FORTUNE – Recycled swimwear is a hot new trend

by Colleen Kane

As ethical and sustainable fashion movements gain steam, startups and even legacy brands like Speedo are producing swimwear made from recycled materials.


The fashion industry has been criticized for how it produces clothing quickly and cheaply. And the category of swimwear is no different — tags in bathing suits typically say “made in China,” or Thailand, or Vietnam — countries known for using sweatshop labor.

But as the ethical and sustainable fashion movements gain steam, many startups are producing swimwear in nontraditional ways– sweatshop free and using what they say are more ecologically sound materials. Even a legacy brand as massive as Speedo is beginning to sell sustainable swimwear made from recycled materials.

Speedo just debuted its PowerFLEX Eco swimwear collection. It is completely made with ECONYL Nylon 6, a fabric made from “end-of-life waste material,” such as old carpets and abandoned fishing nets. Speedo claims the swimsuits are sturdier, lasting ten times longer than traditional swimwear.

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