Swimsuit modeled by Ella Zegarelli (photographed by Grace Kelly; @graceannkephotography on Instagram) swimsuit is from Hollister, a sub-brand of Abercrombie.
Summertime Sustainable Splash
THIS SUMMER, SWITCH TO SUSTAINABLE SWIMWEAR!
by Bria Zegarelli
July 10, 2023
Do you ever spend time looking at a clothing website that seems like it has everything you could ever want at suspiciously low prices? At first glance, it may seem like you have hit the jackpot. However, it may be too good to be true.
With the rise of influencer culture and what is trendy, it’s easy to fall into the trap of fast fashion, which can be defined by Wikipedia as “the business model of replicating recent catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, mass-producing them at a low cost, and bringing them to retail stores quickly while demand is at its highest.” In other words, fast fashion clothing items are low cost but also low quality and created without the workers’ wellbeing in mind. Therefore, when trying to be more environmentally friendly, it’s important to pay attention to the brands from which you are buying. Plus, now that it is summer and swimwear is a major priority in terms of clothing items, it is a good idea to make sure they are coming from reputable companies.
One way that you can see if a brand has sustainability in mind is if they have an environment-focused company mission. For this specific article, we are focusing on the sustainability missions of two major brands who have popular swimsuits: Abercrombie and American Eagle.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. in particular emphasizes that they aim to “positively impact the communities it touches around the world and to implement programs and initiatives that build value for all stakeholders.” Their goals align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which include climate, poverty, education, justice, inequality, workers’ wellbeing, and clean energy. Specifically, Abercrombie outlines that in terms of environmental impact, they want to focus on climate, energy, water, and chemical management and waste. The company states that through A&F Co.’s Restricted Substance Policy, they are paying attention to and are restricting certain chemicals that could negatively impact customers. Furthermore, Abercrombie partners with thredUP, an online thrift store, to increase the life of garments from one person to another. Abercrombie’s website states that you can order an A&F Co. x thredUP Clean Out Kit to turn in your gently used clothes for A&F shopping credit. Abercrombie also works closely with its supply chain partners to trace the origin of its materials. Additionally, Abercrombie has a goal of continuing to source more sustainable fibers by 2025, and the progress of each goal is listed on the website.
American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie (a women’s clothing sub-brand of AEO) have also committed to their improvements in their sustainability. They are currently working toward being carbon neutral by 2030, specifically focusing on water reduction, energy reduction, and the usage of more sustainable raw materials. AEO highlights that the products in their “Real Good” website tab are their clothing items that are the most sustainable. Under this section on the website, customers can also find a link for donating clothing with Give Back Box. Furthermore, AEO highlights that in order to create trusting relationships with their factory partners, the company has an extensive Supplier Code of Conduct based on internationally accepted standards. AEO also has an entire page on their website dedicated to their sustainability mission. The page outlines in thorough detail their goals and progress with being more environmentally-friendly. Some of the topics included are recycling, carbon emissions, water usage, LED light systems, material footprints, and plastic in packaging.
While no company is perfect, both Abercrombie and American Eagle have sustainability missions and highlight them on their websites. They are actively making progress toward their goals, and they have proven to be reputable companies. Therefore, if you are looking for a sustainable choice for swimwear this summer, both of these companies may be good choices for you!