It has been so long (two years too long) since I’ve been in an airport, but I finally have a couple plane tickets with my name on them! As you can imagine, I’m in full-on planning mode with anticipation, haha!
A few years ago I started packing more intentionally with the goal of solely traveling with a carry-on (or the smallest luggage I can get away with). What first motivated me to do this was the simplicity of less belongings to travel with; however now I also know that the lighter your luggage, the better it is for the environment. So now, I start my packing list as soon as I book a trip, because I like to give it a couple edits to ensure I’m bringing only the essentials.
I’ve got my packing pretty much down to a science with a few principles I follow, all of which work even when embarking on a cold-weather trip that requires heavier layers (like this one to Banff where we got lots of snow).
Here are some things to consider when packing a slow fashion suitcase.
what to consider when packing a slow fashion suitcase
This will be your true north, your place to start: considering how much space you have to pack with. Using a carry-on or smaller luggage will help you focus on bringing the essentials. The more space you have, the more you’ll be tempted to pack.
Also consider space in terms of where you’re going; when we went to Japan, we knew the hotel rooms would be very small, so large luggages likely wouldn’t fit comfortably. Similarly, if you’re doing a road trip with a few people and are all taking one car, you’ll need to maximize your trunk space.
Select fewer but more versatile pieces that can be worn in multiple ways, and/or with multiple outfits. For example, a shirt dress can be worn with sneakers for a day of exploring, dressed up for a nice dinner, or unbuttoned as a coat over a t-shirt and jeans.
Sticking to a few complimentary colours (whether neutral or otherwise) is a great way to ensure all your clothing can be mixed and matched.
Think about the activities you’re most likely to do while traveling. Are you going to be doing a lot of walking? If so, you might not want to waste suitcase space with uncomfortable shoes.
Try to avoid packing pieces you know you’re unlikely to wear, and stick to the things you know will serve you well during your trip. For example, many times I’ve brought heeled shoes on a trip never to wear them. Now I know to save that space for a piece I’ll actually appreciate while traveling.
Nothing makes me throw a piece back into my suitcase like wrinkles (I’d rather not iron on vacation lol!) For ease of both packing and dressing, bring pieces that are not quick to wrinkle. This will make it easier to pack a smaller suitcase, too.
Packing a slow fashion suitcase means you’re likely re-wearing items of clothing throughout your trip.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and acrylic may smell after a day of walking around. If you can, opt for natural fibres like merino wool (which is anti-microbial), hemp, linen, and 100% cotton. A merino wool t-shirt is an investment piece, but it can literally be worn for multiple days, and is thermo-regulating if there are changes in temperature, if you’re looking to really pack light.
If you’re planning on doing laundry while you’re away, these laundry strips take up no space and are environmentally friendly.
Packing a slow fashion suitcase takes practice and lots of editing – but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes at the beginning.
Do you pack with some of these principles in mind? What helps you travel with slow fashion in mind?