Matthew Bagwell, co-founder of UK footwear brand SEVEN FEET APART, spends much of his time travelling, visiting manufacturing partners, attending exhibitions and events and conducting photo shoots in different locations. He likes to travel light and as much as possible tries to limit his environmental impact. With that in mind, here are six things he says he couldn’t do his job without:
1.An AWAY Carry On
On any journey, it’s essential to have the right case, and when Jennifer Rubio’s case fell to pieces on a trip, she decided to design her own replacement. I particularly love the minimal style, the organisation cubes – a revelation in packing, and the on-board power bank. Nice kit, which lives up to the hype and means no more frantic searching for the only plug socket in T5!
When we need to keep our pack light but still shoot stable video, we use the GorillaPod system; it can be used to mount an iPhone or a full size DSLR and, with its grippy legs, can be attached to practically anything, anywhere.
3 The Moment App
On shoots, we constantly try to optimise how much kit we carry. One option is to lose our big DSLR cameras and shoot with the Moment App and Lens instead. This photo application is another great idea that began life on Kickstarter! It gives you more control of your smartphone camera, especially Depth of Field, and its lenses take mobile cameras to the next level. Big pictures in a tiny space.
4 Keep Cup
There are some big questions we all need to ask in relation to sustainability and travel – Is every trip essential? Could some of them be avoided? Could that meeting take place over Skype or Zoom? Can we do photoshoots closer to home? When travel is essential, the little things add up, too. Which is why I pack a Keep Cup Brew everywhere I go. It’s easy to carry, attractive and brilliant to use; it keeps my coffee warm; and it reduces the number of disposable cups going to landfill. All in all, a great everyday carry item.
5 The Cotton Story
In my job I need to move easily from one activity to another – from a formal meeting with a factory owner, to a photoshoot, to a casual catch-up in a coffee shop, to a mad dash for the plane – all in style and comfort and preferably without a change of clothes. For me, having a few signature pieces in materials that never need ironing is indispensable. I love sustainable staples from The Cotton Story. As someone who only ever wears a white tee – one less thing to think about every day – believe me when I say that theirs are perfect.
6 Flite shoes
My feelings about clothes extend to shoes. Just one pair I can depend on for any occasion suits me fine. My new favourites are Flite from SEVEN FEET APART. They are super-lightweight and delivered in a multi-use packing cube that’s great for storage and packing in a case – no more single-use shoe boxes taking up space. The design is versatile, from business to casual wear, so there’s no need to pack lots of shoes. Plus, they are 100% vegan, being made from recycled plastic fibres, with a unique sugarcane sole.