This summer, as I planned for my vacation, I decided that I wasn’t going to buy anything new because I have tons of clothes that doesn’t get worn during the year and some still even have the price tags on them. When you consider the fashion industry contributes substantially to negative environmental impacts such as water pollution, emissions associated with its supply chain and fabrics that are not biodegradable, I decided that if I were going to buy something new, it would be eco-friendly.
Once I realized that the only items I needed for my trip were swimsuits, the hunt began, and, let me tell you, it was a long, sometimes aggravating quest for two main reasons:
1. Sustainable clothing/swimwear is beyond expensive.
2. The most stylish, wide-assortment are offered from overseas brands and I didn’t want to incur the international shipping charges or worry about the items being delivered on time.
It’s actually a little funny when you think about it. Fashion is contributing to ocean pollution and the main type of clothing we wear in the ocean is made with virgin nylon, lycra or polyester aka plastic, and is not biodegradable.
Thankfully, since I was planning my trip around August, summer sales were galore, which meant steep discounts on swimwear. Here, are some of the almost affordable sites I found where you can get eco-friendly chic pieces for the beach.
1. Everything But the Water – While not everything on this site is eco-friendly, they have an assortment of sustainable brands like, Mara Hoffman, Vitamin A and Salt Gypsy at affordable prices, and many items often go on sale. I bought a one-piece swimsuit from Vitamin A, made with 83% recycled nylon, for just $35 (regularly $198). The company also has a program where 25% of the purchase price of items marked with its Water is Everything heart icon supports The 5 Gyres Institute, an organization that’s working to help curb plastic pollution. The company also hosts beach clean-ups nationwide has practices sustainability within its business model.
2. Swim Outlet – If you sign up for this company’s newsletter you get a code to take 10% off your order, so I liked that I was able to get this savings perk immediately. Not everything on the site is eco-friendly, but there are several sustainable brands including Vitamin A, Roxy, Speedo, Eco Swim and Mara Hoffman, to name a few. The website even has this handy guide that breaks down the types of recycled textiles along with links to the eco-friendly brands on their website for easy shopping. During the time I was shopping, there were significant markdowns on the swimwear.
3. Wolven Threads – I don’t think its possible to do a search for sustainable swimwear and not come across this brand. Made from sustainable bottles, I’ve only seen one-pieces on their site, priced at around $126, and some sales of $99. Some of the pieces are reversible, so oyu are getting 2 for one (or $50 each).
4. Faherty – I came across this site by accident, and by the time I did I had already ordered enough swimwear; otherwise, I would have taken advantage of the eco-friendly swim wear they had on sale. Everything is moderately priced (there are bikini tops as low as $25) and some are even reversible so you get two for the price of one.
5. Swim Style – This site features pieces from the Eco Peace/Eco Swim line and when I went on the site in early August there was a 50% off summer sale and by the end of August a 70% off Labor Day sale, plus free shipping and returns. You can use the code on the already discounted Eco Peace items, making this a huge bargain if you like the items form this brand.