BEST SUSTAINABLE SWIMWEAR BRANDS: HUNZA G, OAS AND MORE

We have a curious bond with our favourite swimwear.

Year-in, year-out we return to our beloved bikinis and cherished swimsuits, ready to dust them off and pack them up for our next beachside sojourn.

But what is it that makes a swim piece so special? While artisanal prints, striking silhouettes and confidence-inducing comfort all contribute, we believe that a true treasure comes from investing in a sustainable item to see you through many summers to come.  

When it comes to sustainability, swimwear doesn’t have the best rep. Truly sustainable swimwear is a rarity. High street and even designer pieces tend to be crafted from synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. These are made from non-biodegradable fossil fuels that will live on in our landfills for longer than our lifetime. What’s more, plastic microfibers from these synthetic garments can enter our waterways when dipping in the sea or when washed and may end up contaminating the food chain.

However, there is a pocket of brands making a change. Labels such as OAS, Talia Collins and Away That Day incorporate recycled materials into their products and packaging, with the latter boasting a recycling initiative to encourage consumers to give new life to their old swimwear.

According to Allied Market Research, the global sustainable swimwear market size was valued at $7.8 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $16.2 billion by 2032. The demand for new and improved styles is clearly there, it’s just a case of knowing where to look. 

Independent brands that offer ethical, transparent production chains and well-crafted pieces may charge more for their products, but it’s a price that many of us are willing to pay. Higher price points reflect higher quality production, where materials are responsibly sourced, workers accounted for and factories closely monitored. This also encourages consumers to look beyond the trend cycle for eternally-chic designs they will re-wear each beach break.

Contrary to popular opinion, sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Founder of sustainable swimwear brand Ôsalé Aliya Wilkinson shares her insight on spring/summer 2024 swimwear trends: “Anything Seventies-inspired will be popular. Think soft paisleys and hand-painted florals a la Chloé and Etro. Also, Missoni-esque colourful chevrons and stripes. Exotic animal prints never go out of season in swimwear, the classic leopard print comes back time and time again.”

Thankfully, the market for eco-conscious swim labels is ever-growing and you’ll find a multitude of brands stocking stylish, planet-friendly pieces to punctuate your summer wardrobe.

Discover the best sustainable swimwear brands and curate an inspired beachside archive without costing the earth. 

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Fruity Booty

Price: £-££

All the It-girls are wearing Fruity Booty - and for a number of reasons. Not only are the brand’s girlish, glamorous designs the ideal blend of sultry and sweet, but they are also eco-friendly. The majority of the collection is crafted from surplus fabrics, and for the pieces that aren’t, Fruity Booty sourced sustainable, high-quality materials for their creation. The packaging is 100 per cent recycled and the brand employs a zero-plastic policy from the beginning to the end of the process. Emily Ratajkowski is a fan.

Buy now

Seafolly

Price: ££

Australian-born Seafolly is one of the most well-known beachwear labels in the world, offering an extensive range of bikinis, tankinis, one-pieces and much, much more. The brand is best known for bold, vibrant prints and premium constructions that will stand the test of time.

The latest collection is crafted from 60 per cent regenerated fibres, diverting waste away from landfills and our oceans. The experts behind the label are also in the process of transitioning viscose and cotton fibres to more responsible options and have launched T1 factories on the Open Supply Hub to mark their commitment to tracing the entirety of the supply chain.

Nearly all packaging is fully recycled, and all fabrics and trims are sourced from suppliers certified by the Oeko-tex Standard 100, so there are no toxic chemicals in sight.

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Hunza G

Price: ££

London-born label Hunza G received worldwide acclaim after Julia Roberts graced the silver screen in one of its mini dresses. Embodying Vivian in Pretty Woman, the now-iconic white tank with a tie-dye skirt connected by a silver ring instantly entered the fashion hall of fame. The brand’s swimwear follows the same sculptural style but has been redesigned with its signature flattering seersucker material and embellished with tortoiseshell ring detailing and ribbed embellishments.

In terms of sustainability, the brand emphasises transparency and visibility through its supply chain, ensuring regular communication with all facilities on their practices and regulations. According to the label, 86 per cent of electricity in Hunza G’s fabric manufacturing facility is from renewable energy sources and it works with carbon accounting partner Greenly to continually measure and reduce its GHG emissions through annual lifecycle assessments and subsequent off-setting.

In 2023, Hunza G joined Net-A-Porter in The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to dive deeper into and learn more about how to improve its eco-conscious practices.

Buy now, Selfridges

OAS

Price: ££

Meet the swimwear label that is about to become your new Roman Empire. From the beautiful, wanderlust-inspiring visuals to the stunning swimwear itself, selecting just one piece from the endlessly covetable collection will be the most challenging thing you have to do today. Resort pieces include bikinis and swimsuits crafted from recycled polyester. Menswear is also available.

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Away That Day

Price: ££

Turn your out-of-office on and jet off in style. Away That Day is a London-based brand that celebrates sustainability in the sexiest of ways. Shimmering lurex pieces are accompanied by burnt orange tones, classic silhouettes and uber-wearable designs. The label uses only planet-friendly fabrics, including ECONYL, recycled polyamide and pyratex. Even the utmost attention has been paid to the packaging, which is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic.

Away That Day has also launched its ‘Recycle Your Swim' initiative, inviting consumers to send in their old or torn swimwear from it to send to its recycling partner - it doesn’t matter which brand. It will then be recycled into the likes of eco-carpet underlay and other industrial and textile products.

Buy now

Talia Collins

Price: ££

Talia Collins is a destination for timeless staple swimwear. The designer cut her teeth at French Vogue before founding her eponymous label. She produces elegant styles, from bikinis to swimsuits, all made with sustainability in mind. The brand’s eco credentials include donating 1 per cent of each sale to The Healthy Seas Initiative to support their work in clearing the oceans, plus partnering with Greenr to help reduce its carbon footprint. Each must-see piece is made from ECONYL, a 100 per cent regenerated nylon yarn that is sourced from discarded fishing nets and ocean waste.

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Oceanus

Price: £££

How many swimwear labels can say their designs have been hand-embroidered with Swarovski crystals? We’re guessing not many. Oceanus’ glittering designs are not only striking but each piece has been made from recycled, eco-friendly materials, making it an apt choice for sustainable shoppers.

Designed for the brave, Oceanus’ scintillating swimwear mirrors the confident attitude of Eighties evening wear which translates to glamorous perching poolside. Texture is intertwined in the brand’s DNA. Hand-embroidered crystals, multicoloured beading inspired by nature and metallic lycra made from recycled fishing nets dominate the traffic-stopping swimstyle selection that will have you booking the next flight to Ibiza.

Buy now, Cult Mia

Agua by Agua Bendita

Price: £££

A Columbian success story, Agua by Agua Bendita aims to bring South American design to the world stage. The collection is dominated by rustic prints from tropical florals and iridescent jewel-inspired motifs that tap into Latin American wanderlust. Each piece is handmade at home by female artisans with recycled materials, ensuring workers can balance their work and family life.

Across the exquisite edit, you will find swimsuits and cover-ups in lush tropical prints and retro silhouettes, spanning linen maxi skirts, elegant cut-outs to flatter the feminine form and silk-blend pareos.

Buy now, Net-A-Porter

Billabong

Price: £-££

Surfer girls unite! Billabong’s functional yet playful designs are tailored to active women. Whether catching a wave or snorkelling in crystal clear waters, you’ll be able to make a splash in hibiscus patterns, tie-dye prints and crinkle texture set on one and two-piece silhouettes. Orange tones feature heavily, which are perfect for blending in with the tropical sunset.

Buy now

Ôsalé

Price: ££-£££

Recently worn by Maya Jama, Ôsalé is an Ibiza-based swimwear brand that marries luxury design with youthful prints. The brand was founded in 2022 by Aliya Wilksinon, and champions designs that evoke a sense of adventure, timelessness and wanderlust.

Sustainability is ingrained in every aspect of the cool-girl brand. Monochrome bikinis are made from recycled yarns produced by plastic bottles and the beachwear is constructed from Ecovero viscose, a fibre certified as ecological by the European Union for fulfilling high environmental standards throughout its lifecycle.

Buy now

Marysia

Price: £££

Founded by Polish-born designer Maria Dobrzanska Reeves, Marysia serves up minimalism with sleek scallop detailing. The brand fuses the designer’s love for surfing and ballet in each piece, offering secure, streamlined silhouettes that support the body.

The swimwear is crafted from seersucker recycled fabrics and is complemented by the aforementioned flattering trims in shades of mint, black and fuchsia. Pared-back bandeau bikinis, terry tunics and elegant one-pieces make the choice for checkout near impossible.

Buy now, Net-A-Porter

Samanta Virginio

Price: ££

Samanta Virginio is one to watch. The emerging designer's work is inspired by her dual American-Italian heritage, a theme that energises her new swimwear collection. Each piece is made-to-order and crafted from deadstock recycled polyamide with elastane. Whimsical florals feature heavily, as do dream-like tones of rose and blossom. Price upon request.

Buy now, Samanta Virginio

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