We know that reducing our fashion footprint is a critical step that needs to be taken to reduce carbon emissions, so why do we find it so difficult to give up our ASOS addictions in favour of more ethical practices?

Influence & Fakery

by Caitlyn Howitt
IG: @caitlynhowittx / @caitlyn_fashion

We know that reducing our fashion footprint is a critical step that needs to be taken to reduce carbon emissions, so why do we find it so difficult to give up our ASOS addictions in favour of more ethical practices?

Why do we find it so difficult, we ask ourselves?

Social media influencers.

I’m a 22-year-old woman and I can’t help but wish that I was ‘one of them’. Getting sent free clothing, taking amazing selfies and making hundreds of thousands for essentially being photogenic. It really does seem like easy money.

I envy them, but at the same time loathe them. It would be a completely different situation if they promoted sustainable/slow fashion, but they don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re probably just blinded by the money as that’s how they make a living, but the sad truth is, they can’t see the damage that they’re promoting.

The most frustrating thing about it all is wanting to make a change but not knowing where to start. If I approached the likes of Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Missguided and ASOS I would just be dismissed and probably told something along the lines of , ‘this isn’t something we are working on at the moment’, or, ‘Keep an eye out on our page, we have something exciting planned’. You know the generic message type.

PLT has a recycled range which is a step in the right direction but why aren’t they sending them out to influencers to promote? I just happened to find it by chance when I was working on my final major project for college.

The whole recycled campaign is strictly loungewear at the moment which is amazing because the demand for loungewear is so high. But they haven’t promoted it. If they have, they haven’t used half as much money as they would promoting their new Molly Mae collab. 

SNAPBACK TO REALITY, THE EARTH IS DYING.

If fast fashion retailers focused on making a sustainable range and used the same amount of money they put into paying social media influencers, the problem would slowly, but surely become extinct. Influencers get thousands of pounds per post and the retailers aren’t just using one at a time!

For example:

  • Boohoo use many different brand ambassadors, and have around 10 different influencers on Instagram.
  • All of these brand ambassadors get sent free clothing and will get paid thousands per post wearing Boohoo’s garments, estimates suggest this can be from £100 to £750 per post.
  • If they spend £750 on 10 different influencers, that’s a whopping £7500 they have spent promoting fast fashion. 

This next paragraph was taken from an article posted by The Guardian in 2017. It’s everything that is wrong with fast fashion and it’s only getting worse.

Neil Catto, Boohoo’s chief financial officer, said the company’s success with mostly millennial customers had been driven by its focus on encouraging celebrities and bloggers to post about the retailer’s clothes on Instagram.

“We work with a whole spectrum of influencers, celebrities and wannabe bloggers — all people with a presence online — and we work with them so they can spread the word about Boohoo. It goes likes wildfire on Instagram,” he said.

The brand awareness is there but the knowledge of sustainability isn’t. We are all brainwashed by the fakery, we all know that the world is slowly being killed by fashion but because someone with a million followers on Instagram has it, we must have it. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us, but that’s where we are all VERY wrong.

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