What was once called a “bathing gown” in the early 1800s, and was commonly made of wool, has grown to the now term we all know as swimwear. As the fashion industry moves away from fast fashion and towards a slow fashion movement, several companies are changing the way we think of swimwear. Giving swimwear a separate, more meaningful definition of not just to be only worn for coverage during swimming but to be a part of the larger picture in changing how fashion companies produce clothes. Furthermore, what are the impacts of producing swimwear on the environment? Synthetic fibers heavily make up the majority of material in swimwear. These include the most common being nylon, spandex and polyester. Synthetic fibers are plastic which means they are not bio-degradable…AKA bad for the environment. Conscious and sustainable fashion companies are creating a game changer in how we produce swimwear. What poses a great challenge for these companies is making sure the sustainable fabric is lightweight. Modal fabric, sustainably sourced from beechwood trees, has been known to solve this issue because why? It’s fabric made from plants!
There are more than 60 million plastic bottles in landfills each day…that calculates to 22 billion plastic bottles per year! Swimwear companies are closing the loop with the way swimwear in fashion is developed, a system of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Araks, a conscious brand based in NY uses the reduce, reuse, recycle model for their swimwear fabrics. Since plastic is such an issue, why not upcycle the material and produce something new? Plastics that end up in landfills and our oceans are now used to make swimwear. What may seem as a small step for the swimwear industry, translates to largely reducing our carbon footprint.