Where does your swimming costume come from?

Recently there has been an uptick in swimming brands using environmentally positive materials in their swimwear or creating a sub branch of their main brand dedicated to recycled material.

Along with hopefully the rest of you, we are becoming more and more interested and aware of where our swimming stuff is coming from.

With that in mind, what environmental aspects should you take into consideration when choosing a swimming costume:

  • Material – most swim costumes (and wetsuits) are made from man made plastics, which unless you’ve been living in a cave away from society for the last few years, you’ll know that is a BAD thing.
  • Supply chain – who are their suppliers and how are they doing in reducing their impact on the environment.
  • Location of manufacturer – where does the costume get made.  Does it require a large carbon footprint to get to your door/pool.
  • Manufacturing process – how does the brand ensure that there is minimal wastage in the process and what does it do with that wastage.
  • Packaging – what material is used when being sent to you/stockists?
  • Labels – yep even the labels matter.  What material do they get made from?
  • Microfiber shred – those little blitters getting into the water supply is no good so as swimmers we have a double impact by 1)  swimming in them and 2) washing them.
  • Repair advice/service – hopefully if investing in a decent brand this wouldn’t be needed but us intrepid swimmers might snag our costumes on things so ensuring there is a way that things don’t get thrown away is important.
  • Return for recycling service – you might have changed shape, you might just not like that style anymore, rather than bin, can you return so they can recycle and reuse.
  • EVERYTHING – this sustainability review from Delicious Monster Tea demonstrates the thought and transparency that is needed from brands.  Nothing left unreviewed. https://deliciousmonstertea.com/pages/sustainability

We have tried some of the swim brands that offer costumes using recycled material so here is a run down alongside a little review from us.

Batoko

What they say: https://www.batoko.com/pages/batoko

Our swimwear is made from 100% recycled plastic waste that would have otherwise been headed for landfill and our oceans.

In addition to using recycled materials, we also digital print our swimwear. Not only does this produce amazing vibrancy, but it saves water and energy too. Digital printing allows for precision, which means we can pre-cut our fabric and use the exact amount of ink needed for each swimsuit. This leaves us with very little wastage overall and works as the most ecological printing method for our recycled fabric.

As microfiber pollution is highly complex, we’ve created a blog “https://www.batoko.com/blogs/batoko-blog/batoko-swimsuit-microfibers-test” on the subject where we talk all about the issue, from fabric (quality and weave makes a significant difference) to washing tips. We also put one of our swimsuits through it’s very own shed test.

What we say: We love these fun cossies that are perfect for dipping, down the beach or under wetsuits (but that seems a waste!).

Sizing:

Manda: Size 8/10, 5’5” and 30DD wears a XS.  I have a small in shark and it is a little too big so all others are in a XS.

Katie: Size 12 and 5’10” wears a S.

Deakin and Blue

What they say: https://www.deakinandblue.com/pages/sustainability

All our swimwear is made from ECONYL® – a 100% regenerated nylon fibre made from post-consumer waste such as old fishing nets and industrial plastic. So our cossies are ocean friendly, too!

We produce our swimwear in a small London factory which prides itself on premium craftsmanship in a safe working environment.

We work with Oeko-Tex® certified suppliers, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturers and partners who pay fairly, use chemicals safely and minimise waste where possible.

We use fabrics which are twice as resistant to chlorine, sun cream and oil as standard Lycra® in order to ensure our swimsuits are high quality pieces made to last.

We have sourced 100% reusable and recyclable packaging materials to avoid harming the environment. Even our tissue paper uses soy-based ink and is printed on acid-free FSC® certified paper.

What we say: A crowd favourite in the outdoor swimming community.  It makes all women feel fabulous. Katie has a one piece (see above) and Manda has a 2 piece (top from 2019, bottoms from 2018).  The swim top in the new range has a full zip so makes transitioning from a serious (ish) swim to beach style (a little or a lot unzipped!) a doddle.  We also reckon it would be breastfeeding friendly, but can’t test that out!

Sizing (our measurements above):

Manda: 8 Hepburn.

Katie: 12 Monroe – this was during breastfeeding so would now be a Hepburn.

Zoggs – Ecolast range

What they say: https://www.zoggs.com/ecolast

Our Ecolast™ fabric is eco-friendly and made from recycled waste recovered from the ocean so now you can feel good, look good AND do good. We know the best swimwear has to work as well at the beach as it does in the pool so you’ll find Ecolast™ does exactly that with great designs and as little or as much support as you need. Not only that, Ecolast™ retains its colour and shape brilliantly so your confidence will be sky high whether you’re heading from pool to paddleboard or spa to sun lounger.

What we say: Katie has been getting all the positive comments regarding her monochrome high neck cossie and her single strap blue piece has survived many a long distance training swim.  Manda’s dream catcher has adjustable straps which means that you can ensure support and coverage to your needs.  The electric t-back has a great unusual back, which Manda loves.

Sizing (our measurements above): 

We both tested out a size up from the below but could go down a size, so the below is what we think would be the best fit for us.

Manda: UK dress size 8 / 32

Katie: UK dress size 10 / 34

Funkita – costumes made from Eco C-infinity

What they say: https://www.funkytrunks.com/blog/collections/434-swimwear-made-using-recycled-plastic-bottles.html

The Eco C-Infinity fabric used for the new eco range is made by collecting used plastic bottles. As well as giving new life to waste and reducing their environmental impact, the Eco C-Infinity swimwear fabric retains the superior quality, exceptional colours and chlorine resistance that Funky Trunks and Funkita are known for.

What we say: The costume material feels no different to the standard funkita material C-infinity, which has been a long standing favourite of Manda’s and the current prints available in the new Eco material are awesome.  Lots of positive comments about them. (We were given these costumes by Outdoor Swimmer Magazine to test for them – which always has lots of reviews from all the best brands (big and small))

Sizing (our measurements above): 

The current offering in the Eco C-Infinity range is available in a single strap and a diamond back.  Diamond back offers more coverage.

Manda: Size 8

Katie: Size 10

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