Q&A: How to create a hit, susty YouTube channel

Where do you get your style inspo from? Maybe it’s your Instagram feed,  a listicle cluing you up on susty brands you ought to know about or a YouTube channel with some cool gal behind the camera. If it’s the latter (and frankly, even if its not), you’ll love this week’s susty crush: I’ve poached green vlogger Verena Erin for a few minutes to share her As to my Qs this week!

Verena Erin 2.jpg
Hanging out at the intersection of mainstream vlogging topics like beauty and fashion with a slow-it-way-down vibe can be a great way to get your susty on while attracting hip, like-minded folk on the interweb. And there’s definitely an appetite for alternative ways of doing things – whether its championing having less stuff with capsule wardrobes or regular haulternatives, like showing off your best thrifty finds. YouTube channel My Green Closet – helping you create a conscious style you love – has over 24,000 subscribers, which proves that viewers out there are really digging the idea of a greener wardrobe. The gal behind it, Verena Erin,  is also a freelance fashion designer, stylist and is all about the slow fashion movement. See right – clearly a stylish lady!

So, what’s the vlogging process? What’s her fave topics to chat about, and go-to susty brands? Read on to find out. Erin’s also got some great tips for those budding vloggers out there, too – hint: you don’t have to buy fancy equipment to get started.

Hope you enjoy this week’s Q&A. Whether you’re considering starting your own channel or keen to check out the uber cool green vloggers out there, I’d love to know what’s happenin’. Drop your comments at the bottom! xoxo

Who is Verena Erin, and what is My Green Closet?
Hi! I’m Verena but most people call me by my middle name, Erin. I’m a freelance fashion designer, stylist and youtuber passionate about slow fashion. My Green Closet is my youtube channel where I create videos about “buying less and buying better”; I talk about capsule wardrobes, sustainable and ethical fashion, green beauty, minimalism, and more.
Do you see yourself as a Susty Girl? What are your susty practices/values?
Sustainability is an important part of my lifestyle, I try to live mindfully and consider the impact of my actions and purchases. Reducing my energy use, eating more sustainable foods, producing less waste, looking for eco-friendly product alternatives, and generally buying less are all things I’m working on.

Verena Erin.jpg
What’s your favourite susty topic to chat about in a vlog?
Definitely sustainable fashion! It’s a topic I’m really interested in, and with a degree in fashion design and experience in the fashion industry I think I offer a unique perspective. As a consumer I remember how difficult it was when I started shopping more consciously; researching issues and brands was challenging and felt overwhelming and isolating at times, I hope my videos help make it easier and support and inspire others who are also trying to build a sustainable wardrobe.
You have tens of THOUSANDS of subscribers. How does that happen?! 
I don’t know! It’s surprising (and so exciting!) how much the channel has grown. It’s such a wonderful feeling to share something I’m passionate about with so many other people. 🙂
What do you think people dig so much about My Green Closet?
I hope people find unique and helpful content on my channel. When I started My Green Closet there were very few fashion videos about what I was interested in- smaller, sustainability-focused wardrobes. I was tired of seeing endless fast fashion hauls so I decided to make the kind of content I was looking for and it turns out others are looking for more eco focused videos too! More and more people are realizing how harmful the fashion industry can be and don’t want to support that. Our wardrobes aren’t just a reflection of our style and personality, they can also reflect our values and what we believe in.

 What is the process for making a vlog, and how long does it usually take from start to finish (inc editing)?
It depends a lot on the type of video but usually I start by writing out some notes; if it’s a specific topic that requires extra research I’ll spend hours, sometimes days preparing it. It’s important to find good resources and fact-check the things I’m talking about. On the other hand some videos like Q&A’s or more chatty videos I can just sit down and start filming. Set-up for me is fairly simple, I have a camera on a tripod, a microphone, and I’ll typically just sit near a window for light.

When filming I have a bad habit of talking too much and filming way too long- typically I have 30-45 minutes of footage to edit down into less than 10 minutes. I’m slowly getting better at this though, I used to film for an hour! A “just talking to the camera” video I can now film in under an hour but if I need other shots, of items, outfits, etc. that takes a lot longer.

The editing time greatly varies, again if it’s just me talking to the camera it’s a lot quicker to edit than a capsule wardrobe video or something with a lot of other shots or text. The more videos I edit, the faster I get, I want to keep learning and improving my editing and filming.
Do you monetize your videos? If so do they help supplement your income?
I do, but you don’t get very much from youtube ads. You have to have a much larger channel to actually get any sort of decent income but for me it helps cover a few of my costs like my editing program and website.
What do you LOVE about vlogging? Is there anything you fear about it?
I love being able to connect with like-minded people all around the world. I don’t personally know a lot of people who are into minimalism and really care about the impact of their clothes so it’s wonderful to have this community online. I’ve met some incredible people through My Green Closet and had so many interesting and inspiring conversations; it’s amazing and so encouraging to hear from people about the changes they’re making to live more consciously.
I think there’s always some fear when putting yourself out publicly on the internet. There are people that will disagree with you which is fine, but unfortunately there are also those who are just rude, mean, and hoping to antagonize. Even though I know I should ignore stuff like that, it can be hard to not let it affect you. So far I’ve been incredibly fortunate though and receive very little negativity and hurtful comments.

 Do you think ethical living vlogs are plentiful, or is there a lack?
Definitely a lack, I would really love to see more vloggers sharing their ethical lifestyles!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m currently studying German for a semester so it’s different than normal. Right now I’m in class weekday mornings and my schedule is busier than I’d like. After class I’ll spend the afternoon working if I have a project on the go, or doing something youtube related (replying to emails/comments, planning and researching videos, editing, etc.) and once a week I’ll film a video. I also try to go for a walk at some point to get out of the house. In the evenings I like to cook and then either hang out with friends, watch a movie/show, read, or work more depending how much there is to get done.

What are your go-to Susty brands or shops?
Tough question! There are lots of brands I love. I think shopping secondhand is probably my favorite though, I really enjoy going through vintage and thrift stores. Some sustainable brands I like are People TreeKuyichiKowTowMUD Jeans, and I also like the online store Gather & See which carries a variety of brands.

 For budding vloggers out there, do you have any tips or helpful resources?
I think the most important thing is to create videos about what you’re interested in and passionate about.

There’s a misconception that you need fancy equipment which isn’t true- I filmed for the first year and a half on a phone with a cheap, secondhand tripod, sitting in front of a window for light, and still don’t have proper lighting.

There are some great channels like Video Creators which give you tips and advice on making videos and how to best use youtube (effective tags, music, branding, etc.) and I found those incredibly helpful. Also watch other videos for inspiration, but don’t try to copy them – your perspective, ideas, and personality are most important. 🙂

So there you have it – make sure you head on over to My Green Closet! Who’s your fave green YouTubers? Are you one yourself? Share, share, share in the comments below.

Did you love this Q&A? Why not subscribe to the Susty Girl newsletter to keep up to date 💗

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