The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling Swimwear

Why Recycle Swimwear?

Australians are the second largest consumer of textiles in the world (per capita).

Our resistance to reduce, reuse, and recycle our clothing and textiles is resulting in us dumping an enormous 6,000 kilograms of clothing into landfill every 10 minutes. That’s obscene!

Often, we think we’re doing the right the thing by donating our unwanted clothing to charities. Unfortunately, a whopping 30% of donated clothing is not fit for sale.

This places an enormous financial burden and workload onto charities, who don’t have the resources to sort and dispose of unsaleable items.

Landfill is an immense environmental problem with discarded clothing emitting methane, a damaging greenhouse gas. Not to mention the space it takes up and the length of time it takes for many materials to break down.

If we can avoid sending textiles to landfill, we can make positive environmental change.

Change Shopping Habits

The easiest way to reduce landfill and waste, is to shop smarter.

Choose better quality items that you’ll wear more often, keep for longer, and that will maintain their integrity so they can be passed along and loved again.

With swimwear shopping, you can look for styles made from recycled fabrics, like our sustainable Leopard collection, or simply choose the right swimsuit for you.

If you’re going to be swimming in chlorinated pools and heated spas, be sure to opt for chlorine resistant swimwear that will maintain its shape and integrity, so you won’t need to replace it as frequently.

Choose timeless styles and classic colours and prints that will look fresh and fashionable for seasons to come, and if when it does come time to discard your well worn swimsuit, recycle it responsibly. 

Brunette model wears sustainable Leopard print underwire bikini top and high waisted pant

Choose fabrics made from recycled plastic or other materials. Shop our sustainable Leopard collection.

How to Recycle Swimwear

Your unwanted swimwear will fall into two categories. Wearable and unwearable. A good rule of thumb to use when considering donating old clothing is “Would you pass this onto a friend to wear?” If you wouldn’t donate it to a friend, don’t ask a charity to do your dirty work for you.

If your swimwear is in good condition, you can donate it. Whether this is to a friend or a charity, be sure to check if they want it before passing it along.

Many of the usual second hand charities are bombarded with unwanted items creating an enormous workload and costing them money that should be going to those in need. If you’re unsure of what you can donate, using a clothing recycler is a wise idea.

Textile recyclers such as Upparel and the SCRgroup will take all your discarded clothing, including swimwear, and edit it for you. A large percentage is wearable and resaleable and this will be distributed through charitable organisations in a way that they can process it efficiently.

The rest will be recycled and turned into new textiles, or items that can be used in other industries, such as insulation and cleaning rags.

These organisations ensure that zero percent is sent to landfill. If you can’t access these recyclers, try Planet Ark’s recycler finder to see where you can send your unwanted textiles.

Other Ways to Donate 

Wearable swimwear and bras can be donated to Project Uplift. This incredible charity provides bras and swimwear for women who don’t have access to these items or who simply can’t afford them.

We often take for granted how easily we can buy swimwear and forget that other women don’t have such privilege.

If you simply can’t pass on your swimwear for someone else to enjoy, you can always donate it to someone crafty who can transform it into something new.

Search Facebook for quilting and sewing groups who would love to turn your unwanted swimsuit into a brand-new item.

Swimwear Recycling Do's and Don'ts

  • Shop smarter
  • Recycle responsibly
  • Donate correctly
  • Use textile recyclers
  • Choose the right charity
  • Donate to crafty groups 


  • Buy too much
  • Support fast fashion
  • Add to landfill
  • Overload charities

Ready to make a positive change? With our handy tips on how to recycle swimwear, we can be the change we wish to see in the world. 

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