Best Swimwear for Men from Ocean Plastic Waste

Men also want to swim, surf and sunbathe in ethical style. Mens swimming trunks that are made to last, is better for the environment and therefore also more sustainable. If you are finding the plastic pandemic upsetting, then support these brands that want to save our oceans and are converting plastic bottles into mens short swim trunks.

Vilebrequin, the French eco friendly bathing suits brand, was discussed in this post on 6 Fashion Brands that produce Clothing from Recycled Plastic. If you are looking for stylish and sexy swimwear for women, then read this post on 9 Swimwear Brands that are Swimming towards Sustainability.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the best swimwear for men using eco textiles and fabrics:

1. Riz Boardshorts

Riz boardshorts was founded in 2009 by two friends, Riz Smith and Ali Murrell. Ali had returned from a sailing trip across the Pacific Ocean and had seen the plastic pollution crisis in our oceans, and Riz had been designing swimwear for global fashion and sports brands. Riz recycled boardshorts

They decided the men’s swimwear market needed something better, so they set out to create the most beautiful, sustainable and eco friendly bathing suits for men in the world.

Riz is based in London and the boardshorts are made in small batches in Europe. They use 100% recyclable and recycled materials, derived from plastic bottles, for making most of their products. Every pair is digitally printed in the UK and the digital print techniques use eco friendly inks.

They work with a small selection of artists and illustrators to create the prints that incorporate themes of endangered fish, insects and flowers. They describe their unique style as British-Hawaiian. Image courtesy of Riz boardshorts

Triple stitching means the mens short swim trunks are durable. The range includes short, mid and long tailored, elasticated and mid and long boardshorts, as well as accessories.

The Rizcycle scheme allows you to return your old shorts to be recycled. So once you have worn out your pair of Riz swimming trunks, Riz will take it back and recycle it and give you 25% discount towards your next pair. Recycled boxes are used for their packaging.

Riz works closely with the Marine Conservation Society and partner with them for beach clean-ups. They donate £1 for every pair of shorts that they sell, towards efforts to protect our marine environment. They are a Certified B Corporation and create some of the best swimwear for men.

2. Outerknown

Outerknown is based in Culver City, CA and was started in 2015 by the world champion surfer Kelly Slater, in partnership with the designer John Moore.

Apex mens swimming trunks are made from 86% recycled polyester, 8% recycled spandex and 6% spandex and are ethically produced in a Fair Trade certified facility. Recycled polyester is created from raw material waste like plastic bottles. The high performance trunks have these features: Outerknow mens short swim trunks

  • Now made with recycled seam tape and ultralight 4-way stretch recycled polyester for maximum mobility.
  • Fixed waist
  • The seams are welded and the inside of the fly is smooth, to eliminate chafing.
  • The butt seam is double bonded for added strength
  • The bonded back pocket features an Aquaguard zipper and internal bungee key loop
  • Side seams and back pocket have laser cut details that offer weightless drainage and ventilation.
  • Fabric is Quick Dry for minimal water absorption
  • The trunks easily pack into the back pocket

Outerknown mens swimming trunks are machine washable in cold water and lay it flat to dry. Do not use bleach or dry clean it. Get your pair of Outerknown eco friendly bathing suits here.

At Outerknown, sustainability is everything, for people and the planet. Apart from making some of the best swimwear for men, they also do a huge range of clothing, dresses, trousers, tops, shirts, short, accessories and also sell Veja shoes. 90% of fibers that are sourced are organic, recycled or regenerated, and 100% of mens short swim trunks are made with recycled or regenerated fibers.

3. Bluebucks

Bluebucks mens swimming trunks are made from SEAQUAL certified materials, Bluebuck sustainable mens swimwearmeaning they are made from upcycled marine waste. SEAQUAL is an organization, that in collaboration with small charities and fishermen, clean up our oceans. They work together to remove the plastic waste that litters the sea bed.

The debris that is collected is not biodegradable and is a mixture of plastic bottles and plastic packaging. The debris is sorted, cleaned and recycled and then yarn is created. The yarn is spun in Spain and the fabric is woven in Portugal to create eco textiles and fabrics.

The net for the inside lining is also entirely made from SEAQUAL recycled polyester. The swim shorts have a regular fit and are soft with a cord to adjust the waist size. The leg opening is just right for a comfortable fit that is neither too big nor too slim. It is available in sizes Small to XXLarge.

Apart from mens short swim trunks, Bluebuck also do a range of underwear including briefs, trunks, boxers and long johns, as well as socks, T-shirts and masks.

4. Vanilla Sands

Vanilla Sands was founded by Corinna in 2018 after she spent two years in Lisbon and published her master thesis on sustainable fashion across different cultures. Vanilla Sands mens swim shorts

All the eco friendly bathing suits are made from 100% regenerated ocean waste, including recycled polyester and recycled ocean plastic, which is kind to the planet and light on your skin. Each Vanilla Sands bikini will save 50 grams of ocean plastic.

The swimwear is made locally in Brazil and Portugal, giving them control over their supply chain. It means they know what goes into their products and whose hands they pass through.

Vanilla Sands shorts are flexible, comfortable, durable and chic enough for a drink in the bar. The timeless designs and eco textiles and fabrics provide an alternative to fast fashion and mass production and support local craftsmanship.

By using local production facilities, the local cultures are kept alive. Apart from the beach wear range, Vanilla Sands also have a range of lounge wear, bamboo towels and dresses, made from GOTS certified organic cotton and 100% bamboo and is PETA vegan approved.

5. Naeco

Naeco is a British luxury brand that was founded in 2014 by Zak Johnson, an avid kite surfer and scuba diver. He noticed more and more plastic waste polluting our oceans and having a negative effect on wildlife and the environment. Naeco mens short swim trunksHe knew that he had to do something to help, so Naeco, which is ocean spelt backwards, was born.

By using state of the art recycling methods, textile research and technology, soft fabrics and unique eco textiles and fabrics can be made from repurposed and reborn materials to make the tailored swim shorts.

Plastic bottles, straws and other plastic waste, that would have polluted the ocean, are collected. It goes through a series of processes to clean it and is then crushed to obtain plastic flakes. Through a mechanical process, it is converted into rough polyester spun fiber. This polyester fiber is manipulated to obtain yarn, which is used in their fabrics.

100% made from recycled plastic and approximately 15 plastic bottles are used to make each pair of recycled plastic swimming trunks. Craftsmen hand make them in the UK. Apart from the swimming trunks, they also make soft shell jackets, blazers and parkas. Fabrics that are used include recycled polyester, bamboo cotton, recycled organic cotton and Thermore Ecodown.

Naeco is a luxury brand that is showing that fashion can become more sustainable. They guarantee their products for 5 years against manufacturing defects and will repair or replace them free of charge. Naeco also host beach clean-ups in partnership with sustainable local businesses, organizations and like-minded individuals.

The designs are bold and the luxury swim shorts are soft and durable, and you can get your Naeco pair of ethically sourced and manufactured mens swimming trunks by clicking on this link.

6. Picture Organic

Picture Organic was founded in 2008 by three friends, Julian, Vincent and Jeremy, who grew up together and share Mens swimming trunks from Picture Organicsa love of skateboarding and snowboarding. They launched their first collection of recycled polyester boardshorts in 2010.

The sustainable mens swimming trunks are made from quick drying 4d recycled fabric that is made out of old ski jackets. For an ideal fit, the mens short swim trunks feature a zippered fastening with an adjustable waist with draw cords and welded back pockets to carry small things.

The French brand Picture Organic also do wet suits and clothing for skiing and snowboarding and other performance outerwear. They only use 100% recycled materials, and organic and responsibly sourced materials.

They strive to have the best eco friendly products and unique designs and is a certified B Corporation company.  Their mission is to fight climate change and make the best swimwear for men.

7. prAna

PrAna was started by Beaver and Pam Theodosakis in 1992 in Carlsbad, California, with a range of yoga and climbing clothes. PrAna comes from Sanskrit and means breath and is considered the life giving force. They work very hard to incorporate innovative and sustainable eco textiles and fabrics and practices to lessen their impact on the planet and improve performance. PrAna mens short swim trunks

Whether you are relaxing around the pool, hitting the surf or playing games on the beach, prAna’s high performance mens short swim trunks, are suitable for the occasion. Lightweight and sustainable materials are used for the range of, that have a standard fit and side pockets.

Features of the quick drying boardshorts are:

  • 92% recycled polyester and 8% spandex
  • 4 way stretch poplin fabric with durable water repellent (DWR) finish
  • UPF30+ and PFC free

Apart from mens short swim trunks, they also do eco friendly bathing suits for women, and the full range of clothing for yoga, climbing and hiking, traveling and active wear. Fabrics used include organic cotton and hemp and recycled fabric, together with responsible down.

PrAna is also discussed in this post on the 10 Best Organic Cotton Jeans Brands and Best Yoga Clothes Brands that Respect the Planet. Get your pair of prAna mens swimming trunks at this link here.

8. Fair Harbor

Two siblings, Jake and Caroline Danehy grew up near the ocean and spent childhood summers in Fair Harbor, on Fire Island, NY. As they grew up, they increasingly noticed the plastic waste being washed up on the beach. Fair Harbor best swimwear for menThey wanted to do something about it, so the brand Fair Harbor was born.

Fair Harbor creates beachwear from post consumer recycled plastic bottles, and so far more than three million bottles have been upcycled.

  • Discarded plastic bottles are collected from all over the world.
  • The bottles are washed and shredded into flakes.
  • The flakes are then melted, extruded and spun into yarn.
  • Yarn is woven into their custom fabric, which can be dyed or printed.
  • Fabric is cut and sewn into their signature swimwear.

They make swim trunks and boardshorts and also do a range of swimwear for kids. Instead of the traditional netting as a liner, an anti-chafe boxer liner is used. The swim trunks are suitable for all things active, including swimming, running, surfing, yoga and transitioning from the beach to the bar. Fair Harbor mens short swim trunks for boxer liner

  • Each pair is made from 11 plastic bottles.
  • The durable water repellent fabric has a 4-way stretch.
  • It has a back zipper pocket and deep front pockets.
  • Some styles are available without a liner.

They also recycle old swimsuits, including any other brand, to give it a second life. For each swim short that is sent in, you will receive a $5 credit voucher, up to a maximum of $25.

9. Patagonia

We cannot talk about sustainable and eco friendly bathing suits without including Patagonia. Patagonia produces some of the best swimwear for men in recycled materials and organic cotton. You can read more about their sustainable practices in this post on 6 Fashion Brands that Produce Clothing from Recycled Plastic.

Discover more about the uses of recycled plastic in this post on What is Recycled Plastic used for?

More related posts about the use of recycled materials in footwear include Eco Conscious Shoes: Top Footwear Brands made of Recycled Plastic, 8 Best Sneakers made of Recycled Plastic and 7 Flip Flop Sandals made of Recycled Materials.

Some Questions about Mens Short Swim Trunks

What is the point of netting in swim trunks? The purpose of netting inside swim trunks is to provide support for the genitals while swimming. Netting acts as a liner and eliminates the need to wear underwear under the swimwear.

What is the difference between swim trunks and boardshorts? Swim trunks are the most common swimwear in North America, whereas boardshorts are a longer version of trunks and often come up to the knee or longer. Boardshorts often have a fitted waist, non-elastic waist.

Explore more buying options on Amazon here.

Related post: Best Ethical Swimwear for Women.

If you have any questions or comments about eco friendly bathing suits or the best swimwear for men, then please leave them below and I will get back to you.

28 thoughts on “Best Swimwear for Men from Ocean Plastic Waste”

  1. This is super awesome to see!

    I’m a huge supporting of eco friendly technology and activism and my heart always feels the burden of the terrible state of our oceans.

    I’ve seen the pictures and the videos of the massive state sized trash islands and it’s an awful thing to behold.

    I even use a special search engine that supports waste cleanup and they get paid a tiny bit for every search I do to help the cause.

    Seeing companies getting on board more and more to make a global change of our ocean is amazing and it gives me hope for our future.

    • What a great initiative to use a search engine that supports cleanup of waste. Supporting companies and brands that make a change to our planet, is the way for the future. 

  2. I appreciate your knowledge of the various types of swimwear for men.  You’ve done a great job of breaking down the details by brand.  To be honest, the only brand I was familiar with prior to reading your post was Patagonia.   I personally do not like swimming trunks with netting.   When I’m in saltwater the netting irritates my skin so I’ve moved to board shorts which are more comfortable for me in this instance.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge in this post.

    • Hi there, I think many men find that they do not like netting. Fair Harbour makes their  with a trunkstyle inner, which does not chafe, so that could be worth your while to look at. Hope it helps.

  3. Thank you for giving us all these options. I have been particularly impressed by the swim shorts made in London inspired by elegant British tailoring, in the brand Naeco. I have also read Naeco donates time, services, and a percentage of its profits to help ocean charities and organizations around the world.

    • It is indeed awesome that there are brands that are helping the planet by using ocean plastic waste for swimwear and footwear. 

  4. It’s amazing!!!  I didn’t know people can really create and make Men’s Bathing Suit from water Bottle recycle and other recycling things.

    They just look like a regular water proof fabric that’s being use for these Bathing Suits.

    My question is, Are they fine to wear it, even if a person has fabric material reaction or rash?

     I know the Bathing Suits contain Cotton in it, so that’s also a good thing.

    Thanks for sharing this Article

    • Garments made from recycled materials should be ok as it does not contain the same harmful substances as virgin plastic. If you suffer from allergies and skin rashes, then try to use organic materials. 

  5. I think it’s great just how many people and companies are now making the changes needed and starting to lead the way to more sustainable fashion, including swimwear!

    I love the outdoors and help with regular beach clean-ups so I do get to see just exactly what is all in our oceans and it’s heartbreaking. I try to buy clothes for myself that are made in an eco-friendly way and have a few t-shirts made from recycled plastics and love them. So when the time comes to buy new swimwear I’ll be sure to check out some of these brands.

    Thanks for a very informative article.

    • Great that you can be involved in beach clean ups and help to make a difference to the environment. Any clothing made from recycled materials help to reduce the waste problem that we have. 

  6. Hi Liné,

    I personally collect plastic bottles for plastic collection centers, which is used to create equipment for people with disabilities. But I never thought anyone could have the brilliant idea of ​​turning recycled plastic into a sustainable fabric. It is amazing. Looking at the photos you provided, I can say that they have a great design, and very stylish, in line with fashion.

    A great and informativ article about swimwear for men from recycled plastic. I will also read the article for women, to see if there is a product that suits my taste for swimwear. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the good work!👍

    • What a great incentive to use post consumer plastic bottles to create equipment for people with disabilities. I am sure you will enjoy wearing swimwear that is also helping the environment. 

  7. Good to learn about some beautiful men’s swimwear! Thanks for the mention of those companies, as most of them are completely new to me. I just wanted to ask if these companies manufacture women’s swimsuits? With the different color and style choices, I’d love to order anytime so soon. It’s interesting to know that some people can make such beautiful products from ocean plastic waste. Appreciate your effort in listing those companies that manufacture such beautiful swimming trunks! Thanks.


  8. Hello there! Oh wow, I had no idea this type of technology was possible! To be able to create clothes from plastic bottles is such an amazing feat! Looking at the different brands you recommended, many of them look pretty stylish too! Perhaps I’ll buy some when summer time comes around again. Do they have have a likelihood to be damaged from certain weather conditions? Thanks for this post!

    • It is indeed great that plastic waste is being converted into a sustainable fabric. Normal weather conditions should not damage the fabric but chemicals, heat and bleach should be avoided.

  9. As we all learn more about the damage we all can make to our world, I get more interested to find more items made with recycled material, so thank you so much for sharing this article to find the best swimwear for men from ocean plastic waste, Summer will be here soon and I’m looking to buy a new swimsuit for my husband, I’m glad you put together this article as I think all the swimsuits you share on it are great, after reading your article I think my husband will love to get the prAna and the Fair Harbor, you did my search easier!

    • It is great that eco textiles and fabrics are made from plastic waste and then used to make mens swimming trunks and eco friendly bathing suits. I am sure your husband will like the selection. 

  10. Wow! I have actually never heard of such an invention and think this is a fantastic idea! I was just looking around for everyday swimming shorts for my partner when I came across these and think it is an amazing way to create sustainable swimwear. I am hoping I can find a female branch to match this now. 🙂

  11. My son loves board shorts.  He’s a surfer and does not like the netting on the inside.  So the Riz look promising, but I do not see a link for them.  I think he would also like the Naaco, just not sure if they have an inner lining.  I would like to get him a new pair, just can’t have any inner lining.  Recommendations?

    • If your son does not like the inner lining, then I would recommend Fair Harbor as they have a trunk inner that does not chafe, rather than the traditional netting that is used as a liner. I hope this helps.

  12. This is a cool concept that I was unaware of. Recycled swimming trunks! They need to creating bathing suits like that as well. We should all do more to save nature. I love how you took the time and found multiple companies that provide these swimming trunks. Thank you for your time and work. I am going to show this to my husband.

  13. I really like the idea that these all are made from plastic! That what is on our oceans and ruins our oceans, I really love it. And there is so much different choices of styles and colours as well, love it. I would love to buy then some time.

    I indeed am very amazed and very proud that there are companies that produces items and wearable things from oceans plastic. Very good, keep it up people. 🙂

    • To make eco textiles and fabrics from ocean plastic waste is awesome. Mens short swim trunks that are made from recycled plastic will help to save our oceans and seas. 

  14. Hi Line. This is so cool article. To be fair I never heard about these companies and recycled swimwear but I love the idea. I think its not only fashionable present but at the same time we can do something good for environment. Are there woman swimsuits produced in same way?


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