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Proper Green: 3 Ways to Find an Eco-Friendly Swimsuit

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In the market for a swimsuit yet? Here are a few tips on how to find a bathing suit that complements the environment.
Dear Proper Green,

Is there a such thing as eco-friendly bathing suits? Where can I find them?

-Laurel G., Alpharetta, GA

Dear Laurel,

Eco-friendly bathing suits aren’t quite as prevalent as, say, eco-friendly light bulbs, but they do exist. Here are a few ways to determine whether a suit is green, so you don’t have to resort to your birthday suit:

  1. Check the fabric a suit is made of. Because swimsuits need to do a lot of things — they need to be stretchy while also maintaining shape, they need to dry quickly, they must be resistant to harsh chemicals like chlorine and elements like salt, and they should also block UV rays — they are most commonly made with synthetic materials. Natural, organic, or recycled materials, though, are generally better choices for the environment, and more and more, can stand up to the elements the same way synthetic materials can. Look for bathing suits that are made of cotton (organic and recycled cotton, too), or of recycled nylon or polyester. There are also some fabric brands, like Repreve that are made of a large variety of perhaps more non-traditional recycled materials.
  2. Look for green certifications. Check the hang tags and clothing tags for any possible certifications that indicate some green quality, or an fair labor practices. Some common ones for apparel are Oeko-Tex, GOTS, and Ecocert. Each of these certifications takes into consideration parts of the textile creation process, like the sourcing of the raw materials, the chemicals involved in the cleaning and dying process, the actual dyes used, and the distribution process.
  3. Seek out companies that aim to be sustainable. If you have favorite swimsuit brand, head to their website and poke around their About Us and/or Sustainability sections to see if they offer clear information on efforts they make to be green. If you’re looking for something new, you can do a quick Google search for “eco-friendly swimsuits” to find something you like. There are some companies that focus on eco-friendly swimwear, and green their products by focusing on anything from fabric choices to friendly dying practices, recycled paper tags, and even solar-powered servers to run their website on —La Isla, ECO SWIM, and Odina, are a few I found with clear eco-friendly practices in place.

How do you green your swimwear and gear? Share your tips in the comments below!
About Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and the environment are still evolving) to providing easy ways to make your every day more sustainable, Proper Green aims to help smooth the way with answers to questions that are important to you!

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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more