By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
When the barometer rises and it’s finally time to hit the beach, all you need is an organic sunblock, a good book, and a few other beach essentials. With the growing amount of gorgeous eco-friendly summer fashion around, it can be hard to decide what’s most likely to transform you into a veritable sea goddess. But never fear! Eluxe has sorted it for you.
The Bathing Suit
Starting with the essential swimsuit, Ecoswim’s fabrics are made from recycled nylon, polyester and cotton. the company works hand-in-hand with recyclers to pioneer over a dozen new initiatives and they plan to be the first to bring these new technologies to market. Ecoswim developed the first recycled warp knit and circular knit fabrics in the swim industry, which was introduced in their 2013 Cruise Collection. The company’s latest efforts include using recycled fabrics from renewable sources such as coffee grinds and corn, making these bathing beauties almost good enough to eat!
The Cover Up
But what to slip over your swimsuit when you’re feeling cooler, more modest, or outright sunburned? Try a little number from La Lesso.
This brand came about when designers Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser, after a holiday to the beautiful Lamu Island off the north coast of Kenya, felt the call to harness the magical beauty of the traditional East African ‘khanga’, also known as ‘lesso.’ The result is inspired swimwear and kaftan-like coverups created by Kenyans within an ethical eco-friendly factory. La Lesso’s eco-credentials don’t stop there– the brand was one of the world’s first carbon-neutral fashion brands. No wonder Black Eyed Pea Fergie and Solange Knowles are fans!
Another fashion brand that supports local and traditional artisanal workshops is Florenz. Created by Florence Bourgade and her husband, David Sanz Frias, the couple employ a team in Jaipur, India to create hand-dyed and printed silk unisex scarves. Their work is strongly inspired by international styles and textile traditions–the pair’s latest collection, for example, features block-printed designs inspired by West African weaving patterns.
These luxurious accessories are large enough to be worn as a neck scarf during the colder months, or a sarong in the hotter ones, making any Florenz scarf a perennial must-have.
The Beach Bag
Sunblock? Check? Reading material? Of course. Scarf and kaftan? After reading the previous numbers, certainly those have been selected! But how will you carry all this?
Texas-based Esperos (meaning ‘hopes’ in Spanish) is an ethical bag company that aims to educate. Their totes are made for convenience, as they have two interior pockets for books, sunblock or whatever you’re taking seaside, as well as strong recycled leather accents, to ensure no matter how heavy, the bag won’t fray or break. Made from waxed cotton, they are stain resistant too, but the best part is that every bag sold helps provide a child in need with an education for a year.
A favourite of our eco-hero, Leonardo Di Caprio, Eco brand sunglasses is the first and only optical and sunglass collection made with 95% recycled materials. Eco received an Environmental Claims Validation (ECV) from UL Environment (ULE), a world leader in product evaluation. The ULE validation substantiates Eco’s assertion that the eyewear is made with 95 percent recycled stainless steel and plastic, making these sunnies some of the most eco friendly–and stylish, we might add–around. Check out Leo’s pick, below.