W MAGAZINE – 4 Swimwear Labels Taking Sustainability to Luxury Levels
By Stephanie Eckardt
You might not have heard of Ljubljana, but then you’re probably not in the world of sustainable swimwear. Once known only as the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana could now also be the capital of Econyl, a material that eco-conscious swimwear designers can’t seem to get enough of. In stark contrast to fast fashion, which seems increasingly difficult to justify, Econyl is “infinitely recyclable.” The nylon fabric that so many designers are now turning into luxury fashion was once floating through and polluting the ocean, in the form of fish nets and other pieces of plastic.
To Rebecca Morton, Peony’s founder and director, that journey is far from over, even as 70 percent of the label’s upcoming summer collection will be completely sustainably produced, and 90 percent of it will also be made from materials that are recyclable. As with many other labels, that’s thanks in large part to Econyl.
Wickstrom releases limited-run quantities of her designs, which are primarily made of Econyl, and doesn’t leave out the details like pad inserts and hang tags, which are also made from recycled materials.
After graduating from Parsons and interning at Hedi Slimane–era Saint Laurent, Fischer happened to come across Econyl’s website. Within two years, she’d turned the fabrics into her first collection, launching the line that Net-a-Porter and Matches would begin carrying just a year later. It’s hard to believe that she and a small team are still running Fisch out of her apartment in New York City, but then again, maybe that’s part of the label’s allure; in a way, home is central to Fisch, seeing as it’s largely inspired by St. Barths, where Fischer grew up. It’s also where she wore her first samples made with Econyl, which she now supports in more ways than one: She donates 10 percent of Fisch’s global profits go to Healthy Seas, which collects the nets that eventually get turned into—you guessed it—Econyl.