Eco-Swimwear: A revolution on the horizon

January 30, 2017

The search for ethical swimwear brands in particular can be a daunting task as fabric poses a special challenge to the process. The majority of conventional swimwear is sourced from materials made of petrochemicals, namely polyester and nylon that have a significant carbon footprint associated with their production.


The fashion industry has been under scrutiny in recent times for its significant carbon footprint. The industry also uses an array of toxic dyes that leaches into water systems. According to the 2015 film, The True Cost, we purchase around 400% more clothes now than we did only two decades ago. So what does a brand have to do in order to consider itself a sustainable/ethically-operating entity? Its swimwear has to be produced from eco-friendly materials and produced in a socially responsible manner.


Unfortunately, prioritizing sustainability in production can mean an increase in price and the demand for “fast fashion” can be an obstacle in attaining sustainable goals. There is a silver lining however, according to Sarinda Unamboowe, the CEO of Linea Aqua, who addressed the topic at TrendSwim stating: “I always feel that people these days are smarter than we were so I think people are a lot more exposed to what’s going on around the world.”


Luxury swimwear brands such as Heidi Klein discussed their plans to develop fabric made out of recycled fishing nets at the inaugural edition of TrendSwim at Swim Week Colombo 2017 and Arugam Bay recently launched their latest collection of swim shorts each of which is made out of 7 recycled plastic bottles.




Ajai Vir Singh, the founder of Garments Without Guilt (a campaign he launched a decade ago focused on imparting goodness in fashion) spoke to us about his inspiration behind Arugam Bay’s unique eco-friendly swim shorts – “Plastic is a huge burden on the environment globally. I wanted to build awareness on this and bring forth a very a quantitative means of addressing this issue. Anyone who purchases a pair of these shorts can have it on their conscience that they have put seven plastic bottles that would otherwise have negatively impacted the environment to better use.”