits for women tend to be fairly simple to choose, based on the coverage and design that suits each individual, men have slightly more difficult decisions to make. One such example is whether to go with ethical boardshorts that have a mesh lining. The benefit of a mesh lining in sustainable boardshorts is that the wearer feels more supported, but some people suffer from chafing and rubbing, which is the last thing you want when you’re a long way from shore, open water swimming

At the end of the day this is a personal choice based on how sensitive your skin is. Choose an eco-friendly swim short like the Grevy if you want a lining. If you wish to keep things minimal and go without a lining, choose sustainable boardshorts like the bestselling Ouen or the ocean-reflection-inspired Kempe.

Another important choice to think about when selecting sustainable men’s swimwear is whether to go with solely a drawstring waist or an elasticated waist that also comes with a drawstring. The latter of these options will help people who find that eco swimwear slips down when they’re swimming. However, there is a trade-off to be made, because more material will mean more drag and added weight, not that this will bother you too much unless you happen to be a serious open water swimmer. It goes without saying that all our men’s sustainable boardshort drawstrings are made from 100% recycled polyester.

SEAQUAL®: Ocean Plastic Eliminated

One of the standout features of much of our new sustainable swimwear for men is SEAQUAL®, an incredible material which is partly derived from waste plastic pulled from the ocean. Ethical boardshorts made from this truly circular material include the Cruzador, the Barizo and the Harrington, with many more besides. 

Sustainable Swim & Beach Accessories

Eco swimwear aside, many of our sustainable beach towels and eco-friendly beach blankets are also made from SEAQUAL® or Recover™, the latter specialising in the recycling of post consumer textiles. This means that every time you purchase a sustainable boardshort, eco-friendly towel or ethical beach blanket, you’re doing your bit to keep your favourite wild swimming spots clear of plastic waste. Now get out there; swim wild and free!