Your Sustainable Summer Holiday Packing List

If you’re lucky enough to be heading off on your summer vacation, we’ve got your holiday packing list sorted.

You’ve booked your flights, found somewhere to stay, and now all that’s left to do is pack your bags and enjoy the holiday countdown. While the thought of packing your suitcase should fill you with excitement, it can send you into last minute panic buying mode if you’re not organised. First port of call, as always, should be your existing wardrobe – last year’s shorts and sandals will do just fine. You could also reach out to friends and family to see if they have any pieces you could borrow if you want to mix up your wardrobe a little. 

But if the time has come to invest in a couple of new summer items that will not only look great in your holiday snaps, but will also keep last you for summers to come, we’ve highlighted a few of our favourite brands and items below. 


First up, the essentials for a holiday in the sun. Here’s everything you need to hit the beach, sustainably. 


A pair of sunnies is a must for protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare, and if you’re looking to invest in a new pair that will last you for many summers to come, Pala Eyewear‘s range not only look great but do good too – every sale contributes towards providing grants to eye-care projects in Africa. 


There are a plethora of swimwear labels out there that are taking the ocean plastic pandemic into their own hands by utilising innovative materials made of ocean plastic waste, such as ECONYL® regenerated nylon, or are otherwise contributing to marine conservsation. Some of our favourite swimwear labels include Casa Raki, Florita Beachwear and Stay Wild Swim.

Find more swimwear brands we love in our swimwear guides for women, men and children

Natural Sunscreen

We all know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but did you know that most commercial sunscreens contain skin-penetrating petrochemical-based chemicals, the health implications of which are still being discovered? “These chemicals have also caused untold havoc to our oceans with coral bleaching being the result of the literal tonnes of sunscreen chemicals we wash off in the ocean and down our drains,” says holistic makeup artist and nutritional therapist Sjaniël Turrell.

Read Sjaniël’s guide to natural sunscreens before you head off on your holidays to find some of her recommended brands.


While you might be planning to spend most of your time at the beach or pool, there will inevitably be times when you need to cover up, so you’ll need to pack some clothing appropriate for your destination. 

Tops & Tees

Stay cool in Finisterre‘s 100% organic cotton vests and tops. Made from GOTS accredited organic cotton, and inspired by days by the sea, the Porthcressa vest is perfect for staying cool in the holiday heat.

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You’ll want to live in these denim shorts by Duchess of Sussex favourite Outland Denimall summer long. Made by female survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia, who are paid a fair living wage, using organic cotton and chrome-free zippers, they make a timeless staple for your summer wardrobe.

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A skirt made of lightweight material such as linen or hemp is perfect for taking your look from beach to bar with a few accessories – and means you can cut down on the packing too. We love Thought‘s 100% hemp midi skirt for keeping cool on warmer days.

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For those days exploring the local cultural sites, we love Birdsong‘s light textured, cotton Khadi dress. Not only is it in this season’s popular ultra violet colour, it has been made ethically and locally by talented women paid a fair wage in East London.

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This mini pom pom clutch from Oramai screams holiday with its fun pom pom design. Made with 100% natural hemp, it is perfect for keeping all your essentials organised, both on the beach or a night out.

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When you’re travelling in the heat, comfort on your feet is a number one priority. Pack your favourite ethical sneakers for travel days and excusions exploring the local terrain, and sandals for evenings out. 

But for the beach, you can’t go wrong with a pair of flipflops. These flipflops from Ecoalfare made by hand in Spain using materials that come from 100% recycled tires.

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Travelling doesn’t have to mean that your zero waste efforts have to go out the window – remember to take your plastic-free essentials with you.

Bamboo Cutlery

Pack your bamboo cutlery set for eating on the move, then whether you’re picking up a bite to eat at the airport, or find yourself at a local beach cafe that only serves plastic cutlery, you’ll be prepared!