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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Organic Cotton Swimwear

In the June 2009 issue of Vogue, there are a number of eco fashions featured. Two items caught my eye - and both were bikinis made out of organic cotton. Now, let me first state that it's unlikely you'll see me in a bikini anytime soon, but you never know. It's certainly nice to visualize, I mean, fantasize.

Anyway, the thing I noticed was the drape of the bikinis. In other words, the way the suits didn't exactly fit like your standard swim suit made of synthetic materials (like nylon, Lycra, etc.). It reminded me of the cotton suits from the 1970s where they didn't exactly fit your body, but looked more like someone macrame'd them.

I'm exaggerating here slightly, and with models like Gisele and Cameron Diaz, it's hard to find fault with anything they wear. In the photo layout above (the one with Gisele Bundchen) the designer, Jenny Hwa, admits her suit is, "not going to function like a petroleum-based performance fabric, but it's ideal for sunbathing or a dip in the pool."

Cameron Diaz in Stella McCartneySo, the impression I'm getting is to keep the Speedo for doing laps or the Slip 'n Slide, and stick to eco fabrics if the most moisture you're going to see is the sweat on your margarita glass.

What about you? Would you be willing to wear a 100% cotton swimsuit (bikini or otherwise) or do you prefer something with a little more oomph and cling when you go swimming? Is it worth the petroleum to keep your girly bits covered where it's intended?

Fashion details:

Barstow Bikini by Loyale (on Gisele) by Jenny Hwa ($120): low-impact dye, 100% organic cotton, NY produced in a factory with strict labor laws, a portion of the proceeds goes to Green Corps, which trains college graduates to run environmental campaigns.

Stella McCartney Organic Bikini in Taupe Stripe (on Cameron) by Stella McCartney ($275): organic cotton, made in Italy.


organicneedle said...

I think it is great that designers are thinking about their fabrics and their impact. Although I am a big fan of organic cotton, I wonder why they didn't try bamboo...seems like it would have more of the right consistency.

That being said, having to wrangle children while in my suit means I need something super functional and non-boobie revealing. (Involuntary flashing at a kiddie party isn't exactly my idea of a good time.) Instead of these I would opt for a well made tankini that will last me a few years or even go used and invest in an organic cotton towel and sundress. Also, hand washing your suits will make them last a lot longer...meaning less waste.

Sarah said...

I've always thought that swimsuits that are not designed for swimming are silly. But then, I don't understand sunbathing, not wanting skin cancer and all.

Super Careo said...

I actually have a cotton suit from the 70's that belonged to my mom. I love the way it fits ... although I'm scared to take it into the pool because I don't want to ruin it (it's just too funky to destroy, you know?). But I would definitely consider trying out an organic cotton bikini. I LOVE the blue one that Giselle is wearing ...

Jennifer said...

I wouldn't. Cotton stretches something awful when wet!

I WOULD be game to try a different natural fabric that DIDN"T stretch when wet. Not sure what kinds there are... my bamboo socks don't seem to, though.

Kristijoy said...

I have worn hemp undies from texture http://www.textureclothing.com/ ( she is based in Seattle BTW) as swim bottoms and they are great. the fabric is thick, there is some Lycra but just a smidge. They do soak up a lot of water, but if you get the size that fits, they aren;t goniong to sag on you. I dig them. I wear a organic cotton bralette from Blue Canoe as a top. http://www.bluecanoe.com/ and then a tee or tank. over that for some coverage.

I don't think I'd swing for cotton swimwear unless they were swim shorts and a tank.

Maybe it's time to bring back old school swimwear!

Anonymous said...

Wow, how can those tinny bits of fabric cost so much?
In any case, doesn't importing the fabric from across the world sort of spoil the organic thing, all that fuel to bring it here?
Personally, I need something that is going to hold all the bits, ok gobs, in so I don't share. If they could make a full coverage organic thing I would be delighted to wear it.

die Frau said...

Aventura clothing has a few organic fabric suits that won't break the bank. I bet they're on sale at this point, too.

N.L.G. said...

Thank you for posting this! I have been looking for eco-friendly swimwear, and it's actually kind of difficult to find! Love loyale's philosophy.

Designer Swimwear said...

It should be noted that designer swimwear has been specifically designed not only to make women look feminine, sophisticated, and beautiful, but also to make them feel comfortable about themselves and their body while basking under the sun.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

i have a cotton 1950s inspired swimsuit (MY SISTER PAT label)
Ohh laaa it featured traditonal rubber shirring so it fits and performs on land and sea as it should....it finding the right label say no more

mon said...

hi, im making a 50's inspired swimsuit as part of my year 12 design and technology subject. I've come along some amazing ideas but cant seem to find them in a sewing pattern. I want one exactly like the blue one up the top. If anyone comes accross a sewing pattern like it, please post the web address on this page. Thanks xx

Organic Fashion Organic Fashion said...

Organic fashion has become popular recently with the sudden shift for environmentally friendly goods. Organic fashion can be made with bamboo, which grows one to four feet per day and will not erode the soil. Look and feel great by choosing to wear organic fashion to work or yoga class.

Anonymous said...

I just cant stand how the petro-chemical suits feel against my skin. Gets worse when wet. Marie

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