10 Ethical Beach Essentials For This Summer

Got a beach holiday planned this year? Don’t forget your ethical beach essentials!

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

When the barometer rises and it’s finally time to hit the beach, you’re gone for the whole day. It’s a glorious ritual – finding the perfect spot, eating a picnic lunch on the beach, dipping into the sea when the heat gets too unbearable, and maybe playing a game or two of volleyball or paddle.

But since you are out for the entire day, you need to be sure you’re well equipped with all the ethical beach essentials you’ll need. Ethical is more important now than ever, since non-ethical products, such as plastic bottles or regular SPF, can do some serious damage to aquatic life.

Here, I’ve come up with 10 things you’ll definitely need for the perfect day at the beach.

10 Ethical Beach Essentials For This Summer


1. The Right Bathing Suit

This is, of course, your starting point. You want something that looks amazing, stays up when you’re swimming, and that’s preferably made from recycled materials.

Reformation’s swimwear checks all those boxes and more: the brand also makes sustainable swimwear that’s suitable for every body type, from S to XL. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving their cheeky Topanga leopard print one piece, below. It’s great on all shapes and sizes, and comes in tie-dye, too!

2. A Gorgeous Cover Up

But what to slip over your swimsuit when you’re feeling cooler, more modest, or outright sunburned? How about this gorgeous kaftan, which doubles as a dress? (just add heels and accessories). It’s dyed with organic indigo and is made from 100% cotton.

3. An Ethical Towel

Make a statement about marine life conservation with a beach towel from Sandcloud. Made from 100% recycled materials including  recycled cotton, polyester, and Turkish cotton, these extra-large towels not only give you plenty of space to lounge on, but are also perfect for drying off after a dip.

4. The Ideal Beach Bag

I know you’re probably thinking: this is a great list! But where will I pack all these ethical beach essentials? And the answer is: in an eco-friendly bag! This beautiful butterfly one is made from two things: volcanic grass, and recycled saris. It’s got all the room you need for just about everything on this list, too!


5. Eco Friendly Sunglasses

Eco friendly sunnies are a must in summer, and no one does them better than Woodies. They’re made from – you guessed it – wood frames (mainly fast growing bamboo) and come in a wide variety of amazing styles. No wonder Kendall Jenner is a fan!


6. Reef Safe Sunscreen

Sun protection is essential on the beach – but sadly, most brands are full of nasty chemicals that can hurt your health, and marine life, too. Juice Beauty is one of your best bets for an SPF that’s high, effective and functional, but that won’t leave toxic residues in the water than can damage coral and other organisms in the water. Also: this one below is designed for sports and stays on even after swimming or sweating! Perfect for summer.

7. Reusable Water Bottle

Why bring plastic bottles that you’re going to toss into the trash when you can take a reusable bottle and fill up with your favourite beverage? It’s especially important to do since most beaches don’t have recycling bins. Find it hard to drink water cos it’s boring as heck? This bottle below allows you to infuse it with some natural flavour – just add fruit!

8. Sun Hat

What better way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays than with a stylish sun hat? These are bang on trend for the season, and are made of simple, recyclable materials like straw or paper. This one by Eugenia Kim is actually made mainly from hemp!

9. Vegan Slides

It’s official: the slide is the chicest shoe for summer! They’re so easy to wear, and look great on the beach or with a dress in the city. We love this pair by Lulu’s – the blue striped cloth is a summer classic, these are 100% vegan friendly, and they don’t cost a mint!

10. The Perfect Read

I don’t know about you, but for me, a good book is one of the summer beach essentials that I’m never without! Being on holiday is really one of the only times I can get any reading done, and there’s no better place for it than on the beach. At the top of my list this year? How Not To Die – it’s a great book about how to use food as medicine, basically!


Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
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