Growing Sustainability Trends in Swim Continue to Shift the Category

Swim was once a category dominated by wasteful practices while also promoting unrealistic body standards. Despite the close relationship swim customers enjoy with the outdoors, many swimwear companies relied on a fashion calendar that encouraged consumers to stock up with many suits for the season while these businesses engaged in manufacturing that could harm the natural spaces where their goods are used.

The swim business also relied on marketing campaigns that once favored unattainable model-type bodies, ignoring many potential customers. This atmosphere of exclusivity caused customers to attempt to fit into industry standards. There has now been a shift over the last decade; customers are now demanding the swimwear industry fit into their preferences for inclusive silhouettes, styles and representation in marketing campaigns in addition to greater adherence to sustainable practices.

California Apparel News asked swim-industry experts: From eco-friendly initiatives to body positivity, what aspects of sustainability resonate most with your customers for 2024 into 2025?


Andréa Bernholtz


DRAYA by Swiminista

­ DRAYA by Swiminista is renowned not only for its chic, comfortable and slimming designs but also for its unwavering commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. From its inception, Swiminista has dedicated itself to these principles—even our packaging is made from recycled materials and compostable products.

Growing up, I believed my family was poor simply because we recycled at a time when recycling and environmental consciousness were not widespread. My mother, ahead of her time, instilled these values in me, forming the foundation of who I am today. I have imbued my brand with this same love for the planet.

In the past, the terms “eco” and “sustainable” rarely conjured images of swimwear—or anything remotely sexy or chic and certainly not garments offering both slimming compression and comfort. Yet, at Swiminista, all of our swimwear is adjustable to create a customized fit for any body type, a key reason so many women return to us season after season.

DRAYA by Swiminista focuses on instilling confidence in women by creating designs that are not only comfortable and sexy but also mindful of environmental impact. For instance, it takes only 14 plastic bottles to produce one of our average one-piece bathing suits.

DRAYA by Swiminista was also created to maximize the utility of a customer’s wardrobe. Our motto, “Resortwear for Everywhere,” reflects our design philosophy. Items are not only swimsuits but also bodysuits, skirts that transform into dresses and clothing that transcends the resort to become integral parts of everyday life.


Shantelle “S.LadyBug” Brumfield

Founder and Creative Director

Yarn Movement

 Traditional swimwear manufacturing often comes at a significant environmental cost, with synthetic materials and chemical dyes contributing to pollution and waste. In contrast, Yarn Movement champions eco-friendly materials, incorporating upcycled yarns and employing handmade crochet techniques to create swimwear that is not only stylish but also sustainable.

The ethos of Yarn Movement reflects a growing shift toward socially conscious consumption. As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, there is a rising demand for products that align with their values. Yarn Movement meets this demand head-on, offering high-quality, handcrafted swimwear that doesn’t compromise on style or sustainability.

Moreover, Yarn Movement’s commitment to affordability ensures that eco-friendly fashion is accessible to all. By providing competitive prices without sacrificing quality or ethics, Yarn Movement sets a new standard for the swimwear industry, proving that sustainability and style can go hand in hand.

As summer approaches, Yarn Movement invites consumers to embrace a new era of swim and lifestyle fashion. Whether lounging poolside or catching waves at the beach, Yarn Movement promises swimwear that not only looks good but also feels good, knowing that every piece is a step toward a more sustainable future.

In a world where fast fashion threatens to drown out ethical alternatives, Yarn Movement stands tall as a symbol of change, offering a wave of hope for a more sustainable and stylish tomorrow.


Holly Harshman

Co-founder and Creative Director

VYB Swim

 Customers who buy swimwear are increasingly looking for brands that prioritize sustainability initiatives. Some aspects of sustainability that resonate most with us at VYB Swim are:

1. Eco-friendly production with minimal waste. VYB uses dead-stock fabrics in our collections. We are lucky enough to have our manufacturing warehouse and factory in the same building as our offices in Tustin, Calif. These fabric rolls have never been worn, used or sold. We eliminate the need for producing more fabric, which would in turn create waste and use up more water and chemicals to treat and dye.

2. Fair labor practices. VYB values and ensures fair wages and safe working conditions for all of our workers.

3. Transparency. VYB is transparent about our manufacturing processes and sustainability efforts. By showing the process on our social channels, we gain the trust of our customers.

4. Carbon-footprint reduction. VYB takes steps to reduce our carbon footprint through sustainable packaging and offsetting emissions by engaging in less production overseas.


Syncletica Maestas and Aida Moreno 


Hola Swim

 Merging body positivity with environmental awareness in swimwear is not only achievable but also serves as a fantastic method to encourage self-confidence and ecological responsibility. Our experience shows that this is exactly what our customers are looking for.

Our swimwear is crafted from eco-friendly materials such as recycled nylon and regenerated polyester, which lessens the environmental toll of production and helps cut down on waste. At Hola, we’re committed to fair labor practices and sustainable manufacturing.

We provide an extensive selection of sizes to guarantee that individuals of all body types can find swimwear that’s both comfortable and confidence boosting. Moreover, Hola celebrates diversity by featuring all sizes and body types in our marketing.

We’ve also discovered that our customers prefer investing in high-quality swimwear that endures multiple seasons over inexpensive, disposable alternatives. By providing durable and adaptable swimwear, our customers can enjoy their swimsuits throughout the year. This practice decreases the volume of clothing that ends up in landfills while conserving resources.


Debby Martin

National Sales Manager


 Being more than a brand is important in today’s environment. Eco-friendly initiatives and body positivity are important to support within our swim industry. Swim can be for everybody and every body. Every brand has its own identity and how they support these messages, but both of these aspects are key to reshaping how we look at swim and the consumers who seek it.

Eco touches and expanded sizing resonate with consumers as the offering isn’t limited—they can be a part of the story, look and feel. As we all strive to take care of the Earth and our beaches, consumers become more involved in being a part of their community along with their favorite brands. Getting creative with Econyl, Repreve and working within ethical sources such as the Forest Stewardship are steps in the right direction to connect with consumers and provide a bright future along the coast.  


Melissa McGlynn

Senior Strategic Account Manager, Apparel

The LYCRA Company

 When we introduced our LYCRA ADAPTIV fiber, we solved a timeless consumer need—great stretch with no sacrifice in comfort, even when in motion, for any body size. Now we are bringing that innovation to swimwear with LYCRA ADAPTIV XTRA LIFE fiber.

As versatile as it is durable, it delivers dynamic comfort and longevity. The marriage of an adaptable, wider-fit window with resistance to aggressive swim environments such as chlorinated pools and sunscreen is an innovation that meets the moment. Here we have created a product offering that resonates because it means our customers can create swimwear that makes sizing more accommodating while promoting a truly durable product—one that simply lasts longer.


Jane Preston

Category Manager—Swim, Footwear and Coastal Gifts

Surf Expo

 Seventy-five percent of our exhibitors are making a conscious effort to be sustainable, especially with packaging. For sure, using textiles made from fishing nets are at the forefront.

Exhibitors are using Instagram to highlight women and models who, in the past, would be considered too big to wear a bikini. These campaigns work as women see themselves in the pictures, proud and happy to be wearing a bikini.


Lauren Quinn

Founder and Creative Director

Bromelia Swimwear

 Sustainability is such a trending word, but what weight does it really have for our customers?

Consumers these days expect that at least part of their purchase is a conscious one because the word “sustainable” is something most name brands attach to products in all corners of the market. But what we find most impactful is a combination of body positivity with an eco-friendly kicker.

The term “sustainable” can be nebulous to a consumer as it isn’t something they can see or feel. But when they try on and believe in the product—and are then informed of its ethical roots—the experience becomes truly impactful.

Every woman has something they don’t love about their curves, but, by creating designs that help mitigate these discomforts as well as showing them on relatable models, a woman is guided more quickly toward not just body acceptance but also body empowerment.

Women are done with accepting that they all have to fit into the same teeny bikini or buy a one-piece that leaves them feeling like they gave up. Bromelia Swimwear’s focus is on relating to this woman and creating garments that allow her to be herself and not feel dread about it.

The sweet spot in this 2024–2025 season is when this gal learns that the swimsuit she is buying encompasses eco-friendly initiatives. This becomes not just an empowering purchase but also a mindful one—and that is a forever trend.


Devon Ranger

Show Director

Collective Shows

 There is very good reason we are seeing sustainability efforts becoming more and more prevalent throughout the swimwear industry today. Swimwear brands have a responsibility to educate consumers on where materials are sourced and how they are made. That really sticks with consumers and retailers.

Take swimwear brand JOLYN as a perfect example. JOLYN uses a SurfTec fabric made from recycled fishing nets, which has opened up new partnership opportunities and activations with content creators who choose to work only with brands who make sustainability a priority.

Swimwear brand Change of Scenery has also received a lot of intrigue around their sustainability efforts—everything is recycled, from their packaging to the fabric used in 100 percent of their swim collections.

Although it might not be the sole driver of consumer purchases, this topic remains top of mind for consumers. All of these reasons are why we have incorporated a “feel it” display into our shows, where attendees can learn more about the specifics of the fabrics behind the brands. Any brand putting themselves in a position to foster an industry in upholding sustainable practices is something that would resonate well with any consumer or retailer.


Erik Rosete

Founder and President

Art Hearts Fashion

 Fashion upcycling is blazing a trail through the style world in 2024 like a wildfire of creativity. It’s not just a trend; it’s a movement sweeping through Art Hearts Fashion designers and beyond.

Imagine transforming forgotten garments into stunning new pieces, infusing them with your unique vision and flair. Upcycling is the ultimate fashion fusion of artistry, sustainability and love, where every stitch tells a story of ingenuity and passion. It’s a revolution of inclusion, where everyone is invited to unleash their inner designer and redefine the boundaries of fashion.


Seth H. Schreiber


DRSTAR | Sands 51

 In 2013, I resigned from my role as chief operating officer for A.H. Schreiber Co Inc., where I had worked for 25 years. We were producing between 13 million and 15 million garments annually across many platforms.

I privately purchased my Dominican operation and launched a new chapter in my life with DRSTAR. My mantra was, and has gained much steam over the years, “If you can’t feel it, touch it, see it or understand it, don’t invest in it.”

We created a nearshore facility so the Western Hemisphere entrepreneurs could gain virtual ownership over their processes. Our client base reduced its carbon footprint and currently utilizes many U.S. resources, creating a more easily controlled environment.

My team has gained the experience over the years to be nimble enough to produce for many private-label better brands and bold enough to produce for big-box operations.


Judy Stein

Executive Director


 Both sustainability and inclusive sizing have always been an integral part of SwimShow. Some of our veteran brands have championed the size inclusivity space for years, with a size range from XS to XXL. Today, we definitely see a rise in brands developing a range up to a size 24 and factoring in cup sizes for larger busts as well. Brands are making sure size inclusivity doesn’t compromise styles that follow trends. You can find everything from a tiny bikini for every body type to fuller-coverage pieces in a full-size range.

Additionally, sustainability via eco-friendly fabrics is definitely on the rise with a large percentage of brands using fabrics that are made from recycled PET plastics, biodegradable materials and some even using organic dyes. We all look into what’s best for our diets with the food we eat, so why not do the same with the fabrics and brands we wear? With constantly developing research, we always strive to work with brands that are following in these footsteps.


Elizabeth Taylor

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Curvy Beach

 As one of the first companies focused on string bikinis in large sizes, Curvy Beach has always stood for and been grounded in body positivity.

Since our inception in 2017, customers have shared with us their struggles finding swimwear that fits so they can enjoy the beach and let everything else go.

We actually expanded our sizing this year by going down a size to medium, which is pretty much unheard of in the swim-fashion industry.

I worked for 15 years as a professional fit model in the garment center of New York City, helping brands with their plus lines. Often it was companies going up in sizing, never down.

Curvy Beach prides itself on being sustainable by using open-market fabrics, not producing any fabric of our own, and giving back to the community with our America-made factory, sewers and warehouse.

Going into 2025, I feel that sentiment is only growing and becoming more valid. We all deserve to feel happy and confident in our swimwear and beyond.

I’m grateful to have customers from all over the world in shapes and sizes I work with to make sure we are giving them what they need.


Sherry Wood

Director of Merchandising


 For 2024 and moving into 2025, Texollini customers are resonating strongly with sustainability initiatives that encompass a holistic approach, including environmental consciousness, ethical sourcing, social responsibility and inclusivity. This means brands that prioritize eco-friendly practices, source sustainable fabrics, support fair labor conditions, promote body positivity, and embrace diversity and inclusivity in their operations are the ones that are making an impression in the marketplace.

Our customers look to Texollini not only for eco-friendly fabrics but also for our sustainable practices at our fully vertical mill. Texollini prioritizes sustainability by reducing carbon emissions and minimizing waste while using renewable energy sources.

Our swimwear brands increasingly want representation of inclusivity. This means embracing diversity within their product offerings. Texollini makes investments in research and development of new swim collections every year, using sustainable yarns to create new Superfino jerseys, jacquards and other novelty stitches. Overall, our customers are looking to deliver quality products while partnering with Texollini to align with their values and contribute positively to society and the environment.

* Responses have been edited for clarity and space.