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There are bikinis marketed for those who love the aesthetics of the surf lifestyle, and there are bikinis marketed for those who surf. While I certainly have my love of both types of bikinis (I’m a minimalist when it comes to everything but swimwear), it’s much more challenging to find a bikini that’ll stay on when you’re taking a whole set on the head.
For the past few years, we’ve been asking our readers to send in their best surf brand recommendations to include in our sustainable surf swimwear guide. Dkoko was a name that regularly popped up on our radar.
Dkoko is a swimwear brand formed by two surf gals from Costa Rica who shared a passion for the ocean and a vision for a sustainable surf brand. Their bikinis are produced in a small workshop in Nicaragua.
Dkoko sent The Salt Sirens two swimsuits to review, the Seed One Piece in Regina and the Soul Two Piece. They’ve quickly worked their way to the top of my drawer and are the first ones I reach for before heading into the water.
Dkoko swimwear is made from stretchy ECONYL® 100% regenerated nylon from fishing nets and carpets. It behaves like nylon, but decreases CO2 emissions by 90% compared to nylon made from crude oil. Many pieces are made from fabrics that are ultra-soft, making them feel more like yoga attire than typical surf wear. It’s a grand departure from the ultra-tight lycra you might’ve swam in during your school years!
We love the versatility of their swimwear. Because many pieces don’t have a typical ‘swimwear’ look, take them to do yoga, go for a jog, wear as a crop top, body suit, etc.
Sustainability and Community
Aside from using ECONYL® 100% regenerated nylon, Dkoko is a small surf brand committed to decreasing their negative impact on the environment. Styles are feminine yet practical, designed to survive many surf sessions and seasonal trends. Each piece is handmade from a textile workshop in Nicaragua, where scraps are worked into packaging or limited edition pieces. All deliveries are carbon neutral.
Compare this to the nastiness of the fast fashion or mega-surf industry which lacks accountability when it comes to the treatment of their workers and the cost to the planet through sheer waste. According to a study from Princeton University, the fast fashion industry accounts for more annual carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined (The Impact of Fast Fashion on the Environment). Once a clothing item is no longer trendy or loses its shape due to low quality, consumers opt to toss it–and donations rarely make it to someone in need. This, plus cut outs going straight to landfill, make the fashion industry especially wasteful. Opting for long-lasting pieces from sustainable fashion brands helps combat this waste and overconsumption.
Dkoko is easily one of our favorite surf companies that’s nailed down the basics of building a sustainable swimwear brand. Their suits are some of the most comfortable around, and so far they’ve scored high marks out in the surf. The downside? Their pieces don’t come cheap, priced similarly to the mass-manufactured swimwear brands, around $45-65 USD for separates and $125-155 USD for one pieces. But, there are occasional sales and many of their pieces are staples you could work into your everyday wardrobe.