Cover Swimwear can be chic and eco-conscious (Photo: Deta Knits)

Stylish, practical and eco-friendly swimsuits do exist, and these are our picks for the best brands to shop this summer, include the likes of Salt Gypsy and Fisch

Swimwear options are as diverse as they've ever been--styles are abundant, there's a plethora of choices for coverage (depending on if you want more, or less), and better still, more companies are turning to eco-friendly fabrics to make their products.

Econyl, a regenerated fabric made from nylon waste, is one of the more popular choices used in swimwear due to its durability and recyclability. It closes the loop for fabric production, as it reduces existing waste such as industrial plastic, fabric scraps and fishing nets from the ocean, and can be continuously reproduced to the same quality as brand new nylon. With an estimated 60,000 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets estimated to exist in our oceans, that's a lot of Econyl available to produce. 

See more: Seven Female Sustainability Influencers to Follow in Hong Kong

These are our top picks for brands turning to more sustainable production practices, whether its using eco-conscious fabrics or giving back to communities, while offering ultra-chic styles that will excite and delight:

1. Fisch

Fisch makes luxurious swimwear with substance—handmade in Italy, the brand uses Econyl to produce all their collections, eliminating waste and utilising existing materials to create stylish pieces. Each collection comes in varying bikini and one-piece styles, and features bright colours or ocean specific patterns, such as flying fish, boats and shells. Matching cover ups are available to accompany the swimwear, and in following the eco-friendly values of the brand, are made from recycled viscose.

See more: Sustainable Beauty Tips From Coconut Matter Founder Diane Van Zwanenberg

2. Deta Knits

Deta Knits is based and produced in Brooklyn, New York, and adopts a unique production process for their swimwear. Instead of the traditional cut-and-sew technique that most brands use, they 3D knit pieces from a single thread of yarn. The water-resistant yarn is composed of polyester and lycra, so that it can adapt to and flatter all types of bodies, and won't lose its shape. The bikinis and swimsuits all feature a ribbed texture, and are available in colours like moss, terracotta and black so you can mix and match your neutrals.

3. Align Swim

Singaporean brand Align Swim aims to create eco-conscious swimwear designs to suit all body shapes, and blends classic styles with newer swimwear designs. Ethically produced in Bali, the pieces are made from Econyl as well as Repreve, a fibre produced from recycled plastic bottles. The brand also adopts sustainable packaging practices—the swimsuits are packaged in a biodegradable bag made from cassava starch, and the mailing pack is also biodegradable, made from corn-based biopolymers. 

See more: 7 Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials To Enjoy Summer In Hong Kong

4. Salt Gypsy

Founded by Danielle Clayton, Salt Gypsy first began as a personal blog and surf guide, then documented her road testing practical surf leggings, and eventually became a full-fledged surf wear brand under the same name. Seeing there was lack of surf wear suited for women, Clayton filled that gap with bodysuits, leggings and two-pieces in cool patterns. Locally designed and produced in Australia, all pieces are made from Econyl to help reduce plastic waste in the oceans these pieces will eventually be worn in.


5. Kōraru

Kōraru is ideal for the eco-chic minimalist, as their swimwear designs feature clean lines in timeless styles that will flatter all body types. The warm beige, orange and burgundy tones of the collection resemble shades of coral found in the ocean, alluding to the brand's name—the Japanese pronunciation of "coral". All pieces are made from Econyl, and all the packaging is made from sustainable sources too—swimsuits are wrapped in Paptic Tringa, a wood fibre based cellulose sourced from sustainably managed forests, the packaging box lining uses fibres from reused algae, and the boxes themselves are 100% recyclable.

See more: The Best Eco-Friendly Athleisure Brands In Hong Kong

6. Jade Swim

Jade Swim only produces a limited amount of collections in small batches, and founder Brittany Kozer Freeney ensures that their swimwear styles are timeless, taking a slower approach to fashion and avoiding reacting to trends. Most of their collections use Econyl, and all fabrics are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they do not contain or release any harmful substances. As well as that, they only offer bikinis and one pieces in solid coloured fabrics, as this reduces excess water usage required in traditional pattern printing. Based in Los Angeles, they cut pieces in-house and work with local trim vendors to reduce their CO2 emissions.

7. Lilja the Label

Finnish swimwear label Lilja the Label has a variety of bikinis, one pieces and bodysuits on offer, available in solid neutral colours and funky colourful prints. Made in Bali, the brand is transparent about their production processes and sustainability practices. It uses a mix of Econyl and Repreve to make the swimsuits, the latter which is ideal for printing patterns, and ships them in plastic free and recyclable packaging. As an added touch, the inside bag doubles as a rubbish collecting bag, and invites customers to partake in removing waste from their own environments. 


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