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5 Eco-chic Beach Brands

Updated: Sep 13

Surf and sand can go hand in hand with being socially responsible this summer.


Nothing makes for a perfect summer weekend like a trip to the beach. As travelers head out to soak up the sun, it’s important to remember how human contact affects beach habitats. Here are six swimwear brands and beach products that protect beach environments while adding some summer fun.

Summersalt

Summersalt makes sustainable swimsuits, pajamas, and more. The company has collected over 1.5 million measurements from 10,000 women to develop its perfect fit. It uses 78% recycled materials, including nylons from ocean pollution, to produce its glam swimsuits. Summersalt’s colorful array of bikinis, tankinis, and one-pieces have built-in 50+ UPF sun protection. On social media, fans rave in their reviews and fawn all over the style and durability.

Each Summersalt swimsuit costs $95. CNN, Forbes, Vogue, Elle, and more have praised the company, as has its significant Instagram community. Their marketing focuses on body positivity, featuring models with a variety of skin tones and body types.


Two women founded Summersalt in May of 2017. Lori Coulter advocates for women entrepreneurs, both in and outside of the Summersalt brand. She advises students at Washington University. Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin, the granddaughter of a famous Bollywood actress, co-founded Summersalt. She previously worked as the CEO of We Are January, a design firm for stylish business solutions.


Summersalt provides attractive, affordable, and sustainable swimsuits to eager beachgoers. It frequently updates and adds to its already extensive collection.

Brelli

Each Brelli umbrella is unique and handmade in Thailand. The company makes an impact through its sustainable practices, leaving a small carbon impact on design and production. BRELLIX film, which composes the umbrella canopies, provides earth-friendly UV protection. It blocks 99% of UVA and UVB rays, and it biodegrades in both aerobic and anaerobic landfills.

Pamela Zonsius, fashion designer and product developer, started Brelli twelve years ago. She partnered with the Sunisa Umbrella Workshop in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Artisans in the area have produced bamboo goods, including umbrellas and accessories, for decades. The Workshop observes extensive fair-trade policies to protect its workers.


Brelli umbrellas come in five sizes. They are designed with sun and rain in mind. They are cute and durable, keep harmful rays away on summer days and rain at bay.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a 100% women-run company. It's Southern California base is an influence in the company's style and sustainability practices. It aims to preserve clean waters while making designer swimsuits, and they donate a part of every sale to an environmental organization.

Vitamin A founder, Amahlia Stevens, takes inspiration from 1970s beach fashion. From her design studio in South Laguna Beach, she designs swimsuits with the fit, sustainable fabrics, and beach-chic fashion in mind.


One of Stevens most significant accomplishments was her development of EcoLux, a fabric made from recycled nylon, with the help of millers from Italy, Canada, and California. Now, it composes Vitamin A products. The swimsuits use other sustainable materials, as well, including linen, recycled cotton, and polyester fiber made from recycled bottles.


Stevens has worked closely with trailblazer Yvon Chouinard, who founded the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Vitamin A partners with his philanthropic organization, 1% for the Planet, dedicating 1% of their profits to environmental causes. Other partners include the Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Oceans, and Heal the Bay. Vitamin A also supports Girls, Inc., because Stevens is passionate about helping women and girls in the business.


Vitamin A began in 2000. Its 20th Anniversary Collection, available through 2020, incorporates glamorous up-cycled gold rings.

Raw Elements

Ocean lifeguard Brian Guadagno started Raw Elements in his kitchen. His brand has since grown into a large, ocean-safe sunscreen supplier. It provides sun protection in bottles, face sticks, tinted moisturizers, lip glosses, and more. The products are water-safe, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free and work well for adults and small children.

Raw Elements products are water-safe, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free. In June of 2020, Raw Elements donated 25% of its profits to environmental purposes. Like earlier companies on this list, it’s a 1% for the Planet member.


The company prides itself on all-natural ingredients. They incorporate protective and moisturizing elements like beeswax, black tea, hemp seed oil, and mango butter. Non-nano zinc oxide, the primary component, is a natural mineral providing UVA and UVB protection.


The Environmental Working Group features Raw Elements sunscreen as its number one choice. It protects skin, and it makes a meager environmental impact..


Sand Cloud

To protect the ocean and #SaveTheFishies, Sand Cloud makes various sustainable products for the beach. Based in San Diego, they take a particular interest in Californian beaches and how to protect them. Ten percent of all sales from their towels, clothing, sunscreen, water bottles, and metal straws go to marine conservation charities.

Sand Cloud began with beach towel innovation. Their long-fiber Turkish cotton towels feature colorful patterns, resist clinging sand, and dry quickly. Sand Cloud recently released a line of t-shirts made from recycled bottles. They continually innovate, releasing diverse and sustainable products that make for perfect beach days.


The 2020 Sand Cloud Ambassador Program is a global social media network. Supporters participate in environmental events, like beach cleanups, and spread Sand Cloud’s mission on social media. Anyone can join in on their efforts on Sand Cloud’s website.

Sand Cloud’s partners include the Marine Conservation Institute, the Surfrider Foundation, and the San Diego Coastkeeper. It supports organizations that save beaches, waters, and wildlife, as it aims to make a broad-reaching impact.

Written by WAT intern, Olivia Cipperman.

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