It’s sizzling hot here in Switzerland and soon we will be joining other holiday-makers in making our way to the Mediterranean coast. This means it’s time to pack the bags!
Anyone growing up in Australia in the 1980s would be familiar with Slip-Slop-Slap, the iconic sun protection campaign launched by Cancer Council. It has since been extended to Slip-Slop-Slap-Seek-Slide: Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek shade or shelter, Slide on some sunnies. These are my beach holiday rules to swear by and, as such, my packing order(s)!
- Slip: Swimwear and Beachwear
On a hot day on the beach, one doesn’t need much clothing: a red-hot bikini or stylish one-piece bathing suit; a kaftan or pareo for coverage when going down to the beachfront bar; and a pair of thongs (Australian term for open-toed footwear, known as flip-flops in the rest of the world).
When it comes to bikinis, nothing beats Brazilian designs. I am particularly in love with Nikki Saya’s Niksters range of eco-friendly bikinis, swimwear and beachwear made from recycled polyester/nylon, organic silk, soy, bamboo and cotton. The company also donates part of its proceeds to turtle and dugong conservation projects in Thailand, and mobilizes its staff to do beach clean-ups. ‘Can green be sexy?’ asks the Niksters’ ad. I’ll let you be the judge!
However if bikinis are not your thing, a stylish one-piece can be a great alternative. For example, how about the Little Black Swimsuit by the London based luxury swimwear label Olga Olsson? Having earned her fashion wings with world-renowned brands, designer Ruth Ferguson set up her Olga Olsson label in 2010. From the outset, Ruth has been paying fair living wages to seamstresses from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the city where her exquisite swimwear is made. She also won the Innovation Award by the Ethical Fashion Forum.
If you are into sporty chic, The Fairy Tails suit by surf artist Jay Alders collection for Koru Swimwear might be the one for you. Made in Italy from discarded materials such as carpet fluff and fishing line bound for landfill, the fabric is said to be exceptionally soft and to provide UV 50+ protection.
When it’s time to cover up, you will be stylishly comfortable in a breezy kaftan or pareo. Even though kaftans often share the same unfortunate reputation with Birkenstocks, I hope you would agree that this fair trade piece by Nomad gets a high score on the green-and-glam-o-meter!
And, finally, the thongs! National footwear of the Commonwealth of Australia, as one of my European friends observed on her visit to Sydney. If you are looking for glam-and-green flip-flops, Havaianas and Missoni last year collaborated on a limited edition of thongs made from leftover rubber from Havaianas’ factories and colourful scraps of Missoni’s famous chevrons. A quick look on the internet shows that these eco-thongs are already a collectors’ item!
2. Slop: Sunscreen
Speaking of UV rays, did you know that your average sunscreen could damage marine life? A study conducted by a leading marine scientist in 2008 revealed that most sunscreens kill coral by activating a deadly virus latent in Algae, the primary food source for coral. Now the London-based skincare company Aethic launched its ‘marine positive’ sunscreen, Sôvée. The product, made from organic and non-toxic ingredients, comes with the promise that it will be just as gentle on the oceans as it will be on your skin.
This is it for Slip and Slop; look out for the Slap, Seek and Slide tips next week!