New to the market this year, Davy J (read Davy Jones’s locker) is the brainchild of Helen Newcombe, who left a job as a development economist in London to set up her own company, having also worked for the Tanzanian government as an economist in the Central Ministry of Finance & Development (clever cookie and eternally interested in sustainability). In Davy J she has formulated a highly researched line of active swimwear made from recycled nylon. The nylon for the costumes comes from old fishing nets which are melted down and repurposed, and she has a lot of ethical/recyclable elements to her packaging processes as well. Alongside that, it’s designed for women who actually want their swimwear to work rather than just look nice (although it looks nice too) and as testament to its ability to ‘keep you in’, it’s been particularly popular with surfers and the Outdoor Swimming Society including women of all ages, shapes and sizes. while we may not be doing too much surfing on our spa day, you never know, and with their stylish design, good ethics and no fear of falling out, it’s got all round feel good factor written all over it!
Sweatshop-free, vegan, eco-friendly – wow, that’s a combination and a half. I never even knew you could get vegan swimwear! Founded by Chicago based Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, VAUTE is eco-conscious, made of recycled carpet fibers and is sustainably and ethically cut and sewn in NYC. They’re on a mission to change the world!
Ethical swimwear tends to have a bit of a premium on the pricing, which is all to do with the fact that it’s frankly put more effort into sourcing fabrics. Ruby Moon is amongst the most affordable on the market producing vibrant colours and again geared to more active women. Their idea is to allow you to go from ‘gym to swim’ in functionality, and it has a ‘slow fashion’ ideal vs the throwaway culture that’s developed. In addition to using sustainable materials, 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are lent out as small loans, to empower women entrepreneurs in 11 nations and each swimwear piece is named after the women in whom they have invested- for example, Victorine, Solange & Zarina.
The Eco Warrior Princess blog recommends several ethical swimwear brands including Aurai swimwear from New Zealand. They’re big on sustainability, fun and a healthy lifestyle with manufacturing in founder Natalia’s hometown in Brazil, where the pieces are handmade with locally sourced materials. Where some of the other pieces mentioned here err more on the sporty side in appearance, these are ultra glam and really great fun – perfect for spa holidays in the sunshine and lounging on the beach or by the pool.
Another recommendation from The Eco Warrior Princess is Vitamin A. The brand launched in 2000, inspired by modern art and aiming to be figure flattering and chic. Their ethical credentials come from their efforts to make prints using waterless digital technology at factories specially chosen for their approaches to conserving electricity and water and their exclusive new EcoLux™ matte superfine jersey is made with recycled nylon fibre. As an added bonus, if you care for that sort of thing, their designed are also reportedly favoured by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, and Rihanna.
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