Eco-friendliness is hardly a new concept, but with bathing suit season in full swing, it's finally here: The first "green bikini."
Linda Loudermilk, an "eco-couture" designer, said she will debut the world's first fully compostable bathing suit Friday night during a Swim Week runway show. The Miami Herald reports:
It’s fashioned from a plant starch, she said, that has been turned into a fabric so new she just got her hands on it four days earlier. She said the suit won’t dissolve on a woman’s body, but bury it under dirt, like in a land fill, and it would break down within 180 days — leaving not a single spandex strap, blot of chemical dye or foam bra cup insert behind.
“You can use it again or you can throw it away,’’ said Loudermilk, a pioneer of the eco-fashion movement. “It’s very inexpensive so it’s something you can give to your guests but it has a fashion forward look.
Forget polyester and those other synthetic materials — the new trend in environmentally-friendly swimwear calls for fabrics made from wood pulp, hemp, bamboo, recycled plastic bottles, “upcycled’’ factory scraps of cotton and nylon and “repurposed’’ material like military parachutes
Jenni Saylor, the designer for Eco Swim By Aqua Green, acknowledged that using sustainable material can be challenging, especially for a bikini. Without at least a little spandex, the suit won't cling in the right places.
“If it doesn’t look good, they’re not going to buy it just because it’s sustainable material,’’ Saylor said.
“Eco-cell’’ foam bra cups, made with biodegradable plant oil, are one of Eco Swim’s big features. The suits are made from recycled nylon, polyester and cotton. Saylor stressed fabric isn’t picked from old clothes bins but comes fully processed and cleaned from manufacturers.
“It’s absolutely not recycled clothes,’’ she said. “A woman would be totally disgusted by that, especially when it’s touching your body that close. No, no, no.’’
Another innovative design? The solar-powered bikini, covered with flexible photo-voltaic cells sown together with a conductive wire. It's billed as being capable of recharging small devices with its built-in USB chord, yet is fully submersible — once the iPod or cell phone is unplugged.