HOLIDAY: ZANZIBAR EDITION

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Cor romperBird sunglassesMaison Bengal bag and Bourgeois Boheme shoes,

So after nearly 20 hours of travel (comprised of two 6.5-hour flights with a stop in Doha for a couple of hours, plus transfers and an hour's drive through Zanzibar, we arrived at a haven of calm in the form of Essque Zalu Hotel, nestled on the North East coast of Unguja. Check out my Instagram stories to see our journey and the colossal size of the wooden thatched roof on the main hotel building!

It was 4.45pm (a good hour later than it should have been since Nick kept stopping to take pics en route) and the sky was overcast, knocking back the sun and reminding us that this is winter in Africa. It was a refreshing change from the heatwave of London (and the hot hairdryer effect of stepping onto the runway in Doha, where it was about 45 degrees!) but hot enough to warm up our bones after all that cold air flying.

Normally we would jump straight into the sea on arriving but the tide was out, revealing the coral reefs and creating a marble effect in the low-level water. With all the staff dressed in colourful African shirts, I ditched the travel tracksuit and jumped into a playsuit, because all I was itching to do now was get out onto the jetty and let loose!

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This colourful number is inspired by a sunset painting. The artist and designer is also called Jaz (hi Jaz!) and her brand Cor describes itself as comfy, colourful and modern, values I can definitely get on board with. Its big, baggy shape and hand-painted pattern makes for an easy romper, which might be a bit "man-repeller" to some but is actually very cute. So when is a romper a romper, and a playsuit a playsuit? And how does a jumpsuit fit into all this? The long answer, after a bit of a read on the world wide web, is that a romper and playsuit are interchangeable (like jumper and sweater) for a short-sleeved and short-legged "onesie," and a jumpsuit is the long-legged (and sometimes long-sleeved) version. The short answer is that they’re all the same when it comes to trying to get out of one when you need the loo!

I sipped on a rum and lime cocktail — fresh sweet, island lime... there’s nothing like it — and tucked into freshly grilled crayfish served with salsa while listening to a mixture of African-inspired tunes and a bit of '80s pop from Grace Jones as the sun began to set. Then by candle light I read the only English book in the library, which is luckily The Magic of Zanzibar. Enjoying the fact that my bare legs were not attracting mozzies (not sure if last night was just too cold for them), but I have packed my two new finds (one spray and one cream, only one of which smells of citronella) to deter those little bloodsuckers — check them out on the SHOP.

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COR

Cor’s aim is to encourage mindful consumption and a sustainable relationship towards clothing. This ethos is centred on using sustainable materials, processes and production methods to lessen Cor's impact on the world and provide positive employment for the people making the brand's clothes. Cor's founder Jaz sources organic fabrics and work directly with partners in India to foster strong and ongoing relationships with the people that make Cor. Jaz's designs are based on comfort, practicality and timeless style. Looking to modern art, minimalism and colourful cultures for inspiration, all prints are prints of Jaz's original hand paintings.

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BIRD

Founder of Bird Ed Bird comes from a close-knit family of designers and artists who are involved in many aspects of the design process. Bird Sunglasses was born when Ed was looking for a way to combine his skills in design, business and social entrepreneurship to create a beautiful product that would make an impact in more ways than one. The award-winning, sustainable eyewear brands lightweight frames are made from sustainable materials. Every pair sold brings the gift of solar light to families in Malawi, Zambia and Uganda through Bird's Share Your Sun partnership with SolarAid.

MAISON BENGAL

Maison Bengal is a social enterprise that aims to provide some of the poorest people in Bangladesh with a decent and reliable wage. The brand works with local fair trade organisations, each one best placed to identify the most marginalised communities and provide training in handicraft production.

BOURGEOIS BOHEME

Bourgeois Boheme personally ensure that all its brand-exclusive styles are ethically made, using the best innovative, eco-friendly and vegan materials, by their hand-picked artisans in Portugal. The brand is passionate about championing slow fashion and challenging the stereotype of ethical footwear. 

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Jasmine Hemsley