3 Eco-Friendly Brands You Must Know for Summer

By: Rosalyn Solomon

It’s the season for sunnies, sandals, and swimsuits, but are your favourite summer pieces just as eco-friendly as they are stylish?

With all the talk about fast fashion, seasonal accessories or wardrobe pieces are easy for brands and retailers, only featuring them for short periods of time for shoppers to keep or use for a short period of time. This causes a cycle of waste and all the complications that come with fast fashion. But for brands like Ūnika Swim, creating pieces that are not only well-made, but long-lasting make all the difference.

“When you’re starting a brand, you want to save where you can, but I’m a person that believes in investing in quality items, so I never really took the cheap route,” said Betsy Campos, founder of Ūnika Swim.

People are so willing to settle for cheap fabric to save, but I know where my fabrics come from, how they’re being manufactured, and I know my pieces being worn out there are eco-friendly and it’s been a big impact on our brand.
— Betsy Campos, founder of Ūnika Swim
photo: Ūnika Swim

photo: Ūnika Swim

Ūnika which creates custom, hand-made swimsuits based in Toronto, use a fabric called Econyl. Made from abandoned fishnets and other forms of plastic waste, Econyl is a stretch nylon that can be recycled over and over again.  Campos explained when she launched her company in June 2018, she knew she wanted to use eco-friendly materials and did extensive research to ensure her swimsuits would be a valuable investment for her clients.

It’s not just eco-friendly, it’s sweat-resistant, sea salt-resistant, so it doesn’t fade overtime, with a lot of swimwear the elastic kind of just dies after a while, but this stuff will last you years.
— Betsy Campos, Founder of Ūnika Swim

Up to 10 years or more to be specific, Campos added. If you hand wash your swimsuits cold, keep them out of machines and lay them flat to dry, your custom suit will be with you vacay after vacay.

Sunglasses, but make it sustainable

Australian-based eyewear brand, Dresden also creates frames out of fully recyclable nylon, turning waste into sustainable fashion accessories. Dresden’s sunglasses and glasses are made for men, women, and kids in an array colors with frames and arms that are interchangeable. Dresden’s owned manufacturing facility has given them the opportunity to take further strides in eco-sustainability, creating limited-edition collections made from recycled plastics and waste materials such as wood composite, recycled Australian money, plastic lids and ocean waste.

photo: Dresden

photo: Dresden

We see ourselves as democratizing the eyewear industry. We’re providing accessible eyecare and eyewear around the world with one universal frame.
— Bruce Jeffreys, Co-Founder of Dresden

Beach-friendly footwear

Flips flops and sandals are staples of warm weather, but they also create a ton of waste. According to Ocean Sole, 90 tons worth of discarded flip flops turn up on the beaches of East Africa every year. BC Footwear, a PETA-approved shoe brand based in California, work to create those favourite summer styles from recycled material and is 100% Vegan. The brand uses synthetic leather and discarded materials to create sandals, wedges and other cute summer styles that leave a smaller carbon footprint – even their glue they use are free of casein, gelatin, beeswax, or any other animal derivatives. 

Whether it’s for your spring or summer wardrobe, sometimes all it takes is a little research to ensure what you’re buying is also helping to give back in some way.