What’s the Eco-est Men’s Swimsuit of Them All?

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 19, 2010
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Summertime: time for Vintage.

We just got a little hell (see comments) for passing along a slideshow of eco-responsible swimsuits via Treehugger. Most of the comments railed, rightly I guess, at some of the prices. I said, well, if a fashionista spends her green dough on overpriced stuff that’s better for our planet, that’s Made in the USA, that’s fair labor…that better than spending dough on something bad for our Earth, bad for the laborers, shipping all over the place. Still, it’s hard not to see their point: spending big bucks on little swim suits? There’s gotta be better things to do with our green.

But one of the comments, I agreed with wholeheartedly. It echoed my own complaint—why no men’s swimsuits? Not even one?

Look, I’m a gent, and I like to wear eco-responsible duds…why zilch-all for me and my brothers?

Simple: men don’t spend.

Fact is, for years I ran ecofashion shoots for our elephant magazine, and it was always difficult to find ecofashion for the boys. Fact is, we don’t deserve too much ecofashion—I myself bought two pairs of American Apparel trunks a few years back (above), maybe $20 each (one was found used), and one vintage pair of swimtrunks, which are short, cut straight like old school James Bond in Thunderball style—and that’s been pullenty.

So, here’s the greenest swimsuit of ’em all, men: go vintage. You can find great board shorts, great swim trunks, whatever you like—at your local Buffalo Exchange or thrift store.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


8 Responses to “What’s the Eco-est Men’s Swimsuit of Them All?”

  1. George says:

    Patagucci makes a line of boardies from recycled single-use plastic bottles. Super functional and durable: I surf in mine when at such blessed spots and swim in 'em 3-4 times a week at my local bleached-out watering hole and they are holding strong.

  2. mary says:

    look up the regulations for french swimming pools…teeheeheeheehee

  3. Lisa says:

    I love the vintage idea, but the problem for vintage shopping for guys is that y'all wear your clothes out! There's way, way more vintage stuff available for women than for men.
    We could save a bunch of material if the long, long, long swimsuits for men would go away. Those boy-cut trunks are super-cute. I've had it with big and baggy (and they can't possibly feel good to swim in).
    My husband wears some rockin' boycut Speedos, but they've been discontinued and we're wondering what he's going to wear when this pair gives out. 🙁 I'll be keeping my eyes open at the vintage and thrift stores again this year.

  4. Howie says:

    The only true eco-friendly swimsuit is the birthday suit.

  5. holly troy says:

    Yay! Boys in bikinis!

  6. Marcus Hartsfield
    i like that photo!!!

    Skip Zilla
    Wearing nothing at all!

    Andra Bekerescu
    most eco-responsible is NO SWIMSUIT 🙂

    Robbie Stout
    Think of all the swimsuit catalogs that wouldn't have to be printed if we didn't wear swimsuits.

    Monica Longoria
    im with you there ANDRA!! LOL

    Pat Lynn Weston
    Ditto Andrea and Skip

    Darrin Buehler
    Yes, but doesn't eco-responsible have to play well with living a joyful, playful, sensual life? I like having something left to the imagination:)

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  8. […] years back. So did hipsters—I’ve got a great pair of shorty shorts, with swim liner, from American Apparel, and have for a few […]