“The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective… it humbles you and makes you feel almost like you’ve been baptized. I feel born again when I get out of the ocean.”
A swim at the beach is good for the soul. Ocean-side is where we go to relax, have fun and be immersed in a natural environment. But this is under threat. As of 2015, there is six times as much plastic in the ocean as there is sea life. Sea levels have risen alongside ocean temperature causing beaches and sea life to shift and disappear. This isn’t the kind of beach we want out children to experience, but it will be unless we make better decisions about what goes in our oceans.
That extends to what we wear at the beach.
‘Shaping swimwear sustainably’ is the motto of Shapes in the Sand, a sleek ethical swimwear brand. Their bikinis and one-pieces are made from ECONYL®, a yarn of 100% regenerated materials. This material actually helps to reduce the amount of global waste by collecting it from landfills and oceans and feeding it back into production cycles. This waste includes nylon contained in fishing nets and clothing, which is transformed back into virgin raw material without any loss of quality. Made in Australia, they manufacture their swimwear to the highest quality for a long lifespan (say goodbye to that only-good-for-one-summer bikini).
Much loved for their super sexy mum-friendly one-pieces, JETS also qualifies as ethical being a long-term signatory to the Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation process. The iconic Australian label says they are committed to improving conditions in the textile, clothing and footwear industries.
With Australia having the highest rate of skin cancer in the world covering up as much as possible is the smart way to swim, but can present style challenges. Thank heavens The ACQUA Brand make the previously utilitarian rash vest the new beach essential. For the sun conscious as well as the style conscious, each piece in The ACQUA Brand collection is 100% Australian designed and manufactured. They also use ECONYL® - not only is this material eco-friendly, it’s two times more resistant to chlorine, suntan creams and oils than competitors' fabrics. With styles that are super chic, flattering and full arm and torso coverage (think Giselle in that Chanel ad), The ACQUA Brand ticks all the boxes.
Modern surfboards are notoriously “unsustainable” with most made from toxic, petroleum based chemicals. Once broken or damaged the potential for re-use or regeneration is very limited. Firewire was the first major high-performance surfboard brand to produce a surfboard made from the latest advancements in green chemistry and recycled materials. Their ‘ENVIROFLEX’ boards are glassed with resin made from 25% biologically derived carbon content and meet the
ECOBOARD Project benchmark developed by Sustainable Surf, an environmental non-profit organization. In Australia, MKSY Surfboards are bringing back the all-wood boards made from a timber called paulownia, which doesn't absorb water due to its waxy qualities. If you fancy DIY, Tree to Sea run make-your-own wooden board workshops from Mt Eliza, Victoria.