Save Your Board Shorts, Save the Planet

This Summer’s Most Sustainable Swimwear

Fish nets are in this season, and we’re not talking tights. We’re talking sustainable swimwear made from literal fishing nets and other recycled materials, because if you didn’t already know, it turns out that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, which is unfortunate as social norms dictate that we do, in fact, have to wear clothes most of the time.

In these terribly turbulent times where self-proclaimed politicians feel like global warming is a debatable concept, many have taken environmental issues into our own hands. Maybe you’ve decided to forgo meat, or, better yet, plastic straws. Maybe you’ve finally remembered to bring your reusable bag to the grocery store or started that compost bin you’ve been talking about for ages. Maybe not. Either way, we’ve rounded up a list of some sweet swimwear options that are not only good for the planet, but are also sure to get you tons of compliments from envious beachgoers who only wish they were as eco-friendly as you are. You can thank us later, while you relax in your new suit on the shores of a pristine ocean that hasn’t been destroyed by the fashion industry.

Swimmer ECONYL

Everest Isles, $185


It’s hard to say what we love most: the timeless design, athletic fit, or the selection of bold, colorful prints. Hats off to swim trunks that withstand exposure to salt water, chlorine, sun and sand—and look good doing it.

Apex Trunk by Kelly Slater

Outerknown, $145


What happens when surfers realize their swimwear harms the environment? They make better swimwear, ethical swimwear, swimwear you can brag about, obviously. World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater and designer John Moore founded Outerknown to create comfortable clothing that respects our planet. Who knew fishing nets could look this good?

Upcycled Coconut Creator’s 20” Boardshort

Vissla, $59.85


We’ve always known coconut is the shit—in milk form, in oil form, in skincare products, as flakes sprinkled on our açai bowls—so we’re not surprised that we can wear it. Vissla uses a process called Cocotex® to turn coconut husks into activated carbon fabric resulting in practical board shorts available in a variety of funky designs and bright colors—and we’re digging the outcome.

Kavakava One-Piece

Manakai, $198


We don’t want to sound dramatic, but this bestselling one-piece might change your life.
It’s comfy, stylish, made from recycled polyester, and described as “raw, wild & free,” which you have to admit is pretty impressive for an inanimate piece of fabric. But what we love most is the fact that it’s reversible—so it’s basically a two-for-one situation.

California-Cut High Leg Bottoms & Sienna Tank Eco Rib Top

Vitamin A
Top: $106.00


Bottom: $96.00


We love that this suit is equal parts simple, sexy, sophisticated, and sustainable, which is coincidentally also how we would describe ourselves, so it’s a perfect fit. Just to prove that you really can get the best of both worlds, Vitamin A’s bikinis and bodysuits are designed and produced locally in California using EcoLux fabric, made from recycled nylon.

Beirut Top & Bottom

Top: $64.85


Bottom: $53.06


Two best-friends-turned-business-partners, Henna and Anna, founded OHOY with the belief that fashion can do better. Then they proved it—with stylish swimwear made from recycled plastic and fishing nets collected from the ocean. Function and fashion converge in this simple, sustainable swimsuit designed for active people, that’s also suitable (no pun intended) for those of us who prefer not to move unless necessary.

Buckler Short – Morris-sea

Riz Boardshorts, $127.47


Between the retro design, colorful options, and an ’80s music pun, these boardshorts are the manic pixie dream boy of board shorts. They’re eccentric, ready for adventure. They write poetry. They believe that music just used to be better. And they keep you coming back from more—if you send in your old boardshorts, the company gives you 25% off a new pair. We’re sold.

Je suis Morrisey.

I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a sustainable thing to wear.