Friend of Locke, Content Creator and Menswear Writer Jordan Bunker, gives his take on conscious travel and some small steps we can implement to contribute to a more sustainable way of travelling this summer.
‘Travel for me, is something that I look forward to. It could be as close as a neighbouring city or a short flight across to Europe. Seeing new places, ticking off food spots I’ve had saved for a while and connecting with new people.
I find myself travelling a fair amount, with my most travelled route being Manchester to London, meaning plenty of opportunity to stay at the five (soon to be six) locations Locke has across the city. For a city trip I go into automation mode while packing, going from overpacking to concise, being mindful about mitigating waste, both from my suitcase and on my travels. Locke have asked me to share a few words on the small things we can do to combat the issues that arise from travel’.
1. Reuse, always.
First step for me, a refillable water bottle. Mine goes with me everywhere - it’s in my bag now as I sit here typing away on the train. A high step count means a lot of liquids and I’ll avoid single plastic where possible.
The same goes for coffee, if I’m getting coffee between meetings, a KeepCup is a no brainer. I think we all fell out of the habit during covid, but now we need to make a conscious effort to take these items with us.
2. Reads for the road.
Sustainability is going nowhere in all walks of life and I’m trying to educate myself more on the wider cultural issues. A couple reads I’ve got packed in my case at the moment is Consumed by Aja Barber and No More Plastic by Martin Dorey. The latter is a really actionable pick-up, put down style of book. As for Aja, she is incredibly knowledgeable of the systems within fashion and she helps explain how these existing systems are essentially outdated and the harm they are doing to both planet and people. You could also pick something up related to the destination you’re travelling to, a guide that highlights all the local spots is always valued.
3. Keep it independent.
Speaking of hitting up local spots, one of the best rewards while travelling is to experience the food. I’m a sucker for a baked good and finding places that are run by people that are running things themselves is an absolute win. Try and find cafes and restaurants that source locally too, it’s great when we see independents lifting one another up.
4. Point A to Point B.
With so much to see, and this feels like a given, is to avoid travelling by car. Take London for example, it’s so well connected by train and if your legs are up to it, a two-wheeled trip will help you see more. I find myself going to places I wouldn’t even think about heading when I’m on a bike and take that route through the park that otherwise would’ve been missed.
5. Supporting the good guys.
I took a decision a couple of years ago to avoid fast fashion. I like to shop slow and then when I do spend my money, it’s with brands I appreciate and have a good ethos. I try and take this mindset into other parts of my life too. When travelling, finding stores with a curation and service most big brands don’t offer. As most of these are generally in their infancy and quite small, you probably won’t see them in your own city/country, making the store visit even more memorable. Take the above for example, 00.thestore is currently on Rathbone Place until the 10th May and brings together sustainable, ethical and eco- conscious brands, most of which do not have their own physical space.
6. Stay longer
So, I think this one is probably more relevant to those travelling overseas, but if you can, stay longer. I’ve tried to reduce how much I fly and when I am in a new city, tagging on an extra couple of days. It makes for a much more relaxed visit and you can tick off everything without feeling rushed. Enjoy the city at a pace you find best.
So, the next time you reach for your suitcase or look for your next trip – have a think about making some small changes that can contribute to a better future for travel.