Shopping for ethically made clothes has become second nature for me, but every now and then I realize I need to shop for something that I’ve never thought about before from a fair trade/eco-friendly/sustainable perspective. I had one of those weird moments last summer when I realized that Wes and I really needed a couple of beach towels. Could I possibly find some that were ethically made? I set out to try!
I ended up with some fair trade, organic towels from Boll & Branch, but sadly they have since discontinued their beach towel line (insert crying emoji here). But never fear, your favorite fair trade warrior is here! I have rounded up a few current lines of beach towels that are ethically made, so you can head to the beach this summer in style AND with a clean conscience:
1. The Little Market. Lauren Conrad’s online marketplace of fair trade, ethically sourced, and artisan made items has TONS of beach towel options in a range of cute colors. I’m partial to the pink striped towel pictured below!
2. Turtle Bay on Amazon. Hey, I’m the first to admit I’m a sucker for anything that can be ordered on Amazon. Turtle Bay has WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) certified beach towels for sale on Amazon (with free Prime shipping!) in red Hawaiian, blue Hawaiian, and red/yellow stripe.
3. Pura Vida. Check out these fun beach towels/beach blankets! The beach towel option is round and features a fun palm frond pattern. The beach blankets pack in the utility with a terry cloth side that is perfect for drying off and a canvas side that is perfect for laying on the sand. All Pura Vida items are artisan made.
4. Coyuchi. These beach towels are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. I think that buying organic is important because pesticides on our crops means pesticides in our soil and water supply–not good. I also support organic farming because of the negative effects that pesticides can have on the farmers who are touching, inhaling, and ingesting these harmful chemicals day after day. On top of being organic, Coyuchi is a brand that cares about ethical labor practices and sources fair trade certified products whenever possible. Even though these towels aren’t fair trade certified, I feel pretty confident that Coyuchi did their due diligence in looking into the supply chain.
5. Boll & Branch. I love my Boll & Branch beach towels so much that I couldn’t resist throwing Boll & Branch on this list, even though they technically don’t sell beach towels anymore. They’ve got a navy colored towel in their regular bath towel section that could totally work as a beach towel. Slap a monogram on that sucker, and you’ve got poolside perfection!
Now, to address the elephant in the room: Yes, many of these towels are much more expensive than your average beach towel from Walmart. Let me tell you, I never thought I would spend as much on a towel as I did last summer. But, spending more often means that you are purchasing higher quality, which can save you money in the long run. And, you’re supporting fair labor and environmental practices, which in my mind is always worth spending a little more for.
My favorite silver lining of buying more expensive products is that it forces you to deeply consider whether you truly need that item before you buy it. This is actually one of my favorite things about ethical shopping. Before I purchased ethically, I would throw anything into my shopping cart if it was $10 or under. Because, why not? It’s not like it would break the bank. I wound up with so much STUFF (especially clothes) that I honestly didn’t even like that much. I love that shopping ethically has forced me to take a step back from mass consumption and evaluate where I want to spend my money. I am surrounded by less stuff, and it’s stuff that I like a lot more.
Okay, so share in the comments…what’s the weirdest ethically made or sustainable product you’ve tried to find? Any that you are curious about and want me to find for you?
P.S. – You can read more about my experiences with ethical purchasing here.
P.P.S. – This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and purchase a product, I may receive compensation. I’m all about conscious consumerism, and I encourage you to only buy things that you need and/or love. If you do decide to purchase a product that was featured on the blog, I appreciate you purchasing through my links so that I can keep Fairly Southern up and running. Thank you, friend!