In short: It’s hard.
Due to the Occupy movement and the nationwide protests taking place (of which I was proud – though momentary – participant), I’ve been thinking a lot about my job not just as a “blogger,” but as a fashion blogger who – by definition – looks for the cheapest way to get gorgeous clothes and how that fits into the things that the Occupy movement – and many in our generation – stand for.
Am I a hypocrite? Am I contributing to the very thing I’m protesting against?
I used this picture because it looks like I’m thinking. Clever, huh?
I read a ton (a ton) of fashion blogs, most of which I totally and unabashedly adore. That being said, I often come across posts that feature perfect-for-the-niche articles about the latest “[Designer] For [Whoever]” collection, or the newest, adorable dress from Forever 21, or where to get the latest Prada knockoffs and I feel a pang of discomfort.
Because I can’t post about them. I
can’t won’t post about companies who have a history of unfair labor, environmental damage, bigotry or feature a knockoff designer shoe as a plausible option for purchasing. My ethics are too deeply-rooted.
Urban Outfitters are owned by a guy who donates money to anti-gay Rick Santorum – my mortal nemesis, but I can’t fault the company for that. I can fault them on ripping off countless independent artists, though.
Unfortunately, the list (and my inner conflict about my position) goes on…
While I’ve been on the fence about knockoffs for the last three years, I am defining my position on it. I refuse to post about direct, less-than-30%-difference knockoffs because I know too much about the replica industry and the condition under which these knockoffs are made.
So seeing this great, definitely budget fashion content makes me, honestly… a little nervous. I haven’t branded Broke & Beautiful as any kind of ethical budget fashion blog (…yet?), but being that, well, I created it and I have these values… that means that some of the most appealing, applicable budget fashion content will never see the light of day on Broke & Beautiful.
Will I/have I lost readers because of my “lack of current news” in the field of accessible fashion? Probably. And who knows – this post might make me lose a few more! But, you know… That’s something that I think I need to be okay with.
I coax myself into comfort by dreaming that there are other people out there like me who don’t want to support these icky industry tactics, but still want accessible, beautiful fashion.
I like to believe that there are socially-aware, thrifty guys and gals who pride themselves on supporting causes that benefit the economy, the human condition, and the customers who buy their products. There has to be… Right? …Right?
Five Seven years ago (!!), I created Broke & Beautiful to help people find the beauty that exists in runway and high- quality fashion at a price that wouldn’t attach them to a status, class, or collection agency. If you start at the very beginning – from the very first post, you will see things from Forever 21 and Target. You will see things from Urban Outfitters. This blog is not only a record of my love of fashion, and it’s not just a history of my belief that beautiful style can be achieved at any budget…
It’s also a running record of my awareness, personal growth and devotion to fashion through ethics.
And when I look at it that way, it isn’t so bad. A “blog” is a “web log” after all, right?
I’d love to know how you feel about Broke & Beautiful’s choice to omit these unethical companies from our shopping suggestions.
Do you wish that we had more of an open position on these budget fashion megastores? Or do you [maybe, hopefully, pretty please?] value the idea that the options that B&B shows you are socially conscious as well as budget-friendly?
See more about my feelings on My Shopping Philosophy.