With recent environmental issues making front-page news, the onus has fallen on us all to take responsibility as individuals. This is especially true for anyone on social media who is influencing the purchasing decisions of others, which of course many creators are. Creators play a huge role in how people buy things, especially in the world of fashion, where a creator's Instagram feed can be a great source of inspiration and offer followers a way to make informed decisions.
Thankfully, many of these fashion and beauty social media creators realise the impact that they can potentially have on sustainability, for better and for worse. As such, many creators have decided to make more responsible decisions in order to use influencer marketing for good. Take a look at the top ways that they’re flying the sustainability flag.
Using Their Platform To Educate
One of the main ways that creators are having a positive impact on sustainability is by using their platform to educate people on the sustainability issues at hand largely via fashion Instagram accounts. For most consumers of fast fashion, the sustainability element hasn’t been on their radar until more recently. Creators have started the conversation about sustainability, allowing people to engage with the sustainability issue in a way they haven’t before. Aside from providing inspiration and showing their followers how to shop more sustainably on their Instagram feed, creators are also raising the broader issues and promoting fundraisers and events that have a positive impact on sustainability within fashion and beauty. By raising awareness, creators are empowering their followers to make positive choices and educating them on the issues at hand.
A great example of this is fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni who, in 2019, banned disposable plastic water bottles at her company headquarters. The move is predicted to reduce the use of roughly 3,500 plastic bottles, used annually by her employees at The Blonde Salad, which started out as a fashion blog in 2010. Chiara Ferragni has over 18.5 million followers on her fashion Instagram alone, ensuring that the move will be seen, and hopefully followed by many.
One of the more practical ways that content creators are supporting sustainable fashion is by shopping vintage and encouraging others to do the same. In buying vintage, people are able to pause the fast fashion cycle by recycling clothes that have already been made and loved, thereby decreasing demand on the manufacture of new high-end fashion.
Instead of throwing away clothes, vintage buys encourage people to look for exciting gems that are new to them but have been pre-loved. Buying pre-loved clothing is not only a way to purchase items but has become a kind of lifestyle. Those who are committed to buying vintage take great pride in their amazing finds, and the hunt for fabulous vintage buys has become part of the fun.
Another way that creators are making a positive impact on sustainability is by partaking in clothes swaps. The idea of a clothes swap is that people are able to swap their clothes when they are bored of them, instead of throwing them away and contributing to the major waste issue that the fashion industry currently has. Whilst this doesn’t always tackle the issue of people buying clothes from fashion brands on a regular basis, it does encourage people to give away or swap their clothes once they’ve become bored with them.
All over the world, we are seeing creators both hosting their own clothes swaps or letting their followers know which clothes swap they are going to be at. Within the fashion world, many followers on Instagram will have coveted their favourite creator’s wardrobe, making it a no brainer to head to a clothes swap that they’ll be at!
Buying Slow Fashion
Slow fashion is essentially the opposite of fast fashion. The term that has become popular to describe the fast-moving flow of fashion items. Slow fashion differs in that the products are of good quality, created sustainably and in clean environments, using quality materials and offering fairness for the people who create the clothes.
Many fashion Instagram creators are opting to share the journey of their clothes, from the first thread being sewn to their #OOTD post, to show the value in the artistic journey that is clothing creation. They are also opting to work with slow fashion brands, over those producing more fast fashion, and encouraging their followers to do the same.
An excellent example of this is Auguste, a slow fashion brand that is ethically produced in Indonesia and partners with 1% For The Planet, an international organisation whose partners contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes and charities. More and more creators on social media are choosing to work with Auguste because of their sustainable mission.
Some may say that slow and sustainable fashion is more expensive, making it less accessible. In fact, sustainable products tend to be made to a higher quality, meaning they will need to be replaced less often. Clothes swaps and vintage shops also allow consumers to find high-quality bargains, while also sending their pre-loved clothes to a new home. Finally, this ever-growing industry is offering both creators and consumers a great way to support smaller businesses that are committed to fair trade. What’s not to love?