Sustainability is a buzz word in the fashion industry with brands big and small purporting to support ethical production.
But what exactly does ethically made mean? And what should you be looking for to make sure you're purchasing sustainable swimwear?
There are several factors that go into ethically made swimwear, the first being fabrics. What garments are made from has a huge impact on the environment and local communities, so it has to be grown and sourced fairly and respectfully.
Natural fabrics such as hemp and flax don't require a lot of water and pesticides to grow and regenerate quickly. When buying cotton look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification which verifies that it is organic and therefore hasn't been treated with synthetic chemicals that harm the land.
Most swimwear is made from synthetic fabrics that are water-resistant, fast-drying and have stretch. However virgin synthetics require a lot of non-renewable resources to create and often use toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. Instead look for regenerated synthetic fibres such as ECONYL® which take waste that would otherwise end up in landfill or the ocean and repurpose it into high-quality fabrics that can be reused over and over again. The durability and elasticity of ECONYL® perfectly suits it to the creation of ethical bikinis that will last for a lifetime.
Kōraru swimsuits are crafted in Colombia using fabrics that are PREAD certified, which means that they have been evaluated by the District Secretary of the Environment in Colombia and received the mark of: ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE GENERATING SUSTAINABLE GROWTH. Find out more about the sustainable materials we use here.
Aside from using fabrics that are kind on the planet, ethically made swimwear also supports those who are involved in the growing process. The Fairtrade certificate ensures farmers and workers are paid a fair wage and work under safe conditions.
In fact, a safe and transparent supply chain is an integral part of ethical production. The garment industry has long been known for exploitation, however a sea change is happening as more and more brands take responsibility for how their pieces are made – and more and more consumers demand honesty and equality.
As well as guaranteeing fair wages and safe working conditions, ethical brands can invest in the local communities involved in the production process by supporting traditional crafts techniques, providing training programmes and donating to charities. Discover more about the Kōraru supply chain here.
To create ethical swimsuits, a sustainable mindset doesn't end once pieces are made. Every element of the production process has to be planet-first and this includes packaging. With eight million tonnes of plastic waste entering our oceans every day, choosing low-impact alternatives that can easily be recycled and reused is essential. Kōraru carriers are made from Paptic Tringa®, an innovative plastic-free cellulose produced with wood fibres from sustainably-managed forests.
Unlike plastic, paper packaging biodegrades however large-scale paper usage contributes to deforestation. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification ensures responsible production methods that preserve forests and wildlife are met.
Considered packing that's streamline and light weight also reduces waste and means less energy is required to transport it from factory to consumers. At Kōraru we've minimzed the number of tags and cards used in packaging.
Finally, ethically made swimwear comes with sustainable brand values. What good is an ethical bikini if consumers are being told to buy several new ones every season? A fast consumption rate is unsustainable by its very nature. Taking a slow fashion approach which celebrates timeless design, beautiful fabrics, quality craftsmanship and an awareness of our planet is the marker of authentic sustainable credentials.