How to Keep Cool in the Heat Without Air Conditioning

With temperatures soaring into the mid 30s this week, keeping cool has become top priority. Here are a few ways to keep your cool in the heatwave, naturally.

There’s nothing like waking up to the sun streaming through your blinds – until you check the weather forecast and realise we are on track for record-breaking temperatures in the next few days. If the #heatwave is all you can think, talk and dream about, welcome to the team. In a desperate attempt to beat the heat, take your pick from these hotter than hot hacks. 

1. Choose natural fabrics. As much as we’d love to be walking around in loose kaftans and swimwear, poolside chic won’t cut it at the office so instead, think about your fabrics. Natural plant fibres like organic cotton and linen are best for warm weather, as synthetic materials are less breathable. Check your labels when dressing and be strategic about layering. 

2. Protect against the heat. Switch to a deliciously fresh-smelling natural deodorant and sun cream

3. Have a cold shower. Have a quick cold shower to start, end and break up the day. If you work from home, enjoy the easy, all-day bathroom access.

4. Reduce heat at home. Switch the light bulbs in your home for energy efficient alternatives to reduce the amount of heat being given off unnecessarily. 

5. Hang loose. Banish any garments that can be prefixed with ‘skinny leg’ or ‘body con’ – go for loose-fitting clothing wherever possible. 

6. Accessorize appropriately. Get your toes in tip top condition and swap shoes for sandals. A lovely floppy sun hat will protect your face from ultraviolet rays, and make sure you don’t get caught out without your sunglasses.

7. Create some shade. For those who suffer in the heat, take an umbrella with you to provide additional shade throughout the day – practical, and effortlessly chic. 

8. Give your face a spritz.  For an instant cooling spritz, invest in a face mist. Check the ingredients and avoid products with silicone and polymers, as these can dehydrate the skin.  MV Organic Skincare offers one of our favourites in the Eco-Age office – a rose hydrating mist that’s perfect for the office or while travelling. 

(*For a quick, alternative fix, spray or run cold water over your pulse points to help lower your body temperature.)

9. “Please carry a bottle of water with you at all times.” That TFL announcement might be getting a little old, but we are very much on board with the message – make sure you take your re-usable water bottle with you everywhere you go and keep it topped up with fresh cold water – particularly if you are travelling long distances on poorly-ventilated public transport (hello Central Line).  

10. Keep hydrated. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and rehydrate regularly with a refreshing homemade pitcher or a delicious drink on the go – why not try Karma Cola

11. Stay cool at night. Getting a good night’s sleep during a heatwave can be difficult – opt for lightweight, organic cotton bed linen and pyjamas, and keep your bedroom as cool as possible by keeping windows open in the morning and evening.

Did you know that wool can keep you cool, even in the heat? Shleep’s bedding is made of merino wool – an active fibre that reacts to your body temperature – and acts like a personal air-conditioning unit, it will keep you cosy in winter and cool in the summer. 

12.  Take it easy. We don’t need telling twice to take things slow – and we advise you follow suit! Whether it’s your route to work or your weekly exercise regime, adjust your usual routines to accommodate the heat and take things easy. 

Be especially careful between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest. Public transport can become almost unbearable, so leave extreme time to avoid rushing between connections. 

13. Make friends with your freezer. Your freezer is quickly going to become your best friend. From iced coffees to frozen fruit, keep it stocked with delicious frozen treats. And don’t stop there; have you ever tried freezing a flannel – or even a shirt? Freezing your nightwear is a simple hack that’s tired and tested – thank us tomorrow morning… 

14. Throw some shade. If you can, keep shades and curtains drawn in the day.  

15. Keep the sheets cool. Spice up your bedtime routine by spritz your bed with ice cold water before you go to sleep.

16. Homemade air conditioning. Feel the freeze from your fan by putting a bowl of cold water filled with ice cubes in front of it. 


Read Rosanna Falconer’s guide to sustainable summer dressing.

Find out how to embrace your summer self with Claire de Boursac’s guide.

Avoid the coastal crowds and cool off at one of these alternative swimming spots.