Open Letter to Influencer Culture

Calling out the ways influencer culture contributes to the climate crisis by promoting fast fashion.


Fashion Revolution Week 2021


Dear influencer culture,


We think you have a lot to answer for.


Are you aware that a lorry-load of used clothes is incinerated or buried in landfill every single second?


Did you know that the fast fashion industry is responsible for 8-10 % of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined?


We don’t know if you realised, but our planet is heading towards environmental disaster.


The fast fashion industry is a huge part of the problem.


Fast fashion brands,


we saw your Happy International Women’s Day posts.


Would you like to extend those messages of empowerment to the female garment workers who work 16 hour shifts in unsafe conditions for less than minimum wage to create the clothes you profit from?


We see your so-called ‘sustainable’ ranges, and we’re not convinced. Implement sustainable and ethical practices into your entire business model before you decide that shouting about your ‘environmental’ credentials will make you profit.


Reality TV,


you need to take responsibility as a major producer of fast fashion influencers.


Your sponsored partnerships that make you millions in profit? They’re very effective at convincing viewers that to emulate the lives of celebrities, they need to buy endless new outfits. Missguided’s partnership with Love Island in 2018 caused sales to spike 40% every evening the show was on.


Consider creating a partnership with a company that doesn’t contribute to the climate crisis. If global warming continues, your stunning beachside locations will soon be devastated by rising sea levels.


Viewers won’t be interested in the drama if there isn’t a planet left to live upon.


Influencers,


we know getting endless free outfits gives you a temporary buzz - but throwing those clothes into the ground is a major buzz kill.


So is the carbon used to mass produce them, the chemicals used to colour them and the industries endangering people's lives to make them.


Your influence is a power - one that many of you use for good by speaking up on important topics.


By making small changes to your fashion habits, your actions could have further positive influence upon millions of followers - potentially massively increasing our planet’s chances of survival.


Here’s a few things you could do:


  • repeat your outfits on instagram and normalise re-wearing clothes

  • interrogate brands that want to benefit from your platform on their green credentials

  • promote second-hand fashion on your page


Use your voice to advocate for our planet and the people and animals living upon it.


Instagram users,


stop scrolling for a moment. Consider who you’re following.


Make sure fast fashion on your feed is complemented by slow-fashion influencers and sustainable accounts. If you’re only seeing hauls, adverts and new outfits from influencers, you’ll get lost in a fast fashion jungle that is overwhelming you with a constant impulse to buy.


You may be angry reading this, and want to channel that energy into calling for change.


Before you critique individual influencers (that is not the point of this letter), stop for a moment and consider where the true blame lies.


Direct your outrage towards the institutions that create and profit from the damaging influencer-fast fashion relationship.


Ask fast fashion brands to #payup, question reality TV producers on their brand-partnerships and use your voice to advocate for change.


Influencer culture, you have a lot to answer for. We hope you’ll make true, lasting changes before it’s too late.


Said with love and hope for the future,


Your concerned followers