NAECO: Upcycling our Oceans

Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to your new favourite luxury sustainable swimwear brand, NAECO.


Winner of the DHL Fashion Potential Award 2019, NAECO – which is OCEAN spelled backwards – is already making waves in the fashion industry and with the prize of £20,000, founder and CEO Zak Johnson is poised to expand their offering and take the brand global in 2020.


NAECO’s story is genuinely awe inspiring. While working on a contract in Bournemouth Johnson took up Kite Surfing in his spare time. Spending so much time on the beach and in the water, he became acutely aware of the amount of plastic that was polluting the sea and being washed up on beaches and decided that he had to do something about it. He set about researching the various ways he could potentially reuse the plastic and after considering everything from kitchen tiles to road covering, he hit upon fabric.


Unlike other brands that claim to be sustainable, NAECO actually is. NAECO doesn’t just use recycled plastic to make the material for their swimwear, NAECO only uses recycled plastic. Taking plastic that is specially fished from the Maldives and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Johnson devised a way to turn the plastic in to a polyester spun fibre that is then manipulated to make the final quality. This recycled yarn is then used to develop NAECOs signature buttery soft fabrics. Most importantly, NAECO’s fabric isn’t blended like most other recycled fabrics meaning it is truly, completely, 100% sustainable.



Available in black, navy, sea blue, reef red, living coral and their Endangered print, featuring 10 of the world’s most endangered sea creatures, NAECO Originals are hands down the softest and most comfortable swimwear I have ever worn. Each pair is made from 15 plastic bottles and features a premium double stitched mesh lining, meaning no restrictive elastic, and a concealed zip side pocket for your valuables, meaning no more forgetting where you buried your wallet in the sand. Adjustable side push studs mean you get the best fit possible and a double push stud front means they never slip.



The tailored style is classic and dries completely in 5 minutes, making them the perfect beach to bar short. The addition of belt loops was something that Johnson refused to compromise on, despite protestations from his team. His vision is that you will be as comfortable wearing your shorts to the bar, styled with a polo and accessorised with a belt and boat shoes, as you are to the beach. He really has considered every detail.


Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world, and one of the largest consumers of water. Last year Britons binned a shocking 300,000 tonnes of clothing worth a staggering £12.5 billion. That’s 300,000 tonnes of fast fashion that ended up in landfill at an average of £500 per household. The old adage of buy cheap, buy twice has never been more terrifying.


As consumers become more conscious about the impact that their choices have on the environment, brands are under increasing pressure to deliver sustainable clothing to their stores and it’s the likes of Johnson and NAECO who are blazing the trail.


Retailing at £185 per pair, NAECO offers a five-year guarantee on all its swimwear. Check out more from NAECO for yourself here.

Stewart Thurlow

Stewart Thurlow

I once shared a lift with Meryl Streep & Julianne Moore. Oh, & Victoria Beckham smiled at me. UK Editor for ADDICTED.
Stewart Thurlow