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How to recycle your swimwear

Sustainable and inclusive swimwear brand Deakin & Blue want your old swimsuits!

See bottom of page for full recycling instructions (for all swimsuits, not just Deakin & Blue)

I bet we all have an old cossie at the back of a drawer that’s beyond repair. Perhaps it’s see-through in all the wrong places or not supportive enough to swim in anymore, but equally you don’t quite feel right about it going into landfill. Well next time you’re having a clear out, you might want to consider sustainable swimwear brand Deakin & Blue’s Swimcycle scheme

Deakin & Blue is offering a home to swimsuits, bikinis and jammers that have reached the end of their lives. Launched last April – but only just reaching our attention – their Swimcycle recycling scheme saves your worn togs from landfill in return for a 15% discount off your next (full price) purchase. 

We spoke to CEO and Founder Rosie Cook about the Swimcycle recycing scheme and her determination to save cossies from landfill and close the loop on D&B swimwear production. 

Why is closing the loop important to you?

At Deakin & Blue, we’re dedicated to being an antidote to fast fashion. This informs everything we do – our choice of yarns, where we make the products, who makes them, our packaging and so on. Offering both a repair and a recycle service is all part of truly creating a circular economy swimwear model. By taking back old, worn through swimsuits and bikinis (any brand) that are at the end of their lives, we are able to ensure that these tired garments are recycled properly and regenerated into new yarns that can be used again. It helps us minimise the amount of waste that heads to landfill and enables us to have a more positive impact on the world we live and swim in!

What happens to people’s old swimwear when it’s sent in?

Our Swimcycle scheme is a recycling scheme for old swimwear. Suits and bikinis that are sent to us are cleaned to have all the nylon recovered. This nylon is then regenerated and purified back to its original quality, before being processed into new yarn. These new yarns have all the same qualities as virgin fossil-based nylons and can be used to create new swimsuits and bikinis. It’s incredibly clever and incredibly powerful.

What about if a swimsuit isn’t quite ready to go to the great lido in the sky, can you repair it?

Absolutely. We’re passionate about wearing pieces you feel amazing in, that you’ll take good care of, wash carefully and repair if they become damaged. We offer a repair service on all D&B items to help you maintain them for swim after swim. This includes everything from an unravelling seam, a zip that won’t fasten to rips in mesh and more. We design products that are highly durable but of course accidents do happen – when they do we want to be able to help fix it, rather than contribute to a mindset which says “Oh that’s broken, let’s throw it away and buy a new one”. 

How can readers help keep their swimsuits looking and feeling good for longer?

Washing your swimsuit properly and regularly is one of the best ways – especially if you swim in chlorine, which accelerates the degradation and wear on swimsuits and bikinis. Wash regularly at 30º or 40º, hang to dry and address any repairs promptly before they become unfixable. Try to avoid having a swimsuit sat wet in your swim bag for too long and of course, no bleach, no ironing, no tumble drying.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about?

We have a very exciting new sustainable range of swimsuits and bikinis arriving soon! We’re the first UK swimwear brand to use deadstock fabrics to create a new range of bikinis and swimsuits. Limited edition, five new prints and a mix of reversible and adjustable styles, based on customer feedback. Keep your eyes peeled us this February!

How does Swimcycle work?

D&B will recycle any swimwear brand, that includes swimsuits, bikinis, trunks, jammers and rash vests. Follow these steps to recycle your worn swimwear:

Remove: Remove any metal or plastic from your old swimwear. This includes cutting out the zip, underwires or other fastenings like buckles and clips.

Return: Post your swimwear to us from the UK using the Royal Mail freepost label. Please include your name and email address inside the parcel.

Receive: As soon as we receive your swimwear we’ll send you a unique discount code for 15% off your next full price purchase. 

Find out more about Deakin & Blue’s Swimcycle scheme, which is available for any brand of swimsuits, bikinis, trunks, jammers and rash vests. You can also use their repair service for Deakin & Blue products.

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.