How can I help the environment doing something I love?
Stop where you are! You— yes you! Have you heard of social media’s newest debate? The word fashion has been carelessly spread in two directions: the continuation of fast fashion marketplaces, and the introduction of sustainable fashion. Perhaps the biggest influence on determining what category trends will fall into is social media. Bloggers, Instagram models, magazine editors, fashion students — and your fine self — cab express voices on this topic through multiple easy-to-access sources such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Depop. Social media’s debut has proved to be a major factor in social, political, and relational unity. However, the new style vault has opened to sway voters to their preferred side of the argument.
The term “social media influencer” has grown exponentially and professionally throughout the past generations. Influencers coined their title after discovering how simple and accessible a large platform is, and how easily the innocent minds of generation Z are manipulated. Fashion influencers such as Aimee Song, Danielle Bernstein, and Chiara Ferragni are using their platforms to emphasize the value of luxury goods, Haute Couture, and their love for finer things. Many have created brands, including WeWoreWhat and Camile Coelho Collection, consciously avoiding materials and labor processed using cruel labor and disposable materials. Instead, they realize the magnitude of their platform and ultimately dictate what their followers believe. Smaller creators such as aspiring bloggers are using apps such as Instagram and Tiktok to ultimately dress the generation. Barriers between brands and gatekeepers carefully preserving their factories, supply chains are being broken by these generous individuals. Immediate responses for questions from what to wear with what, to where to buy sustainable pieces are answered within minutes on posts or comment sections. Therefore, individuals interested in eco-friendly brands and ending the chain of fast fashion are given accessible information on the topic and are able to make informed decisions.
With the increase in knowledge comes the increase of sustainable brands. Eco-conscious designers are stepping into their roles as leaders in uniting the fashion world under one cause: to decrease the mass production of cheap designer replicas while catering to affordability. Reformation, ThredUP, Levi’s, and Everland have emerged as top competitors in this new market. Lucky and Yak, TALA, and Rens Original have been pushed onto apps such as Tiktok and admired for their use of items such as plastic bottles and coffee grounds to handcraft fashionable pieces. An alternative to thrift shopping and purchasing second hand is consuming pieces from brands like these, who want their buyers to know where and how their clothes were produced, and who focus on cleaning the planet one piece at a time. If you are looking for a higher-end alternative, Vogue released an inside look at the Apparel Impact Institute’s partnership with many high-end brands such as Stella McCartney and Burberry on “The Italy Project”, to establish a positive influence on fast fashion manufacturers, and erase their destructive footprint (Farra, 2021). The increase in intentional change from influencers and brands on social media has quickly begun to decrease the fast fashion market’s influence by almost 30% in 2020.
Sustainable fashion looks promising for future generations. Thanks to environmentally friendly yet stylish designers and individuals with great influence, decreasing the amount of fast fashion consumership is far within our reach. Attitudes towards the new market have also changed as brands have consciously considered the factor of affordability. Now, buyers can purchase long-lasting, quality pieces without worrying about astronomical prices. Soon, the footprint of fast fashion has the potential to be erased, and sustainable fashion will stand as the only option.
Farra, E. (2021, January 22). Stella McCartney, Burberry, and Kering Forge a New Kind of Sustainable Partnership.
Photo Credit: fashionista.com