Ethical instalment: The problem with 'hauls'

How does social media culture influence millennials to keep shopping?

- A haul video is a video recording, posted to the Internet, which displays items recently purchased, including product details or even the price. The posting of haul videos (or hauls) has been a growing trend from 2007 -

An increasing blogging/vlogging trend is the 'haul' in which bloggers show off products they have recently bought, either with a theme such as SS16 or a label focussed approach such as Primark.



In doing my research for this blog post I was taken back by how there is almost no research surrounding this trend and there are no recent articles discussing the negative effects of 'hauling'.

As this haul trend develops, popular Youtubers are posting haul videos around once a month.

Despite the increasing popularity of cruelty free make up and vegan dieting videos, there are very few videos that address the need to break the cycle of over consumption.

Searching 'I don't do hauls' comes back with around 120,000 results on youtube and 'Anti haul' gives 13,400 results, with most videos talking about what bloggers will be buying instead of previous products!

Where as searching 'Haul' gives back 17, 900, 000 results.

The figures speak for themselves.

Last year, YouTube 'haulers' got 'ethical' with a new #haulternative campaign for Fashion Revolution Day... so the Telegraph says, but in fact searching that hashtag on youtube only finds less than 70 videos.


Connie Glynn, also known as Noodlerella was featured in the article and told the journalist:
'People love the haul videos,' and that she will spend 'up to £200 on a single trip'. 


As great as the efforts are of these youtubers, they all have less than a million subscribers, meaning their reach is much less than others such as Zoella, with more than 10 million subscribers. 


Haul videos don't just stop at clothes either, there are homewear, beauty and stationary hauls also trending.




Of course there is nothing wrong with vlogging and buying yourself things you like, but there is a massive problem with over consuming and promoting over consumption.

- Just to be clear, I'm almost certain these vloggers do not make these videos with the intention of getting their followers to buy things they do not need... but it is the effect it has, especially when their main audience is generation Y& Z. -

After watching the most popular haul videos, I found that an average of 15 brand new products were featured in a video.

Considering that an average pair of Levi Jeans emits 33.4 Kg of Co2
Which is the equivalent of:
A 42 inch LCD TV being used for 8.33 days continuously
The energy use of an average house for 22.51 hours
A 13-watt CF lightbulb lit for 107 days continuously
An average car being driven for 1.30 hours non-stop

That means that each haul video with 15 items in could be producing anything around 15 times this amount of Co2 (501 Kg!!)

Not only do these videos promote over consumption, most of them feature unethical brands, further pushing bad shopping (and lifestyle) choices. 

It is important to recognise trends like this as fads and to discourage them before they become much more popular.

Of course, it isn't all the vloggers fault. Popular youtube stars will get deliveries of free items from brands in the hope that they will then be promoted through the channel, obviously many items may not even make it out the box or to their doorstep. 

Although many bloggers may go on to sell or give away their gifted items, the process of this is also polluting and goes back to the problems with globalization.

In a week where links have been made between air pollution and Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to start realising how even fad youtube trends support the idea of overconsumption.

Further reading:





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