The Coolest Swimwear Made From Recycled Fishing Nets & Plastic Bottles

Finding the perfect swimwear can be even more troublesome than avoiding Line of Duty spoilers, right? There’s so much to think about when it comes to swimsuits and bikinis: cut, coverage, colour. Is it boned? Exactly which straps come off? Do high-waisted briefs really make us look like a Baywatch-era Pammy? Now, with sustainability a much bigger – and vital – part of the fashion conversation, considering how, where and what your swimwear is made from is a key factor, too.

The good news is that there’s a growing number of brands creating cool collections using a game-changing yarn, Econyl, which transforms fishing nets and marine waste into a high-quality textile that you can wear time after time. There's no compromise on style, either. Meet the five rising stars who’ve caught our eye with covetable designs and a dedication to making a positive change.

ADVERTISEMENT
1 of 7
Photo: Mara Hoffman
Who: Mara Hoffman

The story: The first recipient of Unifi’s Leading the Change Award, Mara Hoffman is pushing for even more open conversation around fashion and sustainability. In 2015, the Parsons School of Design graduate set her heart on making a change for good, and began using organic, recycled and regenerated materials. She’s also devoted to colour, so each collection is instantly uplifting. Imagine what shades Hockney or Matisse would paint with and you’re on the right track.

Sustainability credentials: All of Mara Hoffman’s solid swimwear is made with Econyl from pre- and post-consumer waste, while textured bikinis and swimsuits are constructed using Repreve – a polyester fibre made of 100% recycled plastic. Hoffman also explains that, compared to conventional fibres, these styles offset the use of new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy through the process.

The price tag: Tops and bottoms are mostly between £120-£155, with swimsuits going up to £310.

Where: The best place to shop the collections is at marahoffman.com, where you can find out more about the designer’s approach and innovations. Our must-have? The Chey bikini, printed with bright sakura blooms.
2 of 7
Photo: Peony Swim
Who: Peony

The story: Named after the bloom that signals the start of summer, Peony’s collections are supercharged with femininity and packed with floral prints (with a few polka dots thrown in for good measure). Its mood boards are pinned with snapshots of idyllic poolside scenes, mirroring the label’s #meetyoubythewater tags – though there’s certainly no intention that these styles can only be worn and posted once on Instagram. In fact, quite the opposite.

Sustainability credentials: Along with its Econyl printed styles, this independent, family-run team has developed its own sustainable fabrications and currently uses them for linings. They’ve switched from plastic bags to compostable and biodegradable packaging and use 100% recycled content for any mailers. Plans are underway to launch a repair and reuse programme too, which will start to close the loop on production processes.

The price tag: Your shopping bag total will go up by £75 for each mix and match separate, while swimsuits cost between £145-190.

Where: Pieces are available to order now via peonyswimwear.com and you’ll also find a selection at Net-A-Porter, Farfetch and Shopbop. If you’re in Australia, over 30 boutiques stock Peony swimwear.
3 of 7
Photo: Fisch
Who: Fisch

The story: Ask designer Agnes Fischer to recall fond memories from trips to St. Barts as a youngster and she’ll likely tell you about a fruity (and frilly) swimsuit she loved to wear, and the incredible colours and creatures she spotted when snorkelling in the sea with her family. Later, Fischer was struck by how rapidly coral reefs were becoming less vibrant and began researching ways to help clean up the ocean. The collections feature some lovely illustrations of marine life, including seahorses and angelfish.

Sustainability credentials: Each collection is handmade from Econyl, woven from abandoned fishing nets. Unless the lost or dumped nets are picked up, they can remain in the water for over 600 years, wounding fish or birds that ingest them. It can also be dangerous for divers to remove the nets from the water, which is why the label partners with Healthy Seas and fully supports its #fromwastetowear initiative.

The price tag: Bikini tops and bottoms are typically £80, while swimsuits hit the £180 mark.

Where: Pieces are available in a few select boutiques around the world, including Miami’s Soho Beach House and Assembly, if you happen to be in New York or LA. Shop online at Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi and Matches Fashion, or head straight to fischswim.com. Don’t miss the leopard-print bikini worn by Louise Follain or Gigi Hadid’s yellow one with '90s-inspired scrunchie straps.
4 of 7
Photo: Stay Wild Swim
Who: Stay Wild Swim

The story: After deciding to launch a sustainable brand which would make a positive change, influencers Natalie Glaze and Zanna van Dijk learned everything from scratch – including how to draw fashion sketches and what carbon neutral shipping entails. Besides the flattering silhouettes and striking colours inspired by scuba dives, sand and sunsets, there’s a lot to like about the brand’s 'for every woman' approach. Campaigns and product shots feature gorgeous models (discovered through social media call-outs) with a range of heights, skin tones, clothing and bra sizes.

Sustainability credentials: "It can be recycled, recreated and remoulded again and again," explain the duo of Econyl, appreciating how industrial plastic, landfill litter and discarded fabric scraps can also be purified and woven into the textile along with ocean waste – turning threat into thread, as they put it. Each item is designed and made in London to ensure a completely transparent production process. The pair suggest washing your swimwear in a GuppyFriend bag too, which prevents the release of microfibres into the water system.

The price tag: Separates start at £70 and swimsuits approximately £170.

Where: Visit staywildswim.com or browse Selfridges’ selection, which is part of the company’s 'Bright New Things' edit for 2019. The Aurora bikini and Wanderlust one-piece are destined to crop up on your feeds this summer, while the sporty Odyssey style is perfect for surfing.
5 of 7
Photo courtesy of Monki.
Who: Monki

The story: As part of the H&M super group, Swedish brand Monki has become an exciting addition to the British high street (they now have 8 stores across the UK). It's no wonder why; they offer an eclectic mix of Scandi cool, street style trends, a quirky aesthetic, great basics and a brand ethos all about empowering women and being kind to the world. Their swimwear collections are characterised by bright, bold colours, sporty cuts and playful patterns (citrus fruit and rainbow stripes anyone?).

Sustainability credentials: This is Monki's first sustainable swim collection; another step in the brand's journey to only use recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. For example, the fabric used to make the collection is an ecologically-minded concoction of recycled polyester and polyamide, PET bottles and waste fibres from production.

The price tag: Swimsuits start at £25, bikini tops at £15 and bottoms at £8.

Where: In Monki stores and online now. Just look for the 'Monki Cares' tag to pick out the brand's sustainable pieces.
ADVERTISEMENT
6 of 7
Photo: allSisters
Who: allSisters

The story: Fashion designers and brands frequently look to the art world for ideas when creating, but for the two women behind allSisters, it’s a Leonardo da Vinci quote that sparks inspiration: "Water is the driving force of all nature." Launched in 2015, the Barcelona-based brand is making waves with its eco-conscious, responsible swimwear that's sleek and sexy thanks to a minimal monochrome palette, block colours and graphic cutouts. Muse Toni Garrn approves, dubbing it "the coolest sustainable swimwear" on her Instagram.

Sustainability credentials: Along with its use of Econyl and regenerated textiles carrying the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® certification (meaning they’ve been tested for harmful substances,) the brand aims to help support Barcelona’s local economy by sourcing stock material from nearby factories to upcycle. Each design is cut in environmentally friendly facilities and a socially responsible workplace.

The price tag: Tops and bottoms cost around £40, with swimsuits starting around £105.

Where: We predict it won’t be long before major global players pick this brand up, but until then, visit shop.allsisters.com.
7 of 7
Courtesy of ARKET.
Who: Arket

The story: Long-lasting design has been at the heart of the ARKET fashion and lifestyle brand since opening its first store on Regents Street in 2017. Describing itself as a "modern-day market", ARKET sells everything from clothing to home wear, children's clothes, travel accessories and garden pieces, all with sustainability and durability in mind. ARKET's swimwear aesthetic? Think Scandinavian minimalism meets French chic - simple designs, square-necklines and '90s-esque spaghetti straps.

Sustainability credentials: Expanding their existing sustainable swimwear collection for SS19, ARKET has introduced a full collection made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon (nylon waste from landfills and oceans across the world such as recovered fishing nets). Just like virgin nylon, this so-called 'regenerated' nylon is lightweight, strong, durable, quick-drying, UV-resistant and elastic; making it perfect for swimwear. However, unlike virgin nylon, ECONYL® has a far lesser impact on the environment. Its use reduces carbon emissions, the use of crude oil, and reclaims waste items littering our seas.

The price tag: Bikini tops start at £19, bottoms at £17 and one pieces at £35.

Where: ARKET's Sustainable Swim collection is available now from ARKET stores and online.
ADVERTISEMENT
Load more...
ADVERTISEMENT