Luckily it’s not quite time to shed that summer skin.
Investing in a thoughtful piece of sustainable swimwear can be a worthwhile investment all year round. Here’s why…
Investing in a thoughtful piece of sustainable swimwear can be a worthwhile investment all year round. Here’s why…
While giving into fast fashion trends can be very tempting when it comes to swimwear, it’s also vitally important to take a step back and realize where exactly our garment came from. Swimwear is a highly intimate element of our wardrobe, making direct contact with our skin and exposing our bodies to the world. Requiring water-resistant and quick-drying properties, swimwear is crafted primarily of plastic-based materials which introduce a slew of complexities in terms of its environmental impact. That’s why we are highlighting brands that invest time and care into sourcing the right fabrics and working in an ethical way, not just for us, but for the environment, too.
If you welcome, the unexpected, NYC-based Flagpole Swim may be the brand for you. In fact, Flagpole is so distinct and iconic that it launched a six-piece collab collection with none other than luxury fashion house Oscar De La Renta back in 2017. Thoroughly unique, Flagpole’s swimwear is a one-of-a-kind blend of shape and color that brings to mind the word ‘vibrance,’ resulting in a line that doesn’t just please and energize the eye, but that also fits in with an active lifestyle.
The brand uses the finest four-way stretch Italian fabrics, but beyond their focus on quality and aesthetic, founders Megan Balch and Jamie Barker also put a strong emphasis on a fair production process. Flagpole’s ‘Made in New York’ certification ensures that the brand is aware of every step in the production process and maintains close relationships with the women and men who sew their swimwear.
Why we love Flagpole: swimwear is about more than just looking good, and a Flagpole swimsuit will carry you through an afternoon of surfing in style, comfort, and confidence – all while doing so with sincerity, thoughtfulness and sound production.
Anyone with an appreciation for craftsmanship and expertly handmade garments will find a new staple piece for their wardrobe in She Made Me’s swimwear. With a romantic vibe that always stays on the modern edge of girly, this brand’s crochet pieces are the product of a process that emphasizes quality and fairness, rather than speed and low-cost.
Behind She Made Me is Australian Chloe Dunlop, a woman full of entrepreneurial spirit with a background in garment production and buying. She has said that, while crochet isn’t new in the business, her approach to the handcraft of it is.
She Made Me was born out of a desire to give this craft the time it deserved and resulted in a collection crocheted by hand in Bali. A single style from the line might take up to two weeks to hand-produce, which is why they are made by artisans who are able to work from their villages throughout Indonesia. When She Made Me expanded their collection to include ready-to-wear clothing, they started working with female owned and run production houses in India that provide underprivileged women with employment, education and security.
Why we love She Made Me: purchasing an item from She Made Me’s collection means owning a beautifully handcrafted garment and supporting the hard work that went into it – a genuine heritage piece, a work of art.
A Mara Hoffman swimsuit is the kind of piece that you adore, wear constantly, and one day a few years later find it’s still your favorite (and yes, it has lasted that long). These swimsuits are known for their contagiously energetic, yet equally sophisticated color-ways, flattering cuts and subtle feminine details.
Eighteen years after its creation, Mara Hoffman’s label carries with it impeccable expertise and a rock-solid fair and sustainable production process. The fibers used in Mara Hoffman’s swimwear divert high amounts of waste from landfills, emit fewer greenhouse gases and conserve energy and water. Econyl®, used in the brand’s solid swimwear, is a regenerated nylon fiber made from pre and post-consumer waste, while Repreve®, used in textured swimsuits, is a polyester fiber made from recycled plastic. Any kinds of cotton used are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS®) certified. The designs are classic and wearable, but never dull. A piece from Mara Hoffman’s swimwear line is sure to last for years, their timeless and high quality making them a long-term investment.
It’s not just the environment that benefits from Mara Hoffman’s code of conduct. The brand regularly visits their factories to make sure that the people producing their line are paid fairly, treated respectfully and working in safe conditions.
These factories receive help with growing their business and visibility, and Mara Hoffman provides their employees with training programs and better economic opportunities.
All swimwear is produced in the USA, and they carefully select production partners to avoid shipping partially finished products or materials between factories as well as working with mills that are focused on using renewable energy, reducing water usage and air emissions, and reusing material by-products in a closed loop system.
Why these swimsuits are each a powerhouse of style and sustainability: Mara Hoffman designs beautiful, high-quality swimwear and has no secrets about it; every detail about their process is available to read on their website, which also tells you how to properly care for your garment which will, in turn, extend its life.
A visit to allSister’s website quickly reveals an air of elevated simplicity. With an exciting twist on classic shapes and cut-outs, allSister’s swimwear only comes in black and white. Founded on the belief that a swimsuit shouldn’t only respect the female body, but also the environment and its natural resources, the brand carries with it a deep admiration for the ocean and water sports culture. In addition to this fantastic core message, the line comes at a very affordable price and can effortlessly become a staple in every wardrobe.
allSisters scores high on the eco-conscious scale, using high quality recycled textiles from Italy that carry the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX® certification. This label ensures that the textiles are tested for harmful substances and sustainably produced in socially responsible workplaces. Using upcycled garments made of stock material from local factories, allSister’s achieves eco-friendliness without compromising attractive design or functionality.
Need more convincing?: We believe simplicity is elegant, and allSister’s gives it a unique twist at an affordable price point without sacrificing conscious production or thoughtful materials. They have achieved the trifecta – ethics and environment, all while remaining economical.
With a highly Instagrammable vibe, Luz makes you dream of sandy beaches, blue water and strolls through picturesque seaside villages. Luz’s swimwear is all about the details, whether those are ruffles, lace trims or straps in contrasting colors. Run by French sisters Claire and Alix Mougenot, the brand’s phi-luz-ophy is simple: to revolutionize sustainable fashion while enhancing women’s figures.
Luz’s process is fair and sustainable left-to-right and front-to-back. The sourcing of fabric and the production of their swimwear both take place in Peru, where GOTS-certified organic cotton is spun into Luz’s beautiful designs in a fair-trade atelier, where workers enjoy favorable wages and working conditions. Proud of its eco-friendly status, the brand shares ample information about the fabrics and factories behind Luz swimwear on their website.
Why we love Luz: we all like to look and feel good, and Luz will help you achieve just that, without breaking the bank – not to mention they are one of the only brands offering organic cotton in the swimwear space
Made By Dawn’s swimwear is playfully understated and comes out with designs that are uncomplicated, yet distinctive. We can’t get enough of the brand’s colors, textures, and unexpected finishing touches, and the smiley face in Made By Dawn’s logo says it all. It’s the brainchild of Dawn Peterson, who grew up in Hawaii and spent some time modeling in New York City before settling in Santa Barbara, California. There, she came up short on her search for playful and romantic swimwear. Ever the problem-solver, she came up with her own and launched Made By Dawn with the help of her husband, Kirk.
To learn the whole manufacturing process, Dawn and Kirk started off sewing their first samples at home and invested a lot of time in soaking up knowledge on how to develop and sell a swimwear line. Each collection plays on elemental themes, with designs that evoke a sense of elevated beauty, happiness and sincerity for their wearers, and the line is proudly designed and made in California.
What we love about this brand: Designed and produced domestically and ethically in the US, as well as loved by models and It-girls alike, Made By Dawn’s swimwear is about as far from boring as you can get, and will hug your figure in all the right ways.
Vitamin A exudes a youthful vibe, with fun designs, cheeky bottoms, and on-trend colors. Not shying away from cut-outs, textures or prints, Vitamin A’s swimwear line is a treat for the eye as well as the wallet. Inspired by 70s beach glamour and the modern muses who collect her designs – “We’re all about effortless, natural sexiness and that laid-back West Coast vibe that is in our DNA.”
Behind this breezy, feminine line of swimwear is California native Amahlia Stevens, who says she’s been living in a bikini for as long as she can remember. As the originator of the ‘Little Black Bikini’ and the renowned ‘California Cut,’ Amahlia is a figure in the swimwear community. She wanted to design a line that was simple, clean, sophisticated and sexy, all while remaining in good standing with the planet.
Not discouraged by being told that there was no market for swimwear made from recycled fibers, Amahlia worked with top mills in Italy, Canada, and California to create EcoLux, a high-quality swim fabric made from recycled nylon. Also, Vitamin A employs waterless digital printing technology and incorporates other sustainable materials into their swimwear, such as organic cotton, Tencel® and polyester fiber made from recycled plastic bottles, and production takes place locally, in California.
The proverbial cherry on top: Vitamin A donates a percentage of sales towards environmental organizations who help to protect our oceans.
An A+: Vitamin A brings a touch of sophistication and playfulness to the term ‘beach babe,’ without compromising the environment.
While we may not associate Canada with beachwear, this Canadian brand proves they are just as capable at coming up with a gorgeous swim line. Independent designer Beth Richards puts the woman, as she is, at the center of her designs. She loathes the idea that anyone feels unattractive or insecure donning a bathing suit and heading to the beach and creates swimwear that should make women feel like the goddesses they are. The pieces in her collection are simple, modern and provide classic silhouettes with an interesting edge.
Designed and manufactured exclusively in Canada, the brand can ensure best practices are followed, and waste is reduced. Employees receive fair, non-exploitive wages for their work and Beth Richards abides by environmental and labor standards put in place. To further reduce strain on the environment, some garments are made with recycled materials and dye, whereas all other elements including linings and trims come from Italy and France. ‘Why Europe? They are the experts. Europeans are well known for being innovative in construction and share the same values when it comes to their people and the environment.’
Why we love them: Beth Richards celebrates the female body without exploiting it and does so in a conscious way through local and ethical manufacturing.
Land Sky Sea is the environmentally conscious messenger of style and culture.
To us, thoughtful style is about knowing the origins of the things we choose to wear. We highlight a curated selection of sustainably sourced and responsibly produced goods through imagery and storytelling; items selected not only for their distinct design and construction but foundationally, for the integrity with which they were created.
Land Sky Sea was created to share industry insights, resources, and conscious design – making the discovery of thoughtful style more accessible and inspiring.
© Land Sky Sea 2018