Is it Inauthentic to Edit your Photos?

posted in Lifestyle, Thoughts

There are always discussions around the “fakeness” of social media and Instagram – how it’s made up of perfectly composed images that crop out the ugly parts, people doing something just “for the gram”, only showing all the best parts of your life, and editing/photoshop.

I totally understand this; obviously I’m not going to post a photo of my sweatpant-outfit or a breakfast I just threw together, and even though my reality is mainly me sitting at a computer, I’m not going to post that either – I’m going to post the interesting places I go. It’s normal to want to share the best parts of our life and have nice photos. We already edit what we post quite a bit just through deciding what to share and taking a bunch of photos to get the perfect one. What I’m unsure about is photoshopping or all these other photo editing tools. When does editing go from improving a photo to making it misleading or fake? Heavy editing generally seems to acceptable and endorsed with artistic/creative photos but where is that line? And the big question for me is, as a content creator focused on ethics and promoting transparency, does editing my photos make them and me inauthentic, and is editing something that should be disclosed?

Consider the following as Instagram photos and how you’d feel about the editing in each case:

  • A beautiful beach photo with the litter edited out.
  • A fashion photo where the person has been edited to appear taller and thinner.
  • A food photo where the colours and textures have been enhanced to make it more appealing.
  • A beauty photo where the model’s skin has been smoothed, and wrinkles and spots have been removed.

Maybe, like me, you feel conflicted. I asked members of the My Green Closet Facebook group what they thought of Photoshop and editing on social media which resulted in a really interesting discussion. The vast majority of people, however, thought that some editing was fine.

Another perspective also came out of the discussion – it matters whether the image is intended to sell something. So for the above examples, would you feel different if the beach photo was promotion for a vacation spot, the outfit sponsored by a fashion brand, the food to promote a restaurant, or the beauty photo to advertise a makeup brand? Also, with companies, we know that they are trying to sell something, but with “influencers” it’s more of a grey area. You could argue that even if a blogger wasn’t paid to advertise something, by posting an image they are still helping sell that product and promote the brand.

Something else I find interesting is how editing is often seen negatively, but skilled photography, styling, or makeup is not. People seem to assess a photo more critically if they know it was edited after it was taken. While you can edit someone to look taller and thinner, you could also light and shoot them in a way to make them appear taller and thinner (those low camera angles make a huge difference!); but Photoshopping to create those same changes is typically seen as wrong. Of course it depends on the extent of the editing – there is only so much you can do with lighting and how it’s shot – but it’s an interesting distinction even though both might have the same result. Another example of this is the use of makeup, which can drastically change a face, but is often viewed differently than editing. For the beach travel ad example, would it be viewed differently if they had instead moved the garbage out of the shot beforehand? Besides “unnatural” editing, there often seems to be two ways to achieve a similar photo, one with more work before the photo itself is taken, and one with more after; and yet these are judged in a different way.

Is there a line where images are manipulated “too much”?

Here is an example using one of my photos; the leftmost shot is the original image. The center image shows how I would typically edit photos: brighten the light, clean up some spots and blemishes, and maybe make some other small corrections. The rightmost image has a lot more editing: the texture of the skin has been smoothed, any lines and uneven skin has been fixed, areas have been brightened and darkened, the hat’s shadow has mostly been removed, and more. You can really see the difference with them all side by side, but if I posted the last image alone you probably wouldn’t think too much of it. I’d likely also get comments about how nice my skin is, which I think also speaks to the issue of misleading images because I don’t look like that in real life. Something else to note is that the final image is tame compared to some editing on Instagram; it could easily be taken much further.

original vs. very edited image

Personally I feel the final image is edited too much and it feels inauthentic, but I also can’t say where exactly the line is.

There’s also an issue of disclosure. In the group discussion people mentioned that editing should be disclosed, but what kind of editing should be disclosed? Technically an Instagram filter edits a photo a lot and almost every photo is edited in some way; is lighting adjustment okay but body/skin changes not?

I unfortunately don’t have answers to these questions. I think it’s an important discussion and we need to be aware of these things regarding social media, but here is how I can at least be transparent about my image-editing:
All my videos and photos are edited in some way. Typically, there are light and colour adjustments or a filter added. My Instagram photos likely have some skin/blemish editing as well. Because of the discussion around disclosure, I also have decided that if I ever post a heavily edited photo, it will be disclosed as such.

So that’s where I’m currently at with this- a lot of questions. I’d love to know what you think about photo editing, authenticity in social media, and transparency. Do you think the creator, brand, or blogger/influencer has a responsibility regarding editing or does it lie with the content consumer to be media-literate and understand that editing is happening?

 

Research and Reliable Information

posted in conscious fashion

On youtube and social media I try to share how I live more consciously, but the part of my life you don’t see is the hours and hours I spend researching – looking into brands, reading studies, and catching up on the latest sustainable fashion news and blog posts. When I went to school for fashion design, I even wrote my thesis on slow fashion, and yet I always feel like I still don’t have enough information. As someone who still feels frustrated even with being able to dedicate a lot of time to research, I totally understand how difficult it can be for someone who doesn’t have that time to spend but still wants reliable information.

I was inspired to write this post after receiving this question from Kara on a recent video:

“I would love to hear your thoughts on how to find reliable information online for people trying to live zero waste/ sustainable lifestyles. It seems to me that a lot of people re-post content that they read on someone else’s blog (or many other blogs), without independently researching whatever topic they’re discussing… Are there organizations that cull and publish verified data relevant to zero waste alternatives? Or any organization that helps consumers decide which of several different choices is least harmful to the environment? It’s important to me that if I’m making such concerted efforts to do no harm, that my choices be backed by evidence!”

First, in response to your question, Kara, it’s really awesome that you care about evidence and verified data! There’s a lot of false and unsubstantiated information so it’s important to be skeptical, but the short answer is no, there isn’t a way to easily get verified data. There is both too much and not enough information, plus a lot of biased perspectives (including my own).

There are some things that can help though!

Project Just is a platform I really recommend for researching clothing brands. They compile information from the brand itself, from news reports, and from reports from organizations like Clean Clothes Campaign to give you a snapshot of the brand with links so you can do your own research.

There are also platforms like the EWG Skindeep where you can research beauty products and ingredients but it has it’s faults and criticisms. There are rating sites like Good On You,  GoodGuide or Ethical Consumer, but you need to look into exactly what their ratings are based on in order to make sure they align with what you’re looking for. Ratings are also very difficult, because we each have different priorities and it’s unlikely the ratings weigh different things the same way you would. These can still be good resources and places to start from, but all of the sites I’ve found have their own pros and cons.

One resource that I definitely recommend for sustainable fashion information is Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s Pulse of the Industry Report. It includes a lot of information from studies, surveys, brands, and reports (you can also get more info in the references too). They will apparently also be updating it yearly, which is really wonderful – not only because it means that we can see changes over time, but also because we’ll have more current information.

In terms of making sure information is reliable, when reading a blog post or news article there should be links to facts and sources. Follow these links back as far as they go (like you mentioned this unfortunately might be through multiple websites); if you can’t get to the source or the source doesn’t seem reliable, try searching for other sources for more information. Ideally you want to find a credible news source or study. Sometimes you’ll come up empty handed, though; for example, I ran into this when researching the “fact” that “fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world” – I tried checking and tracing this multiple times and never could find a proper source. Alden Wicker did even further research in her piece for Racked, We Have No Idea How Bad Fashion Actually Is for the Environment and found no actual studies proving this and yet this “fact” is everywhere.

Another issue is that stats and facts are always changing. Some things I learned in school 4-5 years ago are now completely different: there’s new technology, and also totally new issues- microfibre pollution for example wasn’t discussed at all a few years ago – so it’s really difficult to find resources that are updated.

I think there is always an element of gut-feeling and trust, though. When reading through a brand’s information, try to think about what they’re not saying. Vague and very general statements like “we care about our environment” I always see as a red flag. The brands I trust are those who are transparent, don’t seem like they’re trying to hide anything, are happy to answer questions, and will also admit that there are things they can improve.

As content creators, I think we can all do a better job of fact-checking, but I also understand why information gets relayed from blog to blog. It already takes so much more work to write a post about “5 eco-friendly products” than it does to write a more traditional fashion blog post like “5 lipstick colours for fall”. The conscious bloggers I know are all creating content because it’s something they believe in, and want to advocate for more conscious consumption and lifestyles. The majority do it in their spare time for next to no compensation, and no one has endless time or teams of people to research and fact-check everything. But more so than that, there is a severe lack of studies and information to reference in the first place. Fashion in particular is often not taken seriously as a sustainability issue; it’s seen as something frivolous, and brands have also worked hard to keep people unaware of how their clothes are made.

So what can you do as a consumer who wants more information?
  • Look for articles or studies from reputable organizations.
  • Trace back source links.
  • Ask yourself “why was this written?” – is it just to promote a product or is it to provide helpful information?
  • Assess a company’s transparency and ask them questions. (I have a video about researching brands)
  • Look for trustworthy bloggers and content creators – I really recommend Ethical Writers & Creatives, a lot of the members are incredibly knowledgeable, passionate, and put a ton of research into their work.
  • Finally, try your best, and support others who are also trying their best, but remember that no one is perfect and that’s ok.

The industry is changing; there’s always new information and hopefully with a growing interest in more sustainable consumption and lifestyles, that also means that over time, we’ll have more research and studies available. It’s a lifelong journey, though, and all we can do is keep learning and trying to improve.

 

Low Waste Bathroom Swaps

posted in Beauty, low waste

Some of the changes I’ve made to reduce waste with my care and hygiene products.

I now use:

  • Bamboo toothbrush
  • Toothpaste tabs
  • Concentrated mouthwash – you use a few drops in water
  • Menstrual cup – Read my post about switching to a menstrual cup
  • Washable menstrual pads – I have a couple thin liners made from hemp and organic cotton
  • Glass nail file
  • Peel-off nail polish – I like using Little Ondine
  • Cream Deodorant – my DIY recipe 
  • Face/body oils – I’ve liked using jojoba, argan, and sweet almond on my face and I use sweet almond as a body moisturizer (here’s a really helpful video about choosing face oils for your skin)
  • Washable cotton/makeup remover pads – I crocheted my own from organic cotton yarn
  • Shampoo bar
  • Bar soap
  • Safety razor

 

What product swaps have you made?

 

My love of Linen

Linen is an amazing fabric: it’s not only wonderful to wear, but is also the oldest known fibre, as well as one of the most sustainable!

Linen comes from the flax plant. The plants go through a process called “retting” to help separate the fibres. Flax is a bast fibre, which means that the structure is basically a bunch of long fibres inside of a thicker tube. The retting breaks down the outside and the “glue” holding the fibres together, which then allows the fibres to be separated, spun, and woven or knit.

Linen is absorbent, breathable, and stronger than cotton. The fibres are porous, and it’s great at keeping you cool in the summer but it can also be insulating in colder temperatures. It’s not very elastic, though, and is known for holding wrinkles.

I love linen because…

it gets better with use, becoming softer and silkier over time. It can be crisp and stiff or have a beautiful drape, and typically is woven with that signature linen texture. It also has a natural luster, which makes it more dimensional. While the wrinkles are seen as a downside for most people, I actually love the look of worn linen; the only pieces I avoid are tight-fitting skirts or dresses where you get a large straight crease across the front after sitting. The feeling of linen is lovely, the texture and softness is unique, and the fact that it just gets better with age makes me want to hang on to my linen pieces forever.

Why linen is so sustainable

  • Growing flax requires less water than cotton.
  • There is very little waste with flax; other part of the plant, like the seeds, can be used to produce linseed oil or flax seeds for consumption.
  • Linen typically requires fewer pesticides, herbicides and fungicides than cotton. They are still used, but you can avoid this by looking for organic linen!
  • The durability of linen means it lasts longer than other materials.

Hemp is also very similar to linen with a lot of the same benefits.

Some cons

  • The process to make linen takes more time and work, which generally makes it more expensive.
  • Organic linen can be difficult to find, although according to Bead & Reel, “linen produced in China has been grown with agro-chemicals and the processing is also higher impact, whereas European and Japanese linen is produced in more natural and low impact methods… you can also feel confident that good quality linen from European or Japanese mills is a good sustainable choice”.
  • Due to the lack of elasticity of the fibres, they can break along permanent creases over time. In particular, this is something to be mindful of with respect to areas that are constantly bent or creased, such as where the collar of a shirt folds down.
  • The wrinkling can be a con, but I think you just need to be mindful of the kind of garments you choose.
linen tee and skirt

Where to find linen clothing

My skirt is from NotPerfectLinen*, who make all of their clothes from local linen in a family factory in Lithuania. The t-shirt is from Lanius, a company that uses organic linen.

Linen also is wonderful for home textiles; I’m currently saving up to invest in some linen bedding!

Are you a fan of linen?

*indicates an affiliate link, please see the disclosure policy for more information.

Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Colour

posted in capsule wardrobes

There’s a common misconception that capsule wardrobes need to be neutral coloured. Many examples are all neutrals or have a single accent colour but this doesn’t mean your capsule has to be white/grey/black as well. This misconception is also part of the confusion of minimalism as an aesthetic vs a lifestyle – you don’t need to look like a minimalist to live minimally.

My main tips for adding colour to your capsule wardrobe are:

  1. Keep colour to one area, ie. tops. You can have whatever colours you want because you won’t be wearing them together.
  2. Use prints that combine your colours in other areas of your wardrobe. This way you can wear those pieces with all the different colours.
  3. Design your capsule around a colour palette (Pinterest is great for inspo) and assign colours that work well to different areas, unless you prefer monochromatic outfits.
  4. Wear your favourite colours! The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is regularly wearing the pieces you love and feel good in, so your focus should be on how to make your favourite pieces work well instead of having a really cohesive colour scheme. It doesn’t matter if it looks pretty sitting together on the rack, only the pieces you actually wear together need to work well with each other.

If you love colour and that’s been holding you back from trying a capsule wardrobe, I really encourage you to challenge yourself to try it out! You can always go back or adapt things if it’s not working for you.

Do you have a colourful capsule wardrobe?

💚

Brand Review: Underprotection

posted in conscious fashion

Underprotection is a Danish lingerie, lounge, and swimwear brand. They use materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, bamboo, and lyocell. The products are made in a Fair Wear Foundation factory in India.

I needed a new swim suit and was searching for something cute, that I could actually swim in, with decent coverage (can’t do those super cheeky bottoms). Initially I was looking for a one-piece but wanted a brand I could try on, since I have a long torso and it’s sometimes hard to find swimsuits that fit. This definitely limits options, but I found a local store that carried Underprotection and went to try on suits. Unfortunately, they only had one style and it wasn’t what I was looking for, but I tried it on anyways to at least get a sense of their fit. After looking at their other styles online, I instead decided to get one of their two piece suits and having tried on the other suit, I knew I likely needed a S top and M bottom. The pieces I wanted weren’t available in my size in a matching set but, I’m happy with the top and bottom being different colours.

The fit is pretty good, although the top is a little tight. I probably should have actually gone with a size M top, but the zipper on the front makes the fit more flexible- it’s very comfortable unzipped a little and secure for swimming when zipped up. The material is recycled polyester (from bottles and other plastics), and it’s thin but double-layered and quite soft (no cup inserts though, if that’s something you like). I’ve only worn it once, so I’m not sure how it will hold up over time. However, the construction is not the best; the stitching on the top is wobbly and uneven in areas, and in a couple spots the elastic doesn’t lie flat. It won’t affect the performance, just aesthetically, it isn’t as nice. In comparison, the bras don’t seem to have any sewing issues, so it might just be that the factory isn’t as comfortable working with swimwear materials. I’d be disappointed if I had paid full price, but having gotten both pieces on sale, I don’t mind as much the few sewing issues.

not the best sewing

Since I was ordering the swimsuit and also needed some more underwear, I decided to pick up a few other pieces as well. I ended up getting their Naomi bra and briefs in purple, and the Kira bra in nude. They have some really cute bralettes and soft-cup bras with different materials and styles. The sizing is difficult though, because everything is sized XS-L. Based on their size guide I could be an S or M, but I went with M (In both the bra and briefs) because I can always take pieces in a bit if needed. The size M fits fairly well, the band and straps are both adjustable. I can see maybe needing to take in the bands a bit though as the bras stretch out. The Naomi style does have more coverage with the cups so I probably could have sized down without any issues, but overall the bras are a decent fit and comfortable for such basic sizing. However, because the sizes are so simple I would recommend seeing if you can try their bras on somewhere before ordering.

Naomi bra and briefs

Kira bra

The Naomi set is mainly made from lyocell while the Kira bra is recycled polyester lace. Something that was surprising, is both bras have plastic boning on the sides. It’s nicely encased in soft fabric but typically styles like this don’t have boning, and it wasn’t mentioned in the item description. I found the website in general to be lacking in good photos of the pieces to see both sides and the details, and their item descriptions could be a lot better. The material description is just for a base fabric, and they don’t mention things like the elastics, hardware, or boning and casing materials.

inside with boning casing

If you’re looking for soft fabric bras and bralettes (no under-wire) they have some really cute styles and nice materials (*See updates), although the sizing can be challenging especially if you’re ordering online. I don’t think I would get another swimsuit from them, however; because of the sewing issues mentioned above, I’d try a different brand for swimwear.

Find more underwear and swimwear brands in the directory, and I also have a video about sustainable underwear.

UPDATE: After only about 3 months the elastic/trim on the underwear is very disappointingly fraying and coming apart and the purple bra is also having quality issues. I also ordered a velvet body suit from them and while the style is really cute the fit/cut is weird. The bust darts are way too high and the crotch snaps are very far back making it awkward to wear. I would definitely recommend trying on Underprotection garments and thoroughly inspecting for fabric/trim quality and construction before purchasing.

2nd UPDATE: After wearing the swimsuit only a few times the stitching on the bottoms is coming apart along the seams exposing the elastic. Overall the quality has been very disappointing.

Green Köln

posted in travel

I’ve lived in Cologne, Germany for the last couple years. It’s not really a big travel destination unless you’re coming to see the Dom or for Karneval but it has some great places for conscious fashion and veg food! Here are some of my favourites:

Shopping

Fairfitters – Lovely store with lots of men’s and women’s clothes and accessories.

Green Guerillas – Selection of men’s and women’s casual wear, lots of tees and basics.

Kiss the Inuit – Another option for men’s and women’s casual wear.

Lanius – Cologne label with a few stories around the city.

ShipSheip – Little boutique carrying some men’s and womanswear from their own line, as well as from Dedicated, Jungle Folk, rentals from Kleiderrebell, and accessories.

ShipSheip

Secondhand

KattaKatta – Consignment store with an often over-stuffed selection of unique pieces.

Polyestershock – Cute vintage boutique with some lovely items – plus they do alternations!

Vintage & Rags – Large selection of men’s and women’s vintage clothes and accessories.

Vintage Emde – Curated vintage selection with lots of staples and unique pieces.

Kleiderei – A clothing rental store where with your monthly membership you can borrow clothes, like a library! (can also buy clothes)

 

Eating

Bunte Burger

 

Edelgrün – I couldn’t ask for anything more. This place has a great selection of delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes with a focus on healthy, whole foods and sustainability (bring your own takeaway containers and they’ll give you a discount!)

Bunte Burger – Loaded vegan burgers with lots of different combinations. They have a location in Ehrenfeld, but also food trucks at events and around the city.

MeiWok – Salad, soup, SE Asian curry, stir-fry, noodle, and rice dishes, plus a selection of healthy smoothies and juices. I typically go with the daily special and haven’t yet been disappointed.

Cafe Hibiskus – Great for afternoon coffee and a slice of vegan cake.

485 Grad – Italian pizza place, not totally veg like the others but they have a couple really delicious vegan pizzas.

Chum Chay – Vegetarian Vietnamese food, really cute place with an lovely outdoor courtyard in summer and flavourful dishes.

and finally…

Eisfeld – Amazing ice cream, always with some vegan options. My favourite is apple if they have it.

Find everything mentioned and more…

 

Menstrual Cups are a Period-Changer

posted in low waste, product reviews


I’m late to the menstrual cup game. I’d heard about them for quite a while before actually trying one out – admittedly they can be a little intimidating. It’s too bad I waited so long though, because I’m never going back!

Why I love using a menstrual cup:

1. The biggest personal benefit for me is how long you can leave them in (up to 12 hours!), so I don’t have to worry about changing it during the day.

2. It’s very sustainable – using a menstrual cup means a zero waste period. Every month menstruating women throw away pads, tampons, applicators, plastic and paper packaging. Using a menstrual cup cuts out all this trash.

3. They save money. While menstrual cups are more expensive up front (they seem to range from about $20-$40), you actually save a lot of money if you add up everything you would otherwise spend on other kinds of period products.

4. Tampons may contain toxins. There’s debate and not much research into whether tampons contain things like dioxins or pesticides, so I’d rather play it safe.

5. Less clutter. I love being able to minimize the things I own, so not having boxes in the bathroom or tampons floating around my purse is wonderful.

I decided to get the OrganiCup*, both because I love the minimal and recycled paper packaging and organic cotton bag (it’s also certified vegan), and also because based on my research, it seemed like a good firmness and size to try as a beginner.

How to choose a menstrual cup

I did a lot of research beforehand and watched/read different cup reviews online. I really recommend the Youtube channel Precious Star Pads; she has a ton of great information and reviews.

Watch her How to choose your first menstrual cup video. (She also did a review of the OrganiCup)

You’ll want to be mindful of:

  • size – the height of your cervix, your flow, and whether or not you’ve given birth can all affect the size you’ll need
  • firmness – firmer cups are easier to open but can be uncomfortable and press on the bladder, while softer cups might get squished and unseal if you have strong pelvic muscles

Using a menstrual cup

It can definitely take some practice to get used to inserting and removing a menstrual cup. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work right away; it took me at least a couple cycles before I really felt comfortable using it. To insert the cup, it needs to be folded (most manufacturers recommend a C-fold or “punch down” fold, but there are also others). After the cup is inserted, it should unfold – it’s good to check that it has unfolded properly by running your finger around the outside of it.

Again Precious Star Pads has a helpful video on tips for inserting cups.

Removing the cup can be difficult at first – the first time I used one, I panicked a bit when it wouldn’t easily come out. The trick I found is to use your muscles to help push it down and squeeze it with your fingers to break the seal. I have high cervix so I also really like the stretchy stem on the OrganiCup which helps with removal.

Finally you’ll want to sanitize your cup between cycles by boiling it. While there has been a confirmed case of TSS with a menstrual cup there is not at all high risk, and you also have a risk using tampons.

For me, menstrual cups are the perfect option for a green period. Have you tried them?

💚


*indicates an affiliate link please see my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Carbon Offset your Travel

posted in travel

In this video we’re talking about why carbon offsetting is important and how to offset your travel.

We know that transportation has a large environmental impact, but it can also be very difficult to avoid. Flying is especially bad (although there are ways to fly better) and one way to help compensate for your CO2 emissions is through carbon offsetting.

How to Carbon Offset
  1. Find an organization/program you like
  2. Calculate your carbon emissions
  3. Donate to your chosen program

Finally another way to help reduce your flight impact is by choosing greener airlines and airplanes, or maybe fly though greener airports if you have the choice. Of course opting for trains (check out Writing from Nowhere’s post about Amtrak travel in the US) or busses is a lot more sustainable than flying, so choose those options where possible.

💚

What’s in my Beach Bag

posted in travel

 

My beach/pool essentials:

Sunscreen is a must. I’m currently using Eco Cosmetics SPF 30, which is an okay sunscreen. The ingredients aren’t the best compared to other eco-friendly sunscreens, and I don’t like the feeling of it on – it’s kind of sticky, though I prefer that to a greasy sunscreen – so I want to try some other brands as I still haven’t found one I love.

Hat and sunglasses, again for sun protection. (Both pictured are secondhand)

 A water bottle – my husband and I always bring our S’well (pictured) and Soul bottles on any outdoor adventure. You have to stay hydrated, especially on a hot day!

Snacks are also essential. I like to bring fruit in my bag, and on a hot day, juicy fruit is especially delicious. Veggies and hummus are also great, and although it’s not the healthiest, we’ll usually pick up a bag of chips on the way too.

– Something to read. I love lying outside with a book and am a huge fan of e-readers because of how compact they are. I also always have podcasts on my phone, and on a lazy beach day we might listen to some episodes as well.

– Of course I need a swimsuit. Earlier this summer I was still using a swimsuit that I’ve had for over 5 years but unfortunately, this was its last summer, so I recently ordered a new one from Underprotection.

Towels are another obvious one. I don’t want to wreck our nice bath towels, so we usually also bring a blanket to lie on. However, I’m getting a Turkish towel for camping/outdoor activities because they are light, easy to pack, quick drying and really versatile – you can also wear them! For examples of these towels check out Coyuchi (US), Ottoloom (NZ), and Karawan (FR) – which I’m ordering from Avocado Store.

– Finally, this is not an essential, but I’ll often throw rose water or a hydrosol into my bag. When it’s really hot out, a mist spray is so refreshing! I particularly like chamomile because it can be calming to the skin, and I’ll usually dilute a chamomile hydrosol with some water in a little spray bottle.

I carry everything in an organic cotton tote bag. 🙂

 

To wear over my swimsuit, I like a loose jersey tunic or dress. My navy tunic is perfect because it’s comfortable, cool, easy to get on and off, and covers my shoulders where I usually burn.

 

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