This is a tough business to get into! Blogging is absolutely my hobby but when you’re trying to make it into “your thing” it is by no means easy. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging and my niche, which is about striving to live an ethical and justice driven life (among a few other things like medschool wife stuff and possibly milwife stuff). Some days I feel like even though there are so many topics to cover out there, I’m consistently turning away opportunities because it doesn’t align with my niche and it makes me frustrated.
One thing I was thinking about is that I want all of my readers to know that pursuing a life of justice is about taking steps and no one is perfect. Although I have heard of people living in 100% sustainable housing out West, so maybe they are perfect but that’s not me. Part of living an ethical life is being transparent and sharing the behind the scenes, so today I wanted to share with you a few of my confessions as an ethical blogger. The good, the bad, the crazy. I just hope someone can relate to me to some degree.
One// Ignorance is bliss. This summer I basically had to donate a lot of clothes (like 90%) and start over fresh in my closet but the problem is that a lot of ethical clothes are expensive or I struggle to find my size in thrift stores/I don’t have great thrift stores near me. So I ended up wandering the mall looking for the brands that I know are ethical, carry items that are, or I know are more transparent in their sourcing and production line. At one point my friend brought me into Forever 21 and I literally broke down in tears. It was a mix of being upset about having to buy new clothes, the cost and then thinking about where Forever 21 clothes came from. I ended up leaving the store because I seriously couldn’t handle it. I was so embarrassed and confused. Mostly because some days I wish I was ignorant of the problems and just be able to bring myself to buy a $5 t-shirt but at the same time how could I think such a thing.
Two// Believe it or not, I don’t really judge anyone for purchasing conventional items. For a long time my family thought I was being snooty and judging everyone for not doing the same but I know that not everyone is educated about conscious consumerism, not everyone cares and not everyone can truly afford it. There are ways to afford it but it’s not easy. I will though tell you about this awesome store that you can basically find the same necklaces as Madewell but they’re fair trade and cheaper.
Three// Yes I do in fact care about the problems in our own country and I actually do a lot of community service, thank you for voicing your concern. 😉 If you didn’t catch it, this assumption that just because I care about fair trade means I don’t care about the people in my home town, drives me nuts. The reason it bothers me so much is because this sentiment typically comes from people who don’t do service, and people who point out problems but spends their time blaming others instead of trying to find solutions or helping within their capacity.
Four// I hate the term slacktivism. There are different forms and types of activists, along with different levels of involvement. Someone who wants to raise awareness online by tweeting or writing a short facebook post is just as important as the people who are marching and protesting. When we start attacking those who want to start getting involved in a cause and they begin by posting a status we might start deterring them from wanting to get more involved. They may decide not to show up to a march because you were unkind to them when they posted an awareness based post. Yes I want everyone to actively fight for injustice, yes I want people to be fearless and stand despite what others think or feel but the reality is that some people need to move at their own pace. And I’m okay with that because at least they’re moving.
Five// I will purchase items that are not the most ethical and I own so much that isn’t either. If you go through my instagram feed, it is littered with fair trade this, ethical/ sustainable that but I’d be lying if I said that everything I own is like that. I do my best to buy things that are but I have set backs too. I will say that 60% of the items on my desk right now, probably came from terrible factories in China and I have no idea where any of the materials were sourced. All my pens, scissors, electronics, among other items probably harmed a lot of people. I do have older things on my desk like my pencil and pen holder or my organizers that are supposedly eco-friendly so that’s dandy. But if you take a walk into my kitchen, that’s another spot that I’m at a loss for where most things were sourced. If anyone knows where to purchase ethical baking pans let me know! I think mine might be Rachael Ray brand, I’ll have to look up where they’re manufactured. Like I’ve said over and over again… it’s a process and a journey and I’m still on my way. 🙂
Six// I often get tired and frustrated when trying to find ethical brands. It’s easier than ever to find them but it’s still rough. Now that I’m trying to plan an ethical wedding, I’m wishing there were more brands to choose from. I can’t wait to share the brands I have found though!
Seven// This is not a fad. Me being so consumed by this “lifestyle” isn’t because it’s cool or easy, it’s actually a lot tougher than I would like it to be. But I do it because I’ve developed relationships and friendships with the people who are on the other end of the supply chain. Your purchases really do impact the lives of others.
Eight// I pick and choose my battles. I often read posts on facebook and social media that I really don’t agree with. I used to try and talk to the poster (or debate) about their opinion to try and understand their perspective or try to enlighten them on my perspective. I ultimately learned to pick and choose my battles because some people either are so set in their opinions, don’t want to look stupid or simply just don’t care. So I try not to get involved unless I feel someone is open to learning something new. Sometimes I will break this rule but only on certain occasions.
Nine// I don’t feel like I’m missing out if I choose not to purchase something that isn’t ethical. Personally I feel like others are missing out when they don’t purchase something artisan made and has a really incredible story attached to it.
Ten// I’m not a mother yet but I refuse to give my children nothing but the best and that means giving them a beautiful lush green world to live in. I want them to have the ability to see exotic animals and colorful coral reefs so I will do everything in my capacity to make sure that happens, even if I have to make other’s a little uncomfortable. I’m not afraid to gently nudge and encourage people to use reusable bags and completely call out people for littering.