Making waves for the environment: The rise of eco swimwear
Did you turn the lights out on Saturday night for Earth Hour? It’s just a small gesture, but these days every little bit that we can do to show our love for the planet helps.
That’s why here at Ellenny Swim we’re committed to sustainability – starting with our beautiful swimwear!
Creating sustainable swimwear is surprisingly difficult, mostly because of how swimwear is used. Unlike clothes that we try to keep dry, swimwear is designed to get wet. So any swimwear fabric needs to be able to repel water rather than hold it (otherwise it would be weighing you down as you swim!).
It also needs to be able to withstand the rigours of moving through the water and being pushed and pulled around a bit.
On top of that, the fabric needs to be able to cope with salt water, or chemicals such as chlorine and sunscreen, and the sunshine, because most likely we’re out and about wearing our swimwear in the summer sun.
We also need to consider the wearability of the fabric. It needs to hold its shape, stretching when we need it to when we’re wearing it, but bouncing back to shape when we’re done. Generally, swimwear is worn close to your skin, so it needs to be hardy enough to keep its shape for many, many (many) wears.
All of those considerations automatically exclude a lot of fabric options, whether natural or synthetic, leaving us with just a couple of viable alternatives – a polyester, made from plastics, or a nylon made from fishing nets. It’s worth noting that bamboo options could become viable in the future too which will be great to see.
Here at Ellenny Swim we’ve chosen to use fabric made from recycled fishing nets. As with all our design decisions, we chose this option after much research and extensive testing, to make sure it ticked all the boxes.
Not only does this fabric hold its shape, but it stands up to the rigours of the ocean such as exposure to sun and salt water. Which makes sense really, since it has already spent much of its life in the sea as a fishing net and survived that!
We’ve also found that our swimwear lasts a really long time, so we’re ticking more sustainability goals by avoiding fast fashion, and by creating a product that lasts many seasons, not just one.
We really love the synergy of taking a waste product that is floating in our seas and repurposing it…to float in our seas…but this time as a beautiful piece of swimwear.
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