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.