Instagram is every fashion brand’s favourite marketing tool. It gives them the ability to create a perfectly curated profile that shows off their brand’s aesthetic. They can update their story with their latest releases and newest on-sale items. We, as consumers, are drawn in by the beautiful images on our feed. It’s a winning formula for fashion.
Fast fashion brand Fashion Nova posts on their Instagram account every 30-60 minutes. If you follow them, you are bombarded with pictures of beautiful women wearing their latest releases. Much like the process of creating the fashion itself, their Instagram is in overdrive. Make it fast and sell it fast.
This strategy is hugely successful. And so it is no wonder that we see other brands trying to emulate it. Even ethical brands who have a much slower and well thought out process of creating garments still post on Instagram with amazing frequency.
They are trying to do the same thing as Fashion Nova. Sell clothes. But fast fashion brands are responsible for causing serious environmental issues. Around 300,000 tons of used clothes go to landfill in the UK every year. Clothes in landfill release methane which is a greenhouse gas that is causing climate change. By encouraging us to keep on buying often low-quality pieces, fast fashion brands are perpetuating the textile waste issue.
This constant purchasing of clothes that brands like Fashion Nova are encouraging us to take part in is seriously damaging. So should we be berating ethical brands for doing the same thing? For using those same marketing techniques that tempt us to make a quick purchase without really thinking?
It’s no easy question. But the fast fashion giants are taking over social media. The small ethical fashion brands need to take action if they are going to compete. They need to be seen. We need to have ethical fashion on Instagram if we have any chance of changing the fashion industry for good.
In an ideal world maybe the ethical fashion brands would slow down their marketing. But we live in a world plagued by fast fashion. Social media is the best tool that ethical fashion brands can use to become visible.
Maybe their marketing does encourage someone to buy a piece that they don’t really need. But at the same time what if it plants a seed? What if the consumer then sees the captions on these brands’ posts about their sustainably sourced materials and well-paid workers?
It may spark an interest in ethical fashion for a consumer who may otherwise have remained unaware if it were not for the brand’s strong social media presence. And ultimately, it is better that someone purchases from an ethical brand than from a fast fashion brand, even if they didn’t really need that new item.
We all want ethical fashion to go mainstream. And for it to go mainstream, it is going to have to use mainstream tactics. It is the fastest way to make progress. As consumers, we need to take responsibility in our purchases. We cannot let ourselves be completely convinced by marketing. Every time we are considering making a purchase, we need to think, do I really need this? Is this going to get much use? Do I love it?
We have the power to create a world that has a different attitude to fashion. Ethical fashion brands are a part of this. They need to gain all the attention they can in order to become prominent in the fashion world. Whilst at the same time we need to be demonstrating the kind of world we want to create through our own buying patterns. Ethical fashion brands need to utilise fast fashion’s winning formula if we want the world of ethical fashion to win.