As we draw towards the end of August, it seemed fitting to do a final summer posting on swimwear, especially as I haven’t posted about eco swimwear before. In another first, I thought it made sense to combine some of the best eco swimwear labels in this single posting: Eco Swim by Aqua Green, Vitamin A and Olga Olsson.
Eco Swim by Aqua Green is a US based company leading the way to a more sustainable swimwear industry. As a fourth generation family owned company, they believe they have a responsibility to reduce their environmental impact. The company design, fit, source, cut and sew the collection locally, helping to minimize their carbon footprint. Comfort, quality and style are never sacrificed, with their collection featuring fun, playful, sophisticated and stylish swimwear.
Working with recycled materials such as nylon, polyester and cotton, Eco Swim work with their partners to pioneer new initiatives, breaking new ground in textile printing and dying processes that use less water, save energy, and adhere to Oeko-Tex standards. All linings are made of recycled materials derived from water bottles and plastic bags. Most of their elastics are produced from recycled components. Plastic bags and hangers are all recycled, and trims are either made from recycled materials or are recyclable, including zips, grommets and snaps, while all drawstrings are made from organic cotton. They use Eco Cell foam for bra cups, a biodegradable material made from plant oils and recycled materials, as opposed to the petroleum oil based foams used on traditional bra cups. Using recycled materials for their hangtags, they also use tagless labels.
Renowned as the IT girl bikini, due their extensive celebrity following, Vitamin A, are also known for blending Brazilian and US bikini cuts, making for a sexy, supportive, but not overly revealing bikini. Also producing an eco collection of swimwear separates which you can mix and match, Vitamin A are aiming to redefine the concept of green, with their precision cuts and sleek color palette. The collection is produced in the US using 100% recycled nylon fiber, diverted from landfill, the production of which saves half a gallon of gasoline per pound of fabric over virgin textile, and is certified by Oeko-Tex.
Inspired to be part of the solution instead of the problem through her work with the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard; Amahlia Stevens decided to develop Vitamin A’s eco collection. The capsule collection is crisp in clean solids and exotic prints, and a portion of all proceeds are donated to Heal the Bay, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the sustainability of the Southern Californian costal waters, through research, education, community action and advocacy.
Olga Olsson, produce a luxury swimwear collection designed in London and produced in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Founded by Ruth Ferguson after working in Rio de Janeiro for a Fair Trade project in the favela (slum), the collection combines South American glamour with European Elegance and a hint of English eccentricity. The look is bohemiam, sexy and contemporary, combining quality with small innovative production that values the producers, celebrates tradition, builds communities and respects the local environment.
Fabrics and trims are sourced in Brazil, close to the Rio de Janiero atelier. Digital printing is used wherever possible, which uses less ink that traditional roller printing. Hang tags are made form recycled paper, and hang from the traditional Bahian ‘fita de bonfim’ ribbon, traditionally tied around the wrist for luck. Their hand painted silks are produced by female artisans in Rio, all fair trade, with everyone paid a fair living wage instead of the industry piece work standard, and all the women’s transportation costs to and from the atelier also covered.