Every massive brand is going nuts for nature. The great outdoors is about to get a whole lot greater…
It's official. According to the Met Office, 1 June is the actual first day of summer. This can only mean one thing - it's time to get ready for a few months of exploring the great outdoors, hitting the beach and throwing at least a dozen BBQs. Prepare yourself for months of clinging on to every ray of sunshine peering through the clouds with the best nature kit on the market...
Before Carhartt was making beanies, it was kitting out the industrial working men of the US. The brand’s penchant for durable workwear was adopted by hip-hop heads in New York, creating one of the most authentic streetwear labels around. Not only does the label posses an eye for aesthetics, but it makes stuff that lasts.
The fact that you can own a Carhartt-branded barbecue is not only bloody cool, but you’ll know it’s not going to buckle and melt. For once, your use of the flame emoji will be justified – because there’s no point in buying niche branded lifestyle accessories if you’re not going to flaunt them online. Utilise this on one of our four allocated days of sunshine this summer.
Remember when a carefully “curated” desk-space was the mark of a young professional with a discerning eye? Then someone coined the term “shelfie” (the act of sharing pictures of your bookshelf on social media) and ruined it for everyone. Today, the mark of someone with their shit together and a touch of creative zeal is owning a cactus.
No, we have no idea how that came to be either, but we’re just going with it. And cacti do look nice when placed in the 1ft of natural light that your cramped flat gets for 45 minutes a day. In all seriousness, it works pretty well as a focal point in a room – other than a TV – and will suggest that you’re not entirely shallow.
What’s more, they require very little attention, essentially making them equally as prickly, but less time consuming. Even big names on the high street have cottoned onto the fact that cacti look pretty ace, as they’ve started selling them by the shedload, meaning they can’t just be for pseudo-spiritual yoga hipsters. Urban Outfitters suggests that you display it inside a “geometric terrarium” – and you’ll be really impressed at how easy it is to bring the outdoors, inside.
Umbrellas. We’re constantly asking ourselves, “Are they worth the hassle?” They turn inside-out in gale force winds, they get caught in innocent ladies’ hair and when you take them down on the bus at rush hour, they rub up against grumpy old men who grumble about the wet patch on their favourite suede coat.
Well, not this one. This umbrella is the epitome of staying dry in absolute luxury. London Undercover’s ‘animal head’ range showcases the man’s man brolly; it’s strong, made of cloth canvas so it will dry almost instantly and has an outer layer of country style tartan. The best bit, though, is the wooden carved dog handle, guaranteed to make your umbrella your best friend on any drizzly day…
If you’re going to do the gardening thing, then you’re going to need appropriate footwear – an old pair of Nikes simply won’t cut it. And while the term “appropriate footwear” may hold connotations of being back at school, that doesn’t mean your wellingtons need to be the gardening equivalent of some non-brand, black leather monstrosities.
One of the good things about being an adult is that you get to pick your own footwear and, fortunately, there’s an array of brands that make far more stylish wellies than the £10 garden centre ones. French outdoor brand, Le Chameau, has designed these classic green boots complete with ankle and instep support, making them perfect for a post-pruning kick-about.
If you’re wanting to stay away from green wellies, Aigle has came up with an alternative which looks like the interior of a Rolls-Royce. The Aigle Parcours come with a full grain-leather lining and are so classy you’ll probably have a little cry when they inevitably get muddy.
Gardening is good for you. It provides a bit of exercise, fresh air and will open up whole new areas of conversation next time you’re dragged along to meet a potential mother-in-law. But, before you start a new hobby, you need to get all the right gear.
Scandinavian satchel makers, Sandqvist, has you covered on this front as it makes its first foray into the world of horticulture. Its durable canvas tool roll is ideal for storing your tools, naturally, and the brand’s leather care products will help keep your new gardening gloves supple. Speaking of which, Labour And Wait has some affordable leather work gloves to keep your man paws dirt-free.
There’s no excuse for letting your style game slip while you’re tending to your carnations. You’re going to need to wear protective kit, but this Botanist Fallen cover-up is so rugged and manly that no one will question you.
It has several pockets for storing your tools such as a Labour and Wait hand trowel. Its carved wooden handle will fit right into your palm unlike any other basic garden tool.
The London-based lifestyle boutique also offers a garden fork featuring hand-forged blades for optimal planting. You’ll soon be the envy of everyone down at the local gardening centre.
_ Words: Calum Gordan _
_ Photography: Rowan Free _