Rixo has launched 100% recycled swimwear just in time for summer

The British brand is dipping its toes into the swimwear pond for the first time in two years with its most conscious offering yet. Who knew green cozzies could look so good? 

Two years ago, independent British brand Rixo made a splash with its debut swimwear launch, which was snapped up by retailers around the world and swiftly sold out.

“The first season did so well and then, obviously due to Covid last year, we didn’t launch a summer collection,” Henrietta Rix, the brand’s co-founder, tells Stylist. “But then Orlagh hand-painted all of these gorgeous mermaid prints with lovely shells and colours and we just knew we had to do swimwear for it.”

Cue Rixo’s sophomoric swimwear collection, which launches today and is an 11-piece line comprised of swimsuits and bikinis, all of which are throbbing with the brand’s ‘future vintage’ DNA in an array of pretty prints and are made from 100% recycled materials.  

Rixo Jenny Bikini

It was important for Rixo’s founders to build on their eco-credibility with their second swimwear launch, and that came not only from crafting swimwear from recycled plastic, but also by working with only a handful of suppliers. While it’s commonplace for brands, particularly those with Rixo’s clout, to have a roster of hundreds of suppliers to meet their demands, McCloskey and Rix intentionally rely on only a few so as to build strong relationships within their supply chain and minimise the waste created by mass production.

“I get a bit fatigued from seeing brands talk about being sustainable in a way that feels like a marketing tool, you know?” says McCloskey. “It’s actually so much more than the material uses as well, it’s also about how brands work and the supply chain! Compared to when we started out, there’s so much more interest around consumption and sustainability which we love seeing.”

Rixo Mermaid Patchwork swimsuit

It’s not just their eco-credentials that the girls are building on. While Rixo, which London College of Fashion alumni Rix and McCloskey first launched in 2015 from their living room, has become revered for its easy-to-wear everyday dresses, its founders are clear on their intention of making it as size-inclusive as possible. The brand currently only offers its ready-to-wear pieces from a size UK 6 to UK 16 but, for the first time, from September, Rixo’s clothing will be available up to a UK size 20, a move which has been two years in the making.

“When we first launched, the factory would only allow us to place orders of small, medium and large,” says McCloskey. “It takes a lot of building relationships with your suppliers and ensuring you understand the fit and sizing as well as you can before they will often let you place an order for different sizing.” 

Rixo x Target

Indeed, inclusive sizing is of such priority for the founders, that they jumped at a recent opportunity of launching a diffusion line with American retailer Target, alongside burgeoning brands Christopher John Rogers and Alexis. The limited-edition collections were available in sizes XXS to 4X (UK size 24), with all pieces available to buy for under £60.

Part of the allure of the collaboration, a first of its kind for Rixo, was that Target’s design team promised to give McCloskey and Rix feedback on the most popular colourways and styles of the collection among their customer base, along with constructive criticism on how each piece could be improved. Rix and McCloskey both learned ways to improve their plus-size offering, and saw first-hand the appetite for more extensive Rixo sizing, which has further fueled their ambition.

“Our aim is to keep on doing as much as we can do and, even if we get criticism, we will keep on chipping away,” Rix adds. “We’re not going to give ourselves a pat on the back for extending our size range, we’re just trying to do as much as we can.”

Once the ready-to-wear is extended, swimwear will follow suit (it is launching with a size XS to XL, an equivalent of a UK size 6 – UK size 16-18 initially), with a view to eventually making all Rixo wares size-inclusive.

Despite the restrictions that the pandemic has placed on the fashion industry as a whole, Rixo is powering ahead. There’s been the launch of its debut bridesmaid dress collection, its first shoe collection, its conscious green swimwear launch, and next up is its first foray into outerwear with a range of vintage-inspired quilted coats and suede jackets that prove that Rixo has found its winning formula; future vintage done right.

Rixo Swim is now available to buy. Prices range from £125 – £155 and sizes range from XS – XL.

  • Rixo Rita swimsuit

    Rixo Rita swimsuit

    A classic black swimsuit is a warm weather essential; wear to swim during the day and under skirts in the evening as a bodysuit. 

    Shop Rixo Rita swimsuit, £145

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  • Rixo Tyra bikini

    Rixo Tyra bikini

    This slightly high-legged colourful mermaid-print bikini is just waiting to be debuted on the beach once the sun comes out to play.

    Shop Rixo Tyra bikini, £125

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  • Rixo Jane swimsuit

    Rixo Jane swimsuit

    Lilac is having a moment for summertime, so this pretty underwired swimsuit is the a perfect way of embracing the trend.

    Shop Rixo Jane swimsuit, £155

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  • Rixo Kristen swimsuit

    Rixo Kristen swimsuit

    In a summer-ready coral hue, this pretty swimsuit would make the perfect addition to any beachwear line-up.

    Shop Rixo Kristen swimsuit, £125

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  • Rixo Jenny bikini

    Rixo Jenny bikini

    This pistachio-toned bikini is as pretty as it is practical. Pair your swimwear to your favourite ice cream!

    Shop Rixo Jenny bikini, £155

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  • Rixo Tyra bikini

    Rixo Tyra bikini

    It’s official: you’re going to want the Tyra bikini in every colourway it comes in. This pretty coral number will look lovely when paired with a sun-kissed glow and an ice-cold glass of rosé.

    Shop Rixo Tyra bikini, £125

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  • Rixo Jane swimsuit in Pearl Shell

    Rixo Jane swimsuit in Pearl Shell

    With a pretty but pared-back print, tuck this flattering halterneck swimsuit under skirts and sarongs to take you from day-to-dusk with minimal effort.

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Images: courtesy of Rixo and Target.

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