Consumers are changing their diets and adapting their shopping habits, all in a bid to contribute to the government’s UK net zero target by 2050, and hugely reduce our climate targets by 78% by 2035 – as recently announced by the Prime Minister.
With streaming services such as Netflix airing hard-hitting documentaries that showcase the devastating truth about the damage being made to the environment, combined with social media influencers and brands beating the very same drum, we are beginning to see a difference.
We explain how influencer marketing is being used by brands to raise awareness of sustainability rather than pushing a hard sale, as well to shift focus.
It is impossible for brands and businesses not to solely drive sales these days, particularly on social media.
However, what’s important is those brands that use their platforms to raise awareness of environmental, social, and economic issues and choose to tackle them as part of their vision and mission as opposed to pushing a hard sell.
Until recently, it was almost unheard of for brands to push for anything other than a direct sale, but times are changing and so are brands and influencers.
Moving away from fast fashion
Consumers are becoming more conscious about the impact their choices are having on the planet, as are brands.
With fast fashion contributing towards the detrimental state of the environment and the fashion industry being responsible for around 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions each year, brands are using their voices to make a change and not to simply drive sales.
Sustainability is a huge focus for brands utilising influencer marketing. By collaborating with influencers that share the same values and ethos, this is a sure-fire way to raise awareness and promote a positively impactful and sustainable lifestyle.
For example, nu-in is a sustainable fashion brand created by former YouTuber and original social media influencer Marcus Butler, his girlfriend, and their friends. On a journey to create clothing that doesn’t cost the earth, or negatively impact it, nu-in is driven by social and environmental sustainability.
Combining affordability with sustainability, nu-in aims to change the bad reputation of the fashion industry, putting their commitment to the environment above anything else.
Promoting circular fashion, nu-in contributes to a circular economy, ensuring that all materials used have been recycled and can be recycled once again, preventing waste, and encouraging the longevity of products.
Nu-in focuses on more than just the environmental impacts, but social and economic, too, ensuring that all products are made in fair, safe and ethical conditions. And with initiatives such as ‘Buy For Good’, the fashion brand donates 30% of their revenue to a variety of charities, continuing their mission to help people as well as the environment.
Reusable personal care
Wild is another brand that has come to the fore thanks to the power of influencer marketing. A sustainable, natural, cruelty-free and refillable deodorant brand, Wild aims to shake up the ‘throwaway culture of everyday bathroom products’, redefining the future of environmentally friendly personal care.
As the world’s first zero-plastic deodorant refill, Wild focuses its campaigns on encouraging consumers to reduce their waste as well as to move away from single-use plastic and supporting charities and reforestation projects.
Working with the likes of Niomi Smart, Lily Pebbles and Beth Sandland, Wild have successfully utilised influencer marketing to make long-lasting and sustainable changes as opposed to directly driving sales.
A focus on sustainability
There aren’t many ways in which brands can turn their attention to something other than sales, but sustainability manages to achieve just that.
And we’re beginning to see a collaborative effort between brands and social media influencers to move away from pushy sales and instead, educate, inform, and primarily, promote sustainably.
Echoing this sentiment, Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of luxury packaging solutions provider Delta Global, explains how today, sustainability and influencer marketing equates to much more than just the product, but its packaging, too.
He said, “As an industry, we must ensure that the end of a products life cycle is the beginning of another, whilst educating the supply chain and promoting a more circular economy.
“From utilising paper offcuts and turning them into branded inserts or reclaimed paper handles, the opportunities for recyclability are endless. And, many influencers, particularly in the zero-waste arena, are engaging with this throughout their content.
“Now, many consumers actively seek out products and packaging that are easy to recycle, opting for brown paper as opposed to single-use plastic or other materials that pose the question of whether it is recyclable or not.
“It’s about creating solutions and marketing content that meets the attitudinal changes and needs of consumers, which predominantly focus on the demand for sustainable, reusable and eco-friendly alternatives.”
But, whilst we’re still somewhat overrun by fast-fashion, we are heading in the right direction, and one that positively impacts both society and the world we live in.
It is now down to brands and influencers to work together, using their platforms to raise awareness of such issues and to promote sustainability. Influencer marketing is playing a huge part in this, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.