Beautiful on the Skin, Better for the Planet
Wondering where to begin your search for a sleek new high quality swimsuit? Even if you’re not heading to a sunny tropical island soon, give your swimwear selection an update and start by selecting the perfect material that meets all your needs and supports all your curves exactly the way you like.
Broadly speaking, synthetic fabrics used by conventional swimwear brands contain unique characteristics best suited for different purposes. Below, we share some of the options offered by most fashion and specialty retailers today:
1. Polyester Blends
Polyester blends are commonly found in competitive swimwear. Apart from being comfortable and extremely durable, such blends are UV and chlorine-resistant and hold up well under the most intense conditions. Swimwear made of polyester also retains its shape after repeated usage, ensuring the optimal lifespan of each piece. These properties make polyester blends better suited for sports and other athletic activities.
Printing is recommended as polyester blends absorb dyes well.
2. Nylon Blends
Swimsuits made from nylon blends are the most prevalent amongst female fashion brands. Generally, swimwear constructed from nylon are highly elastic and hug your body comfortably.
These blends typically contain roughly 80% nylon and 20% stretchy materials, where the stretchy material is called LYCRA® if it is produced by The LYCRA Company. Otherwise, the stretchy material can also be labelled spandex (SP) or elastane (EA) depending on your location and the brand of the swimsuit.
Printing is not recommended for swimwear made of nylon as the pattern will turn out blurry with unclear edges.
3. Natural Fabrics
While natural materials such as wool, cotton, and corduroy are better for the environment, such fabrics are not as durable as synthetic fabrics and are more likely to deteriorate in harsh weather conditions. Repeated exposure to abrasive conditions such as the sun, seawater, and sand at the beach would generally cause natural fibers to break down quickly.
Natural fibers are also highly absorbent, resulting in material that becomes waterlogged and uncomfortably heavy. This makes natural materials less than ideal for making high quality swimsuit.
What other factors should you keep in mind while searching for that perfect piece?
Choose the best-fitting swimwear for your needs by getting to know the materials that make up your swimsuit. Synthetic swimwear materials are not only highly durable, but are also quick-drying and water-resistant. A polyester-elastane blend can also withstand repeated exposure to chlorine and UV, providing extra protection and peace of mind whether you are swimming in the sea or relaxing by the pool.
For instance, LYCRA® (also known as spandex or elastane) is the material that makes swimwear stretchy and water-resistant. This means that a swimsuit with a higher percentage of LYCRA® (E.g., 20% LYCRA® and 80% nylon) will fit more snugly than a swimsuit with a lower percentage of LYCRA® (E.g., 15% LYCRA® and 85% nylon).
However, do note that this comparison is more accurate for fabric sourced from the same supplier. If you are intending to compare between two different manufacturers, it would be more advisable to obtain fabric swatches and feel the actual fabric for yourself.
Conventional swimwear is typically made of fabric weighing between 180g/m² and 200g/m², which is just soft and comfortable enough to help you move freely and keep you buoyant in the water.
Fabrics weighing around 150 g/m² fall on the lighter side of the scale. Lighter fabrics will have a texture and appearance closer to underwear and lingerie, while heavier fabrics weighing 220g/m² or more are generally more suitable for competitive swimming attire.
Although synthetic materials are ideal because of their durability and elasticity, the fibers in these materials are also extremely harmful to the environment.
The latest eco-friendly option is a high quality swimsuit made from recycled materials that keep our environment in mind, whether you are soaking up the sun at the beach club or catching up on your favorite book by the pool.
At Sunseeker, we pioneered our own premium textiles back in the ’80s and we are continuing to make waves by striving to reduce our environmental footprint. We care about more than the sun and sand – we care about our earth too, and our journey begins with procuring environmentally friendly recycled materials to reduce our environmental footprint.
90% of our swimwear are made from sustainable materials in accordance with the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS). Instead of using conventionally produced fabric, we are sourcing more sustainable alternatives such as recycled nylon and polyamide made from pre-consumer material to encourage circular fashion. Pre-consumer material consists of waste material generated during the manufacturing process.
We continuously uphold stringent production standards verified through international certifications, including the following:
- ISO14001 Environmental Management Certification
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification
- Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) – Recycled Claim Management Certification
- Global Recycled Standard (GRS) – Global Recycled Standard Management Certification
- Sustainability Apparel Coalition (SAC) – Higg Index – Facility Environmental Module (FEM) Verified
By reclaiming and refashioning scrap material into high quality knitted textiles, every stitch of our swimwear aids in minimizing waste generation and preserving space for the next generation.
Still puzzled by the plethora of choices available? We have summarized the most important points in a handy chart to help you out:
Make that summer getaway extra rewarding and choose Sunseeker swimwear instead of pieces made from new nylon, saving the earth’s precious resources one beautifully made and consciously bought swimsuit at a time.
You can also click here to read more about our green efforts in ensuring sustainable sourcing practices and responsible production processes so that our customers enjoy all their adventures in our swimsuits, whether for lazy beachside lounging or on exhilarating surfing expeditions.