Actor, activist and designer Waris Ahluwalia is the founder of House of Waris, a company dedicated to exploring humanity and wellbeing through design. As an actor he has worked with directors including Wes Anderson and Spike Lee, while he has also collaborated on campaigns for brands such as Kenzo and The Kooples. For the last 10 years he has been deeply involved with efforts to conserve the Asian elephant. He tells us how his commitment to a more thoughtful way of living extends to the contents of his carry-on.

There was a time when I would pack for mood – or more specifically, vibe. This of course meant bringing as many options as possible, as one doesn’t know what vibe one will be in upon arrival. When you’re packing so many things, you need at least one or two large, aluminium-clad suitcases. I’m happy to report that phase is long gone. Instead, I now find great joy in travelling with just a carry-on.

We are encumbered by things. We no longer own our possessions; they own us. Physical items have taken on a new life and now serve as our attachment to a digital world. We are lost in a self- manifested maze that spans our virtual and corporeal realities. In response, packing becomes the perfect exercise in the old adage “less is more”. Everything must serve a purpose, if not two. This is not to belittle the joy of each item, but to heighten it.

The journey inward must be reflected in everyday actions. We must break free of our binds and breathe in space, the subtlest and most often overlooked of the elements in Ayurveda, the ancient science of life. It is this space – or akasha in Sanskrit – that is required to dream, create and dance, no matter the city, country or mountaintop on which I may find myself. Light in luggage, light in spirit.


Shoes in Loose Leopard, £171
Each pair of Sabah shoes are handmade by a family of craftsmen in southeast Turkey and are light, comfy and easy to carry. My preference is any animal print.


SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker in Bright Orange,


For some reason I always end up needing loud music at 3am in my hotel room. Don’t ask. This miniature speaker packs a punch for its diminutive size.

3. L.G.R

Pilot Sunglasses in Dark Havana Matt 59, £270
L.G.R always makes lightweight and beautiful frames. My favourite is the Pilot, an elegant and contemporary interpretation of the classic aviator.


Ginsberg is God Jumper, £310
You never know when the temperature might drop, yet you’ll still need to make it clear that you’re cultured. The Ginsberg is God jumper is perfect for that occasion.


Velvet Jacket, £459
A black velvet jacket has the power to turn any casual outfit into a chic one. Good for last-minute surprise dinners – my motto is to always be prepared.