We explore Europe's most innovative swimwear brands creating eco-friendly swimwear.
One of the most exciting parts of holiday planning is choosing the right swimwear to take with you.
Whether you're a swimming pool sunbather or a coastal surfer, treating yourself to some gorgeous bikinis or swimsuits can be a fun treat.
But often the clothes we buy can be harmful to the environment.
Lots of leading brands make their garments out of petroleum oil-based synthetic materials which take up natural resources and are difficult to dispose of. Heading into the water wearing swimwear made from these materials contributes to microplastic pollution in the ocean, too.
But lots of brands are tackling these problems head on by designing swimwear that you can wear with a clear conscience.
It turns out that a lot of waste can be turned into recycled fibres that can be woven into fabrics that's perfect for swimwear.
If you shop right, your swimwear will last for years. A perfect example of buying less and using for longer.
And don't worry if you only live near cold water, we've got you covered for all the kit you need to enjoy cold water swimming.
Here are eight swimwear brands with sustainability at their heart.
Kōraru has a wide selection of swimwear designed to suit lots of different body types as they "aim to boost women's body confidence".
Their one pieces have a few different styles of strap offering good support and coverage. They have bandeau and triangle bikini tops, as well as one-shoulder designs. Their colour palette is inspired by the beach, so there's red, orange, white, beige and blue tones.
Kōraru was started after the founder went on holiday to the Maldives and found that the new swimwear she'd bought started to fall apart after just a week. So all of Kōraru's pieces are made out of high quality materials that are built to last.
I have the Rifu bikini and although I've only worn it a few times, I'm confident it won't go see-through like so much swimwear does. The bottoms tie at the sides but they don't dig in or feel like they'll fall down. It's in the 'etnico' orange colour which goes great with a tan.
On the sustainability front, the swimwear is made from Econyl - nylon made from recycled waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpets and industrial plastic.
Koraru have also tried to reduce their packaging as much as possible so that they weigh less for shipping. None of their packaging is plastic so it's all reusable and recyclable. They also attach as few tags as possible to the products.
Batoko's swimwear is made from recycled plastic waste intercepted before heading for landfill.
The brand believes that recycling plastic waste into useful and reusable products could play a huge part in the cleanup and overall reduction of plastic pollution going forward. Not only does recycling help reduce the production and consumption of more new plastic, it also helps reduce air and water pollution from landfills and marine waste.
When there is an overabundance of one material - a material that will not safely biodegrade - it makes sense to stop making more of it and use what we already have.
Check out our very own Lottie Limb, sporting the Seal swimsuit, at £60 (€70). For every Seal swimsuit sold, a proportion of the proceeds go to helping the rescue and rehabilitate of Grey Seal pups at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in the UK.
6. Stay Wild
Stay Wild is a swimwear brand that has committed to both preventing further pollution and also finding a solution to help remove the 14 million tonnes of plastic that end up in the ocean each year.
Its bikinis and one-pieces are made from Econyl.
Stay Wild is also at the helm of The Circularity Project, where they pledge to take on any disposed of swimwear you've bought from any other brand. It can even be broken or worn down.
Stay Wild's capsule collection, designed by founders Natalie Glaze and Zanna van Dijk, includes premium pieces such as the Odyssey one-piece for £170 (€199) and the Tula bikini top and bottoms at £50 (€58).
5. Lilliput & Felix
London based brand Lilliput & Felix creates sustainable pieces with a romantic sense of nostalgia in its designs.
Using vintage shapes, its swimwear seeks to appeal to all body types as it features ties that can be used to adjust pieces for a unique fit.
The brand is committed to using fabrics that are recycled or recyclable from local suppliers.
Like many of the brands on this list, Lilliput & Felix sources most of the recycled material for its fabrics from ocean waste, with off-cuts being donated to schools and charities.
They don't include paperwork in your delivery unless absolutely necessary and produce stock based on pre-orders to not waste materials.
Many of the bikinis and one pieces in the collection have matching cover up items available, allowing you to coordinate on and off the beach.
The Anastasia Ruffle Bikini can also be paired with a hair wrap, dress, skirt and trousers among other items. You can find the whole look here for £210 (€245).
4. Tide and Seek
PET plastic bottles are a common choice for packaging soft drinks with around 1,000,000 bought around the world each minute.
Whilst these are widely recycled, very little of the material goes back into the production of bottles and many end up in landfill.
Tide and Seek uses REPREVE fabrics to make its swimwear, a polyester fibre that is usually 100 per cent made from recycled PET bottles.
As well as this, REPREVE conserves both water and energy throughout the production process, in order to keep greenhouse gas emissions as low as possible.
The fabric is chlorine resistant and has a sun protection of factor 50, making it perfect for swimwear.
Tide and Seek's one piece bathing suits are designed with activity in mind, so will stay put throughout any surf or swim.
With colourful prints and unique flourishes, the Tropic Rave swimsuit (€89.95) and the Sea Sparkle bikini (€41.95) are equally suited to lounging around the pool with a cocktail in hand.
3. Deakin and Blue
Yet another brand using Econyl, the fabric made from post-consumer plastic waste, is Deakin and Blue. No body type is left ignored with its sculptable, fully-customisable ranges that can be purchased up to a UK size 24.
Handmade in a small factory in London, the brand prides itself on its appreciation for workers craftsmanship, aiming to have a positive social and ethical impact, alongside sustainability goals.
Each piece comes packaged in 100 per cent reusable or recyclable materials, using tissue that is acid-free FSC certified and printed with soy-based ink.
Outside of its own manufacturing practices, Deakin and Blue regularly donates a portion of its profits to marine conservation and beach cleanup charities.
Founder Rosie Cook aims for the brand to be both environmentally conscious as well as offering a stylish and substantial alternative for women who want functional swimwear.
Deakin and Blue claim its pieces are "transformational" and feature different cuts for a range of cup sizes from AA-HH. We love the Swimcrop Bikini set in the style Monroe, which sells for €140.
2. Ruby Moon
Ruby Moon's philosophy is deeply oriented in the circle of sustainability - from applying environmentally friendly fabric dyes to advocating for zero-waste manufacturing.
The brand describes itself as "activewear for activists", and the proof is in the pudding. Ruby Moon invest 100 per cent of its profits into micro-loans for aspiring businesswomen.
Over 1,200 people have been helped since its creation in 2010.
This is combined with a return scheme for the re-use of its fabrics to reduce costs so that more profit can be invested in schemes that encourage female empowerment. Sounds good to us.
Once the money from these investments is returned it goes straight back into investing in starting the circular production cycle again.
Ruby Moon use Ecnoyl fabrics for its GymToSwim® range and have certified that its products generate 42 per cent less carbon emissions in comparison to similar products.
From swim to yoga, the Vanna Swim to Gym Crop Top (€83) offers support for low impact sports alongside saltwater and chlorine resistance and can be paired with bottoms in a wide selection of styles.
1. League Collective
League Collective's founder, Lily Richardson, founded the brand in an attempt to create hi-tech, multipurpose sportswear that doesn't sacrifice sustainability.
Pieces ranging from leggings to multipurpose swimsuits are made from Green Soul Recycled fabrics**'** high performance range, the non-recycled equivalent of which is used for technical cycling equipment.
Green Soul offers three recycled options: post-consumer polyester yarn, sustainable nylon from industrial wastage, and partially recycled elastane from industrial processes.
These options allow League Collective to choose fabrics for a wide range of sportswear, with appropriate moisture-wicking or abrasion resistant properties.
The One-Piece (£95/€111) offered as part of this collection is ideal, not only for swimming but, for dance or hot yoga with its wide shoulder straps for increased support. The polyamide is quick to dry too, giving high performance in and out of the water.
Swimwear from Kōraru and Batoko was gifted.