Living in the tropics means that summer lasts for a good chunk of the year. While the humidity can be hard to handle, the joys of the season itself are abundant, as are the sustainable summer accessories here to help us make the most of it.
We feel lucky that we get at least another month out of the summer before temperatures start to cool. There are plenty more lazy beach days, neighbourhood strolls, and park picnics to be had, so it makes sense to be prepared and get the most out of every moment. Sunscreen and swimwear are a given, but we’ve compiled a handy guide for other items that can help you lap up the rest of the summer in a stylish, smart, and sustainable fashion.
IMAGE: via Brescia Bercane / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a colourful sarong hangs on a branch in front of the ocean
Brescia Bercane sarongs | Hand-drawn cover-ups
Brescia Bercane is a Bali-based beach brand, specialising in items that are hand-drawn. The company creates artistic sarongs, perfect for giving your skin an extra layer of protection from the afternoon sun. Each sarong is made from 100% rayon, which comes from wood fibres, and features a folk-inspired design by Brescia, one half of the company’s duo. After the drawing is complete, it’s digitally printed in Jakarta, and the item itself is completed by a Balinese couple. Many of the designs feature strong, beautiful women – perfect for communing with Mother Nature.
IMAGE: via Cuyana / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a woven wide-brimmed sunhat
Cuyana hats | Headwear that honours heritage
As well as slathering ourselves in sunscreen, we’re also big on donning hats to be super sun-safe (and avoid blinding sun glare!). Cuyana has a small but stylish range of sun hats that support women and the planet. The brand’s hats are made in Ecuador by local women in their homes. They call upon traditional techniques (identified by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) to weave the hats using toquilla straw, a natural, renewable resource made from young palm fronds that are harvested without damaging the tree.
IMAGE: via Our Barehands / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: two women wearing protective face masks leaning against each other
Our Barehands linen masks | Summer-friendly pandemic protection
Face masks have become an everyday essential since the pandemic began, but not many of them are particularly suitable for tropical summers. Both surgical masks and some fabric masks can be stifling, but Our Barehands has a refreshing alternative. The social enterprise platform, which sells wares crafted by their artisan partners from around the world, offers upcycled pure linen masks in calm tones made by the Refugee Sewing Community in Malaysia. Each mask has two layers with a pocket filter and adjustable ear straps, so no awkward elastic band DIY nightmares.
IMAGE: via Indosole / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A pair of legs in white trousers and feet in in beige sandals positioned on a set of beige steps
Indosole sandals | Treads made from tyres
This Bali-based footwear company has been repping the sustainable sandal scene for a while now. Indosole saves tyres from landfills and gutters, which will take thousands of years to decompose (and are often used as a cheap fuel alternative, resulting in dangerous fumes), and then repurposes them into the soles of their durable sandals. From simple slides to classic flip-flops, the B Corp offers a variety of styles in gorgeous hues – think ‘rust’ and ‘leaf’ – and every pair is waterproof, lightweight, and complete with arch support. Indosole also ensures a safe working environment for its employees.
IMAGE: via TruthandAll / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a pair of sunglasses on a woman who is peering over them while walking
Truth&All sunglasses | Sustainable, stylish shades
We’re so over plastic sunglasses – not only are they terrible news for the planet, they’re also prone to snapping which means more waste. Following an eye-opening trip to Malaysia, the husband-and-wife duo behind Truth&All felt the same way, which is why they created their own line of eco-friendly shades. There are four classic styles designed to suit different face shapes in a few different colours, and each pair is made of bio-acetate, which is strong, 100% biodegradable, and 100% recyclable. The glasses themselves are handmade by a family in Greece, and any off-cuts of material are sent back to the supplier to be recycled. As if that wasn’t enough, the accessories (case and cloth) and the packaging are all eco-friendly, and the brand puts 15% of all profits back into sustainable projects.
IMAGE: via Sustainable Scrunch / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a hand holding three scrunchies of different colours against the backdrop of blue sky
Sustainable Scrunch | Handy hair heroes
When you’re feeling bothered by the heat, having your hair stuck to your face and neck is an unwelcome cherry on top. Luckily, Sustainable Scrunch is here for us. The New Zealand brand hand-makes scrunchies from leftover natural fabrics from designer brands and ships them in recyclable packaging. Seeing as scrunchies are officially back (hurrah!) and are super handy, investing in one of Sustainable Scrunch’s creations makes sense, especially when you’re got options such as navy gingham and orange silk. Additionally, for each product sold, Sustainable Scrunch plants one tree in an area of need, with the current focus being Australia following the wildfires.
IMAGE: via Anaskela / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: an aerial view of a woman sitting on a stripy towel on a pebble beach
Anaskela towels | Sustainable sun, sand, and swim staples
Lightweight, quick-drying, and eco-friendly, Anaskela towels will be your new beach BFFs. Each towel is made using fibres from recycled plastic bottles and, equally as important, is absorbent, eschews sand, and is easy to carry. The brand has brought its A-game to design, too, offering an array of colourful geometric prints with names like ‘wishbone’ and ‘tide’. Showing its commitment to our planet, Anaskela also organises beach clean-ups in and around Greece.
IMAGE: via Mmaa Social / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a collection of colourful basket bags arranged on an outdoor sofa
Mmaa Social basket bag | Hand-woven bags with heart
All hail the basket bag; the perfect partner for all of your stuff, whether you’re having a picnic or hitting the beach. You can take your pick of colours and shapes at Mmaa Social, which offers sustainable hand-woven bags that honour traditional techniques and the women in Ghana and Burkina Faso who make them. The bags are made from straw, which is sourced locally, and are hand-dyed using vegetable inks. They’re not just gorgeous and sustainable, but supportive, too. Through their work with Mmaa Social, the collective (just over 200 women in rural areas) gains financial independence, sexual health education, and access to business support programmes. Even better, for each bag purchased, a girl will receive a reusable sanitary kit made by seamstresses within the collective, ensuring another line of income while giving back to the community. We’re loving the Sunshine Sandra Market Basket for total summer vibes.
IMAGE: via Klean Kanteen / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: an orange flask balanced on a log on the beach along with two surfboards
EAT & DRINK
Klean Kanteen water bottles | Sustainable, stainless steel must-haves
Klean Kanteen has been saving our planet from disposable plastic bottles for over a decade. The B Corp is best known for its colourful, insulated stainless steel flasks and their various attachments, depending on how to like to glug your liquids. As for the brand’s planet-friendly credentials: it’s 100% carbon neutral in manufacturing and delivery, solar panels supply all of the electricity at the headquarters building, it purchases carbon offsets for emissions it’s unable to eliminate, and it’s a member of 1% for the Planet and We Are Still In, a commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
IMAGE: via Igloo Coolers / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a green and white cool box half-opened on the sand to reveal ice and a bottled drink
Igloo Coolers | Planet-friendly portable food storage
The days of lugging unattractive, clunky plastic cool boxes on fun jaunts are gone; Igloo Coolers’ iconic ECOCOOL Playmate cooler is made from recycled resin and comes in a variety of sizes, colours, and designs (Star Wars’ Yoda, anyone?). The brand also makes cooler bags and packable puffer bags, both made from plastic bottles, and a reusable, biodegradable drinks cooler that aims to replace foam drinks coolers. It has four cup holders and a handle built into the lid, and retains ice for up to 12 hours.
IMAGE: via Stasher / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a selection of silicone pouches and slices of fruit
Stasher bags | Safe, sustainable snack pouches
Ah Stasher, how you have changed our snacking game. The company makes reusable storage pouches using plastic-free silicone (from natural resources, mostly sand). While Stasher bags can be used for any small items you want to keep safe and tote around, they’re particularly handy when it comes to snacks and light lunches. Never again will you, sustainability enthusiast, find yourself hangry on a day out. The female-owned brand uses 70% recycled packaging materials and encourages consumers to return products if they no longer need them so they can be repurposed into soft, safe, playground pebbles. Stasher is also a B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet.
FEATURED IMAGE: via Igloo Coolers / IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A man sits on the beach on a chair with his back to the camera watching the sunset with an Igloo Cooler next to him
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