Best Eco-Friendly Towels for the Bath To The Beach

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Looking for ethical and eco-friendly towels for the bath, shower, or beyond? Here are my top ethical and sustainable picks – from organic cotton to the zero-waste ones made from waste yarn, and more.

Many of us are busy trying to reduce our use of plastic in the bathroom. But did you know that your environmental efforts don’t have to stop at switching to bamboo toothbrushes and solid shampoo bars? Yes, if you need to replace your towels, then you can buy eco-friendly towels that are kind to both the environment and the workers who made them.

It can be a bit of a sustainable minefield trying to work out what products are actually eco-friendly and ethical (spoiler: even in the eco-friendly towel market there’s a lot of greenwashing). As such, I’ve done the leg work for you and rounded up my favourite sustainable towels.

Sustainable Towel Quick Links

First off, you can use the quick links below to navigate to the sections about each brand. Or you can keep scrolling for the full post, with more information about each ethical towel brand, and a price guide.

What To Look For In An Eco-Friendly Towel

When asking what towels are eco-friendly, there are a few things you can look out for. Organic cotton is a better choice than regular cotton. This is because regular cotton requires heavy pesticide use that can contaminate the soil, land, and water.

For peace of mind, look for external certification, such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. This means that the entire textile supply chain is backed up by independent certification, so you can be sure you aren’t being greenwashed.

OEKO-TEX® certified cotton is another good choice to look out for. This means the product has been tested at all stages of production for harmful substances. This ensures that workers are working in a safe environment and that the product does not discharge any harmful chemicals either in the production stage or at home.

You might come across BCI cotton, which positions itself as a sustainable alternative. I personally avoid BCI cotton, as it turns out it isn’t a great ethical choice.

Some brands have started to use leftover yarn from making other products to make towels. This is a great zero-waste and low-impact eco-friendly option, which I’d love to see more of.

Bamboo is also pervasive in the eco-friendly towel market. However bamboo can be problematic. Whilst bamboo is faster-growing and requires fewer chemicals and water to grow, it is chemically intensive to turn woody bamboo into soft fabrics. This process can be harmful to both workers and the environment.

I haven’t featured any bamboo towel brands in this guide. This is because I couldn’t verify that the bamboo towel brands were making bamboo fibre responsibly. If you do specifically want bamboo towels, then look for brands that prioritise the safety of their workers. Also, look for those that have robust chemical management plans in place to minimise the environmental impact of the industrial effluent.

The Best Eco-Friendly Towels

Guide to eco-friendly towels - from organic bath towels to beach towels and more.

Whilst it can indeed be a minefield separating the green from the greenwash, to help make it easy for you, I’ve put together a guide to my favourite eco-friendly towels. I’ve particularly looked for ethical brands producing independently certified organic cotton towels. I’ve also found brands using sustainable materials such as waste yarns.

On to the towels!


  • Made from: organic cotton
  • Made in: Portugal
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • Price: £30
  • Available from Rapanui

You might be familiar with Rapanui – the Isle of Wight ethical clothing brand – for its collection of casual ethical clothing. But did you know it also makes some pretty funky eco-friendly towels?

Ethically made in Portugal from super soft towelling organic cotton, these 100% plastic-free towels make for a luxurious drying experience.

Whilst they are one size only, as they are designed as beach towels – there’s no stopping you from using these fun towels after a bath or shower.

You can also find a collection of towelling changing robes/towels for the beach or for wild swimming,

What I love about Rapanui is that every product is designed from the start to be sent back when it is worn out. This means that once your towels reach the end of their life, you can send them back to Rapanui. Rapanui covers the postage, and it will recover and remanufacture the material into new products. Rapanui will also reward you with a coupon that you can use to save money on your next purchase. Circularity at its finest.

Dip & Doze

Two Dip and Doze sustainable towels hanging from hooks.
  • Made from: 100% organic Fairtrade cotton
  • Made in: India
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • Price: from £20
  • Available from: Buy Me Once

Ethically made from 100% organic Fairtrade cotton, Dip & Doze’s considered range of eco-friendly towels focus on the details that make a difference.

Its organic cotton is sourced from a non-profit organisation that helps small-scale family farms improve profits through sustainable agriculture. Here, no harmful chemical pesticides, fertilisers or genetically modified organisms are used.

Plus as Dip & Doze is Fairtrade certified, this means its cotton is certified throughout the whole supply chain. Dip & Doze say each product is always consciously crafted with care by some of the world’s best makers, and its partners produce according to the highest ethical standards from seed to final garment

Available in a range of sizes, there’s a wide range of towels available – from hand towels to bath towels and more.


Luks at Buy Me Once
  • Made from: GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • Made in: Turkey
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • Price: from £25
  • Available from: Buy Me Once

Luks beautiful handcrafted bath towels are handmade ethically in Turkey from GOTS-certified organic cotton. As a lightweight towel, rather than fluffy bath towels, the fabric itself is lightweight and quick drying.

Whilst it does take some getting used to a thin towel, if you’re used to the fluffy variety, you’ll soon come around to the pros of these types of towels. I’m a convert! I love that they don’t take long to dry. Damp towels hanging around your bathroom for hours soon become a thing of the past.

Storing your towels also takes up less room in your home – which is great if you live in a small space. The Ekin towel, for example, is as big as a bath sheet but it rolls or folds down to about a quarter of the size. This also means they are great for travelling or for trips to the beach or wild swimming – taking up much less space in your bag. More room for snacks!

Available from Buy Me Once, these eco-friendly towels are such high quality that they have a 20-year replace or repair guarantee should your towels develop a fault.

Dock & Bay

White bathroom with four dock and bay recycled towels hanging up
  • Made from: 100% recycled, post-consumer plastic bottles
  • Made in: China
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • Price: from £18
  • Available from: John Lewis

As a certified B-Corp – a company that has been independently verified as meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability – Dock & Bay is committed to ensuring that almost all of its products are made from 100% recycled, post-consumer plastic bottles.

Dock & Bay say that there are at least 5 plastic bottles recycled into each foldable bag. What’s more, all of its products are made by suppliers who are certified by the Global Recycled Standard.

Available as bath towels or beach towels, each towel is fast drying and packs down small into the free matching bag provided.

Do note, that these types of recycled plastic fabrics do shed microplastics when washed. Wash it in a Guppyfriend washing bag (from Ethical Superstore) or similar – to help stop microplastics from leaching into the water.

Wild & Stone

Wild & Stone hand towels
  • Made from: GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • Made in: India
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • Price: from £14.95
  • Available from: Ethical Superstore

Wild & Stone’s hand towels are fairly made in India from organic cotton that is both GOTS and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. To minimise its carbon footprint, Wild & Stone use sea shipments, rather than air, for all of its products.

All of their lovely hand towels are packaged in fully recyclable, plastic-free packaging. And what’s more, a percentage of each purchase is donated to the Marine Conservation Society.

Natural Collection

Natural Collection eco-friendly and ethical bath towels
  • Made from: GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • Made in: Turkey
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • Price: from £4.95
  • Available from: Ethical Superstore

Natural Collection’s GOTS-certified organic towels are ethically made in Turkey.

Super soft, and a great size for drying off after a relaxing shower or bath, these eco-friendly cotton towels will soon be a favourite in your house.

These towels come in a range of sizes and coordinating colours, so you can mix and match your towels, or have a different colour for each member of the family.

I hope this roundup of eco-friendly and ethical towels is helpful! Do also check out my guide to plastic-free bubble bath if you have all things bathing in mind.

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