How to make an Ethical/Sustainable Swimwear Line
Fashion has brought us fun outfits, glamorous accessories and individuality. However, the process of making each piece you’re wearing sometimes correlates to devastating environmental damage and severe human rights abuses. In reality, fashion is much more complex than miniskirts and shoulder pads, and it’s even more challenging to find ethical and sustainable swimwear with all the greenwashing going on.
What is sustainable & ethical fashion?
To summarize the meaning of sustainable and ethical fashion, it’s an approach for sourcing, manufacturing, and designing swimwear lines that maximize the overall fashion industry and society while minimizing the impact on the environment. These two concepts may contrast ideology, but both aspects focus on slightly different concerns but are equally crucial to the fashion industry’s future.
What does it mean to be ethical & sustainability?
People think that sustainability and ethics are the same things. The truth is they are entirely different things. Sustainable is the brand’s impact on the environment, while ethical refers to the health and well-being of the people and animals involved during production.
Also, sustainability and ethics are not only about the swimwear but also the business.
Creating an eco-friendly brand consists of looking at the overall business, starting with how you light the office to how you send and receive materials involved in the production. Your customers want sustainable brands, not only their swimwear. So, if they know you send the products that are wrapped in layers of plastics, they’ll likely be disappointed.
How to embrace sustainability
While the road to fully embracing sustainability may be challenging, it’s now crucial that we learn the fundamentals of a truly sustainable and ethical swimwear line.
Every year, an average of 26 billion pounds of textile waste ends up in landfills, which will take forever to break down. Producing new swimwear usually consists of toxic dyes and chemicals that eventually end up in the water. So, what can you do to be more sustainable?
- Pick eco-friendly and sustainable textiles like organic cotton, hemp, linen, wool, bamboo, Tencel and more.
- Use recycled fabric to craft your line of eco-swimwear.
- Receive certification from GOTS, which ensures your textiles are safe for the environment.
- Use natural dyes. You can find great dyes for fabric from many common plants and foods. Many companies are already using coffee, turmeric and indigo to dye their homemade goods.
Create a healthy production ecosystem
You’ll also need to work with trusted manufacturers to run your business ethically. If it’s impossible for you to visit them, try arranging an independent audit by organizations like Qualspec. Make sure your employees are paid fairly and work in a safe environment to fulfil basic human rights. Unfortunately, slave labour is still a common thing in the fashion industry, which ethical brands need to be aware of.
On the sustainable production side, you’ll need to find out the supplier about the methods they use. For example, if you’re dying fabrics, the best option is to look for a closed-loop process, which doesn’t lead to any waste water and releases any poisonous dyes into the river.
At Bali Swim, we offer our customers a variety of the best eco products. Most of our swimwear is made from recycled fabrics of ECONYL yarns of American Repreve. Besides the materials we use, we also produce our prints with eco-ink.
Besides minimizing their impact of ethical business and sustainable products, companies should also reduce their impact by following these points:
- Zero-waste packaging
Find compostable shipping materials such as tags and sleeves. Or an even better option is if the package can be returned and reused.
- Donate and make a change
Your goal in manufacturing swimwear is to share your fashion ideas with the world while also making profits for your business. However, if you’re in it for more than just personal profit and use it for the better of the world in some way, then it’s a plus for you and your business. You can donate money to charities, organization events and initiatives.
Here at Bali Swim, we donate 10 cents instantly from every bikini you produce with us to grassroots organizations that support the environment, women’s access to education, and to those in need. We also implement higher business development and hiring practices that raise our industry’s health, women’s standards, and income.
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