On conscious blogging…

Please check out SKYLISH.CO.UK for the new look. You are currently reading this blog via Bloglovin’ or on my old interface as the new website is integrated to Bloglovin’ (I know I’ve said this for a while – but I will get it sorted!)

blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers

 
This is a post I’ve actually wanted to write for a while, but never quite known how to go about it. But, with Black Friday only just behind us, and the topic of discussion on many people’s minds as the week passed by, it seemed like the perfect time to discuss what it means to be a more conscious blogger… especially when a lot of your content has traditionally centered around fashion.
 

blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers
blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers

 
First – a little bit about my blogging history. When I first started blogging, it was solely for the purposes of beauty. When I got into my early teens I gained an obsession with makeup, I’d spend hours at a time sat on YouTube learning all the tricks I could from what used to be called “beauty gurus”, and I was compelled to start writing about it because none of my friends really understood my obsession (or why, for example, I asked for a makeup brush for my birthday). Whilst I’m not really obsessed with beauty at all anymore, I still know what I’m doing with a beauty blender and crease brush due to what I learned back in the day. Soon enough, a love of fashion also entered my life. I remember before I went on any holidays I would spend hours planning outfits for each day, and trying to match them as closely as I could to outfits being worn by Kim Kardashian, Cheryl Cole or Vanessa Hudgens (as you can tell, this was back in the day). I would save up £5/week from the £20 my parents gave me, and when I had a good amount, me and a friend would go to Primark and Boots and completely splurge it on all the latest beauty and fashion finds/dupes.

 

blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers

 

When university started, anything I was doing “online” sort of took a back seat. I closed down my lifestyle blog, updated my beauty and fashion blog only very sporadically and I also closed down my webdesign shop. Towards the very end of university, I decided to restart Skylish properly and focus it a bit more on the writing. I wanted my own platform again. I wanted to write useful articles for women and girls like me, articles that got people thinking, or just made people laugh, and that’s still what I try to do today. I’m a writer at heart. Blogging is certainly different to what it used to be – whilst there are still a few of us, there aren’t many people that even really blog these days (and if you know any good blogs – please share!) Most of the focus is on Instagram rather than well crafted written pieces, and I guess that’s just the way it is.

 

blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers

 

As I’ve grown and matured, I’ve tried to grow Skylish with me. When I first started receiving a full time, monthly income, I would allocate £200 a month – yes, £200 – to shopping on either PLT or Missguided. Eventually, I realised this was such a waste of money and totally over the top, so I stopped doing it. I don’t actually shop that much these days. I shop when I feel like I need something (for e.g. a ring I’ve been wearing for years has been totally bent out of shape through lifting, so I nabbed myself a branch new shiny ring from Pandora today… lured in by their 20% off sale!), in terms of where I shop regularly, that’s probably Zara when I pop into when it looks particularly inviting, have a browse around and pick some stuff up. I’m also blessed in that I sometimes have brands send me clothes to promote. Oh – and gym clothes… I love buying gym clothes. Another change since the past few years – I’ve tried to publish less “lazy” content on Skylish. Sometimes it’d be nothing more than pictures of my outfit with links to where I got everything from. If I wouldn’t want to read something like that, why would I expect someone else to?

 

blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers

 

Finally, when it comes to growing Skylish with me, sometime late last year, I was introduced a bit more to the world of sustainability. Honestly – this is something I knew nothing about. So long as I was recycling and turning off my lights… I thought there wasn’t much else to it. And whilst this is a whole topic on its own, what was more relevant to what I was doing was the topic of fast fashion, and, more generally, the overall encouragement of over consumption of what is often something of low quality. It made me think about what I can do – as a blogger that indeed uses a lot of fashion imagery – to promote somewhat healthier habits:

  • First of all, my blog isn’t my biggest source of income really at all. I work full time in Investment Banking and that gives me the luxury of leeway to make changes on my blog and Instagram and not have it majorly impact my life. What I’m trying to say is, it’s not always so easy when you’ve always gone about doing things a certain way and that’s been the formula to your success, to having to rethink and rewrite said formula
  • Second of all, with one of the changes I’ve made being to focus on buying higher quality, longer lasting, and essentially more expensive, this is feasible because I’m on a quite nice full time income. If I was still in year 10/11/12, that would simply not be feasible
  • With the disclaimers out of the way – one change I’ve made is to not be afraid to be an outfit repeater. Yes, being a fashion blogger, every new set of photos was always a new outfit period. Be that bought with my own money or gifted. I used to always feel pressure, coming up to a shoot, to have an all new set of clothes and outfits to show. Now when I do my shoots, it doesn’t bother me to rewear and restyle something in an outfit. Honestly, it’s a more realistic way to live. It’s how I live. Plus, my shoots and the photos are here to supplement what I write, I’m not necessarily walking down a runway
  • Being pickier with the brands I work with – there are some brands I could probably use stock my entire wardrobe for free every single month – but I don’t want to go out and encourage people to buy something of low quality just because it costs £7. It’s just not long lasting
  • Not encouraging over consumption. I won’t sit here and tell people to buy, buy, buy, when that’s not exactly my mentality. Whilst I do shop, of course, a lot of my money also goes into savings, and of course I try to do smart things with these savings. I’m not saying don’t treat yourself (I mean, I’m loving the new ring I bought today from Pandora), but also don’t over consume to the point where something things you buy you never even touch (I’ve done this before)
  • Lastly, I’m trying to discover more sustainable brands. I’ve already picked myself up some gym gear from TALA, but websites like AYM I’ve also bookmarked for future usage

 
And there you go, a not so brief overview of where I’ve been and where I’m at currently. I’ve not perfect by any means, but I also just want to be real over here. As my thoughts and habits adapt, Skylish will always adapt with me. Thank you to everyone that continues to support! I’m a bit meh with my posting frequency these days, but at the crux of it I love to write and will always be back to brain fart over here for everyone that reads!
 

blogging, sustainability, fast fashion, fbloggers, lbloggers, bbloggers

 

Dec 1 2019 at 8:46 pm   ·   Think Pieces







Side Hustles & Excuses

Please check out SKYLISH.CO.UK for the new look. You are currently reading this blog via Bloglovin’ or on my old interface as the new website is integrated to Bloglovin’ (I know I’ve said this for the past month – but I will get it sorted!)

side hustle, blogger, fashion blogger, lifestyle blogger, inspiration, motivation

If you’re on the hunt for a grad job… well, it’s application season! And given that (i) before this, it was “(summer) intern season” and (ii) I’ve been working for three years as per my LinkedIn profile (bleurgh); I’ve been spending a bit of time recently chatting to, networking with, and answering the questions of (mostly) uni students who want to know what tips I have to break into banking. A question I get often, particularly from those sweating over the reality of longer hours in the working world, is “so… what do you do outside of work?” …Enter some spiel around having a blog and being really into health & fitness and entrepreneurship.

I’ve always done “something else” outside of my main focus – be it school, university, or work. I’ve been “side hustling” before the “side hustle” became such a widely spread terminology. This is partly because, well, there’s always just been so much I want to do. I mean right now I also want to (i) learn how to swim; (ii) learn a language and (iii) start dance classes, around all the other stuff I’m already trying to juggle at the moment (unlikely that I’ll be able to do all, to be honest…). Also, I’ve always just liked having “stuff” to do. Whilst I also really like sleeping, chilling and spending hours watching YouTube videos about random things, when I’m not lazing around, I like to be productive with my time.

I always encourage people fresh and new to the work world to develop their own side hustle. Or even just their own hobby (if your “hobby” can turn into a “hustle”, then that’s just an added plus). It’s always good to have total control over something you can call your own (e.g. this blog), and honestly given the 9-5 (using these hours loosely) life consumes so much of our times, I find having something else to do with my time to be some sort of relief from the office, something that keeps me going and something that lets me live out some things I am truly passionate about and really enjoy. Of course – it’s not by force… but definitely recommended. Plus, you never know when something you’re doing for fun and due to passion will accidentally become something hugely successful – we’ve all seen it happen many times before!

So, what’s stopping you? I hear from people all the time that want to start up something on the side – be it as simple as an Instagram page to a fully fledged business, but often times this comes with excuses. Perhaps there’s not enough time, or said person needs to take out more time to develop their expertise, or maybe they’re simple just worried about perception.

I’ve been there before, too… haven’t we all? This year I started up my own fitness page on Instagram, I started it because I wanted to a platform to share this new passion and mine and also for the simple fact that I felt like it. But I was apprehensive about starting it for some time mainly because I had a very much “who do you think you are?” feeling towards myself around it all. Eventually, I realised I couldn’t let excuses hold me back, so I went for it, and a few months down the line, the page is going very well and I’m happy I took the plunge.

Finding time is always something I think you can find if you really want to. Of course – you can’t do everything. I’d love to have a thriving career, a blog, some social media accounts, learn to swim, learn a language or two, take weekly dance classes and maintain a good social life whilst keeping up going to the gym 5x a week… let’s chuck in writing my own book too. But there’s only 24 hours in a day, and for many of those hours we should be asleep. So – it’s just about prioritising. I write only one blog a week (well, heh, I try to…) because that’s all I have the time for. I go to the gym in the mornings so that I don’t have to stress about going after work. I try to be productive on my weekends but make time for friends, family (and a good turn up ;)), and just general relaxation after what has probably been a very long week. I try to do just one thing every evening that is what I personally want to do – that may be related to a number of any other side hustles (this evening’s one job – dusting off a blog post I wrote on Sunday and posting it!), I’ve gotten quick at filming and editing fitness videos for my fitness page, I make to-do lists, I get help when and where I can. I fit everything, and as much as I can of anything, into different slots. But I proritise what I really want to do the most. I’m not so sure if I’ll ever learn that language, but at some point I will take some dance classes and also one of these days, I’ll learn how to swim.

What’s in it for you? Well, a side hustle can be one of multiple streams of income. Also, the way the internet is set up these days, there are very minimal barriers of entry to pursuing some of your passions. It’s a way to put all of yourself and your creativity into something you can take ownership of.

If you have an idea in your head right now – I encourage you to just go for it. Enough excuses, more execution! Side hustles are what most young adults are doing to stay inspired these days.

Sep 17 2019 at 7:27 pm   ·   Think Pieces