How To Green Your Fashion Blog

This post is by Ceri Heathcote

A little while ago someone I know mentioned how he though fashion blogging was a bit shallow. For a while afterwards, it bothered me,’ what good was I actually doing with my blog (Style Eyes Fashion Blog)?’ Yes it was a creative outlet and I loved writing it but I wanted it to be more than just a list of clothes that I wanted and a showcase for my new purchases (of which there were many). At the same time I had been thinking about my consumer habits and wanted to make some changes to the way that I lived to lessen my impact on the environment. It suddenly dawned on me that I wanted to use my blog to help promote sustainable style and inspire people to be more sustainable with their clothes shopping but I found the idea of only blogging about green brands rather limiting.

 

Over the last few years my work has led me to learn quite a bit about sustainable clothing and I am of the belief that whilst organic cotton and other sustainable fabrics are great, the most important step forward in sustainable clothing is a change in peoples habits to buying less clothes, that they keep for longer and recycle afterwards. With this in mind, I have adapted my blog to try and send this message through all of the posts that I write. I have not limited myself to only featuring brands with great eco credentials as not only would I find this difficult but I think it would also loose its appeal as a fashion and style blog for many of my readers.

 

As fashion bloggers I believe that we are in a position to influence consumers and the fashion industry (to varying extents) and so it is very important that we send a message that is consistent with our own values as a person.

 

There are lots of ways that you can ‘green your fashion blog’ without turning it into a blog that focuses purely on eco fashion. Here are a few small steps that you could try to promote sustainable fashion and discourage excessive consumerism. I can’t actually take credit for these ideas though as most have come from the great stuff that other fashion bloggers are already doing.

 

Walking the walk – if your blog is about you, it would be very difficult to discourage excessive consumption if you are excessively consuming, your readers are bound to see through it. You need to ‘practice what you preach’ and ‘not only talk the talk but walk the walk’. If you adopt sustainable practices yourself, you will probably be promoting sustainable clothing without even thinking about it.

 

Provide inspiration on reusing clothing – Your outfit posts are probably a great inspiration to your readers. You can use them to show how last years trend can be adapted to work this year or how adaptable one great piece of clothing can be. Many fashion bloggers impose a shopping ban on themselves to try and limit their buying of new clothes. Not only is this a great way to save money and break bad habits of buying fast fashion, it is also a great way to stimulate creativity. It is much more of a challenge to create a great outfit from what you already have in your wardrobe than to go out and buy new clothes.

 

Featuring second hand and vintage clothes – many bloggers are already big advocates of second hand and vintage clothing. This is such a great way of creating your own unique outfits and as it has relatively little environmental impact you don’t need to feel too bad about your latest purchases.

 

Encouraging recycling – you blog is a great platform for recycling. You can sell your old clothes through a blog shop or advertise a blog sale that you organise. You can also use it to highlight any items that you have listed on auction or clothes swapping websites.

 

Freebies and samples – many bloggers get approached by companies and brands that would like to be promoted in their blogs. Before accepting freebies, it is worth considering whether you actually want or need it. It is also worth considering the eco and ethical policies of the company and whether it is something that fits in with blog and your own values.

 

So to summarise, if you feel strongly about the environment, you should also think carefully about the message that you are sending through your blog. You don’t need to vow never to buy new clothes or to dedicate your blog to just eco fashion but any small steps that you can take to encourage more sustainable shopping will help in some way.

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13 Responses

  1. Ashe Mischief

    What a great list of suggestions, Ceri! Especially the one regarding building your relationship with brands & freebies… I think the only upside of that is that, eventually you may donate the pieces (or swap them)… which also lead to greener blogging and buying habits not only for yourself, but for others.

    Reply
  2. WendyB

    I think you should have picked through your friend’s life and told him all the things he does that you think are shallow.

    Damn, people are rude.

    Reply
  3. bryan manantan

    thanks for posting this, i just started my blog today and i will keep in mind some of the points you raised!!! i hope i can make it too like you guys!

    Reply
  4. The Ethical Fashion Missionary

    It’s too bad that you seem to find eco fashion limiting for bloggers. I could write a laundry list of truly authentic eco friendly brands that are chic and accessible. I would love to share that information with you. I totally agree that consumers must change their mindsets about buying in general and doing so responsibly is key. I agree with your “minimalist” theory and ideas about upcycling and vintage and I think perhaps if fashionistas could take a closer look at ethical fashion as a whole, rather than always focusing on green fashion it would make a world of difference. The green movement, especially in the US has become exhausting. Coming from Europe just a few months ago to return to the green frenzy has made me feel rather unoriginal and quite frankly dirty. Perhaps it’s all the greenwashing going on. So it goes without saying that we can’t believe everything that we read or hear. Every major retailer is selling the green cause and I would estimate that less than half are doing so sustainably while practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR). Ethical Fashion includes ethically sound fashions that neither endanger the planet nor put at risk human dignity, i.e. fair trade. Companies that are proactive and implement preventative measures to protect the earth but also regard human dignity just as sacred. So we also have to think of garment workers and that “invisible hand.” I like to think that ethical fashion is choosy and not anyone can readily join its club by slipping cool lingo into a PR campaign, but that it is also very flexible and accepting. For example, while one chooses vegan fashion (Vaute Couture) another chooses to produce luxury recycled goods (Melissa Plastic Dreams). But you can’t just slap a green sticker on a T-shirt and call it a day. Rightly so, or every corporate Tom, Dick & Harry will have already saved the planet and there’d be nothing to debate about. Some may still cringe at the sound of eco fashion or fair trade, but they are sadly the misinformed 20th century fashionistas. Ethical fashion is invading the mainstream industry. I think it’s important to talk about green, sustainable and ethical separately. An organic cotton T-shirt can be eco friendly and not a socially responsible choice in various ways. Just as something can be fair trade and not eco friendly. My point is at the end of the day “ethical” is subjective. So if we each strive to do our part, as Ceri Heathcote has done by informing many of us, it’s a start. I just wanted to raise the point that sustainability is so much more than “green.” Green measures environmental sustainability. What about the economics of sustainable business development? How does that factor in? Join the Ethical Fashion group to learn more!

    Follow me at @ibadona on Twitter.

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  5. Sarah the Stylist

    I love this concept. On Earth Day, I happened upon Rachel McAdams website which is all about going green and being good to the planet in a variety of different ways, including clothes. She shares some shocking stats about how every new shirt we buy wastes nearly 1000 gallons of water to create. This is something I have been thinking about recently while contemplating new fashion buys.

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  6. Style Eyes

    Thanks for all of your comments.

    Wendy – He wasn’t exactly a friend, but yes I told him a few home truths!

    The Ethcial Fashion Missionary – I would love to see your list of eco brands as I am always on the look out for new options.
    Yes I agree with your comment on green washing. I am seeing increasing numbers of retailers/ collections claiming to be green but with little information about how sustainable the products are never mind the company policies. I am just about to write a post on the progress if the UK fashion retailers with the governement backed sustainable clothing action plan. I am thinking that whilst they have all made a token effort, not much has changed with regard to their offerings to the consumer.

    Reply
  7. Alli

    This is such a great post. I focus my blogging almost exclusively on recycled and green fashion and have been happily surprised that so many other bloggers are also dipping their toes into the green pool. I really liked your suggestions b/c I’ve found that some bloggers seem to have trouble focusing when trying to do green posts – as in finding the balance between utilizing green clothing and excessive or conspicuous consumerism. Great tips – looking forward to follow up posts on the topic!
    Alli

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  8. Rebecca Jean

    My blog actually started out as a “green” blog, but now incorporates fashion. I have always been a fashionista at heart, but felt guilty showing it on a blog about sustainability. I just needed to be more creative with my choices. I have learned to build an awesome wardrobe using thrifted, vintage, indie, and eco pieces. The possibilities are endless and you can come away with a look uniquely your own. Being “green” doesn’t have to be “granola”.

    ♥ Rebecca Jean
    Midnight Maniac

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