Floral Cover Up: Playa Lucila (shop more cute cover ups here)
Last year, I wrote a very similar post covering what I deemed personally essential to bring with me whenever I go to the beach. Although not much has changed [item-wise] I have made some updates on the “types” of items I now carry in my bag.
We can all agree that 2020 has opened our eyes to the world around us in very different ways, back-to-back-to-back [with more on the way I’m sure.] Within these last few months I’ve made a conscious effort to not only research the brands I’ve been a customer of, but also make the necessary changes to reflect the appropriate alignments I want to represent on my platform. This means highlighting more small business brands, ceasing purchases from brands with continued blindness when it comes to diversity [or lack thereof] & if linking to Amazon, ensuring the item is NOT a stolen design/idea of an existing smaller brand where it originated.
That being said, I’m super excited & proud about the items I’m carrying in my beach bag this particular summer! I hope this new roundup of my favorites also inspires you to try some of these out for yourself while we can still hit the beach.
ETHICALLY-SOURCED BEACH BAG
My good friend Emily introduced me to this amazing brand called Sea Bags several years ago & once I got one for myself, I never looked back or for any sort of alternative. I’m a Sea Bags girl FOR LIFE!
These incredible beach totes are handmade in Maine, USA from recycled sails. I absolutely love how beautifully repurposed these sails-turned-totes become & hope to be able to visit the Flagship store during our weeklong trip to Maine next week! I’ve also been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Sea Bags professionally on this platform, having partnered with them on one of my trips to the Bahamas.
There’s a ton of sizes & styles to choose from but I personally own two of the larger totes and adore them. This one is a custom design the beach club I belong to ordered for members to purchase this year, in celebration of its milestone 150 Year Anniversary! I’m hoping to get another custom design bag made in the near future with my initials or something similar of the sort. BTW – these bags make for great gifts if you’re looking for something to give to a special someone with a summer birthday [or for any reason whatsoever!] 😀
Although this article was written last May, there’s an ongoing awareness regarding the negative effects of chemical sunscreens & the strong suggestion of the FDA to discontinue use of them. Four chemical ingredients found in most topical sunscreens – avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule and octocrylene – have been said to enter the bloodstream at a rate that should require additional safety data. It’s also been said that two of the ingredients/chemicals – oxybenzone and another called octinoxate – have also been found to cause bleaching, deformities, DNA damage, and death in coral when deposited in bodies of water (source here.)
The idea of anything chemical entering my body without [my] knowing permission or harming the ocean wildlife makes my stomach drop. So naturally, I made the switch to Mineral/Natural sunscreens the minute I learned about this health issue – as if we need more things to worry about in that department this year…
Out of the several brands I’ve tried the mineral sunscreen formulas from, here are my top picks:
For The Body: Sun Bum Mineral Spray & Bare Republic Mineral Lotion
For The Face: Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense
For The Lips: Sun Bum Signature Zinc Balm
The trick to making sure you’re using a TRUE Mineral Sunscreen is by looking at the active ingredients listed on the bottle. Some sunscreens claim to be “mineral” but in fact have the above chemical ingredients listed right there… The only active ingredient you should see listed is “Zinc Oxide” – that’s how you can tell a truly Mineral-based sunscreen over “false advertising.” Also, the Mineral formula lasts MUCH LONGER than any chemical sunscreen. Where a chemical sunscreen expires in less than a year [or if left out in the sun too long lol] the Sun Bum formula has lasted me for the last two summers & will continue to do so until next year, as it’s set to expire in June 2021.
SPLASH-PROOF ORGANIZER POUCHES
My sister introduced me to ALOHA Collection a couple years ago & I couldn’t recommend these pouches from them more! Not only are they splash-proof & perfect for travel (to the beach + beyond), but the story behind them is a special one. Founded in 2013 by two friends Rachael & Heather, ALOHA Collection started with a single bag, a shared dream, and a Kickstarter campaign. With $2000 each, a bit of magic, and a handshake, ALOHA Collection was on its way.
I feel so fortunate to have discovered this amazing small business back when it first started & having had the opportunity to work with them professionally a few years later as well. What I love using these pouches for the most is for organizing all my smaller items that either get lost in the bag or would appreciate some extra protection from the sand & salt water.
WHAT I CARRY INSIDE THESE POUCHES
Wet Brush, Leave-In Conditioner Spray, Hair Ties, Bobby Pins, Sunglasses, Paperback Book, Mobile Charger
& other misc. personal items (phone, keys, wallet)
ARTISAN-MADE BEACH TOWEL
One of my favorite beach towels I own [for a few years now] is from Society6. You might know this brand for its wall art, but you have to check out the beach towels if you’re on the hunt for something large, durable, soft, & uniquely made by a small business artisan.
In case you didn’t know the backstory: Society6 is an open, global community of 300,000+ independent artists from 160+ countries. Valuing original artwork from creators of all kinds—from painters to illustrators to photographers to pattern designers and everything in between, Society6 empowers creativity around the world—because each purchase pays an artist.
Yes – this towel is long, comfortably soft on the skin & has handled more cycles in the washing machine than I could ever count. It still looks & feels like it’s new, even after 5+ years of continuous use. No pilling, no scratchy fabric that comes from over-washing poorly-made towels – none of that nonsense here. Plus, it feels good knowing my towel purchase helped monetarily support the artist behind its design.
RECLINING WOOD BEACH CHAIR
Although this isn’t technically something that fits in my beach bag, I wanted to share because I’m so obsessed with this unique small brand find! I came across Business & Pleasure last summer on a FB ad I believe & ended up purchasing one of its Tommy Chairs for my trip up to Newport, RI. All it took was one stroll on the beach, Tommy Chair on my back thanks to the backpack straps, and setting it up for a relaxing beach day before I started getting questions about where I got it.
I’m so happy with this chair & honestly love the canvas material so much that I ended up buying their latest Cooler Bag, which makes for a perfect addition to any beach or boat day. I will say the coolers are a tad small & not meant to carry large food trays/bottles of wine but Thomas and myself have managed to fit 15 beer cans with ice in there pretty well lol.