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15 Items Every Eco-Warrior Needs in Their Summer Tote

15 Items Every Eco-Warrior Needs in Their Summer Tote

Liz Biscevic

Summertime is upon us, and that means endless opportunities to get outside and enjoy the world. But while you're out there soaking up the sun, why not choose to live your life in a way that makes that fun more sustainable. After all, you want your grandkids to be able to experience the world as much as you do, right?

WEAR

People Tree Nita Stripe Dress
This breezy sundress is made by Indian artisans at a social enterprise called Assisi Garments. The dress is made from 100 percent organic certified cotton and a portion of its sales goes to the training and employment of deaf, mute, and economically disadvantaged women.

Dizm Eco Eyewear Sunglasses
These sunglasses feature polarized lenses, 100 percent UV protection, and stainless steel hinges, all without the petroleum-based plastic frames that fuel the oil industry. Instead, the frames come from plant-based BioSan plastic—a biodegradable, recyclable, compostable, and renewable material that’s better for the world than the average fast-fashion sunnies. 

Abysse Official Swimwear for Women
Made for “women who are tomboys at heart,” these swimsuits meld function and fashion into one with durable materials and chic designs. They’re UV-protective, fast-drying, and don’t get stretched-out over time. But that’s not why we’re obsessed: all Abysse clothing and swimwear are made from 100 percent Japanese limestone neoprene, a material that doesn’t harm the planet during production, so you can rock your suit knowing the world is a bit better off.

Outerknown Swim Suits for Men
Outerknown is a clothing collaboration between surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore. Their swim trunks are made from recycled fishing nets and other nylon waste and feature vintage patterns and earthy tones. 

SoleRebels Flip Flops
SoleRebels was originally started to bring jobs to an Ethiopian community that had few work opportunities, and now these employees are paid nearly three times the industry average wage for similar work. The shoes are made from recycled rubber car tires and locally-sourced Ethiopian materials, which creates an export product from 100 percent local inputs. And they’re pretty cute, too. 

NOURISH

Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle
Stay hydrated with a sustainable, reusable water bottle. Made from BPA-free plastic and silicone, the bottle is collapsible enough to fit in a back pocket, meaning there’s no excuse not to bring it with you wherever you go. 

Love and Hummus
This organic hummus from California isn’t just great for your belly: it’s good for the world, too. You can reuse the glass packaging and snack guilt-free, knowing you’re supporting a third-generation family farm in the process. 

Justin’s Snack Packs
These culinary nut butters and sustainable dippers (the banana chips accompanying their peanut butters are particularly genius) make the perfect beach snack that hold up even on the hottest days. What’s more, Justin’s is passionate about giving back to the community, the environment, and even the bees. 

PROTECT

Manda Organic Sun Paste
Manda Organic Sun Paste is made from thanaka, ground tree bark used as a sun protectant for over 2,000 years by people in Burma. Aside from a lovely floral fragrance, thanaka boasts anti-oxidant, anti-aging, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties, making it useful for everything from skin brightening to acne treatment. Moreover, Manda claims thanaka can be produced sustainably, and Manda’s all-natural ingredients won’t damage coral reefs like some chemical sunscreens can.

Eco Lips Sport Lip Balm
This fair-trade balm contains SPF 30 and uses only organic ingredients rather than damaging petroleum. 

REFRESH

Lulu’s Organic Hair Powder
This talc-free dry shampoo is perfect for keeping your hair and scalp fresh between trips to the beach. Made from organic cornstarch, white clay, rice powder, and essential oils, the powder absorbs sweat and oil from your hair and leaves behind one of four intoxicating scents.

Booda Butter
This moisturizer is made with plant-based ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil. It’s creamy, lightweight, and smells like yummy chocolate. Also, seeing a smiling Buddha reminding you to “spread the love” is an awesome way to start the day. 

Tatcha Japanese Beauty Papers
These hypoallergenic oil-blotting papers are made with abaca leaf—a fiber that can absorb excess oil without removing makeup. Use them as necessary throughout your day to keep your skin dewy, instead of shiny. 

TRAVEL

Mafia Bags Sand Bag
Using a creative design and environmentally responsible business model, Mafia Bags turns used kites and sails that would normally end up in landfills into hip totes and backpacks. The Sand Bag is designed to carry all your beach essentials and more. The best part: Mafia Bags teams up with nonprofits to provide jobs for people struggling to reenter the work force.

Sustainable Threads Beach Blanket
It’s soft, it’s lightweight, it’s fair trade, and it’s eco-friendly, a must-have for your sustainable summer beach and picnic plans. Each towel is crafted out of organic cotton by physically disabled artisans in North India according to fair trade standards, and delivered in eco-friendly and recycled packaging. 

Banana Paper Company Travel Journal
Keep notes about your travels and scribble away summer musings without contributing to deforestation. The paper is completely tree-free: Instead, it’s made from agricultural waste like coffee, bananas, mangoes, hemp, and tobacco.

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