Blogger Gifts – When to Say No!

As a blogger you’re going to be receiving a lot of pitches from brands approaching you to review items, host a giveaway, or just write about their products or brands. As an Ethical Fashion Blogger, it’s really important to keep your beliefs intact!

Here are some tips that will help you know when to say no!

Define Your Bottom Line

While we’re all Ethical Fashion Bloggers, not every cause has to be your cause and I can appreciate that. What IS important is that you define what you will NOT do. I for example will not feature brands or products that practice unethical manufacturing practices, this is something that is super important to me as a consumer and no matter how awesome the product looks or how popular it is, I will always turn down these products.

Your bottom line could be different, maybe you’re very passionate about animal rights, or being green, or shopping local. Then your bottom line could be featuring only cruelty free products or eco-friendly products or local brands. If your passionate about all of these things then by all means do everything! But define your bottom line and don’t let anything on your blog fall below that.

Ask Questions

Sometimes a brand is a bit vague on the details of their products. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have practices you don’t believe in, it could just mean that they’ve found this particular pitch to be effective in approaching media. This is why it is super important to ask questions. Example of questions are:

  • What are your manufacturing practices?
  • Where are your materials sourced?
  • What are the intentions and motivations of your brand?

These kinds of questions can help you determine if this is a brand you’d want to promote.

Research

Researching a brand is a must!!! It’s a smart thing to see what their practices have been when working with bloggers. Maybe a brand never provided a prize for a giveaway or the reviews of the product have been not so great. Knowing these things before you get involved with a brand is important.

Be Up Front With Your Policies

Some brands may expect a glowing review just because they gave you free product and it’s really your responsibility to inform and manage their expectations.

So before you agree to review or have a giveaway of a product you should establish what your policies are in reviewing products and be up front with your policies with a brand. Whenever I respond to brands I always tell them my review policy and then forward them a link to my policies and disclosures page so they know what they’re getting into.

Make sure the brand knows that your opinions will be 100% honest, negative or positive. I personally don’t post negative reviews on made-to-travel, so I also let brands know that I will not write about their product if I’ve had a negative experience or I wouldn’t truly recommend it to my readers. This is a personal choice, lots of bloggers write negative and positive reviews–so establishing what you will do is also important. But disclosing your policies and practices to a brand up front will let them know what they can expect from you and gets your relationship off to an honest start.

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Knowing when to say no to a brand really keeps the integrity of your blog and maintains the trust and sincerity you have with your readership. Everything you feature will say something about you, so I really encourage you to put a lot of thoughtfulness into your choices and I hope these tips will help you do that.

So Ethical Fashion Bloggers, what do you think? Have you been working with brands you believe in? Any cautionary tales?

Jamillah writes at made-to-travel about ethical shopping and happy things. You can find her on twitter @made2travel.

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October’s DIY/ Upcycled Knitwear Challenge

For October at Ethical Fashion Bloggers, the DIY upcycled challenge is all about knitwear. Of course knitwear is always a good way to keep warm at this time of year but it can also look amazing too!

Vix at Vintage Vixen looks stunning in this floor length crochet coat made by her Mum from unravelled jumble sale  jumpers in the 1970s!

Pao of Project Minima has repaired and rejuvenated this beautiful pair of pearl embellished gloves. Make sure you check out her blog for the fantastic DIY outfit that she wore with her gloves.

Over on my Ethical Fashion Blog, I tried my hand at dip dying a cardigan from a charity shop. More details of what I did on the blog.

I hope that you are having a fantastic October. A big thank you to all of those who have participated in this months outfit challenges and round ups. I will be in touch soon with more details of what we will be doing in November soon.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

 

 

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October Ethical Fashion Link Round Up

October is the first ever link round up on Ethical Fashion Bloggers. In this monthly feature we will be sharing some of the most informative, interesting and inspiring posts related to ethical and sustainable  fashion from the members of Ethical Fashion Bloggers. Enjoy!

Made to Travel - Jamillah has some great tips in her Ethical Shopping 101

Project Minima – Pao shares what goes on at a Sewing Rebellion in Chicago!

The Conscience Collective – Stacy shares her 20 ways to keep warm

Oranges and Apples – Franca ponders whether less is more when it comes to clothes.

Learning the Business of Fashion – Marie shares the interesting background, ethics and fashion at Nomads clothing as part of the Ethical Fashion Blogathon.

Emma Waight - Emma reports on the Ecover Shoreditch Swish.

Green Issues Singapore – Agy asks ‘is there a Gangham Style for the environment?’

Vintage Vixen – Vix shares more of her fabulous upcycling projects.

Image from Conscience Collective

 

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UK Ethical Fashion Events

london2vb

London and the UK are buzzing about ethical and sustainable fashion lately. There are plenty of events going on over the next month if you would like to get involved, so I thought I would share some of them with you. If any Ethical Fashion Bloggers are going along and would like to cover an event for this blog, please let me know.

8-26th October – Pure Thread - Shopping Event
British shoppers with a conscience and an eye for fashion get the opportunity to touch, feel and buy into the world’s hottest sustainable style brands. Jocelyn Whipple, leading light of Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge™ joins with Jill Heller, owner of New York’s legendary Pure Thread to host this exclusive event. Finally British shoppers get a chance to try exquisite ethical brands from Kami Organic to Stewart & Brown, Henrietta Ludgate to Beautiful Soul, brought together for the first time in the UK. These are the brands proving to the world that ethics and chic go together. These brands are helping to redefine ethical fashion across the world.

This retail event runs from 8-26 October, daily from 10am – 6pm at 67 Old Street, London EC1V 9HW, Sunday by appointment.

26th October ‘Spark’A creative fundraising event by Mayamiko Trust in collaboration with Slaves of the Extraordinary

A creatively charged night of up-and-coming ethical designers, musicians, performers and artists, all coming together to raise money and promote the works of Mayamiko Trust, as well as showcase their amazing artistic talents. The fashion showcase will include, Mayamiko Designed, African Fashion Week rising star MIA by Mia Nisbet , Fair & True, AFOL Milan Fashion School with shoes by Beyond Skin. Musicians include State of Bengal, Bam Bam Drum Band, Randolph Matthews and Michelle Cade, with performances from Slum Civilians with music by Stephen Thomas Clarke and illustrations by Lisa Hawthorn

Spark will be held at Corbet Place Elys Yard 15 Hanbury Street E1 6QR (Off Brick Lane) on Friday 26th October. Tickets for the event are £15 per person including a drink on arrival. Tickets available from http://www.mayamiko.org/sparkevent/

8th November – Oxford Fashion Week – Ethical Fashion Fair

A variety of pop up stalls, catwalk shows, workshops and speaker events.

The Town Hall, Oxford, 12-5pm, admission free

For further info go to http://oxfordfashionweek.co.uk/ethical-fashion-fair

12th November – Fashioned for Freedom

Fashioned For Freedom hosted by online marketplace House of Beth and  is the ethical fashion event of the year on the 12th November at the striking St Mary’s Church using high fashion to raise funds for those directly involved in the prevention, rescue and reintegration of victims of human trafficking. The event will premiere the innovative fashion film ‘Flight’ directed by the well-known Tamzin Haughton as well as acts
and brief talks from the sustainable fashion expert Amisha Ghadiali and Vice
Chair of the Human Trafficking Foundation Baroness- Butler Sloss. There will also an auction of the ethical designer dresses from the film and an open wine bar and music.

St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, London W1H 1PQ,  7-10pm

Purchase tickets here: http://www.houseofbeth.com/collections/frontpage/products/fashioned-for-freedom-ticket

EJF Popup Shop – Until 20th November

‘Just by EJF’at 46, Carnaby Street is the new home for EJF’s exclusive Vivienne Westwood War/Peace t-shirt which has been designed to raise awareness of EJF’s No Place Like Home campaign for climate refugees.

Shop with a guilt-free conscience and green your wardrobe this autumn with designer, organic, fairly traded, climate-neutral cotton t-shirts. All profits from the t-shirts go to UK charity Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

Shop with a guilt-free conscience and green your wardrobe this autumn with designer, organic, fairly traded, climate-neutral cotton t-shirts. All profits from the t-shirts go to UK charity Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). ‘Just by EJF’ will also be selling ‘new’ exclusive designer organic t-shirts by From Somewhere, Martina Spetlova
and Eley Kishimoto as well as styles from previous collections including Katharine Hamnett, John Rocha, Allegra  Hicks, Alice Temperley and Christian Lacroix. The t-shirts have been worn by a host of EJF celebrity supporters  including Lily Cole, Naomi Campbell, Emilia Fox, Gemma Kidd, James Blunt, Gillian Anderson and many more.
 

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My Top 10 Ethical Fashion Sites

Hi Ethical Fashion Bloggers!!! We are so lucky to live in 2012(!) where there is just a plethora of resources out in the world accessible literally by our fingertips. For us ethical fashion bloggers, it’s valuable to read sites that have content we can relate to and be inspired by, and there is no shortage of great ethical fashion sites out there.

This is the very short list of my go to sites for all things ethical! I hope you find tons of new ideas and inspiration from them.

Crafting a Greener World is a wonderful site dedicated to DIYs and crafts that focus on crafting via upcylcing and reusing. Most of their DIYs involve recycling items and using things you already have in your home, PLUS they strive to use green supplies to actually make the craft. You MUST check out the “How to Reuse…” section, it lists ways to reuse common items from old sweaters to computer keyboards! And they take requests! Brilliant!

Daisy Green Magazine is a UK based site that while their focus is highlighting ethical fashion they touch on lots of lifestyle topics like recipes and beauty. Their weekly newsletter is probably one of my favorites to peruse because their content feels very grounded and accessible.

Ecouterre is an amazing place for ethical fashion and ethical fashion design. Their selections are always really current and modern and they do fantastic coverage of NYFW Green/Ethical Shows. The range of ethical fashion is all represented at Ecouterre which makes for compelling content, from DIYs to ready to wear to avant-gard–it’s all really inspiring.

OK! This one is a bit of a cheat!!! Not a total ethical fashion site, but Ecorazzi is one of my favorite reads, it’s like TMZ for conscious consumers. Their tagline “Good Gossip,” is completely true-they keep you posted on the ethical choices being made on the red carpet as well as share all the news on goodness the celebrities you love and love to hate are doing. I mean hellloooo The Situation helping out PETA?!?!

HippyShopper is another UK based online magazine. This site definitely gives a huge range of advice on ethical living and ethical shopping. I think they do a great job delivering ethical fashion news and their ethical roundups always seem very on the pulse of what’s going on.

Beauty Palette is a newer site, but I am obsessed with it! While focused on natural and ethical beauty this site is dedicated to what you also put in your body. The reviews on “Tester Thursdays” are something to look forward to!

If you’re into thrifting Sammy Davis Vintage is an incredible place for inspiration. She’s a NY based blogger who dedicates her site to thrifting. Her style is suuuper unique but she shares way more than that…everything from making fashion from the 30′s current or bringing back the 90′s in a modern way via thrifting, she really does tackle it all!

Magnifeco really brings an editing eye with sophisticated taste to all their ethical fashion highlights. They also cover ethical events and brands from NY to London so I think it’s really relevant to a lot of locales.

Ecofabulous is another site that has a lot of topics, they really encompass what their tagline says, “stylish, sustainable, living.” Their ethical fashion section is filled with news on new collaborations and products for the conscious consumer and their roundups are very timely and relevant.

I would be remiss not to mention the awesome site that was Ecosalon. Besides covering great ethical fashion and ethical fashion events ecosalon covered many many topics. I loved their quotes roundups i.e. 30 Quotes on Overcoming Challenges or 20 Quotes on Style. Sadly, this incredibly prolific site has shut it’s doors down and they are no longer posting. BUT! Ecosalon’s site still lives and you can definitely troll their archives for inspiration.

So there you have it, my top 10 ethical fashion sites! Tell me all about your favorites!

Jamillah writes at made-to-travel about ethical shopping and happy things. You can find her on twitter @made2travel.

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October Outfit Challenge – Eye Popping Brights

Lots of eyepoppingly bright outfits for this months challenge! they have definitely cheered me up on a grey autumn day.


Erica of Recycled Fashion is wearing a fabulous dress that she has upcycled from a thrifty op shop top and skirt and some amazing sandals.

red and orange

Franca of Oranges and Apples shoes looks amazing in her vintage dress and charity shopped blazer with a cute owl bag.

Vix of Vintage Vixen advises ‘Don’t buy, DIY’ in her post which features this beautiful bright upcycled top

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Over at Perditas Pursuits a stunning welsh wool cape is the perfect way to stand out from the crowd on a cold day.

Pao of Project Minima has combine some bold and bright florals with stunning effect!


My outift as featured on Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog features a dress by Frank and Faith, necklace by Made UK and charity shop handbag.

I hope you are having a great week! don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or join up to keep up with all of our challenges. Next up this month is a round up of the best Ethical Fashion Bloggers posts.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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10 Good Reasons to Green Your Fashion Blog

As a fashion blogger, greening your blog may seem like a daunting task. But any small change that you can make like buying a little less, shopping in charity shops or occasionally blogging about an ethical brand will have a positive impact on the world around you. If you are not quite sure why you should bother then here are a some good reasons.

People

There are many ways that you can help others whilst you blog. It is great to feel that your blog has a sense of purpose and I actually find myself much more motivated to blog when I feel like I am doing some good. Promoting brands that provide a decent living wage for those making their clothes and do not use cotton picked children in countries like Uzbekistan and Burkina Faso is a good start. If you are not sure which companies to avoid check out the buyer’s guide to high street shops on Ethical Consumer.

Planet

The world cannot sustain our constant appetite for new stuff all of the time and this includes fashion and clothes. Each piece of clothing that we wear only once or twice before throwing away uses nonrenewable resources, contributes to global warming and adds to the landfill problem. The cotton used to make most cotton clothing has also been grown with a large amount of pesticides which are bad for the environment and pose a health risk to those living in the  area. As a fashion blogger you can easily promote sustainability by not encouraging people to buy clothes that they do not need. Vintage, thrifted, charity shopped and DIY outfits are all great ways of been stylish, sustainable and unique.

Be Independent

Ok, so not everyone buys into the whole people and planet thing, but one way that bloggers can be and are more sustainable is by developing their own sense of style. Slavish devotion to fashions and trends can lead to us constantly renewing our wardrobes with new fast fashion items. As a blogger working your own individual style is what will set you apart from the crowd (plus it is so much more sustainable). Why not invest in a beautiful clothing that you love, looks great on you and you will wear for seasons to come instead of a piece of clothing that you have to have just because everyone else is wearing it.

Your bank balance

Having new clothes might be great but if you never get the chance to go out because you have spent all your money on clothes, it kind of seems a bit pointless. Making the switch to more sustainable clothing that lasts more than one season or shopping in charity shops means that you will always have something amazing to wear but also some money left for the fun stuff in life like going out.

Finding a niche

As fashion bloggers we are all look for a slightly different angle or something interesting to write about. Most ethical and sustainable fashion brands have  an interesting story to tell, if you choose to feature them on your blog you won’t have any trouble finding something to write about. Ethical and / or sustainability is an interesting angle of fashion to write about. When you find yourself a new niche and set yourself apart from the crowd, you may also find a whole new set of brands that will want to work with you.

Become part of a movement

The ethical fashion movement is steadily growing and gathering pace. If you want to become part of a movement that includes some truly inspiring, passionate and friendly people then ethical fashion is for you. There are plenty of online communities where you can network and interact with like minded people with a shared purpose and enthusiasm for fashion that looks great but doesn’t cost the earth.

Discovering new brands

There are lots of new ethical and sustainable brands emerging all the time and rather than being restricted by this, they seem to strive to find new ways to be creative. These brands are fun, fresh, contemporary and innovative, if you weren’t on the look out for ethical brands, you may not even get to know about them.

Get ahead of the game (it’s the future!)

Many of the big brands are now making moves towards becoming more sustainable and ethical. If this is the way that the industry is going, it makes sense to be ahead of the game and be one of the early adopters.

Authenticity and credibility

Aligning your own values with those of your blog is the only way to be authentic and credible. If you are encoruaging people to keep buying new clothes that they don’t really need and yet you don’t really believe this is the right thing to do, your writing will seem shallow and empty. Think carefully about why you are blogging and what you hope to achieve with it and make sure it matches your own personal values.

Creativity

Limitless access to new clothing week on week actually (believe it or not) gets boring in the end. I think it tends to stifle your creativity where as having less choice can really stimulate creativity and make you think so much more about what you are wearing. The fantastic upcycled pieces of clothing and DIY tutorials that you can find on so many fashion blogs is proof of this. Creating a new outfit without buying fast fashion can be a bit of a challenge but you may even find it fun!

So that is it! These are the reasons that I decided to green my blog. I would be really interested to hear if anyone else has any good reasons.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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Outfit Challenge – Eye Popping Brights

yellow coat

The weather might seem a little miserable at the moment so this month I thought we could cheer things up with our outfit challenge by including some eye popping brights. It is up to you how much brightness you include on your ethical, charity shopped, thrifted or vintage outfit. If you are really brave, you could go the whole hog and opt for head to toe neons or alternatively just one amazing bright statement acessory is great too.

The usual rules apply. Photograph and post your outfit to your blog with a mention of us and link to www.ethicalfashionbloggers.com then post your link in the comment section of this post or email me at ceri@heathcotecommunications.co.uk  by the end of the day on Tuesday 9th October. I will post a round up of the outfits on 10th October.

Don’t forget. you can now follow and pin with us on Pinterest. If you are not a member of Ethical Fashion Bloggers yet, you can just email me to join.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Image – Ursula Cocoon Coat by SKUNKFUNK on www.fashion-conscience.com.

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