Happy 4th of July! In honor of this patriotic celebration that has come to represent all things summer, I thought I’d share my adventures in looking for a distinctly summery item. But who thought finding an eco-friendly beach towel would be so hard?
Usually, when I google a product I’m hoping to replace with something greener, the internet bombards me with countless numbered lists: “11 best natural sunscreens!” “8 sustainable laundry detergents you must try!” “100 ways to lower your carbon footprint!”
This time, the google entry “sustainable beach towel” gave me… zero lists. I tried various iterations of my search entry with no greater success. The internet has lots of ideas on sustainable sheets and other textiles for your home, but it doesn’t appear many eco-warriors are loading up their tote bags for a day at the beach.
After copious searching, here is what I managed to find:
This is the winner for me! The colors are yam-dyed and the towels are made of organic cotton. I’ve never really gone for the Turkish towel look, but the sherbet colors have won me over! The best part is that the company that makes these towels, Coyuchi, is dedicated to the entire life cycle of their products. Their program Coyuchi for Life allows you to “subscribe” to your textiles, getting them on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. You then send them back to the company so they never really end up in landfills.
Other notable products I liked:
This towel comes from the remarkable company The Little Market which focuses on sourcing fair trade products which empower women. This particular towel is hand-woven by artisans in Ethiopia, who are supported by the group Woven Promises to earn living wages. I love the mission of the company – I just wish they could be a little more transparent about the materials and dyes they use.
This brand doesn’t market itself as sustainable, but these were some of the nicest-looking organic cotton towels I could find. Incidentally, they seem to be on sale right now! No information on what types of dyes they use or whether the towels are fair trade, but organic cotton is at least a step in the right direction.