This is a post I’ve actually wanted to write for a while, but never quite known how to go about it. But, with Black Friday only just behind us, and the topic of discussion on many people’s minds as the week passed by, it seemed like the perfect time to discuss what it means to be a more conscious blogger… especially when a lot of your content has traditionally centered around fashion.
First – a little bit about my blogging history. When I first started blogging, it was solely for the purposes of beauty. When I got into my early teens I gained an obsession with makeup, I’d spend hours at a time sat on YouTube learning all the tricks I could from what used to be called “beauty gurus”, and I was compelled to start writing about it because none of my friends really understood my obsession (or why, for example, I asked for a makeup brush for my birthday). Whilst I’m not really obsessed with beauty at all anymore, I still know what I’m doing with a beauty blender and crease brush due to what I learned back in the day. Soon enough, a love of fashion also entered my life. I remember before I went on any holidays I would spend hours planning outfits for each day, and trying to match them as closely as I could to outfits being worn by Kim Kardashian, Cheryl Cole or Vanessa Hudgens (as you can tell, this was back in the day). I would save up £5/week from the £20 my parents gave me, and when I had a good amount, me and a friend would go to Primark and Boots and completely splurge it on all the latest beauty and fashion finds/dupes.
When university started, anything I was doing “online” sort of took a back seat. I closed down my lifestyle blog, updated my beauty and fashion blog only very sporadically and I also closed down my webdesign shop. Towards the very end of university, I decided to restart Skylish properly and focus it a bit more on the writing. I wanted my own platform again. I wanted to write useful articles for women and girls like me, articles that got people thinking, or just made people laugh, and that’s still what I try to do today. I’m a writer at heart. Blogging is certainly different to what it used to be – whilst there are still a few of us, there aren’t many people that even really blog these days (and if you know any good blogs – please share!) Most of the focus is on Instagram rather than well crafted written pieces, and I guess that’s just the way it is.
As I’ve grown and matured, I’ve tried to grow Skylish with me. When I first started receiving a full time, monthly income, I would allocate £200 a month – yes, £200 – to shopping on either PLT or Missguided. Eventually, I realised this was such a waste of money and totally over the top, so I stopped doing it. I don’t actually shop that much these days. I shop when I feel like I need something (for e.g. a ring I’ve been wearing for years has been totally bent out of shape through lifting, so I nabbed myself a branch new shiny ring from Pandora today… lured in by their 20% off sale!), in terms of where I shop regularly, that’s probably Zara when I pop into when it looks particularly inviting, have a browse around and pick some stuff up. I’m also blessed in that I sometimes have brands send me clothes to promote. Oh – and gym clothes… I love buying gym clothes. Another change since the past few years – I’ve tried to publish less “lazy” content on Skylish. Sometimes it’d be nothing more than pictures of my outfit with links to where I got everything from. If I wouldn’t want to read something like that, why would I expect someone else to?
Finally, when it comes to growing Skylish with me, sometime late last year, I was introduced a bit more to the world of sustainability. Honestly – this is something I knew nothing about. So long as I was recycling and turning off my lights… I thought there wasn’t much else to it. And whilst this is a whole topic on its own, what was more relevant to what I was doing was the topic of fast fashion, and, more generally, the overall encouragement of over consumption of what is often something of low quality. It made me think about what I can do – as a blogger that indeed uses a lot of fashion imagery – to promote somewhat healthier habits:
- First of all, my blog isn’t my biggest source of income really at all. I work full time in Investment Banking and that gives me the luxury of leeway to make changes on my blog and Instagram and not have it majorly impact my life. What I’m trying to say is, it’s not always so easy when you’ve always gone about doing things a certain way and that’s been the formula to your success, to having to rethink and rewrite said formula
- Second of all, with one of the changes I’ve made being to focus on buying higher quality, longer lasting, and essentially more expensive, this is feasible because I’m on a quite nice full time income. If I was still in year 10/11/12, that would simply not be feasible
- With the disclaimers out of the way – one change I’ve made is to not be afraid to be an outfit repeater. Yes, being a fashion blogger, every new set of photos was always a new outfit period. Be that bought with my own money or gifted. I used to always feel pressure, coming up to a shoot, to have an all new set of clothes and outfits to show. Now when I do my shoots, it doesn’t bother me to rewear and restyle something in an outfit. Honestly, it’s a more realistic way to live. It’s how I live. Plus, my shoots and the photos are here to supplement what I write, I’m not necessarily walking down a runway
- Being pickier with the brands I work with – there are some brands I could probably use stock my entire wardrobe for free every single month – but I don’t want to go out and encourage people to buy something of low quality just because it costs £7. It’s just not long lasting
- Not encouraging over consumption. I won’t sit here and tell people to buy, buy, buy, when that’s not exactly my mentality. Whilst I do shop, of course, a lot of my money also goes into savings, and of course I try to do smart things with these savings. I’m not saying don’t treat yourself (I mean, I’m loving the new ring I bought today from Pandora), but also don’t over consume to the point where something things you buy you never even touch (I’ve done this before)
- Lastly, I’m trying to discover more sustainable brands. I’ve already picked myself up some gym gear from TALA, but websites like AYM I’ve also bookmarked for future usage
And there you go, a not so brief overview of where I’ve been and where I’m at currently. I’ve not perfect by any means, but I also just want to be real over here. As my thoughts and habits adapt, Skylish will always adapt with me. Thank you to everyone that continues to support! I’m a bit meh with my posting frequency these days, but at the crux of it I love to write and will always be back to brain fart over here for everyone that reads!