There’s been a little conflict going on in my head recently, which I would really love to share with you all and to get your opinion. It’s about bloggers: how we shop and how we potentially feed into over-the-top consumerism.
As a blogger I have to have (or at least feel I have to have) the latest things in store. Potential for regrams from the big brands are only possible if what you’re featuring is still in store, with a substantial amount of stock, which means I’m always after new items to feature. Haul videos are still as popular as ever, with some bloggers filming two haul videos every single week. But the thing is, this is part of our job, we’re often sent stuff, lent stuff and the items that don’t get worn (but are briefly featured in a haul video) are often sent back. And if I’m totally honest I have draped a jacket over my shoulder for a Instagram photo before returning it- not because I didn’t love the jacket, but because I have a few other ones almost identical, which I wouldn’t photograph as it’s from last season and therefore out of stock. I find that I give so much away to friends/charity at the moment because, if it’s no longer in stock I probably therefore won’t be able to use it again for social content.
I recently spoke about this to a friend, who asked, if we’re not spending our own money on each item or potentially returning some items then isn’t it misleading? I personally don’t think so. I’d love to keep everything I feature because I do honestly love everything I show on here and on social, but it isn’t possible due to cost/space/ not having enough opportunities to wear the items.
I think as bloggers we want to show you what’s in store, how it looks on and how you can style it, but it definitely isn’t an amount of shopping a regular non-blogger should be doing. Use Instagram and Haul Videos as inspiration but not inspiration as to how much you should actually be buying. Bloggers are gifted items, lent items and even those endless designer bags some bloggers have are bought with vouchers and hefty 60% discounts. I really worry that some people try to keep up with a bloggers buying habits which are usually excessive. Even I myself have felt the pressure to buy myself a designer handbag like very other blogger, even though I know I don’t really want one.
Just like a magazine picks the 10 must have shoes of the season we do the same. Except we may have bought a few, been lent a few and be returning the ones we’re not actually going to wear; however it appears that the blogger has bought it all, and maybe you should do the same.
It’s unrealistic and wasteful. You can’t do it in real life. If I wasn’t a blogger, posting a few new outfits every week on Instagram I’d buy 1/5 of what I do now- if not less. I’d swap with my friends, borrow off my friends and invest in more long term fashion.
I guess with this also comes the cool places bloggers get to eat/visit and the endless holidays some bloggers get to go on, use them as inspiration but its unlikely that a ‘regular person’ with an average income could realistically go on six 5-star exotic holidays a year and I think it’s important to remember that. I also want to point out that I’m not bringing up the free holidays and free clothes in order to brag, bloggers are often portrayed as entitled and braggy, but brands see an increase in sales and work with bloggers similarly to how they work with traditional press.
It’s not the norm to have a biker coat in 6 colours, two of which are almost identical, but one is in stock now and one isn’t. What I’m saying is that next time you’re scrolling through Instagram adding 56 new items to your mental Wishlist, just know that blogger’s shopping habits should not be a benchmark of the norm- it’s the excess and it’s our job; we take 10 outfits on our 3 day city break not because everyone should, but in the attempt that some people will like one of the ten and buy something in the photo.
Of course, you do you. If you want to buy half of ASOS/Topshop/Net-a-Porter on a weekly basis that’s your choice but I think it’s important to keep it real and remind you you don’t have to buy everything you see on Instagram.
Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Was a little bit of a scary post to publish if I’m honest!