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Vegan rash guards should all be vegan. Okay, when we talk about vegan clothing, people usually expect us to talk about leather and wool alternatives. Though we should continue looking into those, we can consider how going vegan can benefit all branches of the textile industry. In this blog post, we will first discuss why you should consider vegan rash guards, even if you are a carnivore. We’ll also go over some questions you may have, as well as check out some of the best sustainable rash guards available today. Let’s go.
Why get vegan rash guards?
Rash guards don’t usually include animal-based materials, to begin with. Going out of your way to make sure they are 100% vegan has less to do with your lifestyle choices, and more with the environment.
When checking out that little white label, you’ll notice that all materials are synthetic. So far, so good. However, those synthetic materials share the same source with your car’s fuel – dinosaur juice.
Now, most vegans don’t argue how ethical is to use fossil fuels in the first place. Mostly because it’s difficult to quantify how many dinosaurs remains are actually in the oil, and how much of it are the ancient plants. But if that’s yet another thing that could keep you awake at night, you’re welcome.
What we can argue is the impact of oil drilling on the environment and how many animals lose their homes and their lives in the process. Most vegans who choose the lifestyle for ethical reasons are not cool with causing indirect harm to wildlife. And that’s only if we are talking solely about the drilling area, and somehow ignore the overall global impact.
If you are not vegan but still care about the environment, you have very little to ensure you are not contributing to the problem outside of looking for that vegan label.
An item of clothing is labeled as vegan if it doesn’t use animal-based materials or doesn’t directly harm animals during manufacturing. We have to concentrate on the second part since that means that the company has to make sure they use sustainable fabrics, environment-friendly dyes and chemicals, and they don’t dump their waste wherever they want.
With all the greenwashing, it’s impossible to tell what a company is doing as a PR stunt, what’s false advertising, and what’s the truth. Your best bet is to go vegan when you don’t have time to dive deep into research.
Plus, the vegan community acts like a watchdog over the industry and labeling. They are very likely to hit the pavement and thoroughly research the manufacturer. Then, they will call them out on social media for unethical practices. All that in less time than it would take a government agency to do its work.
Daci Women 2 Piece Rash Guard Long Sleeve Zipper Bathing Suit with Bottom Built-in Bra Swimsuit UPF 50
Daci will make several appearances on this list, and for a good reason. They are an overall great swimwear manufacturer that makes affordable, durable, and beautiful pieces.
These make it to the top of the list because the design and cut are superior to the others. That’s not to say they are not worth your time. It’s just that we have saved these top spots for the creme de la creme. Plus, the added zipper doesn’t hurt either.
The fabric is an 85% polyester, 15% spandex mix, and rated UPF 50+. It’s very durable and, as reported by many reviewers, known to stay in shape for years.
The top has a built-in underwire bra that should fit anyone up to the D-cup with no issues. It’s also easy to remove if you want to pair it with a sports bra or another swimwear top you already own.
The most fun part is the variety of colors and prints. We love all the stripes, polka dots, and flowers, but the solids look great as well.
XAKALAKA Women’s Plus Size Zip-Front Multicolor Striped Long Sleeve Tankini Rashguard Top S-XXXL
As mentioned above, our top spots had to go to the models with the most attractive, convenient, and innovative designs. It may not seem like you can do a lot to reinvent rash guards. In truth, you can make small changes and make the good thing even better.
To start with the Xakalaka entry, besides the awesome brand name, we have to talk about the size range. Size inclusivity is still an issue with many swimwear manufacturers, so they get a gold star for that.
Next, let’s talk about that bit of rushing at the bottom side seam. It may look like a decorative detail, but it works overtime to adjust the fit of the top so it can work with any body shape.
Finally, those designs. Our favorites are the Black Flo and Fireworks, but the rest of them are stunning as well.
These rash guards are 100% polyester, provide full sun protection, and are machine-wash-safe. According to reviews we’ve seen, many customers agree with us that they are also some of the best available.
AXESEA Women Rash Guard Long Sleeve Active Top UPF 50+ Rashguard Swim Shirt Surf Swimwear
These rash guards are made from a high-quality silicone fabric. It’s a very unusual choice for this garment, but you should still check it out. It’s great for those with very sensitive skin, less likely to develop mold even with improper care, and simply lasts longer. Of course, avoid it if you are allergic to silicone.
The cut and the fabric allow for full mobility and will suit all water and sun-related activities.
The color options are somewhat on the safe side. But you still can choose from plenty of brights and neutrals, as well as a few prints.
The reviews online are overwhelmingly positive. Many are impressed with this innovative fabric itself and are looking forward to future releases.
TSLA Men’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard, UV/SPF Quick Dry Swim Shirt, Water Surf Swimming Shirts
The material is 88% polyester and 12% elastane. It’s quick-dry, durable, and UPF 50+.
The fit is pretty snug, both across the torso and down the arms. However, they still provide plenty of mobility for all water sports and beach-related activities.
We saw some of the best reviews for these rash guards coming from the online community. One of the things that stands out the most is durability, but there were a few that we were not completely sold on the cut and the fit.
Kanu Surf Men’s Mercury UPF 50+ Short Sleeve Sun Protective Rashguard Swim Shirt
We swear those Kanu grays don’t look that murky in real life. Compiling this list, we had to say a lot about their photography, which will become very evident as you read on.
Their color palette leans a lot towards the neutrals, but they do have a few fun shades like the bright aqua and the fire-engine red.
If you can’t ignore the hues on your screen for now, please concentrate on the fact that each rash guard is completely machine-wash-safe. Usually, these guys should be hand-washed, but as long as you follow the instructions printed on the label, these will survive your regular laundry routine.
The fabric is 86% polyester and 14% spandex and UPF 50+. The fit is not very loose, especially around the arms. If that’s what you need and you like easy maintenance, we have another entry from this brand further down on the list.
Kanu Surf Women’s Keri Long-Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard
You can’t complain about the lack of options here. This model comes in a rich selection of solids, prints, neutrals, and brights. One of our favorites is called Darren Navy – a deep teal blue with a water lily prints on the sleeves., The print is so unusual for swimwear and more suitable for a classy summer dress. Yet, it works.
On a personal note, we can’t agree if we like or dislike the lack of visible topstitching, no matter if it’s due to practical or aesthetic issues. You can have a final vote on that. Online reviewers pretty much don’t care and are quick to comment on the quality and durability.
The material is 83% polyester and 17% spandex and is completely machine-wash-safe. However, still check the instructions on the label or follow our instructions in the FAQ section. The garment is rated UPF 50+.
LALAGEN Women’s Long Sleeve Sun Protection Rashguard Swimwear Athletic Tankini
The print and color options are a little limited. We would certainly love to see them expand this line since it rocks. However, what they offer to start with the athletic swimwear standards pushes them to the next level. Together with the following entry, it’s some of the best designs we’ve seen for women in 2022.
The materials are a combo of nylon and spandex. Each piece can be hand or machine-washed and it’s rated UPF 50+.
The shorts are a bit longer so they should work with most body shapes and activities. We don’t see any complaints in the reviews. Users are also happy with the look and durability.
However, the rash guards are not lined or have a built-in bra. You will have to supplement with a sports bra or swim top underneath.
CharmLeaks Women’s Long Sleeve Rashguard UPF 50 Sun Protection Swimsuit Top Striped Swim Shirts
Other than the stripes, they stick to the classic bright and neutral color palette. Each top is paired with high-cut black swimming panties.
The prints are 82% polyester and 18% spandex, while the solids are 82% nylon and 18% spandex. All are rated UPF 50+.
The set should be suitable for all body types and activities. We didn’t see any reviews suggesting otherwise. They are all positive and parrot our opinion on the design and make quality. However, a few reviewers mentioned they didn’t like the fit of the sleeves for swimming, so look into that before purchasing.
Kanu Surf Men’s Short Sleeve UPF 50+ Swim Shirt (Regular & Extended Sizes)
These budget-friendly shirts are made from high-quality 100% polyester and come with thousands of reviews that confirm their quality and durability. It’s UPF 50+ rated with a loose and comfortable fit. And unlike most of their competition, they are machine wash safe.
We made it sound like these rash guards are ugly, but they are just a bit plain. The color palette is safe, but still pretty vibrant. And unlike some men’s models that have interesting and decorative topstitching, these dare to include a few vibrant colors.
Daci Women Two Piece Rash Guard Long Sleeve Swimsuits UV UPF 50+ Swim Shirt Bathing Suit with Boyshort Bottom
These shorts are slightly longer and offer more coverage. As with all swimming shorts, the cut may not be ideal for all body types. Luckily, if this one doesn’t work for you, you can move on to the other entry. You will still have an amazing choice when it comes to prints.
And when it comes to those prints, they are gorgeous. You can pick anything from classic color blocking to vibrant tropical flowers and ethnic patterns. It’s a shame that they appear on the shorts only on three occasions, while the rest of them are plain black.
Our favorite is the polka dot. Even though it’s not new, it’s still super cute.
The fabric is 85% polyester and 15% spandex, rated UPF 50+. The fit is loose with a built-in underwire bra. The bra should comfortably fit anyone up to D-cup. Above that, you will have to try it in person. It’s what the reviews suggest while singing praises for the quality and design.
ATTRACO Women’s Swim Shirts Long Sleeve Rash Guard UPF 50 Sun Protection Swimsuit Top
You’ve probably seen these Attraco pieces in your social media feed. That’s because this budget line makes everyone look like a pro. Plus, the quality is absolutely amazing, especially when you consider the price.
The rash guards come in set with swimming pants. Their cut leans on the classic side, but that should not impede your mobility at all. They should also work great with all body types.
The tops feature secure flatlock seams and a loose fit. It’s rated UPF 50+ and should provide you full protection from UV rays no matter the activity. However, it doesn’t have a built-in bra.
All designs lean towards the color-blocking sporty look with a few prints in the mix. Some may find it plain, but you should still check out the navy and the coral.
As for the user reviews, the only negative ones address the fit. Keep that mind when shopping online that you may need to make a return. Other than that, performance reviews are outstanding.
Daci Women Two Piece Rash Guard Long Sleeve Swimsuits UV UPF 50+ Swim Shirt Bathing Suit with Boyshort Bottom
The options are still amazing. The colors are rarely too bright or vibrant, but the designs compensate for them very well. Lots of tropical flowers to choose from, but our favorite “neutral” design is the striped one.
The shorts are boy cut, which may not work for all body types and activities. If this is your concern, check out one of the previous entries. Still, the fit is comfortable and not too snug.
The vegan rash guard features an underwire for support and should be comfortable for different cup-size ranges. The fabric is a polyester-elastane mix and UPF 50+.
User reviews are mixed on the bra, but overall positive when it comes to quality and durability.
HUGE SPORTS Men’s Splice UV Sun Protection UPF 50+ Skins Rash Guard Long Sleeves
Our last opportunity to be a bit more daring with men’s design before we move on to our last two entries. The full print versions are nice enough, but the contrast sleeve is truly eye-catching.
There are many designs to choose from, and even the “tame” ones are super cool. The one called Chapped is a great example, while the more intricate ones will make it look like you have a full-sleeve tattoo.
These rash guards are rated SPF50+. Their regular fit ensures that you have a lot of mobility no matter the sport or activity. It’s also not too tight to become uncomfortable at any point. The material is 80% polyester and 20% elastane.
The reviews are overwhelmingly positive. A lot of consumers praise them for their quality and durability. Many also commented how they look good in them as well.
Speedo Men’s UV Swim Shirt Short Sleeve Loose Fit Easy Tee
Speedos should not only be synonymous with men who love tiny swimming trunks and huge gold chains. Maybe the community can do a lot to support the company’s sustainable practices, so they also become a synonym for eco-friendly swimwear.
Whatever may happen in the future, this loose-fit tee is a good pick today. It’s a nice basic addition to anyone’s beachwear collection. It’s a basic item that may not give you an edge during a bodyboard competition, but it will protect you from harmful UV rays and a lot of pain and peeling later on.
The color selection and design are pretty basic, with the cool-toned red and turquoise being the most exciting options in this line. But function over form, right? We never expected fancy designs from Speedo’s men’s line, but another bright shade would be welcome.
The fit is comfortable and true to size. It’s 100% polyester and hand wash only.
Customer reviews suggest great longevity with some using their tees a couple of times a week and them still being in great condition. Some that suffer from contact dermatitis also complement the fit of the sleeves particularly.
Speedo Men’s Uv Swim Rash Guard Shirt Long Sleeve Loose Fit Easy Tee
As for the model itself, it’s everything you get from the one above, plus long sleeves. The color palette is still a little underwhelming, but the fit is still comfortable and allows a lot of movement.
It certainly become a staple in anyone’s beachwear collection.
We at Cruelty Free Belts are leaders in providing the best sustainable and kindly produced vegan belts. We curated a collection of the best cruelty free belts online including Vegan Leather Belts, Cork Belts, Canvas Belts, and Recycled Material Belts. We also have a number of well-written blog posts. If you’d like to continue reading more of our blog posts, we recommend you read: “The Best Online Vegan Cooking Classes Taught by Vegan Chefs“, “What is Vegan Leather? How is it Made? Better Alternative?“, “The Best Ever Recycled Material Vegan Belts by Jelt Belt“, “High Quality Vegan Belts and Shoes by Wills Vegan Store“, “Best Reasons Why Cork Belts are Great for Animals“, and “Klik Belts Strong Indestructible Vegan Belts are the Best“.
Are not rash guard vegan already?
Rash guards rarely include non-vegan materials. However, the production process is not always 100% kosher.
The manufacturing of synthetic fibers is not the most eco-friendly process. And depending on your opinion on fossil fuel, you should know that raw materials still come from animals, even though they were extinct millions of years ago.
A rash guard is vegan if it uses recycled materials and/or doesn’t cause harm to animals during manufacturing. Though it’s difficult to ensure that no life is harmed at all, the company must commit to opting for chemicals and processes that cause little to no impact on the environment and wildlife.
How do I know my rash guards are vegan?
The animal cruelty-free bunny is a good place to start. Companies that apply and receive this stamp of approval are usually up to par.
Next, check the manufacturing practices. Companies that commit to going green have less impact on animals and their environment.
Finally, if your beliefs extend to dinosaurs and oil extractions as well, look for products made from recycled materials. Though recycled spandex still came from dino juice, there still was no additional oil drilling involved. Oil drilling is bad for the natural habitats of many species on the planet, causing harm to many animals.
How long will vegan rash guards last?
With proper care, they can have a long lifespan. User reviews for some models above include people who had theirs for 2+ years. Improper care like washing them in hot water or storing them wet will shorten their lifespan.
As for how much they can handle when you’re out and about, it depends on the model itself and how rough you play. Usually, they perform as well as regular rash guards, with some models even getting better ratings.
How to care for vegan rash guards?
Vegan rash guards don’t require special care. Unless they come with special instructions, you can wash them with a hand-washing laundry detergent or baby shampoo in the sink. Simply fill the sink with water, add the detergent and squeeze the rash guard repeatedly until the water runs murky. Then repeat the process with plain water until it runs clear.
Unless there are some serious stains, you don’t have to use a brush or a washboard.
However, you can wash them in the washing machine on a cold-water cycle. It’s overall safer and better for all your clothes. They last longer and the colors look brighter. Get a suitable detergent, though.
Do vegan rash guards include harmful chemicals?
In general, no. You can still be allergic to a particular fabric dye. If you have a history of reactions and breakouts after wearing rash guards, make sure that the suit is hypoallergenic.
One reason you may have this impression is because of some heavy-duty chemicals that were used in the past. They harmed the environment and ecosystems. Recently, we saw many changes in the textile industry, including the phasing out of those harmful chemicals.
All items listed above were produced using new eco-friendly technology.
Are vegan rash guards a suitable alternative to classic ones?
Of course. There is little difference in performance, durability, design, etc. The only distinct thing is the use of animal products and company practices.
Are vegan rash guards more expensive?
Depends on the manufacturer, but on average they cost the same as non-vegan rash guards.
What’s the best material for vegan rash guards?
Polyester, spandex, and elastane. Just the same as non-vegan rash guards as well. These materials are elastic and allow full mobility. Plus, they are ideal for water sports since they dry fast.
All three fibers are vegan. Recently, there are even interesting developments in textile technology that can make polyester 100% plant-based in the following years.