#haulternative

Reconsidering fast fashion and setting an example

Most people know that cheap fast fashion is produced neither ethically nor fair. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013, which led to the deaths of over 1000 people, demonstrated that in a most alarming way. For many people it was a sad wake-up call. It also marks the start of the Fashion Revolution. It’s a movement that fights against the bad working conditions in the fashion industry and also calls attention to the environmental consequences of that industry.

Low wages and bad working conditions for a 5€ t-shirt

To be honest, I never really thought about the consequences of my fashion consumerism until I came across the documentary “The True Cost”. Of course I knew, that a t-shirt for 5€ cannot be sustainable nor fair. We have all seen the devastating photos of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. It is not a secret that the wages of the workers are extremely low and the working conditions are extremely bad. But have I changed since? No, because it never affected me! That’s what “The True Cost” gets so damn right. It is moving and also educating. Afterwards, I really felt the need to change and was also kind of ashamed of my behaviour. That is why, I take part in the fashion revolution week. I want to draw attention to an important topic and maybe cause some people to reconsider the fashion industry.

On the website of the Fashion Revolution you can find a lot of different ways to take action and be a part of the movement. One of these possibilities is the #haulternative. As you might know when you’re a constant follower of mine, I’m currently on a shopping ban, so I do not shop anything at the moment. And you don’t need to buy new things to update your wardrobe.

Try second hand!

It is a great way to extend the life cycle of clothes and you can prevent them from landing in landfill. I haven’t bought anything second hand in a while, because I really don’t need anything, but I am a huge fan of charity shops and online platforms like Kleiderkreisel, or Kleiderkorb. These are German websites but I am sure there are similar websites in every country. Currently, I am sorting out my closet and selling the things online. So far I am not very successful but I hope that my unloved clothing pieces will make someone else happy soon.

Fall in love again

£285 of clothes. That’s the amount of clothes an average British woman hoards but will never wear. Before you buy something new think of this and look through your wardrobe. Maybe there are long forgotten treasures you might fall in love with. I am currently trying on all the unworn pieces and I try to figure out if I actually like them.

Bad working conditions don’t affect me, so why care?

Humans are supposed to be the superior species. So why is it, that we treat each other and our environment so horribly? Even if the bad working conditions don’t affect you specifically, shouldn’t we care for our fellow humans? Isn’t empathy what is supposedly differentiating us from animals? But even if you don’t reconsider the fashion industry for the sake of the workers in Bangladesh, you should change your behaviour for the sake of the planet, our home. Our earth is not made for the massive consumerism we are burdening it with. Much of the clothing we buy gets thrown away without being worn once. Pesticides used on cotton plantages are polluting our environment. 2720 litres of water are needed to make a t-shirt. Humans are destroying the only home they have and it is on us to take action now! Better late than never.

How can you do more?

  • Be curious! Inform yourself, check out Fashion Revolution and watch “The True Cost”. It’s so informative and shaking!
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about fashion revolution, but do not lecture them! In my opinion lecturing someone can often lead to the contrary effect.
  • Also, check out my blog post on how buy less and how to buy better! Reducing your consumerism and buying things that you will wear not just for one season also sets an example for ethical fashion and against the fast fashion industry!

 

Packing light for a three week trip – Beauty Products

How to avoid overpacking

From the end of April until mid-May my boyfriend and I will travel through Indonesia for three weeks. I am already really excited and in my head I’m planning and organizing everything. In the next couple of weeks I will share some tips on how to pack light for travelling. Today, I will start with beauty products.

When travelling for a longer period of time, it is important to me to reduce my luggage to the necessities. For me, it is so annoying to bring things on holiday which I didn’t need and could have spared. By now, I usually know what I need and use when I go on holiday. From my own experience, I know that I can quit most of the beauty products. On previous holidays I took several brushes, eyeshadows, different kinds of concealer, eyeliner (who was I kidding that I thought I might actually bother to use eyeliner?), … With the result that I only used mascara and powder and I probably wouldn’t have missed anything if I didn’t bring it in the first place.

How to decide what is important and what isn’t?

Of course, you want to look good while travelling as well. But before you pack your whole make-up collection, you should consider where you’re going and be honest with yourself how likely it is you will wear a full face make-up. Indonesia will probably be hot and humid. My everyday make-up in Germany is already quite minimal and in summer I tend to stick with mascara and bronzer. So, I won’t pack anything that I don’t use on a daily basis in my everyday life. If I don’t use it here, why would I use it on holidays?

Which product makes you instantly feel better?

If you feel comfortable without any make-up at all, I would recommend to leave everything at home of course. Even though I do feel comfortable without any make-up, I think I sometimes look a bit tired and pale. On these days, a bit of mascara can make a big change and I instantly feel better. Therefore, I will always bring mascara on a holiday – just in case there’s one of these days when I just don’t feel pretty at all.

What if I love make-up and I cannot go without the full programme?

There might be true make-up lovers among yourselves, who cannot relinquish anything from their make-up bag. In that case I would recommend 2-in-1 products. Instead of taking a separate bronzer, highlighter and mirror, I’ll take a product that is it all in one. That saves space in my bag. You could pack a lipstick that you could dab on your cheeks as a blush. You could also use a bronzer and highlighter as eyeshadows or even an eyebrow pencil as a kajal.

What is in my holiday make-up bag?

I think I did reduce my beauty products quite a bit compared to previous holidays. Here is a recommended selection with multi-purpose products. I settled with these products as a maximum, but I am still not sure if I’ll pack them all. I will definitely leave the lipstick at home.

  • Catrice – Glamour Doll Volume Mascara Waterproof
  • Catrice – Eye Brow Stylist, 040 Don’t Let Me Brow’n
  • Sleek face contour kit, light
  • Ecotools powder brush
  • Mac lipstick “Patisserie”

What are your essential make-up products on a holiday? Or do you need nothing at all?

6 tips for hiking in Norway

A beginner’s guide to exploring the Norwegian nature

Hiking is kind of the national sport in Norway and it is also something you can do for free in an otherwise rather expensive country. So, when I spent my semester abroad in Bergen, I knew that I wanted to try it, too. Back then, I had absolutely no hiking experience besides minor walks with my grandparents. Consequently, I had no clue what Norwegian hiking trails would look like. Still, like many other students, I had the goal to hike up to the top of all the seven summits around Bergen. Here are some things I wish I knew before and also some things you should keep in mind as you explore the Norwegian nature.

1. Get yourself some proper hiking boots

get proper hiking boots first
Proper hiking boots are essential!

One of the best investments I made were proper hiking boots. As it rains quite a bit and the terrain stretches from gravel and stones to muddy and slippery, I would recommend proper waterproof, over-the-ankle hiking boots. I am very satisfied with the pair I bought and they had cost only around 140€. My feet were never wet – even when accidently stepping into deep mud or puddles – and I felt secure even when the path didn’t give me the confidence I wanted. Proper hiking boots are essential!

2. The piles of stones are not just for decoration

trail markings along the way
Pyramids of stones mark the trail

This is probably a no brainer for people who have been hiking before. However, I only started hiking in Norway, so I didn’t know that these stones had a deeper meaning. They are actually – like the red painted T on some stones– another way to mark the routes. So, if you don’t know where to go next look out for the red “T” and piles of stones.

3. Appreciate nature

At the beginning of every single hike I was wondering why I was even doing this. I was easily out of breath and it could get quite exhausting. At the latest at the top of each mountain, these thoughts were forgotten. The feeling of reaching the top paired with the breath-taking view was worth it every time. Enjoy the beautiful nature and don’t get lost trying to take the perfect Instagram shot. Take everything in and also value nature. Also remember to only leave footprints and bring your garbage back with you to preserve nature.

appreciate nature when hiking in Norway
The satisfying feeling of reaching the top of Sandviksfjellet

4. Keep the weather in mind

Always check the weather forecast before hiking! Especially when you’re a beginner but also when you are more proficient. The weather can change quickly from sun and a clear sky to thick fog. I’ve heard from people who started hiking in the sun and suddenly entered thick fog and couldn’t see further than two metres anymore. As you can imagine, this can get quite dangerous if you can’t see the trail anymore or the paths become slippery. So always pay attention to the weather while hiking! It’s okay to turn around midway and continue the hike on another day. Your safety should come first.

5. The hiking trails

hiking trail sandviksfjellet

As mentioned above, I had no experience in hiking and had no idea what to expect in Norway. In my imagination there were nice trails and the way up would be a breeze. The reality looked a little different. The hiking trails are very divers: There are even paths which can get steeper, there are huge step-like stones, small rocks, sometimes you’ll have to use your hands and sometimes you’ll have to cross a small stream.

hiking trail in norway
Another trail on one of our hikes

Be prepared for that and do not underestimate the hike or overestimate your strength and condition. I wasn’t very sporty at that time, so I was easily exhausted and needed to take little breaks quite often. But that’s okay, too.

snow hike trolltunga
You can also come across snow, like here on the trolltunga hike

6. Get a hiking buddy

Hiking on your own might be good for the mind and soul as you are not distracted by anyone, but in my opinion it’s even better with a friend! The first hike I took was with a large group of students. Shortly after the beginning of the hike, I had to discover that the other students were a lot fitter than me and I couldn’t keep pace with the group. So, I turned around disappointedly. Luckily, I found a new bestie who was on the same fitness level as me and wanted to take the same amount of photos and breaks as me. After the first hike together, we continued to take all our hikes together and it was perfect. I can only recommend to try and find a hiking buddy on your level. You probably won’t talk all the time, so you’ll still have time to appreciate nature and let your thoughts drift away. Still, you’ll have someone to share the experience and create new memories. Additionally, it’s always better to be not alone, just in case something happens or you get lost.

These are my tips and things I wish I had known before my first hike. I hope you enjoyed these tips for hiking in Norway and they were helpful and you will be better prepared than I was. If you want to read more about safety and hiking in Norway, check out VisitNorway for more handy tips.

Also, leave your essential hiking tips in the comments!