This is a post I wanted to make for a long time...
... and I never really knew how to. We, bloggers, we all consume and we like to get free stuff from brands, we like to show what we wear, which lifestyle products we enjoy and what we buy. On the other hand, we are all part of this world which is facing lots of problems; horrible workings conditions for women working in the clothing industry somewhere in Bangladesh and China, lots and lots of trash in our oceans, chemicals from the industry in our ground water, etc. etc. this list could go on for pages.
Now, how do we handle the balance between the way we consume and the way we want the world to become?
Let me be really honest in this post. I feel bad when I buy from companies from which I know that they are not caring about working rights, the environment, and so on; but I also love to have new clothes and I have a very limited amount of money available to buy them. Every time I am about to make another order at H&M and every time I am asked by a Chinese clothing company if I want to promote their products on my blog, I am arguing with myself forever!
In certain aspects of my life, I am satisfied with the way I consume - like I only buy organic make up and cosmetics. I also buy my food mostly organic and I try to support the local organic shops as much as I can. I also try to promote fair trade organic clothes brands, such as Hess Natur but I also consume a lot of clothes which come from companies which I actually do not truely support. And here I am somehow not satisfied with myself. However, I LOVE on the other hand every single piece in my ward robe, also those pieces coming from companies I do not truly support. Now what to do? I love to receive free clothes, I love to buy on sale cheap and good pieces from H&M or similar. But my head tells me all the time that this is something bad to do!
I wonder - how do you handle this? Which compromises do you make?
For myself, I try to compromise - I eat vegan, I try to buy organic food, I buy organic make up, I wear all my clothes for several years and I resell them if I do no longer like them, I buy second hand whenever I can (but you know, I also like some new trends...), I always ask for fair trade clothes for my birthday and for Christmas ... and on the other hand, I order from H&M and I allow a few brands to be promoted on my blog even though they are far from fair trade, just because I really want these free clothes. Now, am I a bad person?
I think we all have an image of the perfect self in our mind and each of these images is so different from what all the other people out there think the perfect self is. My perfect self is one which does only consume in a way which makes this world a better place (WE VOTE WITH OUR DOLLARS! Dont forget that!). Well, you know what? We ARE NOT PERFECT. None of us is. And this is also why I think it is okay not be BE the perfect self. Still, I think it is important to have the perfect self in mind so that we can question our behaviour again and again and get a little closer every day to what we think the perfect self is. Without pressure! Without feeling bad! But still critical!
For me, this means that I told myself that is okay that I consume "in a bad way" from time to time, because a. it reminds me that I am not perfect that it is okay not to be perfect b. it reminds me that I will give my very best in other aspects of life (buying from H&M but then buying local organic food for the rest of the month) and c. it reminds me that I should treat the things I bought in a gentle and grateful way and take care of them so that they last for a long time.
This also means that I will continue showing clothes on my blog from "bad brands" but I will also try to include more and more "good brands" (which I already do now, but I want more more more of them :))! And there is another thing I want to do:
To analyze in a more critical way what I buy and what I really love of what I buy, I want to share overviews of my purchases (clothes only). I then want to look back at these purchases after a year and see if I really liked them as much as I thought in the beginning or not. Like that I hope to think even more critcally about my behaviour as a consumer and to overthink my purchases twice. I actually got this idea from Kate, she is doing the same thing on her blog :)
Now I am really really intersted in your opinion on all of this! Since you are bloggers too, you live in a similar world - how do you think about your behaviour as a consumer? How do you make your compromises, if any? How do you choose which brands to support and which not? What is your ideal self like? I cannot wait to read your comments!