I've always been a bit on/off with ethical clothes shopping. On one hand it's a great thing to do but on the other hand it is one of the trickiest forms of ethical shopping out there (at least that's how I've personally found it). And while I've been on a bit of a roll since mid-2016, there's a few situations where I've found it particularity challenging, one of those being when I'm looking for something very specific.
One recent example is when my work invited me on an educational training holiday to Kenya and in the space of a month I had to pull together a wardrobe that would take me from beach, to safari, to luxury resort, to chilly night and warm days, and would also respect local customs. Okay then, challenge accepted.
Thankfully I actually found refuge on the high street. Usually when I'm needing something short notice I hop over to H&M because - even though it's still high street and not *perfect* - it's better than most (I liken it to buying a lipstick from a cruelty-free company that has a testing parent company). For extra brownie points they launched their H&M Conscious range a while back that boasts seven commitments ranging from using natural resourced efficiently to choosing responsible partners.
This is where I get lucky though. The range was bursting with khakis, browns and whites - just what I was in the market for. It's pricier than the usual range and I'm not exactly going to get much use of safari themed clothes on a day-to-day basis here in Scotland, so I have reign myself in a small bit - but here's a guide to what I did buy and what else I almost did.
The first thing I picked up was this Lyocell shirt dress for £34.99. It's available in both khaki and beige, of which I opted for the former. The dress comes down to my knees as well which did mean it wasn't super flattering but meant that even when I was climbing in and out of jeeps I didn't accidentally flash my pants to everyone.
Second up on my shopping receipts, is these pull-on trousers retailing at £14.99. Out of everything I brought with me to Kenya, these were the bomb and I'd recommend something similar to anyone else going on safari. They were baggy and light enough that they weren't uncomfortable during mid-day heat (the hot season is January/February mind you) but meant that my legs were covered as the temperature dropped at night. Plus the helped keep the bugs off my legs! Heck if I was going again I'd purchase these in beige as well.
The third (and final) thing I purchased specifically for my trip was this long-sleeved jersey top. My previous trips to Africa (Cape Town, Zambia and Botswana) plus a jaunt to Peru almost 10 years ago, taught me that hot countries aren't always hot at night and you'll need to wrap up a bit. However, this wasn't quite the best purchase as when you are on a holiday of the adventurous persuasion you won't always have time to change between activities so it's much better to bring layers that you can take on and off. I'd skip this for next time and purchase a few floaty t-shirts and hoodies instead.
Something I did see but didn't purchase was this Lyocell top in khaki - but I wish I had. Now having been on safari I see how perfect this would have been and would have chosen it over the long-sleeved top. And something that I never seen in my local H&M and only found online when I sat down to write this post is these Lyocell shorts in 'Light Mole' that would be perfect if you're heading over in the super-hot season.
Kenya also has some amazing beaches that look out onto the Indian Ocean, so remember to pack a swimsuit. The H&M Conscious range doesn't have any swimwear but it does have these lovely white denim shorts that would be perfect for covering yourself up with as you travel between beach and resort.
Finally, I hate the idea of wearing jeans in a warm climate but many people in my safari group lived in them. If you're someone with a good heat tolerance, pick up these Super Skinny Low Jeans. I might check them out now that I'm home for wearing in this country.
Have you been on safari? What would be your must pack items?