9 Sustainable Summer Essentials for Your Wardrobe & Suitcase

Giada Nizzoli

9 Sustainable Summer Essentials for Your Wardrobe & Suitcase

Why a list of sustainable summer essentials? Because the hauls of throwaway garments promoted by fast fashion are not eco-friendly.

These items are designed to follow current trends, fall apart after a few wearings, and be replaced by new ones every single season.

Instead, fall in love with a smaller but timeless wardrobe!

Here are some versatile pieces that you can repurpose and wear for many more summers to come.

1. White organic cotton t-shirt

Outfit with a versatile sustainable summer basic

A plain white tee is the starting point for many sustainable summer outfits.

For example, you can wear it with denim shorts, colourful or patterned shorts, jeans, trousers, skirts, dungarees, and even underneath some strapped dresses.

We especially recommend choosing organic cotton for a more ethical twist.

2. Ethical denim shorts

Model wearing ethical denim shorts

Another versatile staple, you can wear this sustainable summer essential with t-shirts in all kinds of colours and designs as well as tank tops, spaghetti straps, and bandeaus.

While traditional jeans require lots of water during their production phase, you could look for models made with a closed-loop system like MUD Jeans.

3. Short summer dress

Ethical summer dress

Instead of wasting time considering different combinations, sometimes it’s just easier (and fun) to slide into a short dress.

The right design for you will depend on your personal style and preferences.

Still, some popular sustainable summer essentials include short patterned options and t-shirt dresses for a more casual look, especially when made of organic cotton, linen, bamboo, hemp, or recycled materials.

4. Maxi summer dress

Maxi summer dress

Perfect for the most carefree afternoons by the beach or when strolling in the sunshine, maxi dresses are another must during the hottest months of the year.

5. Sandals and summer shoes

Ethical sandals for summer

Forget about fast fashion’s tacky options that break after a few months!

Instead, invest in durable sandals and summer shoes made ethically. Some creative options include sustainable rubber, organic cork, pineapple leather, and recycled materials.

6. Sustainable sunglasses

Sustainable sunglasses

Unlike flimsy fast fashion models, the best sustainable sunglasses are reliable and made ethically.

For example, some of them involve plastic-free options like bamboo or cotton-based acetate.

7. Organic cotton tote bag

Cotton tote bag

From the beach to iced coffees in town with your friends, tote bags are one of the most versatile sustainable summer essentials!

Find a design that represents your style and ethos. As for materials, we especially recommend organic cotton.

8. Crossbody bag

An ethical crossbody bag as a sustainable summer essential

As well as being a more practical choice when you only need to carry a couple of small items, crossbody bags are a beautiful accessory. They especially look divine when paired up with summer dresses.

Depending on your definition of ‘ethical’, you could opt for a durable leather design produced by fairtrade brands or vegan options that bypass this material altogether.

9. The right items for your holidays

Sustainable swimwear

Some other sustainable summer essentials will depend on the type of vacation you’re planning and how you personally enjoy spending the warmest months.

For example:

Finding the perfect sustainable summer essentials for you has never been easier!

On Project Cece, we’ve brought together hundreds of fairtrade brands and included handy filters to narrow down your choices.

Have fun creating a travel and summer wardrobe that’s both stylish and ethical!


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Project Cece is a platform that collects ethical clothing from different webshops on one website. Take a look in our shopping section and find the clothing that fits your style, budget and values!