Updated: May 2, 2019
I love the Great British summer! Yes it is not incredibly hot all day every day but sweaty look is not a good look unless it's the result of a long marathon. Yes British plants and nature need sun but the sun they get does not burn them to yellow straw and keeps them green and fresh. Yes less rain means no emergency waterproof ponchos but then all we would have to do is water our gardens all the time instead of having a glass of refreshing G&T!
So with this said I think that British summer is truly great - we just need to get the essentials covered and we can fully enjoy it in all its glory.
Lets start with the most obvious essentials for the occasional rainy afternoon - waterproof items. How many of you have woken up to a beautiful morning and put a lovely summery outfit to later that day be caught in a downpour of rain? I have found that there are 3 things you can really do - get an umbrella, get a raincoat or get wet. As the title of this post suggests - lets focus on sustainable solutions. But how can we keep both dry and sustainable at the same time? Sustainability can mean many things - it could be the durability of a high quality product, it could be that it is made out of recycled materials, it could be that it's easily bio degradable.. So here are a few suggestions:
The Blunt Umbrella has innovative, durable and repairable design. My partner bought me one 7 years ago and it has endured many rainy days. I remember saying 'Wow you bought me an umbrella.. that's great....' I was underwhelmed. to say the least! Well I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact I somehow managed to break it recently and it magically still works as well as ever - it just takes longer to fold! It is on the pricey side but it lasts - and sustainability is about buying less but higher quality items.
There are a couple of other umbrellas I have found, which I haven't personally used but they look exciting and are sustainable!
The Inside Out Umbrella via EnviroTrend looks durable and its design is sure to keep you dry. It's affordable and quirky.
The Umbrella Company has an eco friendly section for custom made umbrellas. They are made out of recycled/ sustainably sourced materials. While it works with companies for promotional umbrellas there is no minimum amount to order and so you can order your own recycled custom made umbrella!
If you are more of a raincoat person I would recommend to get one, which is made using sustainable or recycled materials. Recycled materials are gaining popularity and rightly so. This Margone Coat is waterproof, breathable and made out of recycled materials via the green lifestyle brand Vaude.
If you are more into colour The Jemima Printed Waterproof Anorak from the sustainable platform THOUGHT is made using organic cotton. While cotton is not as much a sustainable choice, organic cotton is an ethical option.
You can also check out Insane In the Rain for colourful waterproof ponchos made out of recycled plastic bottles!
Another Great British summer essential are of course a much needed pair of good quality sunglasses. If you are looking to buy some invest in something durable and of course something, which would take care of your eyes. Buying sunglasses from cheap high street retailers is pretty much pointless - they don't protect your eyes and they break easily. And this of course in turn creates rubbish.
I recently found an interesting article dedicated to the sunglasses designer brand Sea to See based in Barcelona. They create sunglasses out of plastic salvaged from polluted sea waters and 10 Euro of each sale funds this plastic clearing initiative!
Finally last but no least - British summer refreshments!
While a glass of Pimms on a summer's day is one of Britain's best summer traditions I would have to say that a refreshing glass of G&T is my personal favourite. In terms of sustainability and Britishness I would say that Bombay Sapphire is ahead of the game with their award winning modern distillery at Laverstock Mill. So we can relax with a glass of British G&T knowing we have invested in sustainable production practices.
And before I leave you all to enjoy the Great British summer I will also mention that my new UNDERDOCK summer 2018 collection is now available here. Sustainability is at the heart of why I do what I do and this collection celebrates British nautical themes while repurposing unwanted clothing into unique exciting pieces!
Until next time - thank you for reading and keep sailing forward everyone!