Sustainable beachwear and more:
discover Sustainable Gate’s advice for a holiday that doesn’t weigh on the environment
With the arrival of summer, are you looking forward to spending a few days by the sea? Read our tips and experience a holiday dedicated to sustainability, from the choice of swimwear to that of sunscreen, from the behaviour to be adopted on the beach to the rules to follow in order not to pollute.
The first days of heat, especially after a first half of the year as complex as the one we experienced, bring with them a great desire for holidays, escape and days to spend outdoors or, even better, by the sea.
The arrival of the holiday season, however, also causes greater pressure on the environment: road traffic and travel with other polluting means of transport are increased; large resorts and hotel chains often tend to put small families and the economic development of local communities in difficulty; the production of waste, which is sometimes abandoned on the shore or in any case not recycled properly, is increased. Summer does not have to send our good habits on sustainability and respect for the environment on vacation! That’s why we at Sustainable Gate wanted to collect some useful tips for enjoying a beach holiday in the name of sustainability. To start, we have selected some sustainable beachwear items, which you can find in our showcase: swimsuits, accessories and clothing to wear on the beach, to bring all the values you believe in with you on vacation. But not only that: reading the article you will also find many other tips on how to spend your days at the beach in full respect of the environment that surrounds you!
The least movement
is of importance
to all nature.
The entire ocean
is affected by a pebble.
At the beach, leave only your footprints behind you
Fresh water, sunscreen, flip flops, a good book, sunglasses… you have everything you need to spend a relaxing day at the beach, but remember not to leave any of this behind you! It starts from waste, not only from its correct disposal, but from its reduction upstream. Avoid any type of plastic packaging, prefer a reusable water bottle to disposable ones, and ask the beach bar to receive your drinks, if possible, in reusable or compostable glasses, always avoiding plastic straws: very forbidden but, unfortunately, sometimes still in circulation. As you prepare to go home, collect any garbage that you have accumulated over the course of the day. If there are no bins for recycling on the beach, try to take everything away with you and then recycle it properly. Some types of waste, if abandoned on the beach, can become particularly dangerous: this is the case, for example, of plastic bags which, if they end up in the sea, can be easily mistaken for jellyfish, the favourite food of sea turtles.
If you see any around you, even if you haven’t forgotten them, try to collect them and throw them in a basket. All those listed so far seem trivial common-sense advice but unfortunately pollution is a constant danger for our beaches. The Legambiente Beach Litter 2021 survey surveyed an average of 783 rubbish per cent of linear meters of Italian beaches, 84% of which is plastic. In the year of the pandemic, there is no shortage of medical masks and disposable gloves on Italian beaches: useful allies in the fight against Covid-19, these objects must not, however, turn into a plague for the environment. A single surgical mask, for example, if thrown irresponsibly, releases up to 173,000 microplastics that threaten the marine environment and even endanger our health along the food chain. This was revealed by a recently published study conducted by the Milano Bicocca University.
So, then it becomes essential that each of us do his part: if you see waste on the beach, if possible, collect it and throw it in a bin or bag that you can take away with you for proper disposal.
Nature and animals - the smaller your impact is, the safer they are
In many beaches in our country and abroad it is quite common to come across marine vegetation and fauna. Remember that, in general, the farther away a man is, the safer they are. If on the beach there are walkways, marked paths or fenced areas, it is precisely to prevent tourists from accidentally trampling plants or animal nests. Always follow the directions there and remember that any restrictions are always present for a reason. Do not take sand, shells or other natural materials with you, in order not to alter the balance of the ecosystem. Not only harmful, but also illegal: the removal of any marine animal or vegetable material or species is punished in Italy with an administrative sanction. Remind of this also the younger ones on vacation with you, who often enjoy collecting shells or similar. Remind them to have respect for all life in the sea: fish, jellyfish and starfish must be left in the water. But that’s not all: feeding fish or seagulls can be a lot of fun for the little ones, but not for the local fauna. Avoid giving them leftover food, which not only can be harmful if not poisonous, but also disaccustom the native fauna to a correct search for food.
Finally, if your children enjoy digging a hole or a moat or building a castle, explain them the need to destroy and cover everything at the end of the day, so as to avoid animals, such as turtles, from remain trapped there during the night.
Teach the little ones to respect the sea right from their first holidays: in this way, you will contribute to creating a better future for our planet!
Protect yourself, but also the environment!
Sunscreen is our best ally for long summer days. Never forget it when getting ready to go to the beach: not only will you avoid annoying and unsightly sunburn, but with proper protection you help the skin to protect itself from much more serious dangers, such as melanomas. When choosing your sunscreen, however, don’t just consider its protection index, brand and price, but also think about its impact on the environment. Many sun creams, in fact, contain substances harmful to the marine environment, such as oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate and 4 methylbenzylidene camphor. When you bathe in the sea, a large portion of the sunscreen you wear ends up in the water, where the chemicals contained here have a terrible impact on many life forms, interfering with the photosynthesis of algae, severely damaging corals and causing deformation and infertility problems in animals such as mussels, sea urchins and different types of fish. To avoid all of this, try to buy sunscreens that are free of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and ocean friendly. And, in any case, try to reduce exposure to the sun and therefore the use of protection as much as possible: avoid the hottest hours of the day, bring a beach umbrella, a hat and sunglasses with you.
Sustainable beachwear starts with the choice of fabrics
Before choosing the swimsuit you prefer to spend your days at the beach, don’t limit yourself to considering the model, colour and price, but also take a look at the label and, in particular, the fabrics used. Even for the swimwear, in fact, there are environmentally friendly fabrics and others to be drastically avoided.
Among the former, an excellent ally of sustainable beachwear is ECONYL® with correct anchoring point), widely used by many sustainable brands on our showcase: it is a regenerated nylon yarn created starting from nylon waste (like fishing nets, pre-consumer waste, old carpets etc.) and infinitely recyclable, which therefore allows you to create new products without exploiting new resources. Furthermore, this fabric is a sustainable innovation Made in Italy, because it was conceived and developed entirely by Aquafil, a leading Italian company in the synthetic fibres sector, famous for the quality, innovation and sustainability of its products.
In our showcase you will find different proposals in ECONYL®, not just swimwear: take a look, for example, at the Repainted kimono. In addition to ECONYL®, in our sustainable beachwear proposals we have also given ample space to natural fabrics and materials: this is the case, for example, of Indego Africa beach bag made with intertwined palm leaves and raffia, or the Kampos hat in straw, with viscose and organic cotton ribbon.
Recycled materials, natural fibres and organic fabrics: recognizing the preferred sustainable materials can be simple. But what, instead, to avoid?
To preserve the beauty and health of our seas and oceans, one of the materials we shouldn’t wear is polyester. Although this synthetic material can also be produced in an environmentally sustainable way, for example by recycling bottles and other plastic waste, it brings with it a small, big problem. When polyester garments are washed (or taken into the sea!) they release numerous microplastics, a problem that becomes more serious the more the product ages. Once in seas and oceans, microplastics tend to attract and absorb other pollutants present here, until, loaded with harmful substances, they are eaten by the fish.
Polyester, if of recycled origin, is not necessarily a harmful fabric, but it is necessary to take precautions when washing it. An excellent ally, for example, is the Guppyfriend washing bag which, when used in the washing machine, collects the microplastics released by the synthetic fibres, as well as protecting and making your garments last longer. At the end of the wash, the microplastics will tend to collect in the corners of the bag: if they are present, just remove them and throw them in the waste. To preserve the health of the waters and the plants and animals that inhabit them, try to reduce the purchase of synthetic clothes and, when washing them, always use the necessary precautions. So, when you are on the beach, you will know you are swimming in less polluted waters!
Sustainable beachwear: our favourite items
In our showcase dedicated to sustainable beachwear you will find many items to be inspired by: swimsuits, beach bags, flip flops, sun hats and other accessories, to bring all your love and respect for the environment to the beach.
One of our favourite brand for sustainable beachwear is undoubtedly Altramoda, a perfect solution especially for our Italian readers. Born in 2009, altramoda.net is in fact one of the Italian e-commerce of reference for those looking for ecological and organic clothing and natural items for the whole family. Elena and Marco, the couple behind this brand, are engaged in a constant process of selecting and researching sustainable products capable of combining high quality and affordable prices, so that they can be appreciated by more and more people. All the products that become part of the e-shop must also respect precise values: it must be possible to trace the production chain, guarantee respect for workers’ rights, ensure an ecological and sustainable production process and safety for the health of consumers. On the website, you will find clothing for women, men and children, but also accessories, cosmetics, toys and many other products and gift ideas from many different sustainable brands, all united by respect for the environment and the workers who contributed to producing them. Furthermore, in Fossombrone (PU) there is the Altramoda warehouse: if you live nearby, you can decide to collect your purchases directly here.
Are you still undecided whether or not to try to shop on Altramoda? Remember that for the first order from Italy the return is free: so, if the product does not go well, you can change your mind at no cost (even if we of the Sustainable Gate team always recommend making careful choices at the time of purchase, in order to avoid unnecessary and polluting transport back and forth). Among the proposals for a summer dedicated to eco-sustainability, we have selected from the wide choice of sustainable beachwear on the site, the women’s one-piece swimsuit by Bleed.This one-piece swimwear is made of ECONYL®, is tight, with a wide and particular back neckline, and has an excellent fit. Its style and colour are timeless and will allow you to wear it with love year after year. Thanks to its high resistance to sunlight, salt and even chlorine, this swimwear is ideal, as well as on the beach, also for water sports and for the swimming pool.
Eco-sustainability, durability and timeless style are the essential elements for a sustainable beachwear garment that you can continue to love and wear year after year!
Staying in the field of one-piece swimsuits, among our sustainable beachwear proposals you won’t be able to resist either Baiia model, perfect to be worn on the beach but also as part of a more elegant summer outfit. This swimwear, in fact, consists of three parts and can be worn as a body or as a real swimwear. It has a bow that can be tied in different ways, and the whole is double-sided, in a solid colour and with an irresistible geometric design. In short, whatever type of swimwear you are looking for, the Baiia model can be the right choice: so, year after year, you will never get tired of it and you can wear it for a long time avoiding waste. Everything is made starting from recycled plastic, with an ethical and handmade production process. If the idea has won you over, why not check out one similar model designed specifically for girls between zero and twelve years old? This one-piece swimsuit takes up the idea of the women’s model by simplifying it: the final effect is similar, but everything is obtained with a single simple and very comfortable piece to wear!
Undecided between swimsuit and bikini instead? The Wat If one-piece swimsuit that we have selected for you is the perfect compromise, thanks to the wide neckline that leaves the back bare. All the products of this brand are Made in Italy: born from the imagination of Federica and Michela, they are handmade using sustainable fabrics such as ECONYL® and Ecopower, the latter deriving from recycled polyamide.
If, on the other hand, you have no doubts, and what you are looking for this summer is a bikini that highlights your shapes then, among our proposals for sustainable beachwear, we recommend the bikini by Organico which, thanks to the adjustable braids, ensures great freedom of movement. This model is also entirely Made in Italy, made in Rome starting from recycled nylon from old fishing nets. The braids, present both on the bra and on the briefs, are the real distinctive element of this bikini: specially designed to replace the classic costume laces, which often contain a plastic tape, they are sustainable and help to give elasticity and support to the swimwear. A real touch of Italian craftsmanship, if we consider that it takes an average of 25 minutes of work to make each braid by hand.
Finally, among our favourite bikinis, there is also that of Casa Raki, perfect for those looking for an even tan, because the bra has no straps. Made of ECONYL®, this costume is produced following high ethical standards in a Portuguese factory run by women, like all the products of this brand.
Within our showcase dedicated to sustainable beachwear, you will find many other ideas and proposals, even for men, that will make your vacation days even more beautiful.