Hey! Remember when I promised I would fill you in on the results of my Reader Survey in September?
Sorry about that. But it’s becoming a bit of a tradition to overpromise and then actually post in December. Without further ado, here are the most interesting results of my survey.
What’s your favorite platform for engaging with StyleWise?
Much to my delight, the majority of people who took the survey prefer to engage on my blog directly rather than on social media. That makes it so much easier to follow the thread and produce longer form content.
What are your favorite topics typically discussed on StyleWise?
Y’all stayed pretty consistent from last year, preferring personal style posts, shopping guides, and essays, but zero waste was really popular this year, too. I confess I am not the best zero waster, but I am happy to explore this topic along with you.
Favorite Posts & Post Topics:
✹ Why I Quit Being an Ethical Purist x2
✹ “I love your essays”
✹ “Anything zero waste!”
✹ Ethical alternatives x2
✹ “I like that you’re a fellow Episcopalian and not from the PNW” (lol)
✹ Representation in Ethical Fashion: A Conversation with Tavie Meier
New Potential Topics
An Interesting Note: “If you delve into food ethics, I think it would be wise to be mindful of consumer mental health surrounding the subject and its many complexities. I feel like a lot of ethics bloggers aren’t informed enough in this particular area’s sociological nuances, and at times this results in content that lacks in social responsibility. On that note, I have always deeply appreciated your posts relating to mental health; I feel you emphasize the importance of self-care and self-preservation and how it is possible to care for mind and body even while living in accordance to one’s moral, ethical and religious principles. Speaking to striking that balance could be tremendous.”
Obviously, I’m a bit out of my depth on some of these issues so would need to incorporate more guest bloggers. If you’re a writer/researcher/student/expert in topics of food, race, or politics, feel free to get in contact. A lot of you aren’t into Christianity, and I get that, but my work moving forward as I continue my process of becoming a priest in a progressive, affirming church will include a lot of broad theological questions and I’d like to bring that to the blog if it’s relevant and can be made to feel inclusive.
Your Favorite Brands:
Eileen Fisher, Elizabeth Suzann, Elegantees, Everlane, Power of my People, thredUP, Amour Vert, People Tree, Reformation, Nisolo, All Birds, Patagonia, Madewell, LL Bean, Bluer Denim, PACT, Thrifting
P.S. I appreciate that some of you included “non-ethical” brands. That’s important information, because it’s true that sometimes the best fits for us don’t fit within the parameters of “ethical fashion,” but are nonetheless useful and valuable to us.
How Much Do You Expect to Spend on Ethical Goods?
Clothing (top, pants, dress):
✹ 51.6% said $51-100
✹ 21% said $101-150
✹ 55% said $101-150
✹ 24% said $151+
Final Comments of Note (thanks, y’all 😌)
“I appreciate the thoughtfulness you bring to every post and the way you marry topics like faith and ethical shopping. Discussions about ethical fashion are interesting to me, but often feel inaccessible, because of my limited budget. I love that you talk about thrifting and second hand, which is the way that myself and a lot of other people are able to access fashion in an ethical way.”
“I like to see more frequent posting. More casual outfit posts or thoughts on style that might be less time consuming to create? Also love your thoughtful personal essays too but perhaps intermixed with lighter topics.” — Breathing a sigh of relief, because this is my plan for the new year
“I’m a Buddhist, not a Christian – so the Christian essays aren’t my jam. But I still enjoy giving them a read from time to time for a fresh perspective.” — I appreciate you!
“I am here only for fashion/style content.” — Point taken, but I really believe the broader theoretical discussion informs what we mean by “ethical fashion,” so I find it important.
“I love how much you post about buying second hand. This is the only way I can afford a lot of items, like cashmere sweaters and leather oxfords, and I like knowing that even though they may not be directly from ethical and environmental brands I’m not creating additional waste and I’m helping support local social service organizations.” — So glad to hear this. I love secondhand and want to feature it even more.
“You have been an inspiration of mine for two years, now! Thank you for the content you create. I bring up your blog posts frequently enough that my husband teases me any time I talk about them/you by asking, “Oh, is that what your good friend Leah said?” Thank you for allowing readers such as myself a peak into your world and your mind- I believe it can do more good than you can know. Your blog has served as a safe space for me; it has helped make me feel like the internet isn’t as scary of a place as I once thought four years ago, after experiencing great trauma. And I’m happy to be able to speak my mind with it again, in positive ways (like this survey, I hope!)” — Thank you so much! This warmed my heart.
What This Means for StyleWise Moving Forward
To be honest, I exhausted myself this year trying to be all things to all people. I am hoping to do more casual explorations within the context of personal style posts next year, as well as include more voices on topics that aren’t as familiar to me. I have two guest posts lined up, one on soil science and one on cultivating accountable community, but I’d love suggestions for other specific topics. Let me know what you’d be interested in reading.
I’ve also become obsessed as of late with defining a broader ethic of hope and sustained community. I will be doing some reading on community organizing and social justice theology, which I hope will help me center my approach. These are desperate times, and we need to understand what it takes not just to endure, but thrive.
Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.