30 Fun Activities to do With Your Family on a Budget

zero waste family activities, family activities on a budget

In a world where most of us spend a lot of time looking at screens instead of truly interacting in meaningful, fun ways; it is important to keep family time a priority without having to go crazy with the spending.

Studies have shown that the simple act of having nightly family dinners does wonders for the emotional, academic, and even physical development of the children in the home.

Imagine how much more could be achieved with regular, fun activities that will also help you all bond and become even closer as a family! Below are thirty activities that cultivate mindfulness and quality time for your family without breaking the bank or creating waste!

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1. Baking (and Making)

For many of us we have memory of baking with mum or grandma. The best part was obviously getting to lick the spoon. So as a family, let everyone choose something they want to bake together as a family.

It could be cookies, cake pops, muffins, a pastry—anything yummy and bake-able!

Then, you all work together as a family to get the ingredients and make something super delicious everyone can be proud of being a part of.

You can take it to the next level and instead of baking treats (which are nice), you can make homemade tortillas for Taco Tuesday, or a loaf of French bread to go with pasta.

Making granola bars for snacks during the week is a good way to get creative with ingredients and keep healthy snacks around during the week.

Whatever you decide to bake or make, it’s good quality time and will become the memories your child carries with them when they come across certain foods as an adult.

Have older kids? Meal prep together. Search for recipes to try for those evening meals. Your kids are more likely to eat something they chose and made themselves.

Want to get out of the house (or avoid the mess in your house)? Try a family lollipop class! A mess somewhere else, same fun and treats.

2. Gardening

Gardening is a very useful skill, and can be a lot of fun to get into. You can start a little vegetable, herb, or flower garden depending on the space you have.

If you have a lot of space, everyone can have their own little plot where they can grow what they want.

If you don’t have a lot of space, get creative with containers and windowsills.

I have a crockpot that cracked. I could have just chucked it in the bin, but instead I drilled drainage holes in the bottom and my basil now happily grows in it. You can do the same with tin cans and old wellies.

There are some amazing little growing kits for kids, like this little book about carrots that you plant when you finish reading! It would make a unique and fun gift if your kids grow to love gardening. (Lettuce books are available, too!)

Another fun one, is to percolate veggies in water. Lettuce, celery, spring onions, and so much more can be regrown in a bowl or jar of water.

Replace the water each day and watch your veg regrow.

Gardening is a great way to show your kids how patience, hard work, and perseverance can pay off in big ways. There also is no substitute for the flavour in homegrown food! Cherry tomatoes, anyone??

3. Story Time

Start with oral stories. You can have one person start the story and each family member takes turns adding the next sentence until you get to the end. This can also be written on paper to make it easier to remember.

You can even go word by word.

Not feeling that creative?

Let everyone chose their favourite story to read together.

Take it up a notch and turn the stories into plays where everyone plays different characters.

Not enough characters for everyone in the family? Don’t forget a narrator and you can have someone video the fun.

I know this may feel goofy to you, but these are the moments that mean the world to your child. So, give it a go; everyone will become part of the story, and you will all have an amazing memory to look back on forever.

Bonus points for going all in with costumes, funny voices, and homemade props!

4. Board Games (and More!)

Sometimes just a relaxing day of playing board games is a great way to pass the time. (Rainy days, especially). You can turn this into a weekly game night, a-disconnect-from-technology-night, that everyone will come to appreciate.

Some fun games for everyone:

Bananagrams

Jenga

Uno (or any games with a deck of cards)

Colourbrain

Twister

If you want to add a little something extra, try making up some new rules and change the same old games up a bit!

If you have younger kids, playing in teams is a good way to play harder games with no tears.

You can also create your very own games like themed charades, or scavenger hunts! Unleash your creative side and play by your own rules.

When the weather is nice, don’t forget tag, hide-and-seek, or just a family game of football. With so many variations on those games, there is a lot of fun to be had (with some exercise mixed in, too)!

5. Craft Day

Colouring, collages, slime making, salt dough, origami, painting, etc. are all examples of super fun art crafts you can do with your family.

Art is something that can be therapeutic, so make sure this is a positive experience with no bad ideas or critiques.

If you can get out, try a pottery experience either making or painting pottery. If you have older kids a jewellry making or soap making workshop would be a memorable day out, too!

Art styles are all different, and there is no wrong way to be creative. Just have fun!

Need inspiration?

Visit a museum and everyone picks out their favourite piece (take a photo if you’re allowed for reference). When you get home replicate your chosen piece.

Whenever your family finishes their art, set it up in a room in the house like a gallery and walk through appreciating all the lovely pieces and “meeting” the artists.

6. Pizza Night (and a Movie)

All you need is dough, toppings, sauce, and an oven to have your very own family pizzeria!

Everyone gets enough dough for a personal sized pizza, and they can top it however they want.

Then, you just bake and enjoy!

This makes personal pizzas truly personal and makes for great bonding time with food and fun!

If you make pizza night a weekly event, you can also throw in a movie and rotate who choses the movie each week.

Olivia and Penny’s Movie Recomendations:

The Lorax

Sing

The Aristocats

7. Build a Den

One person can make a pretty awesome den, but a whole family can make an epic CASTLE DEN!

Use cardboard boxes, chairs, blankets or sheets, couch cushions, pillows, clothes pins, and more to create a huge pillow fort to hang out in.

If you can, try stringing in twinkle lights and create a truly magical space that would be great for bedtime stories.

8. Movie Marathon

Another cold, rainy day idea.

Get comfy. Grab the biggest duvet in the house, dress in your snuggliest clothes and watch a movie series for a day with lots snacks and finger food.

My brother and I did this with the Lord of the Rings director’s cut.

Lasted over 10 hours.

Wouldn’t do it again, but it was epic and I’m glad we have that memory.

9. Learn Sign Language

Sign language is a very useful language to know, and it is actually a lot of fun to learn.

I used baby signing with both of my girls and it was so helpful. As they’ve gotten older, my youngest, Penny, still uses signs here and there and I’ve come to realise this would still be a useful skill when you are trying to say something on the sly or in a quiet place without disrupting anyone.

It would also come in especially handy if you encountered someone that speaks sign language. BSL and Makaton would be the most common here.

You can use books and/or online tutorials, help each other practice, and even try going a whole day communicating with just sign!

10. Film For A Day

Use your phones, or an old camcorder to document a whole day with your family. Give everyone a turn doing the filming (and taking stills, too)- even the little ones as the perspectives are interesting to say the least!

Then you can edit the clips and photos into a fun family movie.

If you have an iPhone you can throw the clips into a new album and have your phone make the movie, which is the fasted option.

You can also use iMovie or other film editing apps to create a movie complete with music, effects, and text.

As the years go by, it will be fun to look back and remember what a fun day you had, and how you lived at that time.

11. Dance Party

Make a playlist with everyone’s favorite songs and have big dance party!

Go crazy and have fun just shaking out all your troubles. You will get a great workout for it, too!

Feeling especially bold? Try an online dance class and learn a routine as a family. Just search for things like “beginner’s hip hop class” or ballet, or tap, or salsa, etc.

If you practice enough, you could film your family and become the next internet sensation!

12. Exercise!

Exercise may not sound like a fun family day, but it’s so important for us as parents to stay healthy to keep up with our kids and instill in them the importance of keeping our bodies healthy.

Pilates and Yoga are fantastic ways to help with flexibility and fitness.

Start with beginner positions, and practice daily until everyone is super comfortable with learning gradually more complex positions.

Olivia is three and absolutely loves doing “Tree” pose and showing off her balancing skills. She loves the novelty of doing things on my yoga mat.

Hopefully, as things open back up, classes like the family yoga class at the National Trust’s Quarry Bank will return.

If you want a fun exercise class and are in the North West, Mama Fit offers a Family Fit class where the entire family can come along for a fun workout. You can even download the app for FREE workouts you can do at home!

Other ways to sneak in exercise is a trip to Inflata Nation. If you have older kids an outing to be Ninja Warriors will be a fun challenge as well.

If you can’t get out of the house at the minute, Sky has a free fitness channel and Cbeebies has Oti’s Boogie Beebies which is great for families with toddlers, and there’s always YouTube.

13. Picnic

This can be indoor or outdoor, depending on the weather. Pack up some food, drinks, snacks, pillows, and blankets. Then set up a nice little picnic spot in your house or back garden!

Picnics are always a lot of fun and much more relaxing than a typical formal meal at a table.

This easily combines with pizza and a movie day, too.

If the weather is nice and you can get out of the house, National Trust sites are amazing places to picnic. Many have designated areas, and most have beautiful gardens with wide expanses of green grass, perfect for picnics.

If you don’t have a family membership, yet, it’s well worth the investment!

14. Make Cards or Write Letters

There’s something special about getting something in the mail-aside from bills!

Writing a letter to family members like grandparents or cousins is a fun way to keep in touch and bring a smile to their face.

Finding someone to become pen pals with can also be fun, especially if you are learning another language. You can find someone learning English and practice. (This might be better over email though).

Letters and cards can mean so much to elderly in nursing homes and troops overseas. Make some handmade cards with happy messages, write some kind letters, or send post cards from a recent trip to senior homes and military bases.

This is a wonderful way to boost morale and spread love to people who may be lonely and discouraged.

15. Fashion Show

Let the kids try on some old clothes from your closet, and make the craziest outfits they can think of.

Then, the parents can pretend to be fashion show judges and score everyone’s costumes.

The judges can even have their own eccentric outfits on for extra fun!

16. Silly Talk Time

Creating a safe space for your kids to talk to you can start with something as simple as silly discussions.

Using Mad Libs to create silly stories as a family can lead to a lot of fun banter at the end of each round.

Try Would You Rather?

It’s a small book with ridiculous either, or choices you have to make. Tons of fun to be had discussing the pros and cons of each option and why each person picked what they did.

You may be feeling creative by then and make up your own.

(Opening up lines of communication whether silly like this or casual discussions during a meal will make your kids more comfortable telling you the serious stuff, too, as you’ve already created that safe, loving open communication).

17. Tie Dye

Tie dye is a lot of fun, and is also a great outlet for creativity! You can tie dye just about any article of clothing, and there are a million ways to tie and dye them!

You can even use fruits, vegetables, herbs and other natural ingredients to use for the dye keeping the process non-toxic and better for the environment.

Once they are all finished, you will have a great memory every time you wear whatever you made!

Check out Rebecca Desnos ebook for getting the right colours using natural dyes.

18. Learn To Sew

Sewing is a skill that everyone should know because it comes in handy at some point in your life.

Just knowing how to sew on a button can be the difference between a wardrobe malfunction and a quick fix with no fuss.

Basic stitches are also good to know in any future fashion emergencies or for making your clothes last longer by being able to do things like darn socks.

Once you and your family have the basics, you can easily create stuffed toys out of old socks and tee shirts, doll clothes, and even upcycle old clothes into more trendy styles.

You may even find yourselves dabbling in altering or refashioning charity shop finds or making your own unique, fancy dress costumes.

YouTube is brilliant for finding basic, easy-to-follow videos.

19. Build Models

Order a model airplane, building, car, etc. and build it together as a family.

There are also amazing STEM kits out there where your family can learn basic coding and create functioning robots, catapults, etc.

Model building is an awesome way to learn about how things go together, how to work together as a team, and valuable skills for school.

20. Check Out Old Photo Albums and Make New Ones

Learning about family history is a great way to keep memories and traditions alive.

Great grandma’s sugo recipe will mean that much more if your kids have a face to place with the stories.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and they also preserve the memories of the past.

Take it to the next level and go through unappreciated photos that are probably sitting on your phone. Go through them as a family maybe a year at a time or a particular holiday and pick out your favourites. If more than one family member has photos of the day, share them all.

Once you have the best ones picked out, easily turn them into an album at Snapfish that you or future generations can flip through and see your story and memories. (Free up space on your devices, too)!

21. Make a Scrap Book

If you want to go beyond a family photo album, make a family scrapbook.

This is fun for capturing holidays where you may have not only photos, but tickets, bus passes, maps, theatre programs, etc.

Putting them all into one place adds more details to your family’s story than photos alone.

It’s also a fun way to document the past for future generations.

22. Life Sized Drawings

Piece together empty, flattened boxes, or the packing paper from Amazon and have someone lay down on it. Then you can trace around their body so you have a template.

Once that is done, everyone can work together to fill in the template with clothes, facial features, jewellry, shoes, etc., and make a life-sized drawing of the family member!

You can then cut it out and if that family member is ever out during a family meal or other family even, you can seat the cutout in his or her place, which is sure to get a laugh.

You can do this outdoors with chalk as well, which could easily freak your neighbours out depending what and where you draw!

23. Karaoke

Karaoke is a familiy activity that is sure to get lots of laughs.

Choose songs that everyone knows or has at least heard. Take turns, or try singing in duets and trios.

You can even hold a contest for silliest song/voice combo.

Bonus points for adding an interpretive dance!

24. Go for a Walk and Become Nature Explorers

Search for four leaf clovers. Four leaf clovers are rare so this can be a nice, relaxing, yet, time consuming activity.

If someone is lucky enough to find one, even better! You can also look for things like spider webs, buttercups, daisies, dandelions, worms, bugs, etc.

Bring along some binoculars to spot some birds or their nests!

If you have dice or some index cards you can put a different colour on each side and take turns rolling the die or drawing a card. Whatever colour is picked, that’s the colour everyone has to look for in nature.

Take a break to lay in a field and watch the clouds go by. What shapes does everyone see?

Use your senses to look for shapes, listen for sounds, notice smells, feel the grass or notice the ground beneath your feet. If you happen upon a café or chip shop, feel free to explore taste, too!

Make the walk the highlight and not the destination.

25. Make A Critter House

A typical birdhouse can be a home for lots of animals besides birds!

Chipmunks, squirrels, mice, and other small mammals can also make their homes in birdhouses.

This is a great way to keep these little guys warm and sheltered in the rain or cold that may be coming up where you live.

If you don’t have the supplies, there are some lovely kits that can be easily assembled and decorated online.

You can make a simple bird feeder with items around the house as well.

Your family will begin to notice your garden coming to life as well as give critters a safe haven from bad weather.

26. Play In The Rain

Rain is usually an excuse to stay indoors, but you can have a lot of fun stomping in puddles and playing in the mud.

Grab some wellies, rain gear, and an umbrella and enjoy.

If you are out and about, be sure to have a spare set of clothes for everyone.

If you are at home, finishing off with cups of tea and hot chocolate is a relaxing way to dry off and warm up!

Feel free to create your own family rendeition of Singing in the Rain!

Just make sure there is no lightning.

27. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get the brain to pay attention and be mindful of it’s surroundings as well as getting bodies moving.

It does require a little advance planning on the parents’ part but there are so many ways to set up a scavenger hunt.

You can theme it by color, size, room, and more! Set a time limit if you have older kids; and make sure if you have younger kids, that they can have fun by making it simple enough for them or teaming them up with older kids and adults.

Working in teams like kids vs. adults makes things more fun as well.

28. Paint Rocks

Have everyone find a cool rock outside. Then paint pictures on the rock or paint them to look like an object or animal. For example, a lumpy rock might be shaped like a toad so, you can paint legs and eyes and spots on it to make it look like a real toad!

Take your rocks to the park and hide them for others to find and appreciate.

29. Volunteering

Volunteering is so underrated given that it gives you the same kind of dopamine rush as shopping!

Volunteering is a great way to bring joy to your family without spending money on things you don’t need but get out of boredom. (You won’t have the after-purchase let down and buyer’s remorse either)!

Sit down together and decide on a cause you would like to support from working at a foodbank, helping at a Special Olympics event, or doing a beach clean up there are so many opportunities to do something positive for your community.

30. Quiet Time

Kids (and adults) can benefit from having down time. When life is too go, go, go it can lead to burnout. You wind up with kids (and adults) that are overly stressed or anxious, which is the last thing we want to cause.

Quiet time is an opportunity for the kids to think, play by themselves, and give mom and dad a break to do the same!

Make it a break from screens as well.

Here are a few ideas to try for quiet time:

Puzzles

Word search

Reading

Daydreaming

Listening to music on headphones

Laying outside and looking for shapes in the clouds

The idea is to do these activities as a family and not just something to send the kids off to do. One of the reasons many of us strive for a simpler lifestyle is so we can have more time with the people that matter, doing things to make memories to last a lifetime.

 Just be creative and have fun with it, and it will be a wonderful thirty days (not necessarily in a row) of affordable, family activities the whole family will love-and more importantly-remember!

34 of the Best Sustainable Swimwear Brands in the UK for your Whole Family

Eco friendly swimsuit brands UK

Summer is here and even if it only means sunbathing and paddling pools in the back garden, you still will want your natural sunscreen and some eco-friendly swimwear.

Choosing sustainable swimwear is just as important as making sustainable fashion choices for the rest of your wardrobe. The materials used make an impact on the environment and the labour involved still needs to be considered.

Unfortunately, with “Sustainable,” “Eco-Friendly,” “Environmentally Friendly,” “Ethically Made,” the official new buzzwords for getting sales a lot of greenwashing happens.

I compiled a list of almost 80 brands that have shown up in my sustainable swimwear searches.

Let me tell you! There are a lot of companies that say they are ethical or sustainable but have nothing to back it up.

Luckily, the guesswork and research has been done for you. I went through each brand and looked at materials, sustainability practices and policies and sent a few emails asking for clarification.

What I ended up with was a list of brands that I am comfortable recommending to you and you get a chance to have stylish swimwear for your whole family with minimal cost to the planet.

If you choose to grab rash guards for your family, you can enjoy SPF 50 protection without the hassle of reapplying sunscreen.

You will also reduce the amount of sunscreen you do use by about half which is less chemicals (good or bad) going into the water. (Saves you money, too!)

This page may contain some affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See below for full disclosures.

Find out more about Sustainable Sunscreens in the UK.

Quick List of Sustainable UK Swimwear Brands for Your Family

What Makes a Brand Sustainable?

When looking at sustainable brands it helps to look at all the things a company would need to be sustainable.

The UN has a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals that offer a great basis for companies to base their sustainability on particularly Goal 12.

Sustainable brands will be ones that are transparent in working conditions (including child labour and anti-slavery statements), materials used, environmental impact-energy, water, chemicals, and waste management.

No matter what brand you consider purchasing, swimwear or general clothing, a truly sustainable brand will be proud of their sustainable credentials and flash them on their website like the badges of honour they are.

If the brand does not have a sustainability section, there’s a good chance there is a reason for that, and it would be a brand to avoid or even better call out in an email or social media platform asking why.

There are no perfect brands (yet) that I have come across and even Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index failed to find a brand/company that was 100% transparent in their practices.

What the brands in this list do have are sustainable materials, low carbon footprints for shipping to the UK, and pay workers at every level a living wage.

Some brands go above and beyond that. Some are Certified B corporation, while others make donations to charities that help fight things like ocean pollution. Some brands even offer recycling schemes that create a closed-loop business model.

Sustainable Fabrics

When looking for a sustainable brand, you also want to look at what materials and fabrics are being used.

ECONYL is one of the most sustainable material for swimwear. It is made from recycled nylon that could have been anything from discarded and ghost fishing nets, fabric scraps, and even carpet flooring.

The regenerated nylon is infinitely recycled without losing any integrity.

REPREVE is another sustainable fabric made from plastic bottles and they have recycled over 20 billion so far.

Brands that avoid print placement will save fabric waste and each piece will be unique as well.

When looking at sustainability for fabrics, look for OEKO-TEX and GOTS certifications.

The Price of Sustainability

The prices of these brands sometimes will be higher than the brands not on the list and for good reason.

The cost is often reflective of the true cost of making the clothes and the people who gather the material, sew it, and get it to you are paid fairly. Most of these brands also produce the swimwear in small batches to avoid waste but still be able to guarantee a set amount to the factories making them.

You will also pay more for quality and the swimwear brands recommended below often are made to mix and match as well as being designed in classic styles that can be worn year after year.

And that is where you come in as a sustainable consumer.

Buy your swimwear with the intention that you are going to wear it year after year until it wears out.

Buying new every year is not sustainable especially given how few times you wear swimsuits in a summer. Ideally you will look for a classic style and colours that can be mixed and matched creating different looks.

For many brands your swimwear will need to be preordered. This is a good indicator that the swimwear is made in small batches as they get the numbers before they place the order with their factories. This is an effective way to create less waste.

For your kids it’s a different story because of how fast they grow which makes brands, like Noma, appealing because the swimwear is gender neutral so it can be passed down to siblings. (It is also why I specifically mention a certain brand at the end that is sure to raise some eyebrows).

Caring for Your Swimwear

No matter what swimwear you buy, sustainable or not, chances are it’s made out of synthetic materials that will shed microfibres in your washing machine. Those microfibres are what ends up polluting our water supply with plastic.

One way to combat this is to grab a Guppy Friend. You pop your swimwear (or any other synthetics) into the bag and wash as stated on the tags. If your clothes shed any microfibres, the bag will catch close to 90% of them which you can properly dispose of after the wash. The bag also helps prevent fibre loss in the first place because of the bags smooth material extending the life of your garments.

You can also try a Plastics LUV-R which is a more expensive option, however you don’t have to separate your laundry as it’s a filter that attaches to your washer. It is a reusable filter that you clean/empty every couple of loads and it catches 87% of the plastic fibres being washed away from your clothes.

Every bit helps us ultimately drink less plastic.

3 Notes on the Sustainable Swimwear Brands Listed

1. The companies listed below want you to consciously buy quality pieces meant to last years. Most of the companies allow returns or exchanges within a specified time frame, but in many cases, the returns are not free and must be done so in as soon as 7 days.

Again, they want you to be confident you are buying what you want…what you really, really want. 

Obviously, if sizing is an issue, return it, but ideally you would try to be as accurate as possible to reduce the carbon footprint of all the transporting.

2. The prices are based on new, full price (not sale) items and based on a whole swimsuit- top and bottom at the time of this publishing.

If you only need a top or bottom, then you would obviously pay less for the piece you need. Most brands also have sale items available, which will be less than the prices listed here.

3. If you choose to buy outside of the UK, remember there will also be foreign transaction fees if it’s in Euros or Dollars, as well as possible customs charges that you will need to be aware of. I tried to keep the list as UK based as possible, but want to make sure you have enough options to choose from so kids’ and men’s swimwear may be located in the EU.

So, without further ado, here are sustainable brands that you can feel good purchasing from without wreaking havoc on the planet.

Sustainable Swimwear Brands for Babies and Kids

Noma Swimwear

£18 and up

Sizes 6m-14y

Based in the UK, Noma offers swimwear (and hats!) for babies and kids sized 0-12y. The swimwear is made from 78% Econyl and they’ve just recently added boardshorts made from 100% recycled bottles, too. Noma also offers a swimwear recycling scheme!

The swimwear is made up of rash guards and swim short combos in gender neutral colours which makes it perfect for passing swimwear down to siblings.

If you have other swimwear you can always grab a rash guard to get some added sun protection without having to keep reapplying sun cream.

Eco friendly swimwear for kids uk

Image used with written permission.

Frugii

£14 and up

Sizes 0-10y

Made in factories in India, Turkey, Portugal, and China. Frugii products are then sailed to the UK for distribution. They makes swimwear for babies and kids up to 10y in fun colours and patterns with Oeko-Tex approved fabric that can be mixed and matched depending on how much coverage you want for your littles.

They also offer GOTS certified organic cotton hooded towels and robes for when your littles need a break from the water.

eco friendly swimwear for kids uk

Image used with written permission.

Kite Clothing

£18 and up

Sizes 0-11y

Kite clothing is based in the UK and uses only sustainable materials in not only their swimwear, but clothing as well. They use recycled bottles, GOTS organic cotton and other fabrics that are Oeko-Tex certified.

The patterns on the swimwear are so sweet and they offer sunhats, too.

eco friendly swimwear for kids uk

Image used with written permission.

Mori

£15 and up

Sizes 3m-4y

Mori manufactures their swimwear in Turkey and uses 79% recycled nylon. The swimwear is great for littles because of the full coverage and SPF 50 protection of the swimwear.

Mori also has a recycling scheme called the Kindness Project. They take back any of your outgrown, used Mori items and create packages for families in need and whatever can’t be used gets recycled. You also get a discount on your next purchase which is helpful if going up a size.

If you need other clothes, Mori also has a line of organic cotton and bamboo clothing.

Mini A Ture

€30 and up

Sizes 0-12y

Mini A Ture is a company based in Denmark and their swimwear is made with 100% REPREVE. Even though it’s a European based country, their sustainability transparency is just so good. They are certified by GOTS, Oeko-Tex, as well as BLUESIGN and BSCI which monitor the working conditions in the supply chain.

The company also donates to Sunway Children’s home in India and Red Barnet a children’s organisation in Denmark.

The patterns are absolutely precious, so whether you are buying swimwear or clothes, you can feel good about making a purchase here.

eco friendly swimwear for kids uk

Image used with written permission.

Zoggs

£12 and up

Sizes 0-14y

Zoggs is an Australian company that ships worldwide. Though it carries more competitive style swimwear and equipment, they also offer a leisure range of swimwear as well. 80% of their swimwear range is made from EcoLast which is their own brand of recycled material using plastic bottles and fishing nets.

Zoggs also carries swimming nappies, float suits, and maternity suits along with their adult range.

Eco friendly swimwear for kids uk

Image used with written permission.

Noenael

€39 and up

Sizes 1y-8y

Noenael is based in Germany and makes their swimwear from Econyl. They run their website with 100% hydropower and do everything they can to keep their carbon footprint low.

The downside is that they generally only ship in Germany; however, you can request to have items delivered outside of Germany.

Is it worth the extra cost? That’s up to you, but if you are lucky enough to live in Germany, this is a lovely company for sustainable children’s swimwear. They even have mum sizes so you can match your littles if you wanted to.

Adidas

£12 and up

Sizes 0-Adult

Adidas is one of the only big brands that I feel comfortable recommending. They are a bit more transparent in their supply chain and doing more to ensure that workers throughout the chain are doing so in safe conditions and paid fairly. They are also a signatory of ZDHC, meaning they are working to zero hazardous chemicals in their supply chain.

While it takes more that that to be a sustainable brand including things like waste, water, and energy management, sustainable materials, etc. Adidas is trying to address those issues and is working on a more closed loop system including recycled running shoes. A brand this large may take all 30 years to figure it out, but at least they are working on it.

Every brand needs to be working on it.

When it comes to Adidas swimwear just BEWARE not all of the swimwear is made from recycled materials. You have to look for the ones specifically labelled as such.

Sustainable Swimwear Brands for Men

Finisterre

£50 and up

Sizes 28W-36W

Finisterre is an amazing company to purchase from. They are a Certified B Corporation, use 100% Econyl for their swimwear and even offer a repair service for wetsuits and jackets. They have a wide range of clothing for men and women as well and only use organic cotton.

They were also the runner up for Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020 Brand of the Year.

Love Brand & Co.

£100 and up

Sizes S-XXL

Love Brand & Co. are made with 100% recycled polyester all the way down to the labels in tags. The swim trunks are dyed using dye-sublimation which produces zero waste and removes the need for water in the printing process. They are designed in the UK and made in Spain and your swimwear will be delivered in recycled packaging with carbon offets applied.

My favourite part, well one of them, is their “Trunks for Trunks.” Love Brand & Co. are a part of ‘1% for the Planet’ and in their case they donate to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, specifically with their Orphan’s Project where they raise elephants orphaned due to poaching, human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss and drought. They have successfully raised 260 baby elephants so far.

My other favourite part is that dads and sons can have matching swimwear. (They carry lovely, flowy resort wear for mum, too).

eco friendly swimwear for men uk

Image used with written permission.

Patagonia

£55 and up

Sizes S-XXL

Patagonia uses recycled polyester, nylon and Fair Trade materials. They donate 1% of their sales (over $100 million so far) to saving the planet and have supported over 1,000 groups working to save the planet. They also offer a repair and recycling scheme for all of their products creating a closed loop system.

Patagonia has a children’s swimwear range but is only available in the US at this time.

Vissla

€69 and up

Sizes 28W-38W

Vissla is a French based company that uses 100%  REPREVE and CocoTex in their swimwear.

If you are into water sports and need a wetsuit, they also offer a more sustainable neoprene wetsuit that uses limestone and rubber tyre waste. Their dope dying process also uses less water and energy. Vissla is BLUESIGN certified, too.

eco friendly swimwear for men uk

Image used with written permission.

Riz Boardshorts

£90-100

Sizes 30W-38W

Made in the EU and UK, Riz Boardshorts digitally print their materials creating less hazardous waste than traditional dyes. The materials are 100% recycled and they are produced in small batches to reduce waste.

They also offer a recycling scheme of all of their boardshorts and give you 25% off your next purchase for it creating a closed loop business model.

eco friendly swimwear for men uk

Image used with written permission.

Sustainable Swimwear Brands for Women

Ahhhh, ladies, we have so many more options when it comes to sustainable swimwear and given that we’ve had all of our major growth spurts already, there really is no excuse not to purchase a sustainable swimsuit that you can wear year after year. Happy hunting.

Ruby Moon

£55 and up

Sizes XS-XL

Ruby Moon is made in the UK and Spain and is the only not-for-profit swimwear company! Not only are they using 100% sustainable materials, they specifically address the UN’s 17 SDGs.

Their range of swimwear is labelled Gym to Swim because everything doubles as gym wear and swimwear so it can do double duty in the off season.

eco friendly swimwear for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Stay Wild Swim

£120 and up

Sizes 6-18UK

Stay Wild Swim is manufactured in the UK using 100% Econyl. Awarded Drapers Ones to Watch Award as an up and coming company built on sustainable practices. They pride themselves on operating a small factory with zero waste. They use carbon neutral shipping and sustainable materials for the clothing, the tags, and the packing materials.

Davy J

£50 and up

Sizes 8/10-16/18UK

Davy J is another Made in England brand that uses 100% Econyl in their swimwear. The swimwear is designed to be active in without any wardrobe malfunctions. At the end of your swimsuit’s useful life they have a recycling scheme and take back any of their old swimwear to be recycled or repurposed creating a closed-loop company.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Deakin & Blue

£95 and up

Sizes 8-18 plus by bra size AA-HH

Deakin and Blue is made in small batches in London using 100% Econyl. They work with Oeko-Tex suppliers to ensure fair pay and minimal waste. They use sustainable packaging all the way down to soy-based ink.

Each piece also has a #BraHijack label reminding you to check for breast cancer. They also donate to marine conservation organisations.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Pursuit the Label

£90 and up

Sizes 6-18UK

Pursuit the Label is made in the UK in small batches using 100% Econyl. Most swimwear is preorder which is a good indicator that they only make what they can sell so no excessive waste. There is 0 plastic in their packaging.

Pursuit’s goal is for you to buy quality not quantity.

Lula Ru

£145 and up

Sizes 8-14UK

Lula Ru is a small company producing their swimwear in small batches in London. The company uses EUROJERSEY which is a fabric company that closely monitors their production line in efforts to reduce waste, water and energy usage and chemicals. All the materials are sent in reusable canvas bags so no plastic waste there! The company also donates to charitable causes and is working towards being carbon neutral.

Though not recycled material (yet) this company is a start up with big plans for sustainability. All the swimsuits are designed to be mixed and matched. Instead of buying a whole new suit, Lula Ru makes it easy to change your look with a simple accessory swap.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Kymina Farrah

£75 and up

Sizes 8-16UK

Kymina Farrah makes their swimwear in small batches in London using 91% Econyl in their swimwear. When your swimwear reaches the end of it’s life, you can send it in to be recycled and get a 10% discount on your next purchase.

The styles are minimal and based on styles from past decades, the 50’s inspired Sophia is my personal favourite, but I would wear any of them.

eco friendly swimwear for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Holiday Romance

£32 and up

Sizes 8-16 UK

Holiday Romance is an England based company that produces their swimwear in small batches. They use Econyl in their swimwear and do admit it’s not 100% yet. Their fabric is however OEKO-TEX certified. They also use sustainable packaging. The styles can be mixed and matched and they have a cute puff-sleeved bikini top that could easily double as festival-wear.

What’s especially unique is if you are having trouble getting the right size, Holiday Romance offers a customisation service and can work with you to get the right fit.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Stidston

£88 and up

Sizes 6/8-12/14 UK

Stidston is made in England in small batches using Econyl and other pre and post-consumer waste. They also offer clothing made from TENCEL and Linen. Stidston also avoids print placement which reduces waste material trying to cut everything the same.

Finisterre

£80 and up

Sizes 8-16 UK

Finisterre is an amazing company to purchase from. They are a Certified B Corporation, use 100% Econyl for their swimwear and even offer a repair service for wetsuits and jackets. They have a wide range of clothing for men and women as well and only use organic cotton.

What’s especially fun is some of the swimwear is reversable, so it’s like getting two for the price of one!

They were also the runner up for Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020 Brand of the Year.

Patagonia

£95 and up

Sizes XS-XL

Patagonia uses recycled polyester, nylon and Fair Trade materials. They donate 1% of their sales (over $100 million so far) to saving the planet and have supported over 1,000 groups working to save the planet. They also offer a repair and recycling scheme for all of their products creating a closed loop system.

Patagonia also has reversable swimwear available, so it’s like two swimsuits for the price of one. If you buy a bikini it’s 4 swimsuits!

Patagonia has a children’s swimwear range, but at the time of this writing it’s only available in the US.

Bower Swimwear

£145 and up

Sizes 6/8-12/14 UK

Bower was a Finalist in Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020 for Brand of the Year. They use Econyl fabric for their swimwear and donate 1% of every purchase to Healthy Seas.

They use sustainably sourced packaging, a small factory in Italy to make the swimwear and their resort wear is made from linen and cotton in limited quantities to reduce waste.

eco friendly swimwear for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Fisch

$135 and up

Sizes 6/8-12/14 UK

Fisch is a small US company that uses Econyl fabric sent from Italy. If you order directly from their site your swimwear would then ship from the US. The shipping footprint would be huge, but you can find the swimwear on Net-A-Porter and Matches which will help until the company sets up an EU fulfilment centre once the market has grown for it.

Ohoy

€90 and up

Sizes 8-14 UK

Ohoy uses 100% Econyl in their swimwear and uses a small family-run factory in Sri Lanka to make the swimwear. They make the swimwear in small batches to guarantee a set amount of work for the factory and any waste material they have is repurposed for children’s toys.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Arkitaip

£135 and up

Sizes 6/8-12 UK

Arkitaip use 80% recycled materials and 100% Econyl liner for their swimwear. This is really a neat swimwear company as the swimwear is handmade, crochet swimwear! The crochet style makes the swimsuit tops easily double as festival wear or pair it with a flowy BoHo skirt.

The factory for their clothing is based in Portugal and they are really transparent in their working conditions- fair pay, 1 hour lunches and half days on Fridays. They have many plans moving forward including a recycling scheme by 2028.

Their clothing line is 100% Linen and is certified by Masters of Linen.

Please note if you order a bespoke item, it’s a final sale and not eligible for returns.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Batoko

£50 and up

Sizes 6-20UK

Batoko uses 100% Econyl. The company is based in England and ships from China which is a bigger shipping footprint but they are a micro company in China and make all of the swimwear in small batches.

They are super transparent about their supply chain and the prints are fun and funky. Despite the distance, this brand is a good one.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image by Brooklyn Stone used with written permission.

UND Swimwear

€140 and up

Sizes 8-12 UK

UND Swimwear is made in small batches in Italy using 100% Econyl. The brand itseld uses suppliers that take other aspects of the environment like energy, water, and waste usage into consideration as well as having a low carbon footprint.

UND also prides itself in having non-seasonable clothing. The reason fast fashion is fast is the constant changing of product. UND specifically addresses that by slowing down how fast their items change.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Casa Raki

£75 and up

Sizes 6/8-12/14

Casa Raki makes their swimwear in small batches in an all-women run factory in Portugal using Econyl in their swimwear and GOTS and Oeko-Tex certified fabrics for their clothing. They offer tips to their customers on caring for their garments to make them last as well as ideas for what to do when they finally reach the end of their usefulness.

Lilliput and Felix

£95 and up

Sizes 8-14 UK

Lilliput and Felix is another brand that makes it’s swimwear in small batches in Portugal using Econyl and recycled fibres. They are members of the Sustainability Alliance making sure their packaging is sustainable and they also received the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark for social and environmental sustainability.

My favourite part is they donate unused fabrics and trims to schools, charities and local projects to avoid waste.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Evarae Itea

£210 and up

Sizes 6/8-14/16 UK

Evarae Itea offers swimwear made in Italy and clothing made in India. The swimwear is made in small batches using Econyl and they also offer a repair and recycle service making them a more circular business.

They also plant a tree for every online order they fulfil and they donate 2% of your total sale to various environmental and social justice charities.

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

Away that Day

£98 and up

Sizes 6-14 UK

Away That Day’s Econyl made swimwear is manufactured by a small family run business in Bali. You can even see a picture on their site of one of the women making your swimwear using Fashion Revolutions #Imadeyourclothes.

Their packaging is compostable and the tissue used to pack your clothing is from a sustainable company that contributes to global reforestation.

aava

€95 and up

Sizes 6-18 UK

AAVA swimwear is made in small batches in the EU using 78% Econyl. The swimwear is then shipped in recycled cotton pouches that you can keep and reuse and the mailer is reusable and compostable.

1 People

£79 and up

Sizes S-XL

1 People make their swimwear (and activewear) using in Bali and Denmark using Econyl along with Pinatex and Tencel which are all GOTS certified and Oeko-Tex certified.

1 People uses plant-based dyes on their materials which will have less of a chemical impact on the environment. This is one brand that specifically tells you that the materials used do not contain harmful chemicals which is reassuring. They also have posted their certificate for the UNs carbon offsetting and have offset the equivalent of 14 tonnes of CO2 so far.

Aside from being good for the planet, you can see a little donation icon next to the products that let you know how much is being donated to their Business for the Planet program aimed at fighting poverty by helping “new, social businesses get off the ground by providing them advice, access to networking opportunities, micro-loans and so much more.”

eco friendly swim suits for women uk

Image used with written permission.

The Company I am Hesitant to Bring Up (But Did Anyway)

So, I am a realist and realise that while spending triple digits for adult swimwear is justifiable (I think) because adults generally aren’t changing sizes every year (and you should be buying swimwear with the intention of using it until it falls apart), I realise that not everyone has the luxury of spending £50 on swimwear for their kids to wear one season. They just grow fast.

So, what’s the brand?

The H&M Group.

I almost cringe typing it because I know what you are thinking- they are one of the stores that screams fast fashion with the huge amounts of stock that constantly changes. It’s one brand people point to for greenwashing. It generally gets a bad rap.

I’m sure I’ll get crap for putting it on this list, but hear me out.

Yes, it does fall into that category of fast fashion, however, there is a lot of good to be said about the H&M group which also includes, Arket and Monki

Out of the hundreds of brands on Fashion Revolutions 2020 Fashion Index, H&M Group was the highest rated company for transparency.

Their 2019 sustainability report is 85 pages and more thorough than some of the brands listed above. They address things like reducing water usage (7% since 2017, not great but in the right direction with a goal of 25% by 2022). They address eliminating toxic chemicals from all of their lines by 2020 and are signatory members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme (same as Adidas).

Because of the sheer size of the company (over 1.1 million in their supply chain) and the amount of factories and suppliers H&M Group uses it’s hard to say if they really treat and pay all of their worker’s fairly, but they do have a Human Rights Policy, Modern Slavery Statement, and Child Labour Policy and are transparent in how many issues have been resolved in the past year (27).

H&M was also a finalist in Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020 for Best Supply Chain Initiative, Best Use of Technology for Good, and Progress Towards Circularity. H&M was also a finalist for Retailer of the Year.

It’s so hard to say yes, or no, to supporting these brands, but I would feel better purchasing from H&M than other fast fashion brands.

In the meantime, there is nothing that says you can’t send an email or tweet them directly, saying, “hey, I like your clothes, I appreciate your transparency, but what are you doing about your overproduction of fashion?” or “what are you doing to slow down your brand?”

If you are a parent with limited resources for swimwear and don’t have access to second-hand, H&M brands are better than competitors like Primark, Zara, and #BoycottBoohoo.

H&M and Arket offer swimwear for the entire family starting at £9 for children. Monki caters to women from around £20 and up.

Again, I know not everyone has the means to buy from the list above, which is the only reason I am recommending these brands.

The three stores offer clothing recycling schemes in store and take any brand in any condition with nothing going to landfill. I have used the service myself and just because they give you a £5 voucher to shop with later, it doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Armed with Information

Though it’s not an exhaustive list it, it should leave you with enough options to get some sustainable swimwear for your entire family at a pricepoint that works for you and the planet.

Hopefully, you also have an idea of what to look for in sustainability in your regular clothing brands as well as anything else you purchase new.

Let me know if I have left off any of your favourites in the comments below.