Sustainable swimwear on International Bikini Day

With summer on the north hemisphere, it is time to take out your swimwear. In honour of International Bikini Day, today we look at some examples of sustainable and innovative bikinis, so you can have an ecological day on the beach!

SpongeSuit is environmentally conscious swimming gear, designed by architecture and design firm Eray Cabajo. The bikini they created is water repellent, but absorbs contaminants in the ocean, such as oil, so that you can clean the environment one stroke at the time.

The bikini is made from a material called Sponge, created by University of California engineering professors Mihri Ozkan and Cengiz Ozkan. It is a super-hydrophobic carbon based material with multi-model porosity, which allows it to be a light yet strong absorber.

The main ingredient of the material is derived from heated sucrose, a form of sugar. It is not harmful for the environment and very cost effective to make. The Sponge material can absorb up to 25 times its own weight and it doesn’t release the absorbed materials unless it is heated at a temperature exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit).

In liquid form, Sponge is oven-heated until it becomes solid. This is then moulded in the shape of the bikini. The bikini top is held in place by a 3D printed, net-like shell that is based on the ergonomics of the human body.

The contaminants are trapped in the inner pores of the material, so that they do not touch the skin. After a few uses, the sponge pad can be replaced with a new one, while the old one can be recycled. The material can be used up to 20 times without using its absorbency.

Coral is an ecological bikini collection that is entirely 3D printed, designed by aRks 3d. The shape is inspired by marine corals. The bikini is made from polylactic acid (PLA), biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester, derived from renewable resources such as corn starch. The bikinis are printed using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology.

Because of the minimum thickness of the material along with cotton inserts, wearability, adaptability and comfort are ensured. The structures of Coral are based on geometric and organic wefts. Because the bikini is 3D printed, it can easily be adapted to the wearer’s body. The bikinis are available in black and white.

Photos: Eray Cabajo / Salvo Veneziano (Palermofoto) / Giovanni Ombrello (Palermofoto)