We are exposed to around 4,000 marketing messages daily both on and offline. We see sales, discount codes, swipe up features and influencer look-books with descriptions that include “must have to complete your wardrobe or impress on that special occasion”.
Psychologically, this fills us with guilt and disappointment about what’s currently in our wardrobes. It makes us feel that getting our hands-on new garments would satisfy this problem. A sense of urgency is created and we purchase things without thinking about whether or not we truly need or want them.
The Power of Influencer Marketing
According to a Mintel report, 45% of respondents aged 16+ have purchased an item due to a recommendation from an influencer in the last 6 months.
Many influencers maintain strong relationships with fast fashion brands. The popularity of fashion hauls and new trends are encouraging mass consumption .
A recent Christmas outfit haul contained over 15 items from a popular fast fashion brand at 70,000 plus views. Many items like these are worn for a special occasion and then sent to landfill. An average household, according to Wrap UK, represents 1,000 filled baths of water used during new garment purchasing and washing.
With clothes on Missguided for as little as £5.60 and landfill amounting to 300,000 tonnes in textiles yearly in the UK, does the accessibility and affordability tarnish our attitudes towards the clothing?
We live in a throwaway society with an addiction to new trends and cheap buys. Although, brands are challenging this behaviour with business models such as rental fashion. One in six claim to not re-wear styles that they have posted on social channels. Rental fashion, especially for brands with small inventories help to provide new styles at a reduced cost to the environment.
The rise of the ethical influencer
The good news is that more and more influencers are now adopting a conscious attitude to their wardrobes and daily life.
The antithesis of mass consumption is the Kon-Mari method which does not engage with the “more, more, more” mentality. This concept has inspired others to sort and treasure their current belongings which has then flooded our social feeds.
Influencers such as Hannah Witton from “More Hannah” are championing wardrobe de-cluttering and introducing an audience of over 22,000 to affordable and sustainable choices.
Influencers such as Alix Coburn from Icovetthee have teamed up with brands such as Everlane to style ethical, transparent fashion. There is a demand for responsible fashion building and for brands that provide clothing that lasts.
Sustainable fashion is not just a hashtag
Finally, Instagram has over 2.8m posts using hashtags relating to sustainable fashion. This shows that emerging brands are generating interest and there is a large audience that wants to learn more about sustainable choices.
Celtic and Co have recently worked with Natalie Kay from “Sustainably Chic”, an influencer whose platform is built around responsible fashion. Celtic and Co, who embody slow fashion, create items to last a lifetime and have recently collaborated with Kay.
This encourages an audience to purchase mindfully and know that this selective purchasing can stand the test of time in their life-long wardrobes. Quality over quantity is key and many influencers are embracing this change to fight fast fashion.