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How Recycled Materials Are Used in Mens Swimwear

How Recycled Materials Are Used in Mens Swimwear - Bondi Joe Swimwear

The swimwear industry is riding the wave of sustainability, with an increasing emphasis on using recycled materials in men's swim trunks. As environmental concerns rise, consumers are seeking eco-friendly alternatives without compromising style or performance. This shift is not only beneficial for the planet but also introduces innovative fabrics and technologies into the swimwear market. In this article, we will delve into the use of recycled materials in men's swimwear, exploring their benefits, production processes, and the brands leading the way in sustainable fashion.

The Rise of Sustainable Swimwear

Understanding Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion is more than a trend; it's a movement aimed at creating a more eco-friendly and socially responsible clothing industry. This involves using materials and processes that minimize environmental impact and promote ethical labor practices. In the context of swimwear, this means using recycled and biodegradable materials, reducing water and energy consumption, and ensuring fair working conditions.

Importance of Sustainability in Swimwear

Swimwear, particularly made from synthetic fibers, contributes significantly to environmental pollution. Traditional swim trunks are often made from virgin polyester or nylon, which are derived from petroleum and are non-biodegradable. By shifting to recycled materials, the industry can reduce its carbon footprint, decrease waste, and promote a circular economy.

Types of Recycled Materials Used in Men's Swim Trunks

Recycled Polyester (rPET)

Recycled polyester is one of the most commonly used materials in sustainable swimwear. It is made from post-consumer plastic waste, such as PET bottles, which are cleaned, shredded, and processed into fibers. This material is durable, resistant to chlorine and UV rays, and retains the quick-drying properties essential for swimwear.

Recycled Nylon

Recycled nylon, often sourced from discarded fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial waste, is another popular choice. This material offers excellent elasticity and durability, making it ideal for performance swimwear. Brands like ECONYL® are leading the charge, turning waste into high-quality swimwear fabrics.

Ocean Plastics

Some innovative brands are using plastics recovered from oceans and coastal areas. These materials help tackle marine pollution while creating high-performance swimwear. Companies like Adidas and Parley for the Oceans have popularized this approach, highlighting the dual benefits of environmental conservation and stylish design.

Benefits of Using Recycled Materials in Swimwear

Environmental Impact

Using recycled materials significantly reduces the demand for virgin resources, decreases greenhouse gas emissions, and lowers energy and water consumption. It also helps in mitigating plastic pollution by giving new life to waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfills or oceans.

Performance and Durability

Recycled materials often match or exceed the performance of their virgin counterparts. Recycled polyester and nylon are known for their strength, elasticity, and resistance to wear and tear, making them suitable for active and frequent use in swimwear.

Economic Advantages

While the initial costs of producing recycled materials can be higher, the long-term economic benefits are substantial. By reducing dependency on non-renewable resources and minimizing waste, companies can achieve cost savings and improve their sustainability credentials, attracting eco-conscious consumers.

Consumer Appeal

Today's consumers are more informed and concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases. Brands that offer sustainable swimwear can tap into this growing market segment, fostering loyalty and enhancing their brand image.

How Recycled Swimwear is Made

Collection and Sorting

The first step in producing recycled swimwear is collecting post-consumer and post-industrial waste, such as plastic bottles, fishing nets, and fabric scraps. This waste is then sorted and cleaned to remove any contaminants.

Processing and Conversion

The sorted materials are shredded into small pieces and melted down. For polyester, this involves converting PET flakes into pellets, which are then spun into yarn. For nylon, the process includes depolymerizing the waste into its raw monomer state before being re-polymerized into nylon yarn.

Fabric Production

The recycled yarns are then woven or knitted into fabric, maintaining the performance characteristics required for swimwear. The resulting fabrics are treated for UV resistance, chlorine resistance, and quick-drying properties.

Design and Manufacturing

Finally, the fabrics are cut and sewn into swim trunks. This stage also involves incorporating design elements that meet consumer preferences, such as patterns, colors, and fits. Sustainable brands often prioritize ethical manufacturing practices, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions for their workers.

Leading Brands in Sustainable Swimwear


Patagonia is a pioneer in the sustainable fashion industry, offering swimwear made from recycled polyester and nylon. Their commitment to environmental responsibility extends beyond materials, incorporating fair labor practices and supporting environmental initiatives.


Founded by surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown emphasizes sustainability and transparency. Their swim trunks are made from recycled polyester and nylon, and they are committed to reducing their overall environmental footprint.

Adidas x Parley

Adidas' collaboration with Parley for the Oceans focuses on creating swimwear from upcycled marine plastic waste. This partnership highlights the potential of innovative materials and practices in promoting sustainability in the fashion industry.


Vissla combines style and sustainability, using recycled polyester and nylon in their swimwear collections. They also support initiatives to protect oceans and reduce plastic pollution.

Bondi Joe

Our range of mens swim trunks are made using fabric from 100% recycled polyester. At Bondi Joe we also have a transparent supply chain. 

Tips for Choosing Sustainable Swimwear

Check Material Labels

Look for swim trunks made from recycled materials such as rPET or ECONYL®. Brands that are transparent about their material sourcing and production processes are often more trustworthy.

Research Brands

Support brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical production. Look for certifications such as Fair Trade, Global Recycle Standard (GRS), or OEKO-TEX.

Consider Longevity

Invest in high-quality swimwear that is designed to last. Durable swim trunks reduce the need for frequent replacements, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable wardrobe.

Support Circular Fashion

Some brands offer take-back programs or recycling initiatives. Participate in these programs to ensure your old swimwear is properly recycled or repurposed.

You can read more about sustainability and ethical fashion in mens swimwear in our series of guides.

The Future of Sustainable Swimwear

Innovations in Materials

The future of sustainable swimwear lies in continued innovation. Researchers are exploring new materials such as biodegradable fabrics and bio-based polymers that offer similar performance to traditional synthetics without the environmental impact.

Increased Consumer Awareness

As awareness grows, consumers will continue to drive demand for sustainable products. Education and transparency are key to fostering a more responsible and informed consumer base.

Industry Collaboration

Collaboration across the fashion industry, from suppliers to brands to consumers, is essential for advancing sustainability. Joint efforts in research, production, and marketing can accelerate the adoption of eco-friendly practices.


The use of recycled materials in men's swim trunks is a significant step towards a more sustainable fashion industry. By embracing eco-friendly materials and ethical production practices, brands can reduce their environmental impact and appeal to a growing base of environmentally conscious consumers. As technology and innovation continue to evolve, the future of sustainable swimwear looks promising, offering stylish, high-performance options that align with our collective responsibility to protect the planet.


What are recycled materials in swimwear?

Recycled materials in swimwear include fabrics made from post-consumer and post-industrial waste, such as plastic bottles, fishing nets, and fabric scraps. These materials are processed and converted into fibers like recycled polyester (rPET) and recycled nylon, which are used to produce swim trunks.

How are recycled swim trunks different from regular swim trunks?

Recycled swim trunks are made from eco-friendly materials that help reduce environmental impact. They offer similar or superior performance characteristics compared to regular swim trunks, such as durability, elasticity, and quick-drying properties, while also promoting sustainability.

Are recycled swim trunks more expensive?

While recycled swim trunks can be slightly more expensive due to the cost of processing recycled materials, the long-term benefits, including environmental conservation and reduced dependency on non-renewable resources, make them a worthwhile investment.

Which brands offer sustainable swim trunks?

Several brands offer sustainable swim trunks made from recycled materials, including Patagonia, Outerknown, Adidas x Parley, and Vissla. These brands are committed to environmental responsibility and ethical production practices.

How can I care for my recycled swim trunks?

To care for recycled swim trunks, rinse them in cold water after use to remove chlorine and saltwater. Wash them by hand or on a gentle machine cycle with mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, and dry them in the shade to prevent fading and damage.

Why should I choose swim trunks made from recycled materials?

Choosing swim trunks made from recycled materials helps reduce environmental pollution, conserve resources, and support sustainable fashion practices. It also aligns with a growing consumer preference for eco-friendly and ethically produced products.


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