Against fast-fashion, eco-responsible influencers are rebelling

TikTok and Instagram new vectors for promoting more responsible fashion? On these networks, temples of unbridled consumption, counter-current influencers try to promote clothing choices that are more respectful of the planet.

Masego Morgan deconstructs preconceptions about the second hand

To start with Blessings Morgan, fell from her chair when a “fast fashion” giant offered her 1000 dollars for a single promotional post. Not only has the South African influencer with 10,200 followers on Instagram never been offered such a sum to promote a brand, but the latter represents everything she fights: the overconsumption of cheap clothes, harmful to the planet and produced by underpaid workers.

Like other international influencers, she decided to fight against the armada of posts sponsored by big brands on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

His credo is simple: “Buy, ok! But less. And better if used or ultra-durable”.

A philosophy inherited from her childhood, when she borrowed second-hand clothes from her elegant mother, who saw recycling as arevolutionary act. “For me, there was never any stigma attached to wearing second-hand clothes“, she explains from her home in Cape Town.

But this choice has a downside: impossible to make a living with content focused on sustainability. While a typical influencer in a developed country can earn a six-figure annual salary from sponsors and affiliate links, Masego Morgan has to do a side job in graphic design.

Venetia La Manna denounces the misdeeds of the giants of the sector

In recent years, the social networks have taken on considerable importance for brands, whose marketing previously relied on print or television advertisements. They can now reach millions of people through influencers who promote their clothes in stories or #outfitoftheday posts. These campaigns drive sales: in 20 years, global consumption of clothing, footwear and accessories has double. But this comes at a high price for the planet. The fashion industry represents between 2 and 8% of greenhouse gas emissions.

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So many messages that have contributed to the emergence of “new fashion influencers” more environmentally conscious. Among them, Venice La Manna33-year-old Briton with 197,000 followers on Instagram, including the series of videos “Recipe for Disasterabout the social and environmental damage of companies like Adidas, Amazon and Nike was a huge hit with around 6.5 million views.

“Agents of change” carried by social networks

Unlike Masego Morgan, she earns her living through her online work, supported by a wider audience and collaborations with powerful second-hand sites like Vestiaire Collective or eBay.

Over the past five years, I really feel like the problem has emerged,” fast fashion joining “plastic and food at the heart of the debate”, notes Ms. La Manna.

These influencers are “agents of change”, says Simone Cipriani, founder and director of the Ethical Fashion Initiative and president of the United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion. “They counter the negative influence that you usually find on social networks, where we simply advocate the overconsumptionshe adds.

Especially since, at the same time, the second hand market continues to grow: its sales should reach 218 billion dollars by 2026 against 96 billion in 2021. A player like Vinted has thus seen the number of its users almost double in three years, going from 23 to 45 million between 2019 and 2022.

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