Packing light is usually associated with buying low quality products at your destination and throwing out products when the season changes. It doesn’t have to be this way though, with many versatile products which come in handy in most climates. By buying quality garments it can be a lot more comfortable to travel and reduces spending of much needed travel funds on clothes in the future. While quality does have a larger outlay than low quality products it pays for itself in the long run. My top tips for creating a sustainable travelling wardrobe are:
- Use what you already have and wear it out. There is nothing more sustainable than using what you already have. Once these are worn out you can go to step 2.
- Buy products made out of fibres which insulate, wick away moisture and don’t smell. No one wants to be sweaty and smelly so choosing these fibres, such as wool and down (preferably recycled), can reduce how often you need to wash and how fresh you’ll feel after many hours of transit or activities.
- Buy lightweight products that pack really small. The smaller they pack the more options you can pack while still keeping your pack small.
- Pack beautiful products which match with each other. I prefer all plain black bottoms with colourful tops, that way I know all of my tops go with all of my bottoms. My thought: ugly clothes take up as much room as nice ones, so choose clothes you like or else they’ll take up precious room and won’t get used often.
- Make sure all of your clothes are comfortable. Looking great and being comfortable do work together, especially with travel clothes.
My favourite products in my current pack (including my backpack):
- Osprey Ozone 46L backpack – Osprey guarantees it’s packs for life and so if anything goes wrong you can return it and get it fixed. This is a lot easier for US citizens as some countries have restrictions. For example, I was told that for Australia my bag has a shortened warrantee though if am transiting through US I can still take advantage of the US lifetime warrantee.
- Tom Cridland 30 year sweatshirt – yep, 30 years. The guarantee is strong on this sweatshirt. Though it is made of cotton and therefore tends to trap heat. Other than that it can be worn anywhere and is smart enough to wear to a more important meeting should the situation arise.
- Darn Tough socks – They come with a lifetime warrantee and are the comfiest socks I’ve ever worn. I really hope they are never lost in the wash. My initial reaction when I heard about socks with a lifetime warrantee was “gross”, but after meeting someone who has been wearing them for 6 months and they still looked brand new I was intrigued. I’ll be testing them out for my lifetime hopefully so stay posted.
- Sloggi ever new underwear – That’s right, underwear that will last your lifetime. What!!? I hear you say. I’m very excited about these. They were my answer to black Friday shopping craziness, kind of a protest to all of the unnecessary products bought on the day. I love the material, though I wish they came in G-string (thong) design as I don’t love the marks through my jeans. For that reason I won’t buy more until they offer more designs as I want the perfect product for me if I have it forever.
My wish list
- Patagonia W’s Alpine Houdini jacket – A lightweight rain jacket which packs in to it’s own pocket. Of course I want it in bright blue! My beloved blue jacket started letting water in after only 6 months so I need a replacement. Patagonia guarantees it’s products for life and will repair any damage.
- UV Water steriliser – One of the worst parts of travel waste: plastic bottles. In Europe I was never using them as I drunk from the tap. In Mexico I feel I have to buy water for my health. Having a water steriliser would save me from producing a lot of plastic waste.
- Shoes that will last a long time. I would love hiking/city boot hybrid in a neutral colour that lasts my life. Being realistic I guess at least 5 years would be amazing. If you know of any that fit the criteria please let me know.
- Patagonia tights – They should last for life and are a great versatile item for an under layer, workouts and sleeping.
- Black jeans – Do these exist? Levi’s last me anywhere from 1 to 5 years depending on the design, which I’m somewhat happy with but would prefer a company with a more sustainable and transparent production process.