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Make a splash in these sustainable and ethical swimmers
It’s school holidays, you’re armed with your natural sunscreen and ready to hit the beach, but have you given any thought to your children’s swimwear? Sure, it’s often easy to go for the cheap option, especially when they grow so quickly, but many bargain cozzies and rashies are made using synthetic materials and under unethical labour conditions, so somewhere in the supply chain, someone is paying for your budget bathers. The good news is there’s an increasing number of brands taking kids swimwear seriously, producing garments that are made well, look good and are ethically and sustainably made. Recycled ocean plastics are being spun into the coolest little boardies and one-pieces, so not only can your little ones splash in style, it’s also addressing ocean waste. Here’s our pick of brands creating great ethical and sustainable kids swimmers.
Ethically produced in Bali and made from recycled nylon made from ghost fishing nets and plastic bottles, these rashies and swimmers for boys and girls not only stand up to the style test, they’re super long-lasting. They provide UPF 50+ protection and can even be worn as thermals during winter! Their beach shorts are also made from 100 per cent organic cotton and they use compostable and biodegradable bags for postage.
Sustainably made in Melbourne, what began with women’s swimsuits, now includes options for minis too. Like Cosmo Crew, swimmers and rashies are made from Econyl, and water-based non-toxic ink. Ethically made to order it create sizes for teens – both boys and girls – and supports The Health Seas ocean initiative.
Believe it or not, this mainstream Aussie label gets a “good” rating from Good On You, so if you’re looking for a mainstream brand that’s ethically made, this one gets a tick of approval. They always have a great selection for boys and girls and the customisable towels are great too.
With a focus on hand screen printing, Oobi has been creating ethical kids gear for 15 years. Their sizes range from babies to tweens and their sun hats are also a great addition for extra sun protection.
Created by two midwives and mums who believe in teaching their kids about nurturing the planet, Ina Swim, for 0-5 year old boys and girls offers one pieces and twin sets, mini boardies and rashies in pastel and earthy tones. They use fabric made from pre and post-consumer waste like fishing nets, fabric scraps and carpet flooring that’s SPF 50 and their packaging is 100 per cent recyclable. They also have a new reusable swim nappy in the mix.
Not just for kids, Class of ’84 actually makes swimsuits for the whole family. Fabrics are made from eco fabric Repreve and they have also been experimenting with yarns made from fruit peel and other post-consumer waste. They also pledge to remove 100,000 plastic bottles from landfill by year’s end.
Conscious Swim is an eco swimwear brand for kids that’s built on the circular economy ethos whereby materials are reused, recycled and repurposed with the aim of staying out of landfill. Designs are made from regenerated nylon yarn and a percentage of sales also goes to helping Underwater Earth, an ocean education and conservation charity. We’re currently loving the unisex rashies and liberty boardies that range is sizes from 4 to 12.
If you’ve got tweens then you’ll know how tricky it is to find clothes they (and you) like, and that are sustainable too. Enter Bon+Co. Affordable, long-lasting and made from recycled plastic bottles, it’s a new kid on the sustainable swim block, with an offering that really does tick all the boxes. Sizes range from 8-16, and as well as being sustainable, Bon+Co also supports Head Space, which provides mental health support for 12 to 25-year-olds.
Salty’s long-sleeve swimsuits aren’t just gorgeous, they offer extra sun protection for little one’s skin. There’s prints for those who like jazzy numbers and single colours for those who prefer their swimwear more subdued. Salty also makes swimwear for adults, so regardless of your preference there’s plenty of styles for small and big kids alike.
Quiksilver is making inroads in the sustainability space with their collection of board shorts and rash vests made from recycled yarns. Made from recycled polyester, designs offer 50+ UV protection and are also chlorine resistant, meaning they will go the distance all summer long (and beyond).
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