Your Guide To Sustainable Summer Beach Essentials For The Whole Family

Summer's coming! Get ready to be a beach bum with this sustainable gear, from organic towels to recycled sandals the whole family will love.


May 17 2019, Updated 7:43 p.m. ET

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to stock up on beach-ready essentials. But instead of buying new towels, flip flops, or bathing suits that put more of a drain on our natural resources, we've put together a guide to being an eco-friendly beach bum this summer.

From footwear to beach bags, sustainable design and eco-friendly materials, we've got you — and everyone else in your family — covered. Don't forget the sunscreen!

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Hemp sandals by Rainbow 

Rainbow Sandals has an enviable reputation for its  high-quality, long-lasting footwear. The company's popular sandals are all crafted by hand, feature recycled materials, and even include a line of hemp duds for men and women with double stitching, natural durability, and good looks that required no animal products to make.

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Rawganique hemp sandals for kids

Rawganique's hemp sandals for children are made with 100-percent organically grown hemp from Europe, recycled tire soles, is sweatshop- and animal-free, breathable and soft for comfort.

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Indosole boat shoes and flip flops

Indosole is a certified B Corporation, meaning the company meets strict standards of eco- and social performance. Its Prahu boat shoes and flip flops, for example, feature vegan and upcycled materials, and no fuel-powered machinery. 

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Nisolo sandals

Every pair of Nisolo shoes and sandals supports rainforest conservation efforts in the Amazon Basin. Do your part with the company's Ecuador Huarache Sandal for women, or the Alejandro Woven Slip-On for men. All Nisolo producers receive better-than-fair-trade wages and healthcare. 

Beach bags

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Razafindrabe Collections Polka Dot Tote

The Little Market is a non-profit, one-stop shop that supports female workers by selling their handmade crafts, like the Razafindrabe Collections Polka Dot Tote. This perfect beach bag is hand-woven from raffia and employs artisans in Madagascar.

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Rareform bags

Rareform has crafted a business model out of turning billboards into functional items, from iPhone cases to wallets. The company's line of bags (including basic totes and surfboard bags) breathes new life into the durable vinyl, which is vegan, lightweight, and totally waterproof. 

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Bathing suits 

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Mara Hoffman ECONYL bathing suit

Mara Hoffman is a leader in luxury sustainable fashion, so it's hard to choose just one of her amazing swimsuits (and truly, you can't go wrong). That said, we're pretty fond of this Mia One Piece, which is made from 78-percent recycled ECONYL® nylon (made from pre and post-consumer waste such as fabric scraps, fishing nets and industrial plastic waste). Oh — and this baby has SPF 50 built right into the fabric. 

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Faherty bathing suits for men, women, and children

Faherty guarantees all its American-made products for life, so with minimal investment on the company's timeless styles, you're quite literally set forever. Start with the company's Desert Heat Tahiti two-piece for ladies, Chankillo Horizon Board Short for men, Turquoise Riptide Kids Beacon Trunk for boys, and Paradise Stripe Lulu Swing Dress for girls. All of the beachwear is made from Faherty's signature fabric, crafted primarily from recycled plastic bottles.

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Fair Harbor's newly released women’s collection (and plenty for men!)

Fair Harbor  just launched its new women's collection, featuring swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles. We're big fans of the company's Bayview One Piece, 88 percent of which is comprised of recycled polyester from those bottles and is durable water-repellent for a crazy quick air-dry. Guys should also absolutely check out Fair Harbor's line of board shorts (we like the Sea Pine Nautilus model).


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Mud Cloth beach towel from Nomadix

Nomadix has created a line of sustainably built beach towels that function as camp, road trip, and yoga towels as well. Every last one of these high-quality, long-lasting, piece-of-art towels is made from certified recycled material. Everyone in your family needs one of these.

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Madewell's las bayadas™ la lucia towel

Madewell prides itself on working with local and international suppliers to ensure responsible sourcing of materials and care of workers. Wherever possible, Madewell items are also eco-conscious; like this towel, which is made from regenerated cotton, acrylic and polyester.

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Floaties and toys

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Inflatable, cotton swim floatie from Schlori

German company Schlori has been producing these 100-percent cotton, plastic-, PVC-, phthalate- and BPA-free swim floaties since 1936. Without so much as a plastic or rubber valve required to inflate them, these one-size-fits-all puppies inflate by being saturated with water and then blown up. Pick up a pair at the Life Without Plastic shop.

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Green Toys' recycled plastic sand play set

Sure, you can go old-school and get your kiddos a tin bucket from a hardware store with wood and metal tools (retro is in...). But you can also get this adorable, recycled-plastic sand play set from Green Toys, where all the toys are made from recycled plastic and made in America. 

Eco-friendly rubber Merfins

For all the little mermaids and mermen at heart (don't worry, they make adult sizes too), check out these super cute Merfins, available at Magic Cabin's fair trade shop. The tails are made out of recycled rubber, long lasting, and easy to pull on and off. Yes please.

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