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Recycled beach umbrellas, upcycled hats and zero waste bags: the best accessories to keep your values afloat at the beach

Photography By MINNA, Vitamin A, @laze_woven, Project Blank
Published 26.11.21

Warmer weather is fast approaching for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, which means we’re getting ready for one thing: the beach.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve already fished out your swimwear and summer clothing from the back of your wardrobe, selected responsible shades for the season and stocked up on the best natural sunscreens. But what about all the other essential beach accessories? 

From sun-protective gear to what you’ll be reclining on when you hit the sand, these are the low-impact items to pack for your next trip to the beach. 

TOWELS AND THROWS

Coyuci

Coyuchi

Despite being known for its responsible, organic bedding, Coyuchi also makes a great range of apparel, homewares and, you guessed it, accessories you can take with you to the beach. We’re particularly big on the brand’s Mexican-inspired Tomales beach towel, made from yarn-dyed 100 per cent GOTS-certified organic cotton, grown and woven in Turkey. 

MINNA

MINNA

Founded by Sara Berks, MINNA is a team of New York–based artists and creators. They work collaboratively with master artisans in Central and South America to create multipurpose products, like these bright, fruit-inspired towels. Our favourite styles include the Pear and Grapefruit, both made by cotton pedal-loom weavers in Nahualá, Guatemala, using 100 per cent cotton dyed with non-toxic colours.

Ziah

Ziah

The founder of swimwear brand Ziah, Erika Toscano, is the head designer at one of RIISE’s favourite labels, St. Agni. So we wholeheartedly trust her ability to create stylish pieces for the beach. Once you’ve finished shortlisting your favourite swimmers, consider adding a Jacques pool towel to your cart. It’s an understated addition to a day by the water made from 100 per cent GOTS-certified organic cotton. 

Land and Sea Essentials

Land and Sand Essentials

For those who like a bigger throw to relax on at the beach, look no further than Land and Sand Essentials’s reversible beach blanket. OEKO-TEX-certified and made from a cotton and linen blend, these blankets are soft, reversible and lightweight. The brand is committed to lowering its environmental impact through responsible design and donating a percentage from every purchase to Greening Australia. 

Shot by @victoriazschommler

Laze

“Floor mats” might not sound like the first thing you’d reach for when preparing for the sand, but Laze’s products are designed to be used “your way” – however that looks. We happen to agree with its philosophy and think these mats make a practical and stylish summer accessory. Made from recycled polypropylene, the bright floor mats are UV treated, water-resistant and easy to clean. 

UMBRELLAS

Project Blank

Project Blank

You can hardly expect to last a day at the beach without adequate shade. Project Blank has your (sunburn-free) back with its classic style SPF 50+ eco recycled beach umbrella. Each umbrella’s two-metre canopy is made from 37 recycled PET bottles and the beech timber poles are FSC certified. 

@land_and_sand_essentials

Land and Sand Essentials

Also offering that sweet ultraviolet protection is Land and Sand Essentials with a range of recycled beach umbrellas. There are plenty of colours and cool designs to choose from (we personally rate the Savannah), and each umbrella is made from REPREVE ocean plastic and features a natural cotton trim.

HATS

Lorna Murray

If you’ve been waiting all year for an excuse to make a statement this summer, we’ve found just the thing for you. Inspired by craft-based histories, eclectic urban environments and natural landscapes, Lorna Murray makes handcrafted apparel from 100 per cent natural fibres. We can’t say exactly how many hours we’ve spent scrolling through its hat selection, but we’ve finally narrowed our top picks down to the Sandrift Capri and the Sahara Cannes Sun Visor. But then again, for a truly iconic sun-safe look, we might just have to go with this masterpiece

@shop.toni

Toni

We’ve already told you how much we love Toni and its made-to-order, upcycled pieces. But we’re giving it another shout-out because, frankly, it deserves it. Each hat is one of a kind, crafted from offcuts and op-shop treasures. With a Toni piece, you’re guaranteed a design that no one else will be wearing.

Globe

Globe

Leave synthetics off the beach this summer. If your style is best complemented by a simple and practical hat, then Globe’s Full Circle Cap is a good pick. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, it’s also bleach and dye free, helping to reduce water pollution from the synthetic chemicals found in many other garment materials. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Is it even summer if you’re not spotting a horizon of floppy, woven-style hats when you hit the beach? Vitamin A’s swimwear and oceanside products are made locally in California from a range of low-impact materials like recycled nylon fibres, organic cotton and Tencel. Personally, we’re loving this cute and practical recycled-straw bucket hat

Michael William for RIISE

RUTT

First introduced to hand knitting after migrating to Australia from Japan, RUTT founder Rachel Rutt has been working in fashion and craft since she was a teenager. All of RUTT’s knitwear and crochet is responsibly handmade and the brand prioritises the use of high-quality dead-stock, recycled and local yarns in its designs. As for which RUTT piece we’ll be wearing to the beach, it’s a toss-up between the Antena hat in Sunflower or Latte, both made from 100 per cent Pima cotton rescued from landfill. We’re also thinking of picking up one of these cute crocheted bottle slings to match.

BAGS 

Lorna Murray

Lorna Murray

So, it turns out Lorna Murray doesn’t just make dramatic, eye-catching hats – it also knows how to weave a brilliant bag for the beach. We’re picturing ourselves making a statement on a stretch of white sand with the Vernazza Coast Tropez Tote or searching for a beach bar with an arm wrapped around the Sandbar Tropez Tote. Both are made from 100 per cent natural grass fibres too. 

Citizen Wolf

Citizen Wolf

If you’re not up to speed, here’s a quick newsflash: cotton tote bags aren’t always as environmentally friendly as they seem. But you don’t have to relinquish the tote trend altogether. Citizen Wolf is helping keep the dream alive with its Zero Waste Tote collection. Each bag features a completely unique patchwork of fabric offcuts from its T-shirt production, paired with lining cut from upcycled City of Sydney banners saved from landfill. Yes to zero waste. Yes to tote bags remaining the number one choice for every occasion, including the beach.

Worn Store

Worn Store

Whether you need a bag for days at the beach or something stylish to pop your farmers’ market haul in, Worn’s Benoît Bucket Tote is the ideal, multifunctional piece to add to your forever accessory collection. Made from handwoven natural and untreated fibres, the unique cylindrical shape means there’s plenty of room for all your outdoor summer essentials. 

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