8 Mom-friendly Sustainable Swim Brands
Finding swimwear is hard, period. But when you add in the fact that you want something sustainable, that allows you to run after kiddos, and makes you feel sexy—it feels damn near impossible. I have ONE bathing suit that I love, and have worn religiously since my youngest was born. After four years of regular wear, it is starting to fade. So I figured it was time to get a second swimsuit that I actually like, and will wear without fear of a wardrobe malfunction.
A few notes on what I’m looking for in a suit:
1. Use of sustainable materials (recycled poly/Econyl or deadstock fabric)
2. Top that has support (I’m a 34DD up top so I’m not messing with triangle tops)
3. A bottom that doesn’t show my whole ass, preferably a high rise.
Here are the suits that piqued my interest (and the one I’ve had for four years that I love.)
This is the suit I’ve had for four years and I've loved every moment in it (mine is a different color). The suit is extremely well constructed. The top has just the right amount of support for larger breasts, but still looks super cute. In fact, it was the first to convince me that it is possible to make a bra for bigger boobs, without underwire, that lifts and supports the girls.
Thief and Bandit does all of their textile design in house, uses Econyl fabric, and manufactures vertically in Nova Scotia. The products may take a little longer to get to you, but that’s because they do limited production runs and often custom make orders. The only reason I’m not getting another one from them is because the new prints are either similar to the one I have. But I love how they are able to do floral without feeling saccharine.
Shop Thief and Bandit >>
Sustainable fashion destination, Av Norden, partnered with Mirame to create a small line of mom-friendly swimwear from deadstock fabric.
Their bikini checks all of the boxes: high waist, full coverage butt, top that has sex appeal and support (plus the top is reversible!) This is a perfect style for running after kids and still looking (and, more importantly, feeling!) hot.
Shop Av Norden >>
This mom-designed line uses Econyl fabric and has great designs for the whole active family (um, beach family photoshoot anyone? This would be perfect!) I love their high waisted bikini and their cut-out one-pieces.
Most of their suits are reversible, and because of this they don’t have pads in boob region (which also makes them more sustainable— not only do you get two suits in one, but I’ve literally never met a swimwear or lingerie designer that has found a truly sustainable source for padding.) But, if you know you’ll only wear one side and you need extra support, they do sell a pad kit so that you can add pads in yourself. Their sizing instruction could use a little work. They said I'd be a "curvy" at a 34DD, which I didn't really believe. I tried a Medium top and it fits fine with the proper coverage, I think the curvy would be too big.
Sizes XS-Curvy Plus (Curvy plus fits size 18+)
Shop Of One Sea >>
This brand breaks my rule of booty coverage, but their designs are beautiful. So, if you like to show some cheek, this brand is for you. All of their suits are made from recycled ocean waste, so you can feel good about taking more plastic out of the ocean!
Production: Vancouver BC
This brand leads with sustainability, which is always a favorite for me. What makes them stand out, however, is their femme, flirty styles, which you don’t usually see in a sustainable swimwear brand. All of their suits are made from recycled ocean plastic, and fairly sewn.
I’m not usually into pink, but I’m loving this color-block one-piece that zips up the back. You could throw on a pair of flowey pants or a skirt and be set for a walk around town after some morning beach-going.
Shop Aava Swim >>
This brand was recommended by customer and friend Libby Newell, who loves their swim shorts. I love the fact that the ribbing on this suit means your body can change sizes and the suit still works. Because our bodies change, right? They boast that each suit is seven sizes in one. How amazing is that?
Their suits don’t have extra support for larger breasts, but they will fit them. If you need more support this may not be the brand for you.
This company does not explicitly say that they use recycled yarn, but the innovation of the flexible sizing kind of makes up for that if you really keep the suit in use for a long time. Plus, they are all produced ethically in England.
Sizes one size fits US 2-14
Shop You Swim >>
Surf-brand Seea makes bathing suits that feel like a hug from the 1960s. Their vintage styling is on point, even with some of the pointy boob-style tops (why are these so cute? I don’t get it, but I love it!) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Betty Draper sporting one of their two pieces on the set of Mad Men.
As a surf-first company, they also think about what works for running around, and have plenty of higher-coverage options like shorts and rash guards. Much of their collection is made in Repreve (recycled poly) or Ecoynyl, so they’ve got the sustainable fibers down. Get ready for some beach blanket bingo, in their adorable suits!
Production: Made in California
Shop Seea >>
This brand is known for their prints which are bold, fun, and a bit on the hippie side. While they have great bikini styles, my favorite isuit of theirs is an 8-in-1 one-piece swimsuit that is reversible, can be worn forwards or backwards, and can be tied with a bow at the bust or not.
Production: Ethically made in China
Shop Wolven >>
The Swap Society is now accepting swimwear for swapping! Some folks out there might not be cool with second-hand swimwear, but with a good wash it is perfectly sanitary! Send your suits that you no longer love to them so they can build up their stock!
What to wear post-swim
1. Skip google's recommendations. When you search for "sustainable swimsuit" or something similar, often what shoes up on Google (especially the ads up top) are NOT sustainable. Do your research! Don't see strong sustainability statements on their website? Chat or email and see what they are doing.
2. Prioritize recycled fibers, deadstock, or flexible sizing. Our reliance on plastic—and most swimwear is made from plastic—is a disaster for our planet. Pick something recycled, or that you'll at least be able to wear for a long time.
3. Shun the trends. Go with a style you'll be happy to wear for years. There's nothing more sustainable than making loved clothes last!