Sustainable Travel Essentials: London Edition

I haven’t been to London since the 6th grade — so really I’ve never been to London!

This April I went on a work trip on behalf of the Slow Factory for their first International Study Hall Conference as a perfect celebration for Earth Month!


Now, as most of you know by now … I LOVE to travel. So far, I’ve been to Ghana, Sri Lanka, Delhi (India), Barcelona, Morocco, Paris, Puerto Rico, Dominica Republic, Cozumel (Mexico) and Belize just to name a few. For me, as a sustainably minded explorer - it’s become increasingly important to travel as minimal as possible while still having the necessities to look good and feel good.

In January 2018, I went to Barcelona (via Norwegian). I was forced to travel with just a carry on and personal item … unless I wanted to pay hella extra. Well … since I’m a combination of cheap, chic and broke - I travelled light for the first time and I haven’t looked back!

With just a carry on - I’ve have to become creative , consciously crafty and resourceful when it comes to how I pack!


Plane Attire

Plane attire is always focused on layers!

I always bring a pair of joggers - SATVA’s GOTS Certified organic cotton joggers are my Go To’s.

Additionally, I will always wear or bring a duster (I have several) and this vintage camel-colored one is my absolute favorite.

A hat (or several) and reusable water bottle are amongst my Ride or Die accessories that always accompany me on the plane!


Since I was packing for London in the Spring season … the goal was to have layers and for me that included stylishly warm hats, scarfs and heat tech turtle necks. Because the weather fluctuates - I brought pairs of shoes including a pair of versatile slides!

A few sustainable brands I rocked in London:

My outfits were so nice against the London Landscapes - I loved it!!!


However, I think sometimes the hardest part about traveling is making sure that you have all of your self care and beauty essentials. For me, I LOVE reusing old containers that have become a staple travel essential. For example, this tin container was once a Love Notes candle and it literally is my favorite jewelry holder. I’ve had since 2017 …


The absolute essentials are moisturizer, tooth brush and soap. I hate using the hotel/air bnb soap and lotion because it usually is terrible for my skin. So I always bring my own moisturizers, a little goes a long way. Eugenia Shea makes the perfect travel sized shea butter - it’s only 2 ounces! Additionally - I love bringing bar soap instead of liquid because it’s so much more compact and I simply try to bring the least amount of liquids as possible. My favorite soap bar is palm oil and coconut oil free - and it’s by Terra Tory. And of course, I travel with my bamboo toothbrush by Simplified!

When it comes to the rest of my toiletries - again I keep it super small and super simple. I use a soap that can also double as a face wash. I use the AMAZING smelling Sanre eye cream as my face moisturizers. I use a variety of oils that again come in compact containers. I have a conditioner by Happy Place that I believe was s sample size and has been a great travel size container since I don’t have much hair LOL. Also, as I’m sure you can tell - I try to travel with the least amount of plastic - although the glass adds a little more weight - it just makes me a happier human being to only bring plastic when I absolutely need it.






Last but not least - I always bring a reusable set of utensils. I have a beautiful bamboo set made in Bali by Yasminida that I love! Food is probably my favorite part of traveling lol - so when I can, I minimize single use plastic because I eat on the go pretty often.

I didn’t cover EVERYTHING that I brought in my suitcase for this trip… I just wanted to share a few of my favorite essentials. As I continue to travel - I will be sharing more and more of my sustainability tips!

Overall - I had an exceptionally great week long trip. London was amazing with beautiful backdrops and bomb fish and chips. I would say the most important thing to remember about London, unless you’re traveling in the dead of Summer is, pack layers! Similar to New York - London can go from rainy and dreary to sunny and beautiful in a matter of minutes!

Until next time …


Personal Retreat To Mount Kisco

Hello … allow me to re-introduce myself…

My name is Dominique Drakeford. I’m the chief curator of a blog called MelaninASS and I’m the co-found of Sustainable Brooklyn. Now that official titles are out of the way - I’m a Black woman from Oakland living in Brooklyn really working daily to to demystify ecological stewardship, dismantle systems of oppression and evaluate the voices and works of POC (especially Black women) in the sustainability space.

I’m carving out this little space to share about some of things that love such as traveling, youth development … some of the things that are challenging such as entrepreneurship and healing and just whatever random thoughts I want to share.

Every year I try to take 1-2 personal trips to re-center myself. Last year I hopped on a Mega Bus and went to Philly and it was so dope. This year - I decided to go up state to Mount Kisco.

The older I get and the more invested I become in my work - the more I appreciate intentional solitude. Getting re-acquainted with my inner-community for the purpose of healing, writing, self exploration or simply to be grounded in nature is so pivotal to my spirit. As my as I love to New York, sometimes I feel like I’m either suffocating and need to breath on my own.

  • Creative/social entrepreneurship isn’t easy, relationships (family, friendship, business or intimate) is not always easy

  • Navigating space in my Blackness is not always easy

  • Being present on social media is not always easy

  • Standing up for what you believe in is not always easy

  • Healing is not always easy

  • Not comparing myself to others is not always easy

So I make time to show up for myself by myself … and it’s really one of the most beautiful things I’ve decided to do in my early career.

… Show up for myself

So this time around … as a nature loving woman - I was looking for exclusion! I wanted some time connect with nature, to be in a beautiful cozy cabin by myself and honestly get some much needed writing done. Mount Kisco was so perfect - just an hour and half from Brooklyn by train!


Define your self-care rituals for you … and you ONLY!