How to Make Swimwear Sustainable: Check the Material, Wash Smart, and Make It Last

How to Make Swimwear Sustainable: Check the Material, Wash Smart, and Make It Last.

Table of Contents 

  • Materials Matter
  • Seek Out Quality
  • Buy Less, Wear More
  • Care for Your Swimwear
  • Repurpose Old Swimwear

Finding sustainable swimwear involves more than just choosing the right brand. How you care for your swimwear is equally important for its longevity and environmental impact.

Materials Matter

Most swimwear is made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, which are derived from fossil fuels and do not biodegrade. This is problematic as it contributes to environmental damage. However, choosing the right materials can mitigate some of this impact. While natural fibers aren't suitable for swimwear due to their absorbent nature, recycled synthetics offer a more sustainable option. Common recycled fabrics include Repreve, made from plastic bottles, and Econyl, made from fishing nets and carpets. Look for certifications like the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) to ensure these materials are responsibly produced.

Seek Out Quality

Investing in high-quality swimwear ensures better performance and longevity. Quality fabrics release fewer microplastics, withstand exposure to elements like salt, sun, chlorine, and sun cream, and reduce the need for frequent replacements. Brands committed to sustainability often use eco-friendly dyes, recyclable packaging, and energy-efficient manufacturing processes. Certifications like Oeko-Tex can help you identify fabrics free from harmful chemicals. Avoid swimsuits that recommend avoiding chlorine or use quick-drying chemicals linked to health concerns.

Buy Less, Wear More

The most sustainable swimwear is durable and timeless. Choosing classic colors and styles ensures your swimsuit remains in fashion and serves you longer. McCarthy from Bondi Born suggests black, navy, or cream and styles like plunge V's and square necks for their enduring appeal. A well-fitted swimsuit that makes you feel confident is more likely to be worn repeatedly, enhancing its sustainability.

Care for Your Swimwear

Proper care extends the life of your swimwear and reduces its environmental impact. Rinse your swimsuit thoroughly after each use to remove chlorine and salt. Use a Guppy Friend washing bag to capture microplastics during machine washes. Always wash with cold water, avoid using a dryer, and let your swimsuit air dry in the shade to prevent heat damage.

Repurpose Old Swimwear

When your swimwear is no longer functional, repurpose it creatively. Old swimsuits can be transformed into accessories like scrunchies and hair ties, providing a second life for the material.

By making mindful choices about the materials, quality, and care of your swimwear, you can significantly reduce its environmental footprint and enjoy your swimwear for years to come.

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