mindful_connections

Making lasting collaborations.

Today is Ged and I’s anniversary so I thought what better time than now to write a post about mindful partnerships. Sustainability in Style isn’t a dating or romantic relationship advice site, so this post is all about mindful partnerships in stylish lives- not how to find love. However, I thought it might be nice to quickly say a huge thank you to Ged for being there for me. The photo above was snapped by a friend a couple of weeks ago as I dictated to Ged how he needs to ‘stand still and look dreamily into the distance’ for a photo. Any partners of bloggers are probably nodding to themselves and laughing at this comment in solidarity right now.

Creating partnerships where all parties involved are understanding, benefiting, and growing from the relationship is at the core of self improvement, mutual improvement, and achieving group goals. Bloggers, brands and mindfully stylish people are always finding new ways to work together to strengthen the conscious fashion industry. This post looks at some ways that we can collaborate mindful in style.

Meeting of the minds.

I’ve shared the video above in a previous post looking at networking called ‘Finding Kindred Spirits‘ but I really wanted to share it again for this look at mindful partnerships. Meeting people who share your values has become increasingly easier with the development of social media networks and algorithms that allow us to further tailor our web browsing to suit our passions and values. While this has come about for advertisers to sell you products you prefer in a more targeted way, it’s also been beneficial in making it easier to find your ‘tribe’. Conscious folks need like-minded people to ensure that they are getting the support they need on their path to eco-consciousness. Hopefully this little refresher on networking helps to reinforce some of the positive ways you can use social media and real life connections to your advantage.

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Making partnerships happen mindfully.

As stylish-eco-people there is a huge network of bloggers, eco influencers, brands and companies that work together to make sure that the World is able to find all the good eco and ethical stuff that’s happening out there in fashion land. The sad part about this collaborative network is that it operates in marketing land. Many brands and agencies approach individuals and blogs (like Sustainability in Style) to offer the opportunity to work together and this isn’t always done in the most open, authentic, or welcoming way.

I’m not on here to big-note or get into a game of one-upmanship but blog emails are pretty much a full time job on their own. They fill up just as quickly as I can answer them! So if you do wish to get in contact with a eco-fashionista (like myself) do so because you really believe that the partnership is worth BOTH of your time. Alden from EcoCult got a little over the email spam and decided to get productive about the emails she was receiving by writing an e-book on How to Pitch to A Conscious Blogger.¬†Here are a few of my own tips on the topic:

  • Read the blog you are pitching to: Don’t go emailing a leather product pitch to a vegan, or PVC leather alternative to a Zero Waster. Make sure you have an understanding of the bloggers personal values and that your product matches them.
  • Keep a record of who you have emailed:¬†Approaching the same blogger again and again with your ‘great new product’ isn’t going to make a positive impact. Start a list of who you have contacted with notes on their replies. It saves the embarrassment! If a blogger who gets hundreds of emails a week offering collaborations or advertising can remember that you have already emailed them twice then there’s a good chance that you will start getting annoying to them!
  • Don’t start your emails with Dear Sir/Madame: It’s impersonal, spammy, and your email will get deleted by most recipients.
  • Share a personal reflection or story that relates to a recent post: If you can link a recent post from the blogger or social media personality to a personal story about your product, label or event you will capture their attention in a more relatable way.
  • Even though your product is fabulous they aren’t always going to have the space for it: There are only limited hours in the day and days in the year. Bloggers get more products pitched to them then they could ever have the time or space to write about. If your amazing product doesn’t make the cut don’t feel let down, try someone else!
  • Remember that blogger and influencers are people and most of them have other jobs to do: While the occasional conscious blogger or influencer can live off the money they make through their e-space, most have other jobs outside of the internet. Running a blog is a full time job (sometimes just in the emails alone). If you don’t hear back from a blogger for a long stretch of time they might not have got around to their emails just yet because they are at their day job or producing blog content. They will get back to you when the time is right if they are interested in your products.

 

Why it’s good to chill with people who disagree!

After all this talk about meeting likeminded people let’s look at why it’s just as important to meet people that don’t necessarily agree with you. I recently read a fabulous book by Tim Harford that affirmed my chaotic ways of living and also provided some really good tips on creative productivity. Messy: How to be creative and resilient in a tidy-minded world brings together a huge and seemingly unrelated collection of info, data, and science to show that things being tidy, orderly and sensible aren’t always for the best. In the chapter on collaboration Harford share some research that states that if you want to get stuff done in a creative, and effective manner that cognitive diversity is key!

While we feel more comfortable being in homogenous and agreeable groups. It can be beneficial to creative problem solving to spend time with people who think differently to you. This is because we prefer to keep the peace in groups where we all ‘sort-of’ agree or we have close friends. When we work with people who aren’t friends or we aren’t expected to agree with we have to work harder and more creatively to come to agreeable compromises (if a compromise can be made).

The truth is that we are ‘tidy minded’ by nature and will always work hard to come to an agreeance to order messy lives. Hunting out people with different opinions from ours can be harder than it seems. Social media algorithms show us more likeminded people, neighbourhoods are often grouped together in simmilar socio economic groups or races, and many of us would feel frightened approaching a group of strangers at a rally or even that opposes our beliefs. The key to appreciating difference is to take the time to talk to people you meet regardless of their appearance (as long as you are somewhere safe use your stranger danger senses). A good place to get ideas for many of our eco problems is to discuss the issues with the opposers, or read up on their blogs or social media feeds.

Got any thoughts on any of this (it was long I know and I’m sorry). Want to share a story or a resource? ¬†Anniversary wishes? All below!