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Reader Survey 2020 | Results

The results are in for the StyleWise Reader Survey 2020. With 94 responses, this data represents less than 1% of monthly users, but it’s still interesting in that it represents a particularly engaged group of readers who were willing to take my reader survey!

The Basics

  • 52% discovered StyleWise through a blogger or blogger network

  • 40% have been reading for 1-2 years, 34% for less than one year

Demographic Questions

  • 31% of readers are 41 or older, 24% 31-35, and 20% 26-30

  • 15% identify as LGBTQIA+ (compare to 4% in US population)

  • 6.5% identify as a person of color (compare to 28% in US population)

  • 49% identify as Christian (compare to 65% in US population), 35% nonreligious, and 11% spiritual but not religious

  • Write-ins: 3 Canadians, 1 Atheist, 2 Europeans (I’m sure this isn’t representative since this was based on what you felt like disclosing)

Favorite Posts/Series, Ranked

  1. Thoughtful Style

  2. The Links That Changed Me

  3. Industry Talk

  4. Shopping Guides

  5. Seminary-related conversations

What You’d Like to See More Of, Ranked

  1. Class Issues

  2. Representation and Marginalization Issues

  3. Personal Style Posts

What’s Missing From The Ethical Fashion Conversation?

Lack of Nuance

Your blog is my favorite ethical fashion Internet resource because you put many different factors in dialogue, acknowledge tradeoffs and conflicting values, and understand that prices matter.

You’re the one I see making correctives to the narrative, so thanks for that. I do think that “buy nothing” or “share resources with your community” require so much more energy and creativity than we are willing to put in. Much harder than “buy from this shop and you’re fine”.

The ethical world has delved too much in attacking each other for “not being ethical enough” instead of encouraging each other and celebrating the good that is being done.

I think the conversation gets off track trying to be too purist and focusing on call-outs more than how we can all make small improvements. I like how you balance this already, and I’d love to see more.

Lack of Representation

You’ve nailed this in a lot of your posts, especially recently, but there’s still an emphasis on cis-straight-white-able-bodied women. I’d love to see more about brands and bloggers (perhaps who you collaborate with?) who are folks of color and/or queer.

How being *ethical* has so much to do with privilege and, specifically, white privilege

Not from your blog but more broadly, intersectionality is missing.

Many of the ethical brands are too small for me to wear, or have fussy washing needs that I don’t have the time or inclination for.

Ignoring the “minsize” part of size inclusivity + lack of diversity in style

Money and Overconsumption Concerns

Rarely addresses class.

I have a reasonable clothing budget but some of the sustainable choices are more than I feel I shoud pay.

It all seems so privileged. I want to shop ethically, but not everyone always has $300 to spend on a sweater…

Not particularly with this blog, but the larger ethical blogger communities’ use of sponsored posts (often for cult brands whose price points are far above that of the average reader) seems to have moved away from ethical consumption of *less* things and more towards creating content

Overconsumption – it seems like people are focused on buying ethical brands, but then buy a ton of it

There is an emphasis on specific brands which creates a narrow aesthetic and ignores issues related to cost (there’s a sense of classism in the community IMO)

Slowing down consumption should be #1 priority

Favorite Brands (Conventional & Ethical), Ranked

  1. Everlane

  2. Eileen Fisher

  3. J.Crew

  4. Elizabeth Suzann

  5. ABLE

  6. LL Bean

  7. Loft

  8. Target Brands

  9. Old Navy

  10. Levi’s

Price Point

  • 58% expect to spend $51-100 on an article of ethical clothing

  • 55% expect to spend $101-150 on a pair of ethical shoes

Selected Feedback and Responses

…there’s still an emphasis on cis-straight-white-able-bodied women.

Just wanted to point out that I actually identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum and the last several guest posters on this blog identify as POC and/or LGBTQIA. While I am very interested in fostering better representation across identities, and believe that we need to do the interior and social work required to build an equitable world, some of the identities we hold are not always apparent on the surface. And, for various reasons, we might not want to center them in our work. Additionally, I also want to be very careful not to tokenize people in order to make this space more “diverse.”

I continue to work to ensure that I am profiling brands owned and operated by a good cross-section of individuals and identities (which must include price and size accessibility, as well), but do not currently solicit guest posts due to my school and work obligations.

I would love to see your blog focus more on ethical shopping issues and less on politics

I find this comment a bit befuddling. I see my work on ethical fashion as fundamentally an exercise in building and nurturing our interconnected human and ecological family. This means that, for me at least, any issues surrounding human flourishing, innate dignity, and mutual responsibility intersect with ethical fashion even as they carry their own unique difficulties.

What’s more, my Christian faith deeply informs my sense of social justice. I never seek to oversimplify political and social issues, dehumanize people (regardless of their beliefs), or fall prey to an entrenched, America-centric perspective on politics. But I may look “political,” because any discussion on ethics is inherently political.

Are there any Etsy shops you like?

The Kissing Tree Vintage is my favorite. They’re also on Ebay. Mostly, I use the Search tool on Etsy to look for specific items, and almost exclusively use it for vintage these days.

Would love to see more brand reviews as I appreciate your honest take

Great! Which brands would you like to see featured? Any specific items you’re curious about? I’ll reach out to brands – just leave your suggestions in the comments of this post.

The rest of your feedback was mushy-gushy and so encouraging. Other, specific feedback on topics or questions is being considered for future posts. Thank you so much for your support, and for the time you took to respond to my survey. It’s truly the best guide for me as I work out content for the coming months.

Note: if there’s anything else you’d prefer to submit anonymously, the survey is still open.

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.

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