Jul 25, 2022
Given the gas-guzzling flights, disposable plastics and sizable carbon footprint, travel has long been viewed as a somewhat unsustainable activity. But with the recent rise of eco-conscious tourism, this looks set to change. According to a survey by Virtuoso (a global network of travel agencies), 82% of respondents intend to explore the world more responsibly, with 70% indicating that travelling sustainably would enhance their holiday experience.
Companies around the globe are heeding the call. Most hotel and hospitality groups – including Frasers Hospitality – now implement wide-reaching, effective sustainability initiatives aimed at achieving carbon neutrality and tackling the effects of climate change.
What’s more, many independent brands are crafting environmentally friendly wellness necessities geared towards eco-minded travellers. Think water bottles, skincare products, exercise mats and outdoor gear. Read on to find out about some great sustainable items you should take with you on your travels.
Getting away doesn’t mean having to leave your workout routine at home. Pack this sustainable, travel-sized yoga mat from California-based outfit Suga and you can find times for in-room sweat sessions. At less than 1.4kg and 3mm thick, it is lighter and smaller than the average mat – allowing you to stay under airline weight restrictions.
The brand bills this as the first yoga mat engineered from 100% recycled wetsuits. To date, they’ve collected over 16,000 wetsuits and diverted more than 37 tonnes of neoprene from being sent to landfills. The company also operates a cradle-to-grave recycling programme, and you can send them your used wetsuit for a 10% discount on their entire range.
Bar-based toiletries have a significant leg up on their liquid counterparts when it comes to sustainability. They’re lighter, which requires less fuel to transport, and are usually easier to package into recyclable containers.
You can get your solid shampoo, conditioner and body wash from New Zealand company Sphaera, which manufactures pH-balanced and vegan toiletries that are free from soap, palm oil, sulphates, silicones, parabens and artificial ingredients. They come in minimal, plastic-free and compostable packaging, and are infused with aromatic botanical extracts and pure essential oils.
Credit: Ryan Murch Imagery
One of the biggest culprits of single-use plastics is bottled water. And as a traveller, it’s hard to resist the convenience factor of simply buying, chugging and trashing. Instead, you can do your part for the planet by getting a reusable water bottle from Australian company Worthy.
The colourful contraption is made locally from 100% sustainably grown sugarcane. Sugarcane waste is also used to power the factory, resulting in a carbon-neutral item and zero-waste production process. And that’s not all – Worthy donates 10% of its sales to global charitable organisation Vision Rescue.
Zen out after a jam-packed day of exploring by drawing a bath and spraying one of the essential oils from Singaporean brand Innerfyre Co. These sweet-smelling, non-toxic delights are created with a blend of organic coconut oil and a range of essential oils, Innerfyre Co engages in robust reforestation and carbon-offsetting efforts.
Switch up your teeth-brushing routine – and cut down on your water usage – with these handy toothpaste tablets from T-Brush, which hails from Istanbul. The vegan, all-natural product comes in various organic flavours such as mint, orange and strawberry, with both fluoridated and non-fluoridated options available, and is made in a GMP-certified factory that doesn’t test on animals.
T-Brush also takes plastic waste seriously. All of its items are packaged in eco-friendly reusable glass containers, and the brand keeps their carbon footprint to a minimum.
Keep your skin in tip-top shape with Baesix’s organic, vegan and sustainable skincare essentials. The Hong Kong-headquartered outfit uses all-natural ingredients, doesn’t test on animals and fashions its packaging from biodegradable ingredients such as sugarcane, corn and bamboo.
Their #THISISEVERYTHING kit is the ideal travel companion for all your skincare needs. It includes face wash, serums and facial moisturiser with SPF 35 PA+++ to keep your skin hydrated and protected. The company is also in the midst of establishing an eco-refill programme for its products.
You’ll be able to fit all your hiking essentials into BearMade’s spacious backpack. The United Kingdom-based label’s locally crafted products are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, and their sturdy, weatherproof backpack is made with GOTS-certified organic dry-waxed cotton – which uses 88% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton – and zero toxic chemicals.
They also place a strong emphasis on caring for the environment. With each backpack they produce, BearMade plants five trees and invests in 15kg of carbon offsets. They intend to plant 300,000 trees by 2025.
The last thing you need is for messy luggage to mess with your mental well-being. For a seamless and organised packing experience, check out these packing cubes from WAYKS, a brand from Berlin that only works with socially and environmentally responsible suppliers. The nifty item is made from 100% recycled materials, which substantially lowers its oil and water consumption and carbon emissions. Additionally, it’s free from PFC coatings – a toxic chemical that some companies use to make their fabrics water repellent.