I have always been a minimalist when it comes to my swimsuits, even before my commitment to ethical shopping, mostly because I was too cheap to buy multiple swimsuits every season. I would buy one or two swimsuits in the course of like 5 years. I'm weird. I know that is not the norm - most of my friends have a drawer full of like 20 swimsuits! And one swimsuit can get boring for that long, it's true. My new strategy has been to mix and match different bikinis, so that I don't have to buy both pieces. Like mix a floral top I already have with striped bottoms, or get a checkered top for black bottoms I already have. :)
There seems to be a huge discrepancy in price between most ethically made swimsuits and fast fashion swimsuits (like $200 vs $20). I've focused on the ethical swimwear brands that are the most affordable, but I did keep a few of the more expensive ones if they were really cute because they do usually go on sale at the end of the season. Either way, you can probably plan on paying around $100 for an ethically made swimsuit, so it's important to make sure it's good quality, and you really love it.
Swimsuits are a challenging category, because in addition to the fair labor element, there is an environmental one as well. Most swimsuits are made out of synthetic materials, meaning they are made of man-made materials like polyester or nylon that are not biodegradable and pollute the environment.
Some of the brands below are made from recycled materials or eco-friendly materials, some are still made of synthetic materials but are good quality so will last longer, and all are made in the USA or are fair trade. See below for the scoop on each brand!
Vintage-inspired bathings suits, made in the USA. They have the most adorable high-wasted bottoms for around $30, and you can pair them with a bandeau top you already have! I think I might buy a one, they're just so cute I can't resist.
Another great brand focused on quality, Faherty is fashion swimwear with a california vibe. They make their swimwear out of recycled polyester, in the USA. Check out my shop page for some of their swimwear that's on sale.
Produced ethically in sunny California, with a focus on quality and sustainability. Some suits are made with their innovative EcoLux™ fabric, a superfine jersey made with recycled nylon fiber that's produced locally in California. They also use XTRA LIFE LYCRA® fiber to extend the life of each swimsuit. Vitamin A uses waterless digital printing technology, chooses factories that conserve water and energy use, and takes the time to make sure that the people who produce their fabrics and collections are treated well.