How to care for your swimwear
Want your bikinis to look good and last all summer (and more summers to come)? Yeah, us too. It's important to remember your swimwear is going to take a beating with the extensive exposure to suncreams, oils, chlorine, salt water (and general summer-y good times), and all of these can significantly impact on the lifespan of your swimwear. Most swimwear are made from a form of lycra or spandex, giving them their stretchy composition, fibres that once in contact with these elements begin to break down. In short, your bikinis quickly lose their shape, elasticity, and colour if they're not properly looked after.
The 'breaking down' of your swimwear isn't only a bad look, but is harmful to our oceans too. Once a fabric begins to break down, micro plastics shed and are released into the environment, like our oceans, being ingested by our marine and wildlife.
Fear not! This isn't our first rodeo, and we've got a few tips & tricks to help you care for, and make the most of your swimwear, minimising your impact on the planet while you're at it.
WASH YOUR SWIMWEAR AFTER EVERY WEAR
Even if you haven't been in the ocean or pool, you need to be washing your swimwear after every wear. Exposure to suncreams, oils and perspiration can still have a negative impact, so you want to remove these as quickly as possible.
HAND WASH, DON'T MACHINE WASH!
Your swimwear is delicate and needs, nay deserves, some TLC. Washing machines (even on 'delicate' mode) can be rough (and is arguably the worst thing you could do for your swimwear), damaging the fabric and causing it to break down much quicker.
When hand washing, avoid using detergents as these can cause the colours to fade. Opt for a gentle/mild, eco-friendly hand soap instead, and use cold water to soak and rinse.
DON'T WRING YOUR SWIMWEAR
It's extremely tempting to wring your swimsuit to get rid of excess water after washing. Resist this urge! Instead, use a towel to gently roll up your swimsuit, squeezing to absorb the excess.
LAY IT OUT FLAT TO DRY
For years I hung my swimwear out to dry, not realising that the weight of the water as it dripped would stretch the fibres. Lay your swimwear out flat to dry, ideally indoors, or outdoors in the shade. Direct sunlight might speed up the drying process, but UV can contribute to the deterioration of
DO NOT USE A DRYER
I hope this goes without saying, but do not use a dryer to dry your swimwear. Like a washing machine, the movement can severely damage your suit, particularly in combination with high heat.
CHOOSE YOUR SWIMWEAR CAREFULLY
Not all bikinis are made equal. Price can be a strong indicator of quality (for example, don't expect bikinis that cost you $20-30 to last you longer than a few weeks or months), but this isn't always the case, with some brands simply charging high prices for their 'branding' while still manufacturing at a cheap price. While it might be more expensive to buy high quality swimwear, they are going to last much longer, particularly if you follow these care instructions, essentially saving you money in the long run (you'd be surprised how much you'll end up spending having to replace the cheap ones every couple of months), and it's going to limit the wastage going to landfill.
Another consideration when choosing swimwear, is the fabrics. At MOTU, we use fabrics made from recycled post-consumer materials, including fishing nets and plastic bottles, that are deconstructed and woven into high-quality nylon lycra. Not only does this help clean our oceans and reduce waste, but the fabrics are designed to be extra resistant to UV, chlorine, oils and lotions, ensuring that the rate at which they break down is significantly decreased, and that the shape and elasticity is maintained for long-lasting wear. You can read more about our focus on sustainability here.
Follow these tips, and your bikinis should last much longer!
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to help.