sustain series: swim


After taking a global sourcing class in college, I started to educate myself about about the intense polluting and literally fatal effects that the fashion industry can have on the world. I've come across a number of books, articles, and documentaries about the effects of fast fashion and cheap prices in general. Unseen costs I had never before considered when getting excited about some insane deal on a bunch of things I didn't really need. Since then, the idea of sustainability has become more and more constant in my mind. 

Lately, I’ve been seriously trying to commit to being less wasteful with my purchases and knowing exactly where the things I buy come from. The exciting news is: the more consumers become aware of these issues and demand better from fashion, food, and other commercial suppliers, the more these industries will commit to these ideals. Slowly but surely, I’m running into companies of all kinds whose missions clearly include safe, fair, eco-friendly ways of working.

Swimwear is first up for this series in which I’m researching the coolest sustainable companies. Summer may be coming to an end but in LA, the 100-degree heat often lasts until October… and better yet, a lot of swimwear is on sale! So now’s the best time to buy because we all know well-made goods aren’t often cheap.

The suit I’m wearing in this shoot is one I won in a giveaway from a brand new California-based company, Gala Maar. I’m in love with it and really glad I won it because honestly, I’m not at a place where I could afford one of their suits. But if you can afford it, I think they’re worth it because of the great construction and classic cuts.

Read on for a few more sustainable swimwear brands I've been lusting after. And if you feel like getting up close and personal, click on the gallery photos and scroll!


A few slightly more affordable brands include…

Esby is a cool menswear-inspired US label – “and by menswear mentality, we mean we like to buy well-made clothes and wear them often.” They design and produce in LA and Dallas + they have a flagship store in Austin that’s honestly one of the main stops I’d like to make on the cross-country roadtrip I’m hoping to go on this year – their stuff is that good. They’re having a summer swim / overall sale at the moment and their swimwear is also on sale at my place of employment/home away from home, Midland!

Reformation is completely LA-based and one of my all-time favorites, as you know. I’ve recently felt them getting a bit trendy and I’ve been second-guessing whether my Ref purchases will stand the test of time or just annoy me a year from now when gingham is no longer the hot print. (I bought way too many turtleneck pieces from them and others last winter and am now thinking about tossing almost all of them.) But for now, I’m super into it.

Nu Swim is another Cali label I’ve been dying to try. Their about section boasts of two small family-owned factories making bringing all their quality suit designs to life. And their stuff is minimal, classic and available in lots of fun colors. They’re also having a sale that ends tomorrow!!

Calle del Mar also gets an honorable mention because I’ve been obsessed with their clothes for a while – this sweatshirt is the first of many pieces I intend to buy from them. They’ve only just started to do swim and I’ve yet to try it out… but all of their clothes are so surfer-girl, I want to wear it to the beach whether it’s water-proof or not. Anyone want to buy me one of those Varsity long sleeve knits?

If you know of any other good peeps selling high-waisted bikinis and high-thigh onesies, please inform me immediately!!!



All photos by the kind and talented Miss Emily Owart, who is moving across the country in just one week and I don’t know what I’m going to do without her. THANKS MOM, LOVE YOU.