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Best sustainable swimwear for women

Looking for a new swimsuit that is suited to training and also better for the environment? Here is our pick of the best sustainable swimwear for women

Sustainable swimsuits opener

Looking for a new swimsuit but keen to make sure your option is as sustainable as possible? Then there are a few things you might want to consider as you make your choice.


Here, we give you a few pointers to be mindful of, as well as our pick of some of the best sustainable options and brands in the market at the moment.

First up (and this might sound obvious) think about whether you actually need a new swimsuit and if you do, what you will do with the old one. If your old swimsuit has reached end of life with regards the swimming pool, could you still wear it under your wetsuit for open-water sessions where it won’t matter if it is a little baggy or tatty?

Or if your old suit is too big or too small, is it still smart enough to give to a friend or a charity shop? If not, then visit Recycle Now to see if there are recycling initiatives in your area who will take textile scraps, rather than them going in the bin and ultimately into landfill.

Choosing a sustainable swimsuit

So you’ve sorted out your old suit and it’s time to find a new one!

First, think about your needs. Buying one great suit that is good quality and lasts longer is better for your purse and the environment than buying a cheaply-made suit which will degrade and need replacing sooner.

Avoid suits from ‘fast fashion’ brands and go to swim specialists and look at things such as the type of fabric used and the amount of chlorine-resistance and washes built in to the suit.

Look at construction, too. Is the suit good quality? It it lined and are the seams made well? If a suit is well-made and fits you, it will likely last longer.

Also, think about the design of the suit. For pool training you need a suit that fits well without moving about – a suit that creeps up your bum or slips at the front will be annoying and quickly exiled!

We like suits with a mid to high leg cut for freedom of movement but with good bum coverage.

Straps that are thinner and sit away from your shoulder blades are a good call too for freedom of movement in front crawl, though everyone is different and if you have a larger bust, you may find you need slightly wider straps to stop them digging in.

Lined swimsuits often last longer and offer more modesty and some women prefer to have a shelf liner for the bust or a lightly-padded area for modesty.

Finally, choose a design that makes you smile – there is more chance of you keeping a suit for a long time and getting lots of use out of it if you like the print!

What makes a swimsuit sustainable?

Once you know what kind of suit you want, look at the brand you are buying it from. There are several factors you can look at to help you make your decision (though they may involve a little online detective work!) and these may include:

  1. The type of fabric used to construct your suit. Is the suit made from recycled materials and can it be recycled again at the end of its useful life?
  2. What dyes have been used to make your suit? How much water was used?
  3. How long will the suit last? Is it made well and fit for your purposes?
  4. What are the values of the company you are buying it from? Look on their website to see if their pledge to be sustainable extends into their wider business principles.
  5. What other factors were involved in the making of your site? Do you want to support small British brands and brands with ethical manufacturing? Again, check their website.
  6. Do the brand offset carbon emissions?
  7. What packaging will your suit arrive in?

With that all done, it’s time to buy your new suit! Once it arrives, the last thing to do is to care for it in a sustainable way.

Washing it in a guppy bag will stop microplastic fibres breaking off and entering our rivers and seas.

Handle your suit carefully and it will last longer, too – for example, by not using harsh chemicals, washing at a lower temperature and not wringing it out when wet.

Best sustainable swimsuits for women

Zoggs Hybrid Speedback

This striking suit uses Zoggs’ Ecolast+ fabric which uses recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, with 13 500ml plastic bottles going in to every metre of fabric.

Zoggs also have a sustainability Manifesto on their website which lays out their commitment to reducing their impact on the planet including using cardboard and paper packaging and swing tags, aiming to get to 95% of their swimwear made from recycled products and moving to digital printing to reduce water consumption by 35%.

As for the suit itself, we have always found Zoggs suits to be very high quality and long-lasting. Plus with a speedback design, this suit should not impede your stroke at all. It also features a shelf bra and a medium leg height.

Finisterre Anella Reversible Swimsuit

We tested this reversible suit from eco brand Finisterre last year and loved the soft, supple fabric and comfortable design.

The fact that it is reversible also means you get two suits in one – here green and khaki, but also available in red and navy.

The high design at the front felt modest yet stylish and it didn’t impede our stroke at all. Finisterre are B-Corps rated, meaning they have had to hit various targets of sustainability.

Read our full Finisterre Anella review here.

Speedo Women’s Eco Endurance+ Thinstrap

Speedo’s Eco-endurance+ fabric is made from 53% recycled fabric and we love a racer-back design for front crawl, as it doesn’t impede your stroke.

Previous Speedo suits we have tested have retained their shape and colour despite many washes so we would guess this would be the same – plus you would want that bright Baywatch red to stay zingy!

Batoko Orca Swimsuit

Batoko have been this writer’s go-to for swimwear over recent years, to the point it’s become a bit of an obsession!

Each design features a bright, eye-catching animal or nature print (orcas are shown here, but also choose from sharks, lobsters, seals, leopard-print and more) and the suits are made from recycled plastic waste intercepted before heading for landfill.

Based in the north-west of England, this small business also give a percentage of profits to charities including the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and Padstow Lobster Hatchery.

As for the fit, these are the comfiest suits we’ve ever swum in – and the wide straps and scoop back stay in place surprisingly well.

Dhb Moda Muscleback Swimsuit

We love the environment but we also love a bargain (who doesn’t?) and at the time of writing, this suit with a RRP of £32.00 was reduced to just £9.50 (selected sizes available).

We love the print too, while the fabric is made from 80% recycled nylon. You also get a claimed high level of chlorine-resistance and a lined shelf bra.

Deakin and Blue Essential Swimsuit

Ticking all the boxes as being a beautiful yet functional investment piece, many swimmers rave about British brand Deakin and Blue – and rightly so.

Designed and made in London using recycled fabric, each suit is designed with movement in mind as well as style.

Each design also comes in three ‘curve’ designs, so you can choose your dress size and also your bust size to get the perfect fit.

Attention to detail and sustainability is apparent throughout the business and our suit arrived beautifully wrapped in tissue paper.

Funkita Pastel Porpie Diamondback

Funkita have done well in previous group tests and our eye was drawn to this fun porpoise design.

The suits are made from Eco C-Infinity, a superior polyester construction that is manufactured from end-of-life plastic bottles.


The print has also been produced via the latest direct digital printing technology, which means it is better for the environment as there is minimal wastage and water consumption in the printing process.