When talking about his work, a friend once told me that even the nicest people are not immune to what fame does to a person; that even the most down-to-earth individuals can turn in the face of money and constant adoration. Last week, during Berlin Fashion Week, this conversation entered my mind as I thought about all the swag I was being given and what kind of effect this could have on a person who normally shies away from blind consumption.
I was sorely unprepared for how much swag I would be walking away with. Now as a blogger in general, going to events usually means walking away with a goodie bag. In general, it’s an extremely nice gesture, and I have actually walked way with really lovely items from smaller labels that I am happy to count amongst my belongings. But many times, you are left with a million samples of things you could not possibly use up in a year.
Getting free shit is nice – but it always leaves me feeling torn. Having just moved into a new flat and having just gotten rid of a substantial amount of possessions, coming home with three bags full of new things was a bit overwhelming. On one hand, I am extremely humbled and appreciated both the opportunity to attend Fashion Week and the kindness of sponsors and event planners who spent the time putting together such lovely goodie bags. But on the other hand, I felt as if I was collecting things left and right that I probably did not need. Part of me was pretty stoked to be given some really awesome new things, but part of my felt guilty for coming home with a ton of new things. The last thing I want is to go from conscious living to mindless consumption. While I don’t think that being given free things is going to change my mentality, I could definitely see how easy it could be to get swept up in it all.
Now for the record, I’m not totally slating swag. I also understand how important it is as a blogger to test things out and build relationships with brands. I think that doing so is entirely fine. But it is important to remain moderate and continue to highlight the work of companies that place a large emphasis on trying to make a difference (and some of these brands ARE brands that have a presence at fashion week, which is a total win-win if you ask me!). I also think that anything you walk away with should be put to good use, as the worst thing would be to let something go to waste. I’ll be sorting through my things and passing along that which I can’t really use to friends over the next few days.
I feel a bit as if I’m simply typing word vomit at 3 AM in the morning, but my point is this: fashion and blog events have the potential to connect you to such amazing and talented people: fellow bloggers, designers, artists, etc. They also have the ability to help you discover amazing brands and interesting new products – but they also have the ability to create greed and snobbery. All I’m saying is that it’s important to bear this in mind. So by all means, enjoy the free champagne (I know i did!) and new things, but keep your feet on the ground and be appreciative of it all. Oh, and before you take that free pair of shoes, ask yourself if you really need it or even have room for it in your closet. If not, take a pass on it, or give it to a friend. After all, swag may be free, but living consciously is priceless.
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