Hello everyone, Ari here! For those of you who don't know me, I run Ocean Sole’s social media and I also write their blogs too!
Anyway, I am just about to head off on holiday to Greece for 2 weeks, which I am beyond excited about. While I was thinking about all the things I'd be stuffing into my 20-kilo suitcase, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favourite eco-friendly and sustainable summer must-haves! (That will be going straight into my suitcase)
I have to be honest with you, the majority of the space in my suitcase will be bikinis. I think I am actually a bit of a bikini hoarder! I swapped from buying regular bikinis to only recycled ones in my last swimwear shop (yes that is how much I love them).
The problem with regular swimwear is that they are made from petroleum oil-based synthetic materials like nylon, spandex and polyester. This also means that they aren't biodegradable and will most likely end up in landfills. The other problem with these bikinis is that they release microplastics into the ocean when you go swimming!
So why is recycled swimwear better? All of the materials used help clean the environment and regenerate non-biodegradable material. Using these materials also takes the pressure off of virgin materials that would be used to make swimwear.
Econyl® is one of the most common materials and it is made from things like recycled fishing nets. The other material is Repreve® which is made from recycled plastic bottles!
Luckily there are tonnes of amazing brands that make recycled swimwear! Davy J is one of my fave brands because they make swimwear for literally everything. So if you are a diver or like swimming under waterfalls this is the brand for you!
Beach bags… SO important because they are not only a fashion statement but obviously practical too. Avoid anything plastic of course. I love tote bags because they can be folded down and fit nicely into a suitcase! You can find tote bags everywhere, I like to buy mine off Etsy to support small businesses!
Tote bags are big enough to fit everything you need at the beach, stuff your towel at the bottom and wrap your spare change of clothes (If you need them) in the towel. And of course your water bottle too! I have a Chilly bottle, which never leaves my side. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take a reusable water bottle with you on holiday. Or if you need to buy a plastic bottle on the go just make sure you put it straight into a recycling bin when you are done!
Now let me tell you about what is going into my washbag. Honestly, I think it is one of my most favourite things I own, not only because it's unique and huge, I mean big big, so I can fit everything into it (Ideal). But the story behind these wash bags is where it really gets me.
My wash bag is from a Kenyan brand called Ali Lamu. They are handcrafted by fishermen in Lamu and made from old Dhow Sails, in Kiswahili they are known as “Tanga”. The dyes used are soft and pastely which makes them perfect all year round. Each of the sails used to make Ali Lamu bags have been sailing on the Indian Ocean for over 20 years which makes them weathered, soft and truly beautiful. They are also waterproof and machine washable (Double bonus)
What's going INTO my wash bag:
I think if you were to ask me what would be the one thing I would take with me to a desert island I would say sunscreen every time without fail. I can also safely say that it was one of my mums biggest nags while I was growing up and to be honest with you I am glad about that now. You only have one skin so it's so important to look after it.
Sunscreen is something you should be applying every day. Sorry if I seem bossy about this but it's true and all sunscreens are good. But some are better than others. Research has shown that sunscreens containing the following ingredients Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, 4-methyl benzylidene camphor, PABA, Parabens and Triclosan have hugely detrimental effects on our coral reefs.
That's a long list of confusing words so the best and easiest way to know if your sunscreen is reef-friendly is to avoid the “O’s” and “P’s” at all costs.
Here is the reef-friendly sunscreen I use and love: Ren Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
Not only is this sunscreen great for the environment but Ren is cruelty-free, totally vegan and all of their tubes are made from recycled plastic.
Ok so now we move onto the rest of my wash bag which, to be honest, has super planet-friendly things in it that I use all year round but of course I will be taking on holiday with me.
Let's get started with teeth… I use a bamboo toothbrush which I love. I have quite sensitive teeth and gum so it works great for me because the bristles are a bit softer than plastic toothbrushes. It just means I spend a little bit longer brushing but that's fine. My bamboo toothbrush is from Greenthing, a Kenyan company that makes ONLY eco-friendly, reusable products. If you're looking for a bamboo toothbrush there are lots on Amazon.
I think one of my favourite things about going on a summer holiday is that feeling you have when you get home after a long day in the heat at the beach or exploring and you get into the shower and wash off all the sun cream and sand. Nothing beats that feeling.
I started using shampoo bars about a year ago and they have changed my life. My hair is quite thick so I need a deep cleaning shampoo and the bars work wonders for me! They also last forever which is great. My shampoo bar is from Lush, I like the #BeCruetlyFree bar the best.