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By Lara Picone

From shade to shades, these local beach-focussed brands will kit you out for a summer of sunshine-filled days by the sea.

Wandering Folk picnic rugs

What began with an idea for an artful, waterproof picnic rug spurred by a rainy camping trip has now flourished to become a much-loved local brand with products ranging from throws to glassware and baskets and, for the first time this season, sun umbrellas. Byron-based founder and director, Sharnee, put her textile design degree to good use when she began illustrating the floral patterns for her first range. From there, the Wandering Folk style grew and evolved with each product subjected to the same diligent creative process. Recognisable by a whimsical aesthetic of ornate florals prints that evoke bygone eras, the Wandering Folk range is both timeless and contemporary for the modern wanderer. This season's Under the Sun collection is all simple moments bathed in warm tones to inspire laidback beachgoing.

Byron Bay Beachlife tents

Designed in 2013 with the long, hot summers of the Northern Rivers in mind, Byron Bay Beachlife tents have become a fixture on stretches of sand from Bondi to Byron and beyond. Simple yet genius in their design, the sides of the rain-resistant tent can be dropped to maximise shade, depending on the sun’s position, and offer UV protection. The tents can withstand strong winds, cover up to seven-metres with shade and, a plus for solo beachgoers, can be put up by a single soul. When it’s time to pack up, the tents slip easily into a zippered bag for no-fuss ferrying to the car – particularly handy for those of us who don’t pack light for a day on the beach. Classic bold stripes and retro and tropical patterns will keep you looking cool while you’re staying cool, too.

Will & Bear hats While this B-Corp Certified brand began their collection with 100% Australian wool hats, happily, the Byron Bay label also make natural fibre straw-weave hats for lighter wearing come summer. Our pick is the timeless Austin design, that’s set to be on high rotation for the season with its wide brim and cooler, hand-braided raffia construction. Yet style is not the only reason to invest in Will & Bear headwear, because your purchase also comes with a top-up of feelgood vibes as every hat sold results in a tree being planted. The brand has invested deeply in their mission to sustain a business that profits the planet with an admirable commitment donating 2% of profits to help raise awareness of social and environmental issues and, ultimately, build a better future. We can certainly take our hat off to that, but, actually, we’ll keep it on because it looks so good.

Childe Sunglasses Yes, you can buy cheap fashion-knock-off shades from Kmart, but chances are, they’ll end up adding to landfill. Conscious shopping is all about making better, more sustainable choices with high-quality style and manufacturing. This is what local eyewear label Childe is all about. The brainchild Jon Laurenson, who channelled his background in fashion eyewear to create his own eco-aware brand in 2018, Childe is designed in Byron Bay and made in Italy from eco-friendly, recyclable bio acetate. Both stylish and sustainable, Childe offer their Childe For Life warranty program, a partnership with local company The Sunglass Fix, that enables you to replace scratched or damaged lenses and keep your fave sunnies on your face for the length of their lifetime warranty. An initiative particularly relevant for the beach-heavy lifestyle of the Northern Rivers.

Sunday Supply Co. beach chairs and umbrellas

If you’re settling in for a sun-bleached beach session, the last thing you want is to spend your time wrestling with a sand-dusted towel while you chase the diminishing shade up the shoreline. Instead, you’re going to want to prop yourself up in a comfortable chair under a chic umbrella and stay put. With their covetable range of beach blankets, towels, foldable chairs, cooler bags, classic umbrellas, and beach cabanas in of-the-minute patterns and muted tones, Byron-born Sunday Supply Co. is the go-to for savvy beachgoer style. Designed to create ‘beautiful shade’ these pieces are boutique essentials with a premium yet distinctly Australian, and specifically Byron Bay, sensibility. You can set yourself up with a whole look by selecting a bundle or set, or mix-and-match colourways and prints. This summer, we have an eye on the ‘Husk Flower’ umbrella.

Salt Gypsy Responsibly crafted using recycled materials, Salt Gypsy is a surf brand made by women surfers for women surfers. Byron local and long-time surfer Danny was on the hunt for durable, functional and fashionable oceanwear that would give women confidence in the water. In 2012, while working from a boat in the Maldives, she decided to make and road-test her own surf leggings. Now the Salt Gypsy collection has grown to include UV protective rashguards, swimwear and even surfboards, all created to help women paddle out in self-assured style.


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