Best Sustainable Swimwear for 2021

May 28, 2021

Gone are the days of me standing in the JC Penny dressing room and trying on a limited selection of swimwear and feeling awful in all of them. Cute and sustainable swimwear options have blown up online and there is no shortage of feel-good suits to choose from. Here are three that I am trying this season. 

A gray haired woman stands in her bedroom in a black turtleneck swimsuit, making a hang 10 symbol with her hand.

I haven’t bought a new swimsuit in over three years, so this season I’m hitting refresh and I’m doing it sustainably. 

I have a couple of pain points when it comes to swimwear. First, I’m not afraid to wear a two-piece, which I do sometimes, but I’m just more comfortable in a one-piece. The problem is I’m 5’11” so almost all one-pieces are way too short on me. It’s the same reason I can’t wear cute jumpsuits either. *All the #tallgirls say AMEN! 

Second, I want to feel cute—so I’m looking for something with some pizazz. Some style. Some personality. I’m not looking for anything plain-Jane boring. 

Third, I want my suits to be sustainable. Right now this can mean a couple of things but mostly it means suits that are made with a majority of: 

  • ECONYL, a fiber made from upcycled nylon fishing nets, tulle, textile waste and other unwanted materials.
  • Polyester made from recycled plastic bottles.  

Most brands will also add some elastane in for some stretch, so the swimsuit functions as a traditional swimsuit. 

I’m also looking for swimwear that’s ethically made, pays fair wages and offers healthy working conditions. And, icing on the cake is when brands have OEKO-TEX certification, which means the suit has been tested and certified free of toxins. 

RELATED: Read my top picks on sunless tanners to bring that glow when you hit the beach.

Here’s what I’m trying this season.


My Top 3 Sustainable Swimwear One-Pieces 

LONDRE The Minimalist | $98

LONDRE is now my new favorite swimwear site. I’m talking on-trend, flattering, high quality swimsuits that feel good and look good. Put it this way, I never imagined myself wearing a high-cut bum, but the way these suits are cut and cinched, I’m actually like, Wait, I look cute in this! 

The only reason I even gave it a try is because LONDRE’s marketing shows a wide range of body types wearing each suit and every woman looked so good, I was like, Maybe I can do this too? 

I also love that the material here is a double lined compression material. It’s thicker so I feel tucked in and secure like nothing is going to accidentally pop out. 

But what really made all my tall girl dreams come true is they even offer a “long” option. I ordered a long large. This long option actually fits me perfectly which makes me wonder how it would fit someone who is 6’ 2”? (I’m 5’11” for reference.)

LONDRE suits are made of polyester, spandex and chitosante. Chitosante is made out of shells from the shellfish industry that would have otherwise been discarded. According to the brand, chitosante is durable, nontoxic, naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial and odor resistant. 

LONDRE also: 

  • Offers a recycling program where suits are rejuvenated into new materials.
  • Offers a repair program for suits younger than 1 year old. 
  • Uses shipping materials that are compostable and recyclable. 
  • Has a textile factory that is OEKO-TEX 100 certified. 
  • Uses water during production that is free of chemicals and is able to be reused. 
  • Uses dyes that are nontoxic and free of harmful chemicals. 
  • Is based in Vancouver and workers are paid fairly. 
  • Made in small batches.
  • Continues to donate to environmental and women’s health initiatives including Amazon Watch and The Ocean Clean Up Project. 

I went with their best selling suit THE MINIMALIST, which has a low coverage back, flattering butt cut and a low scoop front. #socute 

But the best part? I picked up this suit for less than $100! Now I kinda want one in white too. 


Makara Turtleneck One Piece Swimsuit | $130 

Um, how cute is this suit?! Fell in love initially for two reasons. First, a turtleneck?! YASSS! Love that this suit provides all the chest coverage and it actually looks good too.

Makara says this suit doubles as a shirt/bodysuit which I’m not 100% sold on, but I can see why they would say that. Maybe if I lived in Bali or Kauai, I would feel different. 

Second, I love the full coverage and functionality of this suit. I can run, play, swim, surf (I mean, if I knew how to surf, I would feel good surfing in this)…all with full coverage and full STYLE. The bum on this suit is cut slightly high but I would still consider it full bum coverage and there is no fear of anything popping out as I hang ten or dive playing volleyball. 

Some fun surprises are that this suit is actually made for people with longer torsos. I ordered the large and it fits snug and is long enough. I also love the zipper extension in the back so I can fully dress and undress myself. And I love that they chose white for the zipper as a fun accent. 

Makara suits are made with 78% ECONYL (recycled regenerated nylon lycra made from ocean waste) and 22% elastane. 

Makara also: 

  • Produced in small batches. 
  • Practices zero-waste by using fabric scraps to make accessories like scrunchies or bikini bottoms.
  • Supports small, surfer-girl communities in Indonesia who can afford sustainable swimwear.
  • Supports beach clean ups in Bali. 
  • Collaborates with Healthy Seas and Aquafil SpA.
  • Made in a small, Indonesian family-run factory with fair wages. 
  • Suits offer SPF 50 protection. 
  • Uses minimalist packaging with suits arriving in a small linen bag. 

I went with the Turtleneck but I was torn between that and their Open Scale one piece and their Ex-Libris one piece. One peek and you will see what I mean. 


Pattern Village Safari Lust Eco Suit | $80

I’ve been obsessed with Pattern Village ever since I got their Tropical Bliss Dressing Gown (made from 100% recycled polyester), which is so fresh and fun to wear around the house as a robe OR as a beach coverup. 

So it was only right to try their recycled swimwear as a natural next step. I went with their Safari Lust suit, which is a fun giraffe pattern with a plunging neckline and a cheeky bum. (All of a sudden I’m so swimsuit daring after LONDRE made me feel like a supermodel in a cheeky bum—lol.) 

This suit is made from 100% recycled polyester made from rPET yarn (no additional materials like elastane), so there is no stretch and it does not cling to the body like a traditional swimsuit. Because of this, I would categorize this as more of a lounge-wear bathing suit. Not ideal for romping in the sand or hanging 10 (read: your boobs will pop out), but uber chic for sitting by the pool and asking for margarita refills. 

This is also a tall girl option because it comes with adjustable straps. 

Pattern Village also: 

  • Offers UPF 50 sun protection.
  • Is a lined suit, so it’s not see-through.
  • Ships in a compostable outer with an FSC certified sticker and tissue paper. 
  • Plants one tree for every dressing gown purchased. 
  • Is manufactured in Brooklyn, NY. 
  • Uses fabric that’s tested PFAS-free and certified by Interteck

Pattern Village is continuing to add new patterns so be sure to check back! 

Do you have a favorite sustainable swimwear brand you love? Shout it out in the comments!

TOG Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TOG uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TOG stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

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