I write about circularity, concentrating my work on trying to understand the pathway and intersections which exist behind every object and habit we have in our society. As well as how we can improve each aspect of that story.
It will come as no surprise to you that I believe that everyone who partakes in the creation or promotion of a product or service should be paid fairly. Whether that is the farmers in the fields, the people in the factories, the teams in offices, or the post person who delivers it. Anyone who interacts along the way with whatever you are or aim to profit from needs to be paid properly and treated with decency.
This is why I will no longer do unpaid work for for-profit brands. I don’t think for-profit brands, no matter how good and green, shouldn’t be asking me or other writers like me, to ‘work for free’. Nor should they be accusing us of not being ‘passionate’ enough about the movement because we aren’t willing or able to volunteer our time so that the person at the top of the pyramid can gain a greater profit.
I spent the entirety of 2016 (every day, for 10-12 hours a day) blogging for free for this industry and burnt myself and my bank account out in the process. A reality I’m still recovering from now, two years on. If dues were to be paid, I’ve done my diligence and then some. It’s not sustainable in the short or long run.
In order for this industry to grow and flourish, we have to make sure it’s built soundly from the outset. Otherwise, the triangular structure of current conventional commerce will find its feet here. Perpetuating the shape society now runs itself into corners with, instead of the cognisant circle we’re all aiming for.
I know one ‘ethical’ brand who has a reputation for making their interns work 12 hours a day without pay (or a lunch break) for months on end. It’s unethical and essentially the same thing as expecting an artisan to work for little to no wages. Sure, we’re the privileged children of the first world, but if anyone is left out of fair pay and fair treatment, it defeats the purpose of what we’re all fighting for. in the first place
If your business plan doesn’t include a budget for makers, workers, PR, marketing, and interns, then perhaps it wasn’t created as consciously as it ought to have been. If we’re all really here to change the world it has to be done mindfully.
Its only human to make mistakes from the getgo. Revision is part of growth personally, and thus, it ought to be part of our professional life as well. We have to decide as a community to collaborate consciously, treat ourselves and each other kindly … and until we can come up with a free market of trade which pays the bills, rent and lifestyle needs of life, we need to value the work we all do for one another monetarily.
The minimum wage in France (where I live) is €9.88 (about $12.00 US), and with over 10 years of experience in journalism, marketing and P.R that I have earned, I don’t think the bare minimum is too much to ask for …
I’m not alone in these thoughts, you can read the words of some of my fellow Ethical Writers below:
The Business of Blogging: Why Fair Trade Rhetoric Must Include Bloggers | Leah from Style-Wise
Working With Bloggers & Brands: A Mini-Guide | Francesca from Ethical Unicorn
Paying for Promotion: In the Spirit of Transparency | Honestly Modern
My Role as an Influencer – Working with Brands and Why It Matters to You | Cait from World Threads Traveller
PHOTOS: Andreas Raun