Sustainable Fabrics in Australia: What Fabric is Good for Sustainable Swimwear?
A lot of us love our oceans, but it's imperative that we protect our planet whilst enjoying all of it's natural beauty throughout Australia's glorious beaches.
After all, it would be counterintuitive to try and save the oceans whilst wearing swimwear that is harmful to it. We need to protect our planet WHILST we enjoy it.
But where do you start? With lots of technical jargon and acronyms for eco swimwear materials, it can be tough to navigate - especially if you're just starting your journey in finding the best swimwear material.
Before we highlight our top three, it's important that we clarify some key questions first.
Why are Sustainable Fabrics Important in Australia?
Embracing sustainable fabrics - not just for swimwear - is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint as a fashion consumer. The more consumers choose for sustainable materials, the more brands and the broader fashion industry will shift to embracing eco-friendly fabrics as the norm.
Our dream is for 'sustainable fashion' and 'sustainable swimwear' to not exist any more... because we hope that soon such practices will be the norm and merely called 'fashion' or 'swimwear. Luckily, there are a variety of eco friendly fabrics in Australia for you to choose from!
So, What Types of Sustainable Fabrics are Good for Swimwear?
Sustainable swimwear fabrics can present a few challenges to brands in finding the perfect blend of materials. Due to the stretch needed in swimwear, most products will have some spandex as the industry is yet to create a suitable spandex substitute.
Typically, there are two types of sustainable swimwear theories - recycled and biodegradable. We discuss both styles throughout this article and both of them are excellent choices. Be sure to keep reading to discover which swimsuit material aligns best with your values.
We're not going to lie - ECONYL is probably our favourite sustainable swimwear material. Not only can it be used for swimwear, but ECONYL is also a very popular fabric for sustainable activewear!
Put simply, ECONYL turns synthetic waste into a yarn that is identical to virgin nylon in a six step process. So instead of this waste polluting our environment, recycled swimwear brands are able to use this regenerated material for their products.
Fishing nets and carpet are some of the most common synthetics used. It's hard to imagine how old carpet becomes an incredible swimwear fibre... but that's why we aren't scientists!
The process of doing this takes 6 steps, but it uses significantly less water than traditional nylon manufacturing.
Keep an eye out for ECONYL as it's not just swimwear and apparel brands - a variety of interiors brands are embracing this sustainable approach. Can you see any other industries using ECONYL?
You're never going to look at plastic bottles the same! Much like ECONYL, REPREVE is also a very popular fabric in the world of sustainable swimwear.
They recycle post-consumer plastic bottles that after four steps are turned into flakes. Later, these same flakes are mixed together, melted and then extruded to make their iconic material. A variety of companies use REPREVE in a plethora of ways - such as Ford, Patagonia and Kathmandu.
With over 31 billion bottles and counting recycled so far, REPREVE is an established market-leader for swimsuit fabrics, activewear and even car interiors. If you own a Ford, be sure to find out if REPREVE was used for the interior of your car!
Be sure to check out Cali Rae (pictured below) for some of the best examples of REPREVE in action. They're one of our most popular brands and bound to get you compliments at your next beach outing.
3. Amni Soul Eco® Thread
Amni Soul Eco® Thread differs to the first two materials in that their approach focuses on the end life of the garment - whereas REPREVE and ECONYL fixate on recycled swimwear.
Amni Soul Eco® Thread created the first ever biodegradable and recyclable polyamide yarn. Don't worry as it won't biodegrade as you're wearing it! The yarn is durable and can be worn for many years. It will only start biodegrading once it is placed in a suitable landfill environment and this process takes approximately 5 years.
The process of doing is quite complicated, so let's let them explain it to you in a 2-minute video... because it's much better to see it being made than simply reading about it!
Amni Soul Eco® Thread is a great option if you're looking for the most complete approach to your swimwear fabric. Shop Styelle Swim to see this innovative and eco-friendly material brought to life.
Overall, we hope this guide helped you in deciphering the world of sustainable swimwear in Australia.
And if the science behind these innovative materials blows your mins, then you're not alone - our minds are constantly blown by how smart some people are!
Swimwear fabrics come in a variety of different forms, especially sustainable swimwear fabrics. Knowing how and why each material is eco-friendly is the best way to align your values with what you buy.
What did you learn about sustainable swimwear today?
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