There are so many issues in the blogging and fashion industry about how to conduct yourself when you have an influence and people watching your life through their phone screens. So I'm just going to address my own ethical practices all in one post.
I don't buy followers/engagement (although I seem to get a million junk emails about it a day) when you're being paid by a brand to promote to tens of thousands if your real follower numbers are lower it's essentially theft. I know we like to think of brands as these big bad companies who rarely pay bloggers what they should (if at all) but if you do lie to brands about your numbers and they don't see the return they expect, they decide to pay other bloggers less and less. So if you do fake your followers you aren't slightly hurting a big brand you're massively hurting honest bloggers who worked hard to grow in a notoriously difficult industry and who now won't be paid a fair amount for their work because brands have had that bad experience with you.
I support others
The way I see it uplifting and helping other bloggers is a great way to get mutual support. I blog full time so it's great to connect with others and have a genuine relationship with people going on the same journey as you. Sometimes you can see people may think that if they have more followers then they deserve your support but you don't deserve theirs? This is crazy! I love supporting bloggers back and it's better for you to connect with bloggers on all stages of their journeys. I get that blogging is such a saturated profession compared with only a few years ago. But we're all different and our individuality is what comes through in our content, we are not in competition with each other!
I'm lucky enough to have never been cyber bullied (or real life bullied), except for I think one negative comment on my Instagram once which isn't really bullying I know. I rarely have anything negative to say so I will never leave a negative comment or a dislike or write a shady tweet. Although I like to keep up with current blogger dramas (it's top entertainment), I won't contribute unless it's something like Jeffrey Stars racist comments, or really just serious issues like that, in those cases I think you should always speak out and it's not bullying to do so.
Brands I won't work with:
Brands who don't work with bloggers who are POCs - that's a no from me, there's a big problem with lack of diversity even in blogging and fashion so if a brand only seems to work with skinny white women it just seems off to me and it's not a brand I'd want to promote.
Brands who promote cultural appropriation- also a no
Brands I will work with (slightly controversial):
Brands who do designer dupes. I don't agree with copying an exact piece but I do love a designer 'vibe' to a piece.
Here's my dupe collection.
I'm undecided on fur. I come from the Cotswolds and did some work for a fashion magazine here, the fur industry creates a lot of jobs here so while I don't wear fur and of course the life of an animal is more important than a fashion piece, I'm not sure if it's more important than someone's livelihood.
I always disclose my sponsored posts.
This seems pretty obvious as it's the law but so many people don't do it and it's so obvious! 'Celebrity' influencers are the absolute worst for this!
I only recommend things I like/ that aren't scammy:
If I don't like a product I won't promote it. I don't like to talk negatively about something so I'd rather just not do the collaboration if something isn't my style or bad quality. Sometimes brands won't give you a choice and will just send a PR package and it's like they've never looked at your blog or Instagram before! I've been sent things that I would never wear in a million years and I send those back, my blog and social media is always 100% me.
I also don't promote things like vitamins, health supplements, fitness drinks etc because I don't believe in them. They might work for some people but I can't go out and promote something that probably doesn't do anything and seems sketchy af. I absolutely don't want to encourage anyone to put something into their body that says it will make them skinny or grow their hair, instead I promote body confidence and a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally.
I do like my photography to look a certain way so I do edit my photos and here's how (How I edit my photos) however when it comes to photoshop I don't photoshop my body or face, but do keep in mind that we all choose the best photos of ourselves to post. So they are very much a highlight reel of the best photos of me out of probably thousands.
I've started a series on twitter of posting my before and after editing photos just to keep things real and really stress that what you see on Instagram is a finished product, not a caught of guard iPhone quality quick pic.
I think that may be all for now but if there's anything else I feel like addressing then I will update and republish this post!
Thanks for reading everyone!