Thoughts on Receiving Free Stuff from Brands
1. I can’t honestly endorse a brand or company without being able to sample its offerings.
Most fair trade brands aren’t readily accessible at local shops, so receiving product for review is not only the best way, but often the only way, to get my hands on the product I want to share with readers. There’s a limit to the value of a Brands feature if I haven’t actually sampled, seen, touched, or worn the product, so I find that product reviews are an excellent way to share companies I like with you all.
2. Collaborating with brands helps me get a sense of who they are and where they fit in the conscious consumerism conversation.
Emailing back and forth with the brands I work with gives me insight into their intentions. The companies that get featured on the blog are companies I believe in, and their reps are generous, punctual, and well informed. There are, however, a few brands I didn’t end up working with because I felt that they were unprofessional, insincere, or asking too much of me. Without the high stakes correspondence of a tentative business transaction, their true colors may not have come to light. It’s easy for someone to be nice to you when you’re featuring them for free; not so when there’s money involved.
3. Blogging takes time, research, and energy and I deserve to reap the rewards.
This reason may sound selfish, but I spend hours taking and editing photos, preparing giveaways, sending over interview questions, and writing essays and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating the perks of a (relatively) successful blog. I make virtually no money on this venture, so receiving the occasional free product is really exciting, and means I don’t have to hemorrhage money from other income streams to keep the blog going.
4. I reduce my personal consumption in direct response to what I receive for free.
It’s easy to think of free product as a surprise gift that has no bearing on my regular consumption, but I’ve made a point to seek out items from brands that fill a space on my shopping list rather than spring for whatever they will throw at me. I still over-consume – it’s something I will be working on for a long time – but I have been able to significantly limit my consumption of new products outside of what I receive for review, and that’s something I’m proud of.
5. Sharing cool products from brands I trust helps the ethical retail market grow.
At the end of the day, I’m an ambassador for fair trade brands, and I’m happy to be able to spread the word. There are tons of companies I would have never discovered had they not reached out for collaboration and that’s really cool. I just heard that Target is intentionally expanding their ethically sourced offerings, which means that all the chatter is finally loud enough to make seemingly impenetrable big box stores hear our demands! Being able to confidently review and wear fair trade products – and share them with others – encourages the conversation to grow louder still.
Let me know:
- Are you generally turned off by sponsored posts and collaborations? Why?
- Would you be interested in a post about building your Media Kit in preparation for collaborating with conscious brands?