Is influencer culture sustainable?

March 2, 2023

As online shopping and social media have become integral parts of our lives, it’s crucial to acknowledge their influence on us and the environment. Influencer culture has seeped into our decision-making and subconscious minds, without us even realizing it.

Looking back to the birth of social media, it’s surprising to see how it has evolved into a platform like Instagram, which was initially a photo-sharing app but has now become a source of income for people and an advertising channel for brands. With the rise of brand deals and promotions, social media has a significant impact on consumer choices, not only providing income for content creators but also indirectly affecting consumer decisions.

While social media has several benefits, we should also be mindful of its negative impact on the environment and our mental well-being. Following influencers who focus on fashion and travel may lead to overspending and consumption of fast fashion, which is harmful to the environment. Fast fashion brands introduce new garments in volume each week. This is a leading reason behind the world’s consumption of 80 billion new pieces every year which exploits natural resources and damages the environment. Moreover, fast fashion can have a lasting effect on consumers’ mental health, pushing them to follow trends and feel the need to keep up with others, especially in younger generation, who are more vulnerable to the influence of social media.

To address these concerns, we must be mindful of what we consume on social media and the content we choose to follow. It’s crucial to differentiate between good and bad influence, to encourage smart buying and support sustainable shopping practices.

‘Greenfluencers’ promote ethical garment industry practices and sustainable shopping, providing a positive influence on social media. By consuming smartly and slowly, we can promote ethical consumption practices and safeguard ourselves from the detrimental impact of social media on our mental and environmental health.

Rabani Kaur