Eco-Swimming, extended edition

As seen on the SNS Post.

Here’s a more extensive description of the swimsuit’s materials that I wrote for SNS today but decided to cross-post here:

blue floral suitIf you’re planning a trip somewhere tropical this holiday season and are looking for ways to offset your carbon footprint from the plane ride, consider taking along an eco-friendly bathing suit.  There are a handful of companies manufacturing them now, and I hope to see more in the near future.  I reviewed a suit from Eco Swim by AquaGreen during my trip to Central America last week and found it to be extremely well-made as well as stylish.

The suit itself is manufactured in the U.S. and made from predominantly recycled materials.  The company uses a fabric called Repreve, which is a combination of post-consumer waste (plastic bottles and plastic bags) and industrial waste (nylon).  The process used to make the fabric consumes less water and energy than traditional textiles and produces fewer harmful emissions.  Since traditional polyester and nylon are made with refined crude oil, using recycled materials also offsets the need to refine more oil.  The company estimates that in 2012, Repreve production will keep over 900 million plastic bottles from landfills, save the energy equivalent of 8.2 million gallons of gasoline, and save the amount of water equal to daily drinking water for 1,600 people for a lifetime.  That’s what I call conservation.  And, if that isn’t enough, when you purchase a product made with Repreve you get a code to insert on the website and vote for an environmental cause that the company will donate to.  I just did that, and voted for American Rivers, the nation’s leading river conservation organization.  (I figured I should keep things water related).

black with sash one pieceSo that’s the fabric my suit is made from.  But Eco Swim doesn’t stop there.  It is working to make every last stitch of its suits sustainable.  While acknowledging that it hasn’t yet reached that goal, the company is certainly doing its part to get there.  Already the packaging, tags, lining, bra cups, grommets, zippers, snaps, and drawstrings are 100% recycled, and they are working to find better technologies for the elastic, fabric dyes, and labels.  They are also working to encourage recycling practices in Asia so that they can produce globally.

I should mention that my suit and the others from Eco Swim don’t compromise on style.  Too often “eco-fashion” has the stigma of being for hippies or only available in browns and greens.  The designer at Eco Swim is an industry veteran who has designed for the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce Knowles, and her expertise shows clearly in the product.  I’m happy to say that this type of commitment to both high-style and high-sustainability is a growing trend in the fashion industry, and Eco Swim is riding that wave – no pun intended.

So grab your recycled swimsuit and hit the beach!

Ariel Azoff