For the last few years I've been on the hunt for the perfect bikini. One that's flattering and functional, but not too functional. One I can swim in, but won't look out of place on a sun lounger (in the shade, I am ginger after all). It's a lot to ask, but a few weeks ago I got lucky browsing ARKET, an awesome collection of curated goods from womenswear to home stuff and everything in-between. Truth be told, I went for this set because it looked good (good boob coverage, good butt coverage - no Love Island style thong-bikinis here!), but when I looked more closely I found out something really cool. My bikini was made from ECONYL. Essentially it was recycled.
It feels like there's been an explosion in awareness around ecological issues and the impact humans have on the planet. Reusable bottles have become a status symbol, there are whole groups devoted to being more conscious and choosing not to eat meat is becoming more common. Being environmentally conscious has become a lifestyle, and even if you're not going the whole hog I'll bet you've got a reusable water bottle and kick yourself when you forget your KeepCup (nope? Just me?). It's awesome that we all seem to be thinking more about what we use and the waste we produce, and that environmentally friendly products are so much more accessible - to the extent that I picked up an eco friendly bikini without realising!
I'd only loosely realised that eco-friendly materials were being used to produce swimwear when my friend and fellow 361 Ambassador Marie-Louise was a crazy woman and ran into the cold cold sea at Haarlem and shared that her rather lovely cossie was by a company called Fitswimwear Europe. Oh and it was recycled! Turns out there's all sorts of lovely eco-friendly swimwear out there, and given that I got much too into swimming in Menorca I thought I'd share a round up of some of my favourites!
FitSwim Pineapple Aqua Freestyle One Piece
I love how fun and colourful this cossie is! Although the straps are quite thin I reckon the criss-cross detail on the back would make you feel quite supportive. This one would be great whether you're at the local pool (brighten up a dark winter run?!) or on the beach.
Speedo H20 Active High Neck Swimsuit
Speedo's H20 Active range is designed to be 'swimwear you can workout in', and it shows. The capsule collection contains functional separates that you can mix and match to work for whatever water-based activity you might be into. This swimsuit is functional, but it's also a bit quirky and would be fab for snorkelling somewhere hot! Oh and it's made from recycled fishing nets!
Finisterra True North Arena Long Sleeve Swimsuit
I hate when my rashguard rides up while I'm snorkelling. It's distracting trying to pull it down, and I've ended up with some pretty interesting tan lines. This lovely swimsuit would solve all my problems - I'd still be covered up and protected from the sun/rocks, but without having to hoike my rashie down.
Underprotection Maria bikini
Not every swimsuit needs to be functional, and Underprotection do an awesome line of beautiful bikinis and one pieces that wouldn't look out of place at even the fanciest pool party. This bikini is perfect for the beach bar (and the odd cooling dip in the sea).
Fourth Element Lottie bikini
Fourth Element make kit for adventure, and their Ocean Positive swimwear is no different. Designed to be functional, fit under a wetsuit and look awesome this bikini is a serious swimsuit. If I could only pack one cossie for a long term trip, it would be one from Fourth Element, they're so practical and versatile.