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Best Sustainable Summer Items for the Traveler (2022)

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I always love packing my suitcase, but packing it for a sustainable summer of traveling means an extra bit of joy when making my packing list!

But as we start to think about traveling again, we must also think about doing it with sustainability in mind. So here are some of my favorite items for a sustainable summer packing list.

Let’s dive in!

Sustainable Summer Shoes

Let’s start with planet-conscious shoes to get our sustainable summer packing list kicking!


Sustainable Shoes

Made to last

Committed to creating a comfortable, durable shoe that will reduce the need for any other shoe in your closet due to durability and versatility, the folks at Allbirds are trailblazers in the sustainable shoe category.

Sustainable Shoes

Made from sustainable materials

Made from wool and TENCEL™ Lyocell or eucalyptus trees with laces made of recycled plastic bottles and insoles made of castor bean oil, these shoes are sustainable through and through.

Sustainable Shoes for Traveling

My favorite sustainable summer shoes

My favorite Allbirds kicks for the summer are the Tree Piper in white. These comfy sneakers run for $98 (see what I did there). These are the shoes that you will grab when you can choose just one for your carry-on.

Shop women’s Tree Piper here and men’s here


Sustainable Shoes

On a mission

You may be familiar with the TOMS’ mission to provide shoes to people in need around the globe. Today TOMS donates one-third of its profits to organizations supporting grassroots change in local communities. So you can feel good shopping here!

Sustainable Shoe

Shop the Earthwise Collection

Plus the shoes are comfy AND stylish! (I own the above-pictured sandals and they are comfortable despite the heel!) Shop TOMS’ Earthwise collection to add extra sustainability to your wardrobe.

sustainable shoe

My favorite sustainable summer shoes

I am digging the Alpargata Recycled Canvas Shoe, which is made from recycled cotton and super comfy. Sells for $50 at TOMS or you can try to snag a sale on Amazon.

Shop the women’s Alpargata sustainable shoe here and men’s here.


ethical outdoor footwear for fall

On a mission

Rothy’s is working to create a recycling program to keep their shoes out of landfills; they are working toward zero-waste production at their factory; they are making the entire fashion industry better by leading the charge in using twice-recycled materials in their products; they are moving toward carbon neutral status. Amazing.

slip-on shoes knit from plastic water bottles

Shoes made from plastic

These slip-on shoes are knit from thread spun from plastic water bottles! The comfortable shoes are perfect for travel, easily dressed up and dressed down, machine washable, and durable. Ships plastic-free with recyclable packaging.

sustainable summer shoe

My favorite sustainable summer shoes

I have a pair of classic point shoes in black, but I think I’ll jazz it up for the summer with a lighter color like the one pictured here. The classic point sells for $145 from Rothy. For men, the driving loafer will be a good sustainable shoe selection for the summer. It sells for $185 (pictured above).


summer sustainable sandals

On a mission

Inkkas works with ethical partners and partners throughout the supply chain are paid a fair living wage. One tree is planted for every purchase. The company prioritizes carbon offsets.

sustainable boots make a great green gift

Perfect for travelers!

Each shoe is inspired by a destination. Choose your favorite color or choose a shoe designed to represent a place you love (or will soon love when you travel there!) I own the Savannah Bootie (pictured here), and I love the shoes for their comfort and their colorful look.

sustainable summer sandals

My favorite sustainable summer shoes

I am loving the Kali Slide sandal inspired by Bali. Perfect for the beach or walking about town. These summer slip-ons will jazz up any outfit! They sell for $30 from Inkkas.

Sustainable Weekender Bags


Bags perfect for a sustainable summer weekend away


Sustainable weekender bag

Banda Bag’s embroidered look

The sustainable weekender from Banda Bag is cruelty-free and handmade by female artisans around the globe who want to learn a trade. Committed to fair trade, fair pay, and female empowerment, the handmade bags are also made from recycled nylon and stitched with thread made from plastic waste. The bags run for $365 for a full-sized weekender and $245 for a mini weekender.

sustainable weekender

Check out Herschel’s new eco collection

Herschel Supply Co. came out with a new eco collection, reimaging the classic duffel with 100 percent recycled materials. Sells for $89.99 from Herschel.

pre-loved designer bags makes a good sustainable option

Pre-loved designer bags for a fashionable sustainable summer at Vestiaire

Keep gently used bags out of the landfill (and maybe even snag a designer bag on the cheap!) Keep your eye on Vestiaire’s collection of pre-loved travel bags. The inventory changes all of the time, so check back often. Shop all pre-loved designer products here.


Sustainable Summer Swimsuits


Swimwear that is good for the ocean


sustainable swimwear with sass

Londre’s end-to-end swimwear solution

Londre has a recycling program so that suits are made into new materials at the end of their season. There is also a repair program so that the suits are guaranteed to last longer than one season. I love that all shipping materials are compostable too. The suits are adorable, made for all bodies, and super affordable. You can also buy just the top or just the bottom or mix and match. I own the multi-way one-piece and it is sexy and sassy. Regular price $168 (but watch for sales).

sustainable swimsuit

Paper’s sustainable swimwear

Paper sustainable swimwear is made from recycled plastic water bottles! Plus for every purchase made, Paper pays for the planting of five trees. You can track your reforestation efforts after your purchase, and you can sleep well knowing you are planting, recycling, and providing employment (in Madagascar, Mozambique, or Kenya). Swimwear ranges from around $100-$250.

sustainable swimsuit

Beautiful sustainable swimwear (and more!) at Bohemian Mama

Bohemian Mama’s collection of curated sustainable brands makes shopping easy. All the brands with a fashionable bohemian look AND a love for the planet in one place. Yes, please! And…no, you don’t have to be a mama to enjoy these brands like the collection of beautiful swimsuits for a sustainable summer.


I also featured Bohemian Mama in my roundup of badass ethical brands owned by women.

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prAna’s recycled polyester boardshorts

Hey, fellas, I didn’t forget about you! Sustainable outdoor outfitter prAna sells these boardshorts made from recycled polyester and spandex for $65.

I love PrAna for its commitment to creating clothing for positive change. From the materials and chemicals used in the creation of clothes to the packaging used to ship them, PrAna is thinking about the impact on the Earth.


Sustainable packing list opt-in for men

Bamboo Sunglasses

We’re always in the market for new sunglasses in the summer, right? Well…that’s because we lose the darn things all of the time, making it all that much more important to buy a sustainable pair of sunglasses so that if (OK, when) you do misplace them, you can rest easy knowing they won’t be clogging the landfill of whatever sunny location you are visiting.

WearPanda’s bamboo sunglasses

My very favorite pair of sustainable sunglasses are by WearPanda. They are made from 100-percent, FSC-certified bamboo. They are also super lightweight and they float! So if you drop them while doing your SUP yoga, all good.

Plus they look great. I get a ton of compliments when I wear them. Oh, these guys give back, too. They are a 1% for the Planet company, so they give one percent of profits back to organizations helping Mama Earth.


Sustainable Summer Dresses

Who doesn’t love a flowy summer dress when it’s hot outside? Even better when that dress is sustainable, right?!

These brands are doing beautiful things with sustainable summer dresses!


a sustainable summer dress

Sustainable summer dresses from Bohemian Mama

This curated site for sustainable brands brings it when it comes to summer dresses. (And sustainable summer hats, too!) The beautiful sustainable summer dress shown here sells for $288.

sustainable summer dress

Beautiful flowy dresses from TAMGA Designs

TAMGA Designs fits that description perfectly. Perfect for those Instagram posts, these beautiful, affordable dresses by TAMGA are “field to fashion” perfection, using safe dyes, and employing workers who make a living wage in an ethical factory in Bali. My favorite part? Garments are packaged in a biodegradable bag made from vegetable starch – no plastic! The pictured Arabelle Maxi Dress sells for $156.

Travel collection from sustainable outfitter prAna

prAna makes another appearance in this post because they are just seriously awesome when it comes to both travel and sustainability. Their sustainable travel collection contains clothing meant for rolling into your suitcase without wrinkling, including this Railay High Low Dress that sells for $99.



Sustainable Toiletries for Your Summer Carry-On


Sustainable toiletry kit from by Humankind

I’m a member of the hand sanitizer and tooth tablet subscription program by Humankind, meaning you sign up and they automatically send you refills in sustainable packaging. Easy!

In this sustainable kit, you’ll get the toothpaste tablets (ditch hard-to-recycle toothpaste tubes for good, you’ll get plastic-free floss (most floss is made of nylon/plastic, and you’ll get natural deodorant. It all comes in a compostable, refillable container.

All shipments, including those automatic ones with your refills, are carbon offset by Humankind. They invest in forest preservation projects as an offset.


Reef-safe and sustainable sunscreen

  • Reef-safe
  • Plastic-free in a reusable tin can
  • Cruelty-free
  • Not greasy. I use the face moisturizer every day!

The Raw Elements 30-SPF for face and body is $16.99 on Amazon The 30-SPF tinted facial moisturizer is $16.49 on Amazon


RELATED POST

Folding Utensils and Cups for Sustainable Summer Picnics

I think these items make it into just about every post I write about sustainability because I think they are the single most important thing you can do to consistently avoid plastic every single day of your life, whether you’re on the road or not.


Tuck these items into your bag for a sustainable summer!


bamboo cutlery for zero-waste picnic kit

To-Go reusable, bamboo travel utensils

This bamboo utensil set clips to your backpack or slides into your bag. It includes chopsticks. Carry it everywhere to avoid using single-use plastic silverware at restaurants, festivals, and even backyard BBQs. Sells for $14 on Amazon.

Sustainable travel products holiday advert

Stojo collapsible coffee cup

The collapsible coffee cup comes with a lid, straw, and heat protector. Avoid single-use coffee cups (that are often lined with plastic) for good! Sells for $20 for a 16-oz cup from Stojo.

Collapsible cup, plate, and bowl

X-set collapsible plate, bowl, and mug from Sea to Summit

Each item folds completely flat and easily slides into a bag. The cup will even fit into a pocket. Great for festivals. The set sells for $55. You can buy each piece separately. You can also buy a set with a lid for leftover or takeout food.


RELATED POST

For all the items in my zero-waste picnic kit, visit here. (I carry these sustainable products everywhere!)


Sustainable packing list freebie

Sustainable Hip Bags for a Traveling Summer

Am I saving the best for last? Maybe?!

Because it isn’t a traveling summer without a hip bag, bum bag, or – as they call them in the states – fanny packs. Now take that image of a dad bod at Disneyland out of your mind. These things are so dang fashionable now (for both men and women) that it was hard to find sustainable fanny packs for less than $200!

Eco hip bags are a must for a sustainable summer!


sustainable hip bag

Bohemian Mama with another fashion win!

I’m headed back to my go-to for fashion. The sustainable brand curator Bohemian Mama nails it with this trendy hip belt and bag from Ashbury. Currently on sale for $45.

sustainable fanny pack from Parker Clay

Parker Clay’s fashional, handmade fanny pack

I love Parker Clay. This is a company committed to employing at-risk women in Ethiopia, providing fair wages and vocational training. This is a big deal considering that 26 percent of women are unemployed in Addis Ababa.

The Desta Belt Bag made from goat leather is stylish, and it doubles as both a hip bag and a crossbody. Your purchase provides ten hours of employment to women in Ethiopia. Sells for $188.

sustainable unisex hip bag

Patagonia’s sturdy unisex hip bag

Patagonia has a unisex belt bag made from organic cotton for $79. Shop with confidence knowing that Patagonia is the founding member of the 1% for the Planet club, meaning one percent of profits go back to organizations supporting the Earth.


RELATED POST

If you liked this post with sustainable summer items for travelers, be sure to check out my comprehensive list of travel products to help you travel sustainably.


About the Author

Hi! I’m Jen!

I’m a freelance writer and travel blogger who quit my nine-to-five after my fiancé, Jeff, died of cancer at the age of 40. When he died, I realized that life is just too short to delay our dreams. Since my dream was to travel and write, I now travel and write full-time. Today I wear hiking boots instead of heels and collect experiences instead of things.


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12 Comments

  1. What a great list! We love espadrilles! My husband is from Argentina and says they are popular shoes in Argentina as well.

  2. Great list of sustainable items. My favorite would be the reef-safe sunscreen! As someone who lives on an island, I’m always looking for the “Reef Safe” Spf! And I love that most of your pics are either recycled or environmentally friendly. Who knew swimsuits are made of plastic!

    1. The swimsuits are so much fun! Thanks for reading Jazmin!

  3. I know what you mean about being out of practice for packing. Even my packing list is not helping. I love the variety of sustainable products you have highlighted to re-pack my bags!

    1. Right? It’s like I forgot how to walk! I hope the sustainable items help a little bit!

    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading, Shelly!

  4. Love this post! I’m all about sustainability so this a great list for the summer! My favorite is definitely the backpack 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I’m always looking for companies that support sustainability. The Solgaard’s closet backpack is AMAZING! That very well may be my next backpack purchase.

    1. Right? I think that backpack solves all the packing issues! Thanks for reading, Chelsea! And thanks for your commitment to sustainability!

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