Whether you live by a body of water or not, it’s time to toss off the cover up and shimmy into a fabulous vegan swimsuit. This year, we want a suit that not only fits great, but one that is made sustainably. These suits look hot—but they won’t warm up the planet or burn a hole in your wallet. We know you’re gearing up to hit the beach, pool, river, etc., so show up in style with one of these fantastic vegan swimsuits.
Shapes in the Sand
1. Shapes in the Sand
Want to be cool to the environment? Get your swimsuit here. The Aussie company ensures its fabrics remain in a regenerative, closed-loop system by partnering with ECONLY—a textile company that produces 100-percent regenerated fibers from discarded commercial fishing nets and other pre- and post-consumer materials. The swimwear company also launched the first 100-percent bio-based fiber made from castor bean oil in 2018. And that’s just the beginning of Shapes in the Sand’s commitment to leaving no trace behind (read more here). But let’s get to the fun part—how do these swimsuits look? Pretty darn cute. Most patterns play off flattering floral prints in soft colors. Cuts range from one-pieces with pretty shoulder bow accents, high-waisted two-pieces, rash guards, bandeaus, and bottoms with a range of coverage. Essentially, no matter your size or style, you can find a sustainable option here.
Do Good Swimwear
2. Do Good Swimwear
It’s not just a slogan, this minority women-owned small business abides by its title. All pieces are made out of ECONYL and designed to last. Not only do they aim to produce a high-quality product, the benefit of long-lasting swimwear is that less fabrics end up in landfills. In addition to sustainable, small-batch production, Do Good gives back a portion of its profits to ocean conservation efforts. Manifested by surfer girls, the suits come in a variety of functional cuts in mostly solid colors, because the last thing you want to be worrying about when you paddle out is adjusting your swimsuit.
There is a lot of emphasis on women’s swimwear in the sustainability and ethical fashion movement, but those who prefer board shorts have options, too. As the name implies, MeUndies began as an underwear company, but let’s be honest—swimwear is underwear that’s appropriate to display in public. Each pair of these shorts is made with eight recycled plastic bottles. Currently, the company is offering one print in two styles—a brightly colored geometric design in either eight-inch or six-inch length. But really, how many swimsuits do you need? Grab this solid pair and you’re set for summer.
Designed in Downtown Los Angeles, this sustainable, small batch activewear company produces buttery-soft swimwear from recycled plastic bottles. Don’t ask us how—it’s an industry secret. The overall look is very boho-chic—think mandala and fractal prints in an array of unexpected but flattering cuts. Check out the caged one-piece with dramatic open straps along the sides or the sultry one shoulder with an asymmetrical triangle cutout at the waist. No matter how much (or how little) skin you’re comfortable showing, you can find an ethically made, eco-friendly suit here.
We trust that Hawaiians know their swimsuits, which makes this Hawaii-based swimwear company an obvious choice when looking for your next bikini or bandeau. Manakai is the state’s only sustainable swimwear company. It boasts a firm commitment to only using regenerated fabrics made from ECONYL. Styles are designed in Hawaii and made in California under a father-and-daughter-run small business. We also love that the company packages its suits in a 100-percent recyclable paper bag—not plastic. Choose from magenta bandeau two-pieces, burnt orange high-waisted two pieces, or a turquoise suit with sexy strapping.
Prompted by pro surfer Kelly Slater, this ethically made and sustainably produced clothing company is all about fair labor and circular use of materials. The brand is Fair Labor Association-accredited and goes above and beyond to keep its signature jeans out of landfills. Like other companies, it also relies on regenerative fibers to produce its clothing and swim trunks. Men’s trunks are priced on the higher end, but the company guarantees these will last—no matter how much the waves tumble you. The Apex line is tested and approved by Slater himself. On the women’s side, the brand offers flattering basics in monochrome colors and a few simple yet pretty designs. No straps or bulging bows here—these suits are meant for performance (they just happen to make you look awesome).
7. Patagonia Swim
This outdoorsy apparel company is perhaps the most vocal about transparency and sustainable manufacturing. Not only does it clearly outline its own eco-friendly actions, it encourages its customers to get involved in the sustainability movement. Its Patagonia Action Works initiative connects consumers with projects around the world aimed at environmental protection. The performance brand offers both men and women’s swimsuits designed to keep up with your active lifestyle. The women’s line includes two pieces, one pieces, and light wetsuits designed for 65 to 75 degrees. Men’s options include boardshorts in an array of lengths and colors—from muted greys and navys to bright pink.
8. Seea Swimwear
Made for surfers and ocean adventurers, this women-owned swimwear line produces both suits and wetsuits with regenerative, neoprene-free materials. All products are made within a 70-mile radius of its San Clemente, CA headquarters under fair labor and wage conditions. Seea also offers customers complimentary repairs to its wetsuits to extend its life for as long as possible. When it finally comes to hang up the worn suit, they offer recycling options to avoid the landfill. The pieces are both fashion-forward and functional. They fit perfectly—whether you opt for a high-rise two piece or classic one piece. Colors range from checkers to solids and stripes to paisley print. You don’t have to be shredding the waves to rock one of these sustainable suits.
9. Immaculate Vegan
This isn’t a singular brand—it’s a collection of sustainably made, vegan-friendly swimwear companies. Each has been vetted and only uses ECONYL to produce its suits. The options are extensive, but Immaculate Vegan offers several filters to assist customers in finding their perfect fit, style, and color. If you’ve searched through the first eight brands on this list and still can’t find a suit you love, this vast collection shouldn’t disappoint. Note: while the prices are marked in UK pounds, the suits ship to the US.
10. San Lorenzo RETRO
The iconic, fashion-forward swimwear brand just launched a new capsule collection for summer 2021 that puts sustainability at the forefront. Each of the 11 new cuts is made with recyclable and biodegradable nylon fabric. From the high-waisted bikini briefs to the bright color block patterns, the look is inspired by the fashion of the 80s and 90s. Like fashion trends, these styles may not last for long. Grab your retro one-piece or cheeky bikini while you can.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.