Influencers and bloggers across social media platforms are contributing to a rapid unsustainable over-consumption of fast fashion, industry watchers claim.
Cheap, trendy and mass produced items of clothing are a hot topic across TikTok, as bloggers feed this new addictive hobby, encouraging their followers to buy mass items of clothing, many of which are quickly thrown away and end up in landfill.
Influencers and their followers are promoting their personal shopping hauls as they show off new clothing items to the public, fostering a culture that fast fashion retailers are thriving off.
Companies such as Shein, H&M and Cotton On appear to encourage this practice as they are able to keep up the trend cycle and mass produce clothing for a cheap price.
Professional shopper Daisy Armstrong, 19, told Central News young people have fallen victim to the need to stay current and “on trend” as these social media influencers are driving the fashion network.
“Being in this day and age, there’s a definite need for me personally to stay on trend,” she said.
Influencers are not only shaping consumer behaviour but encouraging over the top shopping frenzies, promoting an unrealistic lifestyle.
“There are many factors, including body shape, that can see a piece of clothing look different on every person that puts it on, what may look good on someone else may not give you the same satisfaction,” Daisy said.
According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, the average Australian accumulates roughly 27 kilograms of new clothing per person a year. Whilst they simultaneously discard approximately 23 kilograms of textile waste to landfill annually.
According to the World Wildlife Fund it can take up to 2,700 litres of water to produce the cotton for a single T-shirt. The largest cotton producing countries such as India and China are facing severe water stress due to textile over-production.
Certain styles will be on TikTok or Instagram for a week or so before it is deemed ‘too basic’ or ‘overdone’ and we move onto the next trend.
Fashion production accounts for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, making it one of the most polluting industries in the world. Industry emissions are expected to surge as rates of consumer demand increase.
Clothing brands traditionally focused on Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections, but large fashion retailers are now creating “micro-seasons”, seeing a new range of clothing hit the shops every couple of weeks.
TikTok expert Bella Anastovski, who has a strong interest in fashion, explained how influential social media profiles are on shaping and altering current trends.
“Certain styles will be on TikTok or Instagram for a week or so before it is deemed ‘too basic’ or ‘overdone’ and we move onto the next trend,” Bella said.
“As much as mainstream celebrities are cool and fascinating, influencers are celebrities that can be easily reached by the public.
“We, as viewers, fight so desperately to be accepted, if we are like those who we see on social media, mentally we feel accepted.”