The ultimate travel shoe (?)

So recently I was looking for cool, sustainable kickstarter projects and stumbled upon this: the ultimate travel shoe 2.0, or the Tropicfeel - Canyon.

The Tropicfeel shoes are shoes that combine all kinds of shoes into one: office shoes, water shoes, hiking shoes, sneakers.. And best of all, they claim to be vegan and sustainable, aka made from environmentally friendly products (recycled plastic bottles and algae bloom). So since I was looking for a new pair of shoes I decided to buy and try these!

The big advantage of these shoes is that they were designed by a group of travel lovers. They drew from their own, and other people's experience to figure out which  qualities the "ultimate travel shoe" needed to have. This resulted in a shoe that promises to be quick dry, odor less, light weight, slip resistant, slip on, breathable and sustainable and vegan. Well, to me it sounds very promising! As does the fact that it was made by fellow travelers, who know what we would like most. Most appealing to me of all things is that it means you only have to bring one pair of shoes for your entire trip (unless you're planning to do some extreme stuff of course). 

The only downside of backing a project on kickstarter is that it might take months before you receive the product, and that you don't know if it's really that good. I've finally received a survey to order the shoes in my size, which means I will probably get them in August. After that I will definitely try them and let you know if they were worth the money. Unfortunately the kickstarter is not live anymore, so if you want to order them yourself you can either wait till they appear on the Tropicfeel website, or order their previous version "Monsoon" on https://www.tropicfeel.com/

Related content:
4 tips for sustainable travel products

4 tips for sustainable travel products

Image

Hi everyone!

As you might have noticed, lately I've been trying to figure out how to live more sustainably. However, while I'm getting better at it at home, my travels could do with a sustainability upgrade as well. Therefore, I've been gathering some tricks I use at home, that could also be used for travelling. 

1. Get a safety razor
This is definitely one of my favorite lifestyle changes and it could easily be used for travelling as well. I have been using disposable razors for so long, and never really thought about how damaging they are for the environment due to packaging and all the plastic used for the razors themselves (I'm not even talking about production emissions etc). Recently I saw a post somewhere about a safety razor, which made me wonder whether this would be a good alternative. It turns out, many people before me have asked the same question and hundreds of blogs are written about it. Great! So after reading some experiences of other bloggers, I decided to buy one. Without putting too much effort into it, I choose the "Feather safety razor populair" at https://www.thealphamen.nl/feather-safety-razor-populair-2-mesjes.html which costs 20 euros and comes with 2 blades. I didn't want to spend too much money on one in case I didn't like it, but in hindsight, it would have been better if I bought a safety razor that was 100% metal and maybe a little bit more expensive. 

I'm very happy with my safety razor (maybe I'll write a whole blog about it sometime as well..). I was a bit scared when I used it for the first time, because it's such a sharp razor and a new experience, but this turned out to be totally unnecessary. It's super easy and it's so much better than disposable razors with 2,3,4,5 blades. You can use the razor everywhere (just be a bit more careful in sensitive areas), and you really get a clean and good shave which lasts much longer. For a sustainable shaving cream, especially when travelling, it's easiest to have a soap bar with you, or some coconut or olive oil. This works really well and is super easy. You can just bring a bit of oil with you on your travels and only use a little bit every time you shave. 

By the way, the disposable razor blades last about 1-2 months depending on how often you use it, and are recyclable. 

2. Rice water hair boost
One of the things I really dislike when I'm travelling, is when my hair gets dry. Certain climates can be really tough on your hair and damage it, and usually spending much time on revitalising your hair is not a priority when travelling. So recently, I found out about an easy trick to give your hair a little boost, and it can be done almost everywhere! 

What you do is you boil rice with 1.5 or 2 times the amount of water you would have actually needed for cooking the rice. When it's finished you drain the excess water and keep it separate. Let it cool down until it's colder, cover your hair and scalp in it (for example by putting the water in a bowl and dipping your hair and head in) and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Then rinse it out and your hair will be super soft again! 

If you use conditioner as well, do this after conditioning - You can also mix the rice water with green tea to make your hair more shiny - if you have too much rice water, store it in the fridge so you can use more later - you have to figure out yourself how much to use it, I think most people say once a week/two weeks/month. Or you can just use it whenever your hair feels like it needs a boost. 

3. Bring a water bottle and/or sustainable cup with you on your trip
Just like at home, you can bring your own water bottle or coffee cup when you go somewhere. This can safe millions of plastic or paper alternatives. Always ask people to use your cup for a drink your ordering, and fill your own bottle with water. A Stojo cup (https://stojo.co/) is a very good option for travellers since it is foldable and therefore takes up less space in your bag. 

4. Bring your own chopsticks
Okay, maybe this one doesn't count for all your travels, but mainly relates to travelling in south-east Asia, but it really helps save on wooden products. I have experience travelling in Japan and everywhere you buy some food, you get disposable wooden chopsticks in plastic packaging. Imagine saying no to all of these and just using your own chopsticks? It's so easy! I think on the worst days I could have saved over 8 pairs of chopsticks if I did this, and that would be only in one day. So from now on, I'm gonna bring my own and say no to the disposable ones :). 

These are just some simple tricks and tips for more sustainable travels. There are lots more to be found on the internet and more blog posts by me will follow in the future as well. But for now, you can read my blogpost about reducing your carbon footprint while travelling here, about sustainable and ethical travelling here and flight compensation here

Cheers, 

Hannah

Choosing sustainable outdoor gear

Choosing sustainable outdoor gear

Image

In 2019, it's hard to ignore thinking about how your consumption choices affect the world. While you're probably familiary with the bad impacts of flying, the meat and dairy industry and the plastic soup that we call oceans, the textile industry hasn't entirely made it's way into the spotlights. 

A couple of months ago I saw the documentary "Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion's Dirty Secrets". While I was aware of terms like sustainable fashion, I had never been presented with the blunt facts or shocking images that come with it, nor had I tried to read into it. The fast fashion industry comes at a huge cost to the environment; water pollution, toxic chemicals, fashion waste and transportation costs. Furthermore, the water footprint of fabrics like cotton, and even more shocking, organic cotton, is huge. And while we are on the safe-side of the fashion industry (for now...), millions of people are suffering from the fashion choices we maken. 

Fast fashion is an industry focusing on low costs and speed. In reducing the costs for clothes, companies often choose for the cheapest countries with little (enforced) rules on environmental impact. The vibrant colours you love so much in your clothes, are often created with the use of toxic chemicals of which the residues end up in rivers and oceans, making this practice the second largest pollutor of clean water, following the number one we're all aware of; agriculture. By making such choices, fashion companies can constantly provide new collections at low costs, and the consumer is presented with cheap attractice new options all the time. In turn, this has caused a high-turnover of clothes in people's closets. Whereas in the past you used to have the same trousers for years, now you might have worn them 5 times before buying new ones and sending these to the second hand shop, hence the increasing amounts of textile waste. 

What can you do?

I was shocked by what I saw in the documentary and it totally changed my view on fashion. I'm not the only one, many blogs can be found on the internet regarding sustainable fashion, or even cutting out clothes shopping as a whole (check out this girl who didn't buy clothes for a year). While the latter option is something I might consider as a new-years resolution next year, it's a bit difficult with my upcoming trip and my lack of outdoor clothing. Therefore I have found some other ways to reduce my environmental fashion impact, which I would love to share with you. 

First of all, the number one rule is buy less. It's a simple solution to a big problem, buying less means less waste, less chemicals, less transportation, less water use etc. This is immediately connected to the second thing: buy recycled and good-quality. Recycled clothes are often the best as little pressure is put on virgin resources used for new clothingBuying good quality means the clothes will last longer and therefore again, you'll also have to buy less. However, not all good quality fashion is sustainable, so make sure to look at the brands. 

Since this blog is about outdoor brands, I want to give you a list of brands that from most sustainable to least sustainable based on the amazing website "rankabrand.org". 

Vaude 
Vaude scores the highest in the list of outdoor brands and therefore achieves a B-label. This is due to their use of 100% green electricty, their policies regarding toxic substances and their waste and packaging management. Furthermore they are a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. 

Jack Wolfskin
Jack Wolfskin is assigned a C label. They have implemented several measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and work with organic cotton and certified manufacturers. However, they are not entirely transparent about their practices and therefore many impacts remain unknown. 

Fjällräven & Patagonia
Even though I've repeatedly been told Patagonia is one of the most sustainable brands, both Fjällräven and Patagonia score a C-label as well on the rankabrand website. Since the website uses a strict set of criteria, if the brand is not transparent about this, or does not publish results on their impacts, they score rather low. 

Other C-labels are assigned to Pyua, Trigema, Schöffel, Norrona, Deuther. Furthermore, D-labels are assigned to Bergans, Burton, Icebreaker, Regatta and Millet

When looking at a review of the fair cottage websiteVaude again pops up as the top sustainable choice, followed by Houdini and La Sportiva. 

The Greenpeace campaign "detox our fashion" on the use of PFCs (long-term severe pollutants) also gives an overview of the big outdoor brands. Their detox champions are again Vaude, and Paramo and Rotauf. The brands that are moving towards becoming more sustainable but that are definitely not their yet are The North FaceHaglöfs, Black Yak, Jack WOlfskin, Mammut, Salewa and Norrona. The brands that score the worst are Arcteryx, Columbia and Patagonia. While they mention that Patagonia is one of the leaders in sustainability, they are definitely falling short in their detox from PFCs. 

Interestingly, an independent website, theprch.com, puts Patagonia as the most sustainable brands out of a list of outdoor brands. Patagonia is refered to on many websites and in many articles as one of the most sustainable brands due to, for example, their focus on recycled fabric. While they score the highest on theprch, the website does mention that they are far from perfect and not very transparent. However, they do provide a lot of information on how they try to reduce their impacts, while many other companies hardly make any efforts at all. 

Patagonia is followed by REI, which has a B score. In the D category, the North Face, Mountain Hardware, Mammut, Marmot, Columbia, Black Diamond and Arc'teryx are listed. The worst brands, according to this list, are SmartWool, Sea to Summit, Osprey, Big Agnes, Coleman, Exped, Five Ten, Granite Gear, Gregory, Kelty, KUHL, MSR, NEMO
If you want to know more about how these brand were scored, check out the theprch website

All in all it seems that Vaude is definitely the most sustainable brands. Whether Patagonia follows, I'm not sure. They mentiion that they try to do a lot to be more environmentally friendly, but they lack actual reporting and therefore score quite low. Furthermore, they are not active in reducing their PFCs. I think it's best to buy products from Vaude, look into what products you buy from B/C categories, and definitely avoid the brands with a B-label. If one of your brands is not in the list, you can request RankaBrand to review it through this page. 

Last of all, I want to mention the option of second hand clothes. While it can be tricky with outdoor clothing, there are still plenty of options to find good clothes. Check out second hand (outdoor) shops, people selling clothes on the internet, shops, or even brands selling used clothes (https://www.rei.com/used for example). 

Well, hopefully this helped you in making your sustainable outdoor shopping easier! Let me know if you have any more ideas, thoughts, tips or comments below :). 

Cheers

Hannah

Comments, Compliments & Kudos

Add new contribution

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Image
Access level of this page
  • Public
  • WorldSupporters only
  • JoHo members
  • Private
Statistics
[totalcount]