How to be an Ethical Beach Bum

It only makes sense to assume that people who appreciate being amongst nature, whether that be by the ocean, high in the mountains or deep in the forest, also have an understanding of the importance of preservation and sustainability.

So are our beach bums of the world making ethical choices when it comes to purchasing swimwear?

According to the Global Industry Analysis, swimwear and beachwear is projected to reach a value of US$22.7 billion by 2022. However, the leading materials used to make swimwear are polyetser (Lycra) and neoprene for wet-suits. Both of these fibres are non-biodegradable and petroleum/oil based. Forbs reported that polyester takes over 200 years to decompose and nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world’s polyester fiber. In addition, imagine the energy used to make it! We all know the range of effects this has on our environment.

Maybe we could put it down to the fashion industry getting in the way of making ethical swimwear choices and using more sustainable materials for our swimwear. Quicksilver is one of the most popular surf-wear brands globally with a revenue of US$1.81 billion. Coincidentally, Quicksilver, like many other leading surf-wear brands, does not use sustainable materials for their swimwear.

But don’t fret! For the true beach bums out there, here are some big and not so big labels who are trying to make a difference by giving you some ethical swimwear choices.

Let’s start with the very well known Patagonia, who recently released the Yulex Natural rubber wetsuits and uses recycled polyester for their swimwear.

Picture Organic and Sooruz specialise in NaturalPrene wet-suits and recycled polyester board shorts.

Likewise, Vissla has available NaturalPrene wet-suits and their board shorts are made of an upcycled polyester and coconut fibre blend.

The swimsuit list surprisingly is endless! ParisToGo’s Sustainable Swimsuit Guide blog has many fantastic suggestions.

So next time you think about hitting the beach, think about what effect you can have on our environment because your footprint is more than what you leave in the sand.


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