9 sustainable swimwear brands that should be on your radar

To make you feel good by the sea this summer

sustainable swimwear
(Image credit: Penny Goldstone)

Whether you're staycation-ing this year or jetting off abroad, you'll likely end up lounging on a beach at some point this summer. Need to overhaul your holiday wardrobe? Do so in a positive way, with sustainable swimwear that looks as good on you as it is for the planet.

There's something about staring into the sea and spotting plastic trash or microplastics in the ocean that makes one ponder our impact on the planet. Something as small as a bikini can have a big impact on the health of the planet, especially if it's from a fast fashion brand. But even if you always shop for the best sustainable fashion brands, it's not always easy to find sustainable swimwear as not all have a swimwear collection

It's easy to get sucked into some ever-so-subtle greenwashing but to find truly sustainable swimwear you can jump in the sea without feeling guilty about it, you need to look out for are B-Corp certified brands.

What is sustainable swimwear?

As with most sustainable fashion brands, there are various ways in which swimwear labels can be more eco-conscious, starting with the fabric: what it's made of, if it's durable, and if it's easily recyclable.

Some recycle existing materials such as fishnets and plastic bottles to avoid waste and use up fewer resources, which goes a small way to fixing the amount of rubbish and pollution in our oceans. 

You also want to make sure the supply chain is as transparent as possible and look at whether workers are paid fairly, how far the garment has had to travel from and how (for example by plane or by car), and whether the packaging it's sent in is eco-friendly. 

What to look for in sustainable swimwear? 

"Navigating the world of sustainable swimwear can feel like a minefield, but you'll know if a brand is truly sustainable if they're B Corp certified. Brands have to undergo rigorous testing for up to three years to certify, meaning you know they're ticking all the right boxes when it comes to protecting both people and planet," says our Sustainability Editor, Ally Head. 

"Other things to look out for - if the brand is paying their workers fairly, utilising innovative and planet-friendly materials, and using compostable and biodegradable packaging, plus if the garment is produced here in the UK. It's always worth researching if the company is net zero or striving to be, too," Head explains. 

"My personal favourite is AWAY THAT DAY - they won our Sustainability Awards last year. Any brand made in the UK gets a thumbs up from me and I'm a big fan of their sustainability credentials," our Sustainability Editor explains. 

Where can I buy a sustainable bathing suit?

Luckily, whether it's small independent brands or bigger high street and sportswear names, plenty of brands are investing in sustainable practices for their garments, including bikinis and swimsuits.

Shop our edit of the best sustainable swimwear brands below, and while I have you, do check out these fabulous sustainable lingerie brands while you're at it.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.

With contributions from