Together for tomorrow


21 essential things to do during lockdown

by | Mar 24, 2020

So much time, so much to do… where should you start? We’ve spent the last two days compiling this list for you.  Whatever you choose, do it gently and kindly.  And, remember that while we flatten the curve, the birds and the bees, and the plants and the oceans are flourishing.  We’re editing this column as we receive news of changes to availability. 

Wishing you all good health and sending much love, 


1. Be kind

Now is not the time to nag, judge or gossip. People are feeling emotionally fragile and uncertain.  So, be nice to your lover, patient with your children and call your mother. 

2. Stay calm

It’s okay to feel as if you’re on an emotional rollercoaster: from freaked out to sad to nonchalant to teary and back to freaked out. But take care to not become depressed. Use available sources of meditation and take guidance on good rest, exercise and sleep. If you are feeling like you aren’t coping, call 0800 21 22 23 / 0800 456 789 or 0800 20 50 26 and visit the South African Depression and Anxiety Group here.

These tools are great too: 

  • Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s  21 day free, guided meditation, The Power of Hope Is Real. Log in to start meditating;
  • Sanvello app supports its users during times of stress and anxiety. It is available free of charge for now.

3. Exercise

This is going to be tough. Swims in public pools and in the sea, walks around your neighbourhoods, visits to the gym and other exercise classes are forbidden. But it’s important to keep a fitness routine. If you’re not keen on skipping or running on the spot, try one of the many online classes, including one of the following: 

4. Sort out your wardrobe 

Knowing what is in your wardrobe is a vital step to becoming a sustainable fashionista. Did you know that the most sustainable clothes are the ones in your wardrobe? Here is a simple guide to cleaning out your wardrobe: 

Make three piles: 1) what you’re keeping, 2) what you definitely won’t wear anymore and the 3) maybe pile.

  • Go through the maybe file and decide why each garment is there. What does it require for you to move it to the first pile? Does it need mending or tailoring? Can you refashion it into something that you will wear? If not, put it with the pile of clothes you will donate or swap. 
  • Get sewing and mending to save your clothes from a dump. Read Emma Jones-Phillipson’s column for inspiration.
  • Keep the clothes you no longer need for our next #TwygSwap shop at NUDE FOODs. Others will fall in love with the clothes you’ve fallen out of love with. We will donate the lower quality clothes to Chic Mamas Do Care. Follow us on social media for updates.

5. Join Sustainable Home Runway on TikTok

Now that you have your wardrobe sorted, let’s have some fun.  We’ll be on TikTok from Friday, 27 March with our Sustainable Home Runway where you can show everyone your local, sustainable outfits. 

How it will work:

Ask your friends, family, colleagues to do a little home runway show with three to five outfits with at least one sustainable piece. Make a video showcasing your looks on TikTok or with your smartphone and tag where your sustainable clothing items are from. This is the perfect opportunity to rummage through your closet and try new looks and have a little fun doing it. Twyg’s content creator Catherine Del Monte has put together three looks in our first TikTok clip. We’ll be online Friday 27 March. 

6. Eat

Eat what you have in your fridge. Don’t let anything go to waste. Not only do you not want to be running out for groceries, there is the rather big problem of food waste. It’s estimated that a third of food produced globally goes to waste, contributing to global warming and climate change.  Another incentive if you live in Cape Town: the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs will impose a 100% ban on organic waste to landfill by 2027, with a half-way target of 50% by 2022.

  • Here is some very good advice on how to avoid wasting food;
  • Joburg-based chef David Higgs is offering to help you cook with what is in your fridge. Follow him on Instagram @DavidHiggsChef #Whatsinyourfridge.

7. Order groceries and meals from small businesses

Rather than go out to stores, support local farmers, growers and businesses who are working around the clock to keep us nourished, and even better they are introducing delivery services. Check what’s available in your area and community. Studio H has put together a comprehensive list of independent food businesses to support. 

Rather than going out to the stores, please support local farmers, growers and businesses who are working around the clock to keep us nourished. There has been uncertainty about whether businesses are still able to do home deliveries.  At the moment (Thursday 26 March) this lovely wonderful companies are still open for trade. Check their Instagrams for details:  Where you can buy or have food  delivered during lockdown:

  • Nudefoods are doing curbside pick-ups and home-deliveries.  (Cape Town)   
  • Abundance Wholesome Foods  offers a variety of organic vegetables and herbs available for door-to-door delivery in the Gauteng area on Fridays. (Johannesburg) 
  • UCOOK delivers all the ingredients you need to make one of their 12 weekly recipes. Call 021 447 4424 (from 9am – 6pm). (Nationwide)
  • For fresh fish, don’t forget the amazing Abalobi app. They deliver traceable, fresh seafood caught by small-scale fishers along the Cape coastlines. Email hello@abalobi and download the app.
  • Daily Dish all the ingredients needed from the dishes you pick from their 20 dishes every week. For enquiries or 079 726 8223. (Cape Town) 
  • ShopZero is doing deliveries of their dry goods and other essentials (Cape Town).

8. Don’t waste money 

Unless you’re buying necessities like new pajamas, be careful with whatever cash you have. If your budget allows for extra spending, consider supporting organisations who are helping less fortunate than you are. If you employ staff, pay wages before you do anything else.

9. Do admin

Boring, horrible admin exists, and unfortunately for adults it exists in great quantities. Oliver Burkeman on the Guardian warns that living as if it doesn’t exist is a recipe for unnecessary stress. So that long list of stuff to do… now is the time to assign some hours to catching up with spreadsheets, debtors, unpaid invoices, filing… clean up the files on your computer. Delete the dud photos on your phone. You know exactly what to do. Just do it.

10. Sign our petition to help save small businesses

Many people aren’t legible for the fund offered by the government so we’re still pushing our petition which we launched last week. We’re calling on government to subsidise the wages of workers in all small businesses. It’s imperative that we grow and sustain local, resilient businesses. Sign here.

11. Learn

Take some of the available time to improve your skills and knowledge about fashion and sustainability. Here are some options.

  • BiomimicrySA has just launched three comprehensive (paid) biomimicry courses onlineLearn biomimicry wherever you are through these online learning courses:  Also see Twyg’s article for more information on biomimicry;
  • Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World (Free 6-week course) is presented by Future Learn in association with London College of Fashion and Kering;
  • Circular Design Guide designed by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Ideo helps embed circular design thinking, and helps you “develop more circular products, services and resilient, feedback-rich organisations”.  

12. Listen

We found some gems.

  • Virgil Abloh’s playlist for lockdown.
  • Arum Galadima is the producer and host of Knowledge Bandits, a podcast about innovative African entrepreneurs often with a social impact. 
  • The Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival started on 23 March and will end 30 March 2020. The initiative of African authors has taken the festival onto the internet. The authors either read their work on Facebook live or on the festival’s Instagram. Authors include Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, Hawa Jande Golakai, Rémy Ngamije and others. 
  • If you need help entertaining your children, go to Audible, where hundreds of children books have been made free during the period of Covid- 19. 
  • Wardrobe Crisis is a podcast by Clare Press, an ethical fashion advocate, author and journalist. She often invites members of the fashion industry to talk about sustainability and environmental concerns. 

13. Read

  • Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative To Capitalist Catastrophe by Michael Löwy. Currently available free online here along with nine other titles. 
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez: This story of love and loss spans fifty years of passion, heartbreak and loyalty through difficult times. Timely reading now. 
  • Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas is a searing account of the fashion industry. It’s a must-read. Don’t ask. Just read it.
  • Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. Her book has led to a movement and continues to inspire people to lighten their tread on the planet. You can follow her here.
  • You don’t know it yet, but this lockdown is preparing you for action. Reading Maya Angelou’s autobiography series offers the inspiration you will need. Read any and all of the following: I know why the Caged Birds Sing, Gather Together In My Name,  Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Women , All God’s Children need Traveling Shoes.
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama: If you haven’t read this book already you need to! Michelle Obama’s first book gives a personal account of being the first African American First Lady of The United States of America. She brings in all aspects of her life from living in the South Side of Chicago to motherhood, her triumphs and disappointments. More inspiration for your impending activism to improve the state of the world.
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese: Written by Ethiopian-born, Indian-American medical doctor and author Abraham Verghese, this book is about twin brothers born from an Indian nun and English doctor, trying to negotiate their lives and understand their history.

14. Watch

Your binge-watching list for lockdown.

  • Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak: Seeing as we are living one, this fascinating, 6-part docu-series is a deep-dive into the lives of the people at the forefront of fighting influenza outbreaks;
  • Catch up on all of the essential David Attenborough documentaries, before his new documentary, A life On Our Planet, is released. His new film shows how we’ve overrun the world, and how we can fix it. Catch up on Netflix;
  • Explained: Season 2: We can highly recommend all the episodes in this bite-size Vox series but of particular interest: The Next Pandemic, and Athleisure; 
  • Dark Tourist: Live out your travelling fantasies with Kiwi journalist David Farrier who takes us on a wild ride to bizarre tourist spots around the globe;
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: We can recommend watching Volume 5, Episode 3: The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion

15. Give

Many people are in need of help and care. In our personal capacities it’s not always possible to be effective. We encourage you to support established charities who have the experience and infrastructures to do this work:

  • The recently launched FoodFlow is supporting local farmers and children who rely on school feeding schemes. Many farmers are still growing food but can’t sell their produce. If you buy a bag of produce from FoodFlow the money will be given to farmers and the food to children. Buy your bag here.
  • Gift of the Givers, the South African Non-governmental organisation, is assisting public hospitals in Gauteng with medical equipment and protective garments to deal with the testing and treatment of coronavirus cases. They have set up a campaign,  helping doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
  • Donate to South Africa’s Solidarity Response Fund.  In President Cyril Ramoposa’s speech he said, “The fund will focus efforts to combat the spread of the virus, help us to track the spread, care for those who are ill and support those whose lives are disrupted”.

16. Don’t believe everything

Be careful of reading and spreading fake news. Use trusted sources like WHO and the Department of Health for facts and advice. You might put people’s lives at risk. We need to tackle the amount of misinformation and disinformation that is zooming around the cyberverse –  another curve that needs to be flattened. Here is a list of reputable sources with which you can triple-check any information you receive.

  • Bhekisisa: Independent Health Journalism Organisation; 
  • WHO: the World Health Organisation focuses on communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease;
  • Africa Check: South African fact-checking organisation;
  • The Cochrane Library: The Cochrane Library is a collection of review databases filled with journals and articles that inform healthcare decision-making. Most reviews have a plain English summary to make it more accessible to the public;
  • GroundUp: GroundUp is a news agency that focuses on human right’s stories. They have an entire tab pinned to the top of their landing page on COVID-19 stories;
  • The National Department of Health;
  • News publications and channels like eNCA, News24, Daily Maverick, Mail & Guardian.

Tip: Check with more than one of the sources before passing on what you’ve heard.

17. Save water

Continue to conserve water through the Covid-19 crisis. Turn the taps off while you soap and clean your hands. Only use water to dampen and rinse the soap from your hands. Some parts of our country have been through terrible droughts in the recent past. 

18. Take a virtual museum tour 

Due to lockdown, many international museums have made their exhibitions virtual so that people can view them while isolated at home. Relax and enjoy these journeys: 

  • Take a tour through Russian’s iconic Hermitage museum in St Petersburg. This is a five-hour video through 45 galleries in the museum, with live performances throughout;
  • Last year LVMH Prize 2019 winner Thebe Magugu won The International Fashion Showcase 2019. Check out the out the virtual 360 tour of the exhibition in London here created by African Fashion Research Institute here;
  • Twyg director Gary Cotterell created this list of South African galleries offering virtual art tours;
  • The Louvre in Paris, includes three virtual tours of different parts of the gallery;  
  • Musée d’Orsay in Paris; 
  • The Vatican museum in Rome offers seven, 360 degree virtual tours;
  • Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington. 

19. Reduce your waste

Learn how to reduce and sort out your trash. Bea Johnson‘s tips are a good guide. Clue yourself up on resin identification codes which are important for distinguishing recyclable plastics from non-recyclable plastics. Read Sarah Farrell’s Twyg article here and visit Nedbank’s smart living guide here. 

20. Garden 

Plant, plant, plant…. Go to @rewilding_plants @happybynature_and @plantify for tips and advice. 

  • Experiment with planting seeds from left-over food; 
  • Pull out weeds, and water-thirsty plants. Replace with water-wise, and indigenous options;
  • Get your children to help in the garden. Not only does this help build their immunity, but it is a good time to spend with your kids and be in the outdoors. To make it more fun, recycle and decorate yoghurt pots or empty bottles as planters. 

21. Be Idle

If ever there was a time to not feel guilty about doing nothing, it’s now. Nobody is going anywhere. In fact, idleness is in desperate need if you believe we need to reset and re-imagine our unsustainable systems. Egyptian novelist Albert Cossery, who wrote Laziness in the Fertile Valley, says, “The more you’re idle, the more you have time to reflect.” It’s during time of idleness that you can incubate ideas and creativity.

Oh, and of course, as editor of Idler magazine Tom Hodgkinson says, “Idling is good for the soul”.


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