The truth is, swimwear and sustainability don’t go “hand in hand,” the L.A.-based It-Girl brand admitted in a statement. Simply put, it hasn’t found a textile solution that doesn’t result in more plastic in oceans and landfills—but it’s working on it.
Reformation’s newest crop of one-pieces and bikinis consist of Econyl, a recycled yarn derived from abandoned fishing nets, carpet flooring and other scraps of discarded nylon. According to Aquafil, its Italian manufacturer, the fiber can be recycled almost infinitely without any decline in quality, which contributes to a more circular fashion system.
It’s not perfect, however.
“Here’s the thing,” Reformation said. “When you wash anything made from synthetics, even recycled materials, tiny bits of plastic called microfibers are shed into the environment. Microfibers are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants, so they can end up in our waterways and oceans by the billions.”
While the firm uses roughly 5 percent synthetics in its supply chain, it says it’s striving “really hard” to reduce that number every year. Until then, Reformation encourages its customers to do their part to reduce microplastic pollution by washing their swimsuits either by hand with cold water or inside a GuppyFriend, an ultrafine mesh bag that keeps flaking microfibers from making their way from the washing machines to the oceans.
“Long term, we’re working super hard to figure out how to make swimsuits that don’t shed microfibers,” it added. “Let us know if any of you have any solutions.”
The collection comprises 12 styles and six new prints. Prices range from $58 to $128. Reformation is also selling the Guppyfriend for $29.75.