When I read that January’s topic in Mindless Magazine was Fashion + Influencers, it got me thinking about which influencers I follow. The final number was… zero.
I literally googled who the fashion influencers are nowadays. The Top 10 Fashion Influencers of 2019 alien to me. They advertise luxurious items, fancy makeup and seem to have a perfect life. I realised that I follow zero famous fashion influencers – online. But do we have influencers in our offline world?
Family & Friends
I have three major communities that influence how I look at fashion. The first community is the one that is the closest to me: my family and friends. My main inspiration is my Mother. When she was a young adult, she frequently went to second-hand shops as entertainment with her friends or colleagues. She regularly donates her non-used clothes to poorer people or to charities. I am thankful for her and she still inspires me.
My friends have a huge effect on me too. For instance, when I complained about my ragged bag, one of my friends insisted I shouldn’t buy a new one. She suggested I select one from hers as she has 3 spare bags she doesn’t use!
Another surprising example happened in December when I started attending folk dance classes. I was amazed by the skirts they wore and inquired about where they bought them. One of the girls answered: “I sew it myself.” Aren’t they the fashion influencers we all want to have?
Inspired by Students
Secondly, my students also inspire me in becoming more environmentally-conscious. Being a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in a language school, the topic of environment and fashion come up regularly – these are language exam topics. How privileged we are we have to deal with these topics! I also teach about veganism and discuss consumerism with the students during the lessons.
Mindless is Marvellous
Thirdly, my influential community is… the Mindless Magazine. Yes, this is an online community, you might say. But the online world can affect your offline life. All those articles about dresses that were reborn and were worn through generations inspired me to mend and not throw away my clothes.
The vegan month made me think about whether I should buy leather boots. On the other hand, leather can be more sustainable than the usual all-plastic shoes that we buy, wear and throw away every year, creating a massive amount of landfill. This magazine is a constant inspiration to me as there are so many contributors with so many different ideas!
You might ask – if I have such influential friends around me, how do they affect my behaviour? What do I do for the planet? Well, I’ve already taught a friend how to sew. I have knitted some scarves. I am more conscious in my fashion choices, trying to avoid plastic. And I can also contribute to the fight through my voice.
I create time and space for ideas in my lessons and in my everyday life. I regularly teach about consumerism, fashion and environmental protection, making my students think about their way of life, getting inspirations from other people’s example.
It is important who you follow online, but have a look at your offline communities, too. Who are your role models? How do they inspire you? Look around. And most importantly: look in the mirror. You can find the most influential person of your life looking right back at you.