I’m only just getting around to publishing this post because I completely dropped the ball at the end of last year as mentioned in our latest transparency report.
Now if you’ve been following the reports or are on our email list, you’ll know doubt be familiar with the progress we made in 2017, but for those of you who haven’t been or aren’t on our list, here’s the year’s lowdown…
Here’s what we accomplished in 2017:
- we hired more regular contributors to help execute our daily goal of publishing at least an article a day,
- partnered with one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, Toyota, to help promote their new Camry Hybrid,
- was on the discussion panel at Canberra’s sustainable fashion event Fashionably Numb,
- were proud media partners for Eco Fashion Week Australia (EFWA), Australia’s first fashion week devoted entirely to sustainable fashion,
- completed my very first podcast interview,
- were featured in Huff Post’s new sustainability platform ‘Source’,
- hit an all-time monthly high of $3k revenue, the first time since we started publishing Transparency Reports back in July 2016,
- continued to receive reader donation support in the form of ‘pledges’ on our Patreon page and now have 27 ‘patrons’ so far,
- achieved another all-time high, this time for website traffic where we attracted 30,000 unique visitors in a month, compared with our 17,000 in 2016,
- reached just over 24,000 followers on Instagram compared with 13,000 this time last year,
- started to regularly publish videos on our YouTube channel and have now acquired more than 400 subscribers,
- grew our email subscribers from 2,900 in 2016 to over 8,500 in 2017; and
- was approached by a travel company for the first time, and we’re now partnering together to organise a travel and volunteer trip.
What others have said about us.
While positive feedback is not what drives us (our mission is made pretty clear on this page) getting wonderful feedback, words of encouragement and support is still a lovely feeling and helps us refocus our efforts during challenging times and reminds us why we do what we do. So with that in mind, here’s just some of what people had to say about Eco Warrior Princess – and myself – in 2017:
“We need champions like Jen, a trailblazer and leader for the sustainable living movement. She has a knack for nurturing talented writers, activists and building engaged and positive communities. Many of us bloggers, writers and ethical business owners have all been connected through Jen.” – Nicole Simone, Urban Granola, Sustainable Sisters: Jennifer Nini from Eco Warrior Princess
“Thank you so much for your support this year, your website was our best performing affiliate partner by a big margin! We are thrilled to have you on board and look forward to working with you in 2018.” – Nick Azar, The Great Beyond, via email
“Jennifer Nini was worrying about things like the environment and ethically produced clothes way before it was cool to do so. The Australian fashion blogger gave up a life of cocktails and modern luxuries in 2010 to move to the “middle of nowhere” Queensland and live on an organic farm. Her blog, Eco Warrior Princess, is as much about cool, comfy clothes as it is about where those clothes come from. Her team fights to provide readers with sustainable fashion resources and guides so that their closets can help reduce our negative impact on this earth.” – Jessica Toomer, Uproxx, The Fashion Bloggers Who Are Shaking Up The Whole Industry
“Eco Warrior Princess is a blog I have followed for the past 2 years or so. It’s run by Jennifer Nini, an Australian who started blogging about eco fashion in 2010. Nowadays, it’s more a collection of blogs, which is great because you get so many texts about different things!” – Felicia, Mind Tomorrow, Other Wonderful Green Bloggers
The reality check.
Life isn’t always a bed of roses, and sustainable business life even more so. There are financial pressures, managing and letting go of team members, hiring writers, trying to stick with editorial timelines, business development, keeping up with the ever changing nature of the digital landscape, replying to emails, messages, tweets, and all the while trying to earn money to cover wages and expenses, and invest back into the business to facilitate growth.
I used to feel twangs of guilt for not replying to everyone in a timely manner (or if ever!) but then after speaking with my sweet friend Kristen Leo at EFWA (a YouTuber who focusses on veganism and ethical lifestyle and has 132,000 subscribers on her channel!) and asking her how she manages the bombardment of comments and messages she receives, Kristen admitted that she physically can’t reply to every single message and if she did, she’d have no time to create. Words I needed to hear. I finally released those feelings of guilt and have never looked back.
Now a media business that focusses on climate change, sustainability, social justice and ethics comes with challenges when working with advertisers and sponsors. My partner Ben often likes to tease me and say: “Imagine if you didn’t have such high standards and ethics. We’d be rich!” I don’t think this is quite true, but I know what he means. It would be a lot easier if I didn’t obsess about ethics and sustainability, and just accepted every dollar pitched my way. But one has to sleep at night – am I right?
Then there are the online bullies and internet trolls that have begun to come out of their hiding places. Last year was the first year I had to moderate (read: delete) comments on the site (this post explores this issue in great detail). The comments were malicious, abusive and irrelevant and didn’t deserve to be published on a platform that focusses on providing people the tools and information to transform their lives and the world. So trolls can go back to whatever dark hole they come from. I have zero time for mean-spirited humans and refuse to play into their destructive games.
Most popular posts of 2017.
From trolls to triumphs. Here are the articles that received the most ‘visits’:
- 12 Australian Ethical Fashion Brands You Can Shop For Online
- 8 Ethical Shoe Brands for the Conscious Consumer
- Cheap But Definitely Not Nasty: 10 Affordable Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Brands
- 9 Sustainable Sleepwear Brands For Your Ethical Wardrobe
- 10 Australian Ethical Activewear Brands You’ll Want to Get Behind
- 14 Ethically Made Bags and Wallet Brands
- Ethical Fashion 101: The Top 5 Ethical Issues in the Fashion Industry
- The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Eco-Friendly Lingerie Brands
- 13 Ethical and Sustainable Swimwear Brands to Look Out For
- 11 Eco-Friendly Sunglasses for the Sustainably-Minded Fashionista
- 5 Outstanding Examples of Sustainable Design Around the World
- 60 Great Quotes About Sustainability, Green Living and Our Environment
- 6 Affordable Ethical Clothing Brands (Under $100) That Don’t Compromise Style
- 22 Steps Closer to Zero Waste Living: Disposable Items to Stop Buying Right Now
- 8 Places You Can Shop Sustainable and Ethical Maternity Wear Online
Favourite looks of 2017.
This post is my ode to an amazing year (and it truly was an amazing year!) but I have to now focus our sights on making 2018 our biggest year of environmental action, political activism and sharing media that matters. The climate continues to change, and we don’t have time to waste. Let’s do this!
Want to compare our 2017 performance with the previous year? You can read our 2016 end of year wrap here.