Seeing creators and influencers haul many items sometimes multiple times a week, whether they are gifted or purchased is not relatable to the average consumer. It is hard for audiences who do not have the same income as these content creators to keep up with the speed of trends and new clothing collections regularly launched by fast fashion houses.
Accountability is important. Creators should take the feedback from their viewers into consideration when planning their content in order to maintain a loyal audience and engage new followers. In response to much of the negative feedback surrounding fast fashion hauls, we are beginning to see more creators explore slow fashion alternatives, taking their audiences on their journeys.
It is still hard to define what is truly sustainable and what isn’t when it comes to fashion, as any form of shopping whether it be from a small business or large fashion house creates supply and demand. Despite this, we know that influencers influence their audiences on a daily basis, so if they can promote even small changes in regards to clothing consumption, it’s a step in the right direction.
Creators are exploring slow fashion alternatives
Though the ease of adding fast fashion items to our online baskets and receiving the items the next day is appealing, and also necessary for those who struggle with sizing, time, and budget – we are seeing more exploration into the alternatives to this, and it makes for insightful TikTok content.
Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube creator, Mathilde Mellor, regularly shares videos on her TikTok account where she styles fashion pieces that she has picked up from vintage and thrift shops with existing pieces from her wardrobe. Mathilde promotes how investing in a few staple vintage items or pieces made by sustainable companies, which may cost more but are built to last, paired with timeless wardrobe basics can make your wardrobe unique and long-lasting.
Another way to explore alternatives to fast fashion and educate yourself on slow fashion is with a simple hashtag search. The hashtag #charityshop has 47.1 million views, #slowfashion has 117 million views, and other similar hashtags also host a wealth of content produced by influencers and general TikTok users sharing their journeys towards shopping more sustainably.
Videos featured using these hashtags feature things such as customising charity shop items, what to look out for at car boot sales or on second hand apps, and style tips to revamp an outfit that you already have rather than purchasing something new.
TikTok as a platform for slow fashion brand awareness
TikTok also presents itself as a platform for small businesses themselves to raise brand awareness. Depop seller Isabella Vrana, for example, shows behind-the-scenes videos of how her business runs, adding personality to her brand. When consumers can see exactly how their clothes are sourced, created, and the team behind this they are likely to want to and invest in the story behind the brand.
Of course, influencer gifting models can work as a tool for brand awareness too. Small brands with little to no influencer marketing budget may consider reaching out to the influencers they follow offering a selection of their items in return for a TikTok video. What may be a simple piece of content for a creator to produce could be huge in terms of influencing an audience to look towards slow fashion options.
TikTok is now renowned for developing the trends of this generation. It is great to see how through education, holding creators accountable, and the influence that creators have is pushing the current trends in a more sustainable direction.