5 female-founded, sustainable apparel brands reimagining swimwear

March 12, 2023, 6:00 AM UTC
New swimwear brands are reimagining how classic swimsuits are made and worn.
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Whether you have a seaside vacation coming up or are patiently awaiting for summer, now is the perfect time to start scoping out new styles and trends in swimwear.

Here are five female-founded swimwear brands that are completely reimagining how swimwear is made and how we wear it.


This Australian startup isn’t just changing how swimwear is made, but how it is put on and worn. Founded in 2016 by creative director Amber Boyers, the brand’s flagship product is a four-piece, if you can believe it, bikini, with two patterns (one on each side) to mix and match as the wearer likes. Each swimsuit is made from a soft but durable recycled polyester, designed for secure fit, and is made from industrial and post-consumer waste such as fishnets, carpets, plastic bottles, and textiles.

Carve Designs

Founded in 2003 by friends Jennifer Hinton and Thayer Sylvester, Carve Designs makes bikinis, swimsuits, and rash guards for women who want feminine clothing that is both functional and fashionable, and 100% of the brand’s swim collection is made from recycled fabrics. For example, made from plastic bottles found in the ocean, five bottles are used for each piece of swimwear. For other clothing products, the Bay Area-based company uses recycled, upcycled, and organic fabrics, including coconut balsa (discarded coconut husks blended with recycled plastic bottles); FlyWeight (a super soft and light fabric also sourced from plastic bottles); and non-GMO, pesticide-free 100% organic cotton.

Jade Swim

Jade Swim is a female- and Black-owned business, and is a 100% women-led company (including company owner, factory owner, publicist, staff, and warehouse team). The line is made in California, sustainable, and is certified carbon neutral. Former fashion editor and stylist Brittany Kozerski Freeney founded the brand in 2017 while she was still working full-time as a fashion editor at Marie Claire. Freeney saw a void in the marketplace for high-quality, minimal swimwear that could also transition from a swimsuit to ready-to-wear, doubling as great layering pieces. Sustainability is a key tenet for the brand, and is rooted in the production, fabrications, shipping, and more. Jade Swim has partnered with 1% For The Planet (1% of the brand’s revenue was donated to this charity and related eco-friendly initiatives), and in 2021, over 4,000 trees were planted through its partnership with Eden Reforestation.


Summersalt initially went viral with a one-piece, off-shoulder swimsuit that was reviewed as both comfortable and flattering by nearly everyone who bought it, leading to the brand’s inclusive tagline: “Every body is a Summersalt body.” Founded in 2017 by Lori Coulter and Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin, the Missouri-headquartered company keeps comfort at the forefront of their designs through various styles and cuts that go well beyond one- and two-piece swimsuits with an entire closet full of casual and loungewear. The brand has also launched a number of limited-edition collaborations with personalities from different industries and backgrounds, from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg to stationary goods maker Rifle Paper Company.


From high leg one-pieces to stripes galore, Belgian entrepreneur Genevieve Andre de la Porte launched Zonarch from Southern California in 2020 as a sustainable and ethical beachwear brand touting to offer luxury brand-equivalent quality swimwear with prices 40% to 50% less than competitors. For the company’s swimwear line, 100% of the fabrics used are GRS-certified, recycled nylon created from post-consumer waste diverted from landfills that is then regenerated and processed back to its original form ready to be woven into new fabric.

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