Aqua Green, a small, family-owned company in Easton, Pennsylvania, created Eco Swim swimwear. Priding itself on sustainability and upcycling, it manufactures swimsuits made with Repreve, a brand of high-quality yarn engineered from 100% recycled materials, primarily consumer waste products (like plastic bottles), factory fabric waste (cotton, nylon, military parachutes), or a hybrid of the two.
Aqua Green not only makes its swimsuits from Repreve, the company sponsors cleanups of beaches and waterways. And in an age when the manufacturing of most clothing, even the uniforms of the US Olympic team, is outsourced, Eco Swim suits are made in the USA. That in itself should be a high selling point to conscientious consumers. Yet if the company expects to sell swimsuits to the general consumer market in America today, it has to showcase sustainability in the context of sexuality and glamor.
In an interview last year, designer Jenni Saylor, explained, “If it doesn’t look good, they’re not going to buy it just because it’s sustainable material.”
Perhaps that’s why the video emphasizes sensuality and sexuality. Hopefully, the approach will work well for Eco Swim—the innovative product is truly admirable as stands up to its claim of being sustainable yet stylish and practical for everyday beach wear.
Another admirable and innovative approach to sustainable swimwear falls on the other side of the fashion spectrum. Last year, Linda Loudermilk, an eco-luxury designer created “what she called the world’s first compostable swimsuit.” The suit, which derives from plant starch, was unveiled at the HauteNatured swimwear fashion show in Miami, 2011. Loudermilk explained, “the suit won’t dissolve on a woman’s body, but bury it under dirt, like in a land fill, and it would break down within 180 days — leaving not a single spandex strap, blot of chemical dye or foam bra cup insert behind.”
The compostable swimsuit takes daring to a whole new level.
The Australian company Aquadiva also used swimsuits creatively this year. Marketing the “most exclusive and exquisite” swimsuit—the Goddess of London—the company targeted a socially responsible, patriotic, and rather affluence audience. “The delicate vintage print overlayed on the specially chosen colours has a regal feel that gives the effect of richness and luxury.” Indeed, the $400.00 price tag might prompt a double-take and be beyond the budget of most buyers. But the swimsuits were designed to support the women of the Australian Olympic swim team. Aquadive explains that 100% of proceeds of each Goddess of London suit is donated to the athlete of the purchaser’s choice.