Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
Description of Activity
Can Sustainable Fashion Influencers Advocate Conscious Consumption and Mitigate the Impact of Fast Fashion? Understanding sustainable influencers and their impact on consumer consumption are vital to mitigating the impact of overconsumption and promoting best practice for the fashion sector and the global environment. Fashion consumption has long been characterised by large quantities of low-priced fashion products (known as fast fashion), and whilst much of the research focuses on issues surrounding manufacture and production, without taking a closer look at consumer behaviour it is difficult to understand how we can facilitate real change. The purpose of this study is to consider the growth of sustainable fashion influencers (opinion leaders) and whether their impact on fashion consumer opinions and buying decisions are creating a sea change and disturbing what have become normative consumption patterns. A range of micro-macro sustainable fashion influencers was identified and their profiles distributed to an Instagram audience whose attitudes and behaviour was analysed via an online platform. Findings indicate that engagement, reach and advocacy play a key role in determining the influence of sustainable fashion ‘social media influencers’ (SMI’s) on consumer decision making and responsible consumption. Whilst this study focuses on earned influence (unpaid), future research could incorporate a longitudinal study comparing paid and earned influencer outcomes. Implications for the fashion sector are sustainable fashion influencers can disrupt fast fashion thinking and encourage responsible attitudes through consumer advocacy (word of mouth communication) to their behaviour and attitude towards fashion consumption, influencing marketers, educators and industry.