Why Influencers are Responsible for Promoting Ethical Fashion
"Clothes going to change the world. The women who wear them will." - Anne Klein
Influencers like bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers and the Twitterati- play a huge role in helping to promote the ethical fashion movement. Highly impressionable readers/viewers/followers/subscribers, especially young people, take so much inspiration from fashion influencers and these influencers often receive hefty incomes from affiliate sales; promoting products from fast fashion retailers to their audience. If they made the switch to sustainable brands, this could make a colossal difference.
Unlike traditional 'celebrities' online social media mavericks are in the unique position of having direct access and engagement to their fans and followers every minute of every day, therefore I believe that they/we should be held responsible for promoting higher ethical standards, especially when it comes to extremely visual, and also toxic and exploitative, industries like fashion.
If you fall into the category of 'Influencer', which I think garners a loose definition of a content creator with a strong presence and audience online, what can you do to help push the ethical fashion movement forward? Here are a few ideas from Fashion Revolution to get you started:
Fashion Love Story Instead of buying something new for your next outfit post, why not write a 'fashion love story' to your favourite piece in your wardrobe? Share some photos of the item of clothing you love more than anything else. Tell us it’s story, the journeys you’ve shared, why you love it. Maybe it's an investment piece from a high-end designer, like Caroline Issa's Miu Miu coat, or some shoes you wear pretty much every day, like Tolly Dolly Posh's Doc Martens. Keep your eyes peeled, I'll be sharing an ode to my Granny's vintage velvet and silk jacket that has been passed down through my Mum, and is covered in cigarette burns and wine stains but is so unbelievably beautiful that I only keep it for best.
Haulternative An alternative to the traditional, wasteful fast fashion haul video, create some haulternative content instead, using one of the 8 themes set out by Fash Rev:
- Love Story (see above)
- Broken but Beautiful (an item of clothing that you’ve worn to the point that others may see it as damaged or broken, but that you love and will cherish forever)
- Fashion Fix (make your clothes last longer by repairing them when they need it; get creative; make your broken seams, holes and tears into a fashion statement)
- 2hand (buy a haul from your local charity shops)
- Swap (swap clothing with another blogger or youtuber and share the results)
- DIY (tailor clothes to a different shape, add new embellishments, or dye it a different colour, or you could turn it into something completely new)
- Vintage (buy a haul from your local vintage shops)
- Hire (hire catwalk looks for high street prices; super cheap designer clothes to loan and wear for any occasion; try renttherunway or girlmeetsdress)
- Slow (discover slow fashion designers like Laura Ironside and Bethany Williams are share their handmade, quality artisanal pieces)
Inside Out On Fashion Revolution Day (24th April) or during Fashion Revolution Week take a selfie of you wearing your clothes inside out to show the labels, asking the retailer, what are the human stories behind that label. Remember to tag the brand as well as @fash_rev and #insideout!
Who Made My Clothes Twitter is the perfect platform to ask the brands directly for the human stories behind the clothes they produce and sell. Demand transparency from what you buy using the powerful question- who made my clothes? Be Curious (ask the brands about their supply chain), Find Out (publicly demand their honest answers), and Do Something (decide whether you'd still like to align yourself with this brand, and tell your audience about it).