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tanya burr

Why YouTube Haul Videos Don’t Have to Be Problematic

By March 12, 2017 Ethical, YouTube

For those of you know aren’t familiar with the term ‘haul video’, here’s a brief description. A haul on YouTube is a video showcasing someone’s recently purchased items. They’re hugely successful especially when it comes to fashion, with some videos receiving views in the millions. The problematic side of this comes down to the frequency of uploads and the vast amount of people being influenced by them; it’s the opposite of celebrating conscious consuming.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - fashion haulternative

I don’t want this to be a negative, guilt-inducing article because I too, at one point, was an avid haul-watching-aholic. In fact, I used to upload haul videos myself back when I was somewhat active on YouTube (meaning I am part of the 21,500,000 videos on YouTube including the word ‘haul’ in the title). I’m not here to tell you to stop watching them or to stop making them, in fact, I’m going to avoid that completely; hence the title. But, just to continue on from my introduction, I will expand on why it doesn’t match up with what I believe should be more beneficial to us.

Haul videos promote consumption, and that’s just a fact nobody can avoid. The reason for haul videos isn’t just to spread the love of what we own, it’s to spread the love of what we own for somebody else to then enjoy by purchasing it themselves. It’s also not even about that anymore due to the rise of influencer marketing where products are paid to be featured in them or they’d been paid for by a brand in hopes of a feature, too.

If you’ve read my blog post about using your audience for change, you’ll know how important I believe the word ‘influencer’ is and how relevant it is to what I have to say in this post, too.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Marzia Haulternative


~ CLOTHES SWAP ~


With haul videos being so influential in what we buy, especially within the younger generations, they can be problematic if we’re going to make sustainability a priority. It’s also problematic if the brands being promoted are perhaps not as ethical as we might like because they gain interest and that sends a signal to them that they’re ‘working’ or that they’re successful.

There’s a great quote by Anna Lappe which is, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”, and I think it rings true for how we approach influence as well. Every time you promote a brand, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want other people to cast a vote for too.

So, why do I think haul videos don’t have to be problematic? It’s once again all to do with influence and the message put across. Although I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while now, the final push came when I watched one of Marzia (CutiePieMarzia)’s videos; a haul video, to be precise. Throughout the whole video she touched on ethics, even if it was just showing a brand’s core values and towards the end, she explained it all in further detail, explaining why buying items you truly love is more important than buying items you’ll only wear a handful of times even if they’re not necessarily ethical in the first place.

As much as I want to promote ethical shopping, it can be a difficult transition to make but this is a really great starting place not only for us, the viewers but also for content creators and how they approach these topics gradually and naturally.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Marzia Haulternative


~ HAULTERNATIVE ~


One of the reasons I picked out Marzia specifically is because she has a large audience and if we’re going to talk about influence then we should talk about those who can influence the most. It’s really refreshing to see somebody at least opening the conversation, which I think we could do with a lot more of. On the grand scheme of things, no reputations would be harmed and brands aren’t going to back away from working with someone if they’re only naturally introducing a concept. In my opinion, there’s nothing to lose.

Another great example of someone with a wide audience is Liv from What Olivia Did. I’ve been a huge fan of Liv’s blog for years now but recently she did a post all about consumerism and it was honest. She didn’t make herself out to be anything more than she is, and that’s something we should value when it comes to these issues. We need transparency across the board.

These two examples are just small ways haul videos and fashion content can become less consumption based. I think constantly dropping in ideas and mentions of what we all need to work towards is actually sometimes more important and influential than huge statements once in a while. Consistency and commitment to a message are key.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Tolly Dolly Posh Love Story


~ SUBSCRIBE TO FASHION REVOLUTION ~


There are other ways, though, which takes me back to Marzia once again because, over the past couple of years, she’s taken part in Fashion Revolution’s #Haulternative campaign which focuses on exactly what I’m talking about; more positive and conscious consumption. Fashion Revolution have a wide range of content ideas for when Fashion Revolution day comes around, which I would highly recommend taking a look at if you are a blogger or influencer yourself.

One of these #Haulternative ideas is one I participated in and uploaded myself. The idea of a ‘Love Story’ haul involves sharing items of clothing you’ve had in your wardrobe for longer than just a few days. It’s still technically a haul because you’re sharing a collection of products, but it’s about sharing the idea of rekindling the love you originally had for them. It’s also about sentimentality (you can read more about how that’s important to sustainability here) and prolonging the number of times you use and wear something.

Fashion Revolution & the Issue with Youtube Haul Videos - Tanya Burr Most Worn Items


~ MOST WORN ~


A video which wasn’t directly for Fashion Revolution but was along the same vein was by Tanya Burr. She posted a video about the most worn items in her wardrobe and even if the products and brands she was promoting weren’t necessarily ethical, she was engaging with the concept that clothes can last.

All of the messages add up and contribute to a more positive influence online. We just need more people to participate and learn more themselves. I will say it for the 783rd time – education is vital and is something we all need and can do with more of. I’m still learning about how to become a better shopper and a better influencer. Why don’t we start thinking about how we all can, too?


Do you think YouTube hauls are problematic? What hauls have you seen which are more positive? Let me know in the comments! Let’s discuss…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why Using Your Blog Audience to Make Change Is So Important

By July 21, 2016 General

The word ‘influencer’ has started to creep into my vocabulary recently, because I’ve come to the conclusion (along with the media/press) that bloggers (including myself) are now much more than just bloggers. We’re influencers.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh


WHAT I WORE: Faux Leather Jacket (DIY & Peacocks) // Maxi Dress (ASOS) // Floppy Hat (ASOS) // Rings (Unknown


Bought something you’ve seen a blogger wearing? They influenced that decision. Had an opinion changed by a blogger you read every day? They’re influencing your thoughts. That sounds rather 1984/Big Brother levels of scary, but if we can be influenced by brands and magazines in that 1984 scary way, then there is nothing to stop us from being influenced by bloggers (again – including myself), just the same.

I’m not here to talk about beauty standards and societal conformities and that kind of influence though. I’m here to talk about positive influence and my irritation over the fact that Not. Enough. Bloggers. Are. Using. Their. Audiences. To. Make. Change.

I can’t say I’m perfect. I haven’t spoken about racism in the fashion industry, or politics (but I guess with that one I’d be expected to talk about Theresa May’s shoes, wouldn’t I?) on my blog before, and I’m not making petitions and getting you all to sign it, but I am doing my small part in sharing my views and opinions on certain things, specifically ethical and sustainable fashion, and how fast fashion is getting kind of old. So, I am doing something… but just the odd blogger, here and there, in my opinion, isn’t enough.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh

I’m not here trying to guilt anyone who is a blogger, but I hope that you will agree with me saying that there is a need and lack of bloggers using their audiences to make change happen. Perhaps my frustration comes from the fact that I’m not a huge blogger… yes, okay, I have a few magazine features under my belt (way to blow your own trumpet, Tolly) but I am nothing in comparison to the superstar YouTubers and followed-by-200k-on-Twitter bloggers, yet I am trying my best to put out a message that will only reach a few hundred. These bloggers, with a power and influence that they know they have, could be doing massive amounts to change the minds of literally thousands (if not, millions) of people. But they’re not. Why? Well, that’s the answer I want to figure out.

I’ve seen a few arguments to this question, including ‘It wouldn’t fit in with my aesthetic/blog topic’ and ‘I want my blog to be a place to escape’, or even, ‘There’s somebody else already doing it’. They’re all valid, and if that’s what you believe, then it’s your blog; sure, stick with that. But think about the possibilities of what you could be doing.

If you get comments on your posts, it’s because somebody has taken the time to read the majority of the words within it (and finds it worthy of adding to). That means that somebody is listening to you. Somebody is being influenced by you. Even if it’s just one… that’s somebody who could learn about something important and topical, that they might not have thought about before.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh

Let’s take me and ethical fashion, for example. I’ve had quite a lot of readers commenting on my blog and saying ‘I never really knew about this before, I’m definitely going to learn more’, which is exactly what I want whenever I talk about it. So what if a blogger with 100 times the amount of readers as I have, spoke about the same issues? That would be 100 times more the amount of people being influenced.

The argument of ‘It wouldn’t fit in with my aesthetic/blog topic’ is a bit of a weak one for me personally. It takes me back to one of the reasons I even wrote this post – Vivienne Westwood (and Ian Kelly)’s book about Vivienne’s life and career. You probably already know, but Vivienne works closely with climate change and combines fashion and her activism into one. When she spoke about this in the book, she said that everything is connected, it’s just finding a way to comfortably connect it that can become a struggle… but, it can be done.

Obviously, if there’s no cause or topic you feel worthy of talking about, then don’t force it just to influence people. Talk about something that you are passionate about and believe in strongly. If you’re a beauty blogger, you can still talk about such topics as ethical and sustainable fashion, because fashion links in with beauty and trends and how consumerism and capitalism do their part. If you’re a book blogger, talk about books which discuss these types of topics.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh

~ HOW TO SPREAD A MESSAGE ~

 Tweet about it
 Retweet other people’s tweets
 Use Facebook to post lengthier updates (there’s no 140 character limit!)
 Blend in subtle messages within other blog posts
✓ Write a mission statement for your about page

 Ask your readers questions about the topic
 If you’re not; admit that you’re not perfect (especially with things such as ethical shopping etc)
 Bring your readers along on your journey
 If it’s important to you – let it be important

Whatever kind of blogger you are – you have an audience that listens, trusts and is influenced by you, so you may as well use that to your advantage. Even if you don’t do it on your actual blog, speaking up about things on social media is important too, because it is even more easily shareable, which means the people you are influencing can then influence their friends and family and their own audiences.

I think it probably hits home to me so much because ethical and sustainable fashion now seems to me, unquestionable. I don’t really understand why more people aren’t talking about it. I’d love for people who do have bigger audiences than me, to start spreading the same awareness. Especially those who have millions of beady eyes watching. I’ve only seen a couple of people who have started to do this, like CutiePieMarzia, who worked on the Fashion Revolution ‘#Haulternative’ campaign, and more recently, Tanya Burr, who is working on the Global Goals campaign which focuses on gender equality worldwide.

The most important part about people such as Tanya spreading these messages, is the fact that she is reaching out to teens. Younger people are being fed knowledge and are starting to question things because someone they watch and admire is telling them that it’s important. She’s using her influence, and really – it’s just that simple.

If you’ve been contemplating writing a post about a topic that is close to your heart, then write it. Use the power you have at your fingertips. If just one person reads it and decides to learn even more, that’s one person you’ve influenced. That’s one more person who might just go off and change the world (even if that sounds rather over the top).


Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see influencers talking about, and how you think it can be done!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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