Swiminista was Featured in SIERRA CLUB magazine.
In four decades of swimming, I went from racing champ to swim teacher to coach to lap swimmer; and, of course, none of it was accomplished without my suit. I’ve had heaps of them over the course of my swimming life, and even used their sun-bleached and stretched-out leftovers as “drag suits” (worn on top of a newer one) to create resistance in the water for training. After a point, they would literally degrade in my hands. Today, I squirm at the thought. The problem? Shedding plastic.
In order for a snug fit that doesn’t sag—or worse, fall off—during time in the water, suits are made with plastic-based synthetic fabrics that can stretch along with movements of the body. Nylon, spandex, and polyester excel at this feat. These fabrics are also versatile, excellent at wicking moisture, quick to dry, and much cheaper than natural fibers—the makings of fast-fashion nightmares. It’s no wonder that an estimated 65 percent of all fibers produced each year are synthetic, used in swimwear and other garments.