How to care for your shoes

How to care for your shoes

Fair fashion is not only about buying products that are made in fair and sustainable way, but also about taking care of the items you already own. This way they will look nicer longer, you can wear them for a longer time and you won’t have to throw them away too soon. Sounds logical, right? I think so, so I want to start a small ‘series’ of how to best take care of your clothes, your shoes, your handbags (etc). I’m not an expert by far, so if you have any more tips please let me know :) I’m kicking of this series by sharing my favourite ways to take care of my shoes. I must admit – for a very long time I have neglected cleaning my shoes and what’s even worse – I just bought cheap shoes at H&M or Zara that I threw away after one season. The epitome of fast fashion. I’m trying to be better now – I’m not buying cheap shoes anymore and I’m trying to clean my shoes on a regular basis. Since I was absolutely clueless how to do this when I started, here are my (and my grandma’s) most important tips:

The Basics

1 | Go to a professional to fix your broken shoes. I had a pair of brogues with missing heels I really liked and it just cost 10 € to repair them and took two days. Cheaper, more sustainable and easier than buying new!

2 | Use shoe stretchers, especially on leather shoes. Wooden ones at best.

3 | Only wear your leather shoes every second day. They need that break because they store the moisture of your feet (even if you don’t necessarily sweat much).

4 | Use a shoehorn when putting on your shoes. Yes, even though you’re not that old yet ;)

5 | Buy shoes that actually fit. Yes, the smaller size might be almost okay, but your feet and shoes won’t thank you for sizing down.

6 | Don’t put your shoes next to the heater if they got wet. Give them time to dry completely, otherwise the leather will crack.

7 | Clean the shoes you’ve worn about every two weeks. Make sure the products you use are right for the material of your shoes!

Cleaning Instructions

Step 1 | Brush your shoes off with a stiff brush.

Step 2 | Use a soft cloth and leather soap to clean your shoes of any dirt.

Step 3 | Use another soft cloth to put on shoe cream and/or shoe wax. I don’t want to own millions of different colours of shoe cream so I always use the transparent kind, but you can go for different colours as well.

Step 4 | Finish with a polishing cloth and your shoes will look as good as new!

And that’s it! Easy as that – and you will have fun with your pretty shoes for so much longer :)

Summer Goals

Summer Goals | Hanna's Places

As of yesterday, I have finished writing my Bachelor’s Thesis. I still have to change a few bits and actually hand it in, but it’s finished! And it feels, like a giant weight has been lifted of my chest. Now that part of my life is finally over, there’s time to make some plans and goals for a great summer ahead – even though the weather doesn’t actually feel like summer at the moment…

Summer Goals 2016

1 | Get a tan.

2 | Find a great (sustainable) bathing suit.

3 | Finish cleaning out my closet.

4 | Start learning Spanish again.

5 | Make iced coffee.

6 | Visit two museum exhibitions.

7 | Go on a hike.

8 | Explore a part of my new city I haven’t seen yet.

9 | Find a great coffee shop around the corner.

10 | Make ice cream.

11 | Workout outside as often as possible.

12 | Go surfing.

13 | Make cocktails.

14 | Go on a fair shopping tour in Cologne.

15 | Take (& print) my photos.

16 | Host a summer brunch.

17 | Publish an article.

18 | Relax.

19 | Get enough sleep.

20 | Plan a trip for fall.

21 | Buy flowers.

22 | Have a slow morning routine.

23 | Leave the office at 6 pm no matter what.

24 | Enjoy my birthday.

25 | Let go of a bad habit.

26 | Go to the flea market.

27 | Limit screen time and read instead.

I’m getting excited about summer just reading this list – what are your plans for the season ahead?

Links & Memories 24/52

Links & Memories 24 | Hanna's Places
Happy Friday! I am so happy the weekend is finally here, especially since it’s the first ‘real’ weekend in over a month. I’ll have to work on my thesis as well (of course), but I’ll get to sleep in and stay around in my pyjamas – bliss! Tonight I’m meeting some old friends from Düsseldorf again for pizza night and tomorrow an old friend from school is coming over for breakfast so there’ll be plenty of fun amidst the work as well. Here’s what’s been going on this week:

Links & Memories

1 | Last weekend I was in Hamburg for a few days to shoot a video for work. I was quite nervous before (first work trip ever) but it was so much fun and Hamburg is beautiful – even in the rainy weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

2 | I know I talk a lot about minimalism and only buying what you need, but this week I actually bought a few new pieces since I don’t have any summer clothes in my wardrobe left. I’m especially in love with these espadrilles and can’t wait for the warmer weather to wear this dress. People Tree has another sale on at the moment and I’m still in desperate need of T-shirts, so I might have to put in another order there as well ;)

3 | Other than that, I’m still working a lot and long hours, but I feel like I’m slightly getting used to it. This week I’ve tried to take the mornings more relaxed, have a cup of coffee on the couch, read my Bible, get a little organized and it’s made such a huge difference not to rush out of the house in the morning anymore.

4 | This list of independent ethical clothing brands is super helpful.

5 | I found Imii’s blog Nettle & Blackberry last night (by pure luck) and couldn’t stop reading. It’s really lovely and her pictures are beautiful – you should definitely check it out if you’re not following her already.

6 | Trying to incorporate this list of things not to do to be more productive more into my life right now. There’s some really great tips in there!

7 | Can I say again how much I enjoy listening to the Lively Show? Jess is traveling Europe right now and sharing her experiences in her podcast and it’s making me want to travel so badly!

Hope you’re having a great weekend with at least a bit of sun!

5 ways to start small today (and chill)

5 ways to start small today
Making the switch to a sustainable lifestyle is hard. There are so many options, so many opinions and – it’s more expensive. I get that. It’s still totally worth it though. So today, I’m sharing five small ways with you that will hopefully help you chill and live a bit more sustainably (without having to struggle):

Make a change and chill

Allow yourself to experiment | It takes time to make the switch. It is hard. For me, for example, switching to natural cosmetics is a process of several years (the chemicals do have a purpose after all). I struggle with a lot of allergies, especially while using natural cosmetics. So I’m trying and trying to find products my skin and hair tolerate (and sometimes switch back to drugstore products as well). I don’t give up though because I care about supporting products that don’t put a toll on the environment!

Don’t try to start fresh | Just because you are committed to live a sustainable lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your old stuff anymore. It is tempting to just purge and start with a clean slate, but this just puts a lot of pressure on your wallet and doesn’t really serve anybody.

Find out what you care about most | No sweatshops? Organic? Vegan? Locally produced? There is a lot to consider when it comes to conscious consumerism. I know a lot of people (and me too) who just give up because you can never do it ‘perfectly’. So forget perfect for a moment, choose the cause you care most about (for me, it’s the sweatshops) and stay committed to that one. Everything else is just an added bonus.

Buy organic what you eat most often | I read this tip on Me & Orla the other day and it makes so much sense: If you can’t buy all your groceries at the organic store, commit to buying what you consume most and go to a normal grocery store for the rest. For me, that’s milk, bread and coffee. You can always start buying more organic items, but it’s all about starting small.

Keep a flexible mind | Always stay open to learning more about how to do good in the way you consume. It is a very complex topic and there’s so many different influences to consider, so it’s very important to stay open to new ways of doing business.

How to enjoy summer wherever you are

How to enjoy summer at home | Hanna's PlacesSummer time is here – and with it, of course, the time to travel!  You probably know that I love to travel more than anything and would gladly go abroad when I get the chance. This year I’ve moved and started a new job though, so both my travel funds and the time to go and travel I really limited. I’m still really excited about summer, so here’s my ideas how to enjoy summer without actually traveling far or spending tons of money.

Enjoying summer without traveling far

Take off a day or two | So many times, we tend to only take time off if we’re actually going on holiday. Something like ‘work till Friday, go on holiday on Saturday, stay away till Saturday or even Sunday’ and head back to work on Monday. This is definitely fun and a good way to relax, but why don’t you just take a few days off, maybe one a month, that you just have for yourself, in your hometown. Sleep in, have a nice breakfast, do something outside without the weekend crowds – I feel relaxed already.

Take a camera with you | And record the lovely memories of ice cream dates, barbecue days and your summer in general that you tend to forget taking if you’re ‘just’ at home.

Go to touristy places | And explore your own city! I bet there’s a ton of places that you still haven’t gotten around to visiting ever since you moved to your city. Maybe even buy a travel guide for your city!

Start a new routine | Your very own summer routine if you want. This can change from person to person, but do something that makes you feel in a summer mood and generally good about yourself instantly. It might be Pilates in the morning, a daily walk, an hour of book reading in the evening, a fresh beer with your dinner, fresh flowers around your home every week – feel free to get creative.

Treat yo’self | Since you’re naturally saving money stay at home, treat yourself to the things you only allow yourself on holiday: Have some ice cream on a regular basis (and always keep a tub of ice cream in the freezer, of course), buy the fancy groceries you like at the store you wouldn’t normally get, go to the sauna/swimming pool/wellness place you normally save money on, turn off your computer at night (sleep in on Saturdays at least) – again, there’s a million ideas for every budget.

These are my ideas for a great summer at home – what about you?

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