Earlier this year, we compiled a list of the best ethical publications (READ HERE), both online and in print. This list spread over a two part feature, proving that there’s huge reader demand for engaging ethically focused content. This month we take an in depth look at mainstream media, focusing on the most innovative and well respected players in fashion publishing; looking at how they have supported the ethical fashion movement, and how sustainable issues and products have been presented in their glossy pages and accompanying websites.
In a nutshell: The web-based strand of Dazed & Confused delivers intelligent, focused editorial that aims to set a cultural agenda. Dazed Digital comments on fashion, music and film as well as pushing the boundaries beyond stereotypical lifestyle content, including art, literature and politics. Most notably, it supports social causes making it a trailblazer for emerging ethical talent. Billing itself as “the most influential monthly magazine in the world”, the voice of the Dazed and Confused brand poses an articulate point of view on contemporary culture.
Who reads it? “Switched-on, intelligent, aware and influential individuals.”
Hits: 800,000 unique visitors per month
In a nutshell: Owned by powerhouse publisher Condé Nast, the Vogue brand is the world’s style bible. With an international readership, VOGUE.COM UK provides breaking fashion news, exclusive interviews and an archive of covers showcasing favourites such as Kate Moss and Alexa Chung.
Covering the ins and outs of the fashion sector comprehensively, ethical brands are profiled on The Green Style Blog: focusing solely on ethical fashion and staging it in high profile contexts whilst Livia Firth’s The Green Carpet Challenge blog is committed to chronicling the movements of her self-initiated mission to bring ethical fashion to the red carpet. Whilst mainly concentrating on the luxury sector, VOGUE.COM UK’s discerning eye is hugely influential and the ultimate platform for emerging brands with a high price point.
Who reads it? The trend watcher – the readership is wide-ranging yet predominantly female.
EDITOR’S TIP! “Make your story one we haven’t read before – what is it about you that stands you apart from anyone else […] send an e-mail mentioning a feature that you have read and enjoyed, and suggest that your product might be suitable for a similar feature.” Dolly Jones, Editor
Format: Print/ Online
Launched: 1821/ 1995
Hits: 279,000 readers daily
In a nutshell: With a long history of editorial and political content, the national broadsheet reports on international news stories alongside column inches of intelligent commentary and reviews. With such a wide printed circulation and an online readership only rivalled by the New York Times (1), the word of the Guardian is powerful to say the least.
The fashion side of sustainability can primarily be found online, with an “ethical living subsite:“http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/ethical-living” including a supplementary ethical fashion directory and award winning green shop – suitably named Eco Store. The standalone website simultaneously profiles and sells selected ethical brands that meet the Guardian’s ecologically considered criteria; including everything from “Fairtrade babygrows to vegan shoes.”
Who reads it? High income, liberal professionals with an interest in intellectual discussion.
Hits: 250,000 unique visitors monthly
In a nutshell: As one of fashion’s most prolific bloggers, founder Susie Lau writes from a personal perspective about her own experiences, interactions and observations on and with fashion. This takes the form of thoughtful posts written in her charming yet candid writing style and iconic shots of her self-styled outfits. Well respected and widely read, her tastes directly influence brand awareness and has the ability to drive that much needed traffic to her site. With a reputation for spotlighting unknown talent, Style Bubble is the online destination for SMEs.
Who reads it? Young, fashion-savvy readers predominantly based in the UK and America
Who’s on it?: Christopher Raeburn
EDITOR’S TIP! “I look at aesthetics/design above all else – if I’m personally excited about something, it goes up regardless of whether it’s ethical or not” – Susie Lau, Founder
Format: Print/ Online
Hits: 220,000 readers monthly
In a nutshell: Weekly glossy with a focus on fashion, beauty and A-list news. The colourful, image-stacked pages complement the chatty tone. Claiming to project “the world through a fashion lens”, the magazine offers ‘hot’ topical news and trends-based features. Partial to the odd ethical focus, articles will often profile designs in a top ten style format, encouraging consumers to purchase from their select pickings. Covering a range of price points and a tendency to favour ‘branded’ products makes it the perfect publication for ethical designers that produce in quantity.
Who reads it? Upmarket women in their thirties that pay out for fashion and beauty.
Who’s on it? Sharkah Chakra
Format: Print (online)
Hits: 184,000 readers daily
In a nutshell: Relatively young in comparison to other broadsheets, this daily newspaper concentrates on presenting its worldly reader with breaking news and current affairs. The focused articles and analytical content offers highbrow information in the form of main news pages, supplementary magazines and the web based equivalent. Featuring prominent ethical and sustainability issues, the Independent will offer consumer based information on the fashion sector showcasing popular names.
Who reads it? Intelligent middle-aged professionals.