For just over a decade, the popularity that influencers have gained within the marketing strategies of fashion brands has been exponential. Leading the speech on social media implies choosing very well who to collaborate with on every occasion. However, there are those who question the validity of this figure within the sustainable fashion industry. Do “conscious influencers” exist or is it an oxymoron? Does it make sense to invest in this type of collaboration or, on the contrary, is it counterproductive for your brand image? At BCOME we want to help you explore the wide range of possibilities that social media offers you, discover what are the hits and misses when choosing the right influencers for your sustainable fashion brand.
Influencers have a great relevance in protecting a more sustainable future for fashion
The digitization of our environment means that influencers and content creators have great power when it comes to building our collective imagination. They are the ones who, through their image, shape the aspirations that the rest of society has regarding fashion and style. Fact that determines its relevance in protecting a more sustainable future for the textile sector.
But, while their influence could be aimed at promoting a paradigm shift, the truth is that the figure of the fashion influencer is closely linked to the mass consumption of fast fashion. Permanent discount codes that invite you to buy unconsciously, hauls of infinite garments that never appear in the content again, or constant mentions of multiple brands are some of the examples that we can observe if we investigate the profiles of some of the fashion influencers with more followers.
The so-called “Cinderella syndrome” floods Instagram. Dana Thomas describes this trend in her book Fashionpolis as the desire not to be seen on social media repeating outfits. Let us remember that the hashtag #ootd (outfit of the day) is one of the most used in fashion profiles, with more than 400 million posts published to date. The aspiration to be like their idols has even caused many users to buy clothes with the only purpose of posing on social media to return the clothes once the post is published. The promotion of these behaviors leads to the precariousness of the fashion industry.
While fast fashion influencers perpetuate throwaway culture, we can confirm that there is another growing movement: sustainable fashion influencers. Defining what criteria are taken into account when choosing who your brand collaborates with will be essential to guarantee the success of this powerful marketing tool.
What questions should you ask yourself before choosing an influencer for your sustainable fashion brand?
Marketing directors of conventional fashion brands will often come to examine the volume of followers of the candidates, as well as their engagement rate and other KPIs through which to predict the success of the collaboration. However, when we talk about brands that extend their values to any of their activities, there are much more important issues to take into account in order not to fail to the principles of the brand, as well as to ensure that the investment is profitable. To consciously assess which profile to choose, ask yourself the following questions:
Has the influencer ever talked about your brand?
- Yes. If the influencer has spoken positively about your brand, has worn it on occasion or has been favorable to it, you can recognize that the brand is organically integrated into her/his life, so the message will have greater credibility.
- No. It may be that they don’t know the brand yet or that they haven’t had the opportunity to use it. If the profile fits you for other reasons, remember that this doesn’t have to be a reason for discarding.
Does the influencer usually talk about sustainable fashion?
- Yes. If the influencer is interested in the topic and creates content related to it, their followers will also be familiar with sustainability. It is important to identify communities that are related somehow to your brand.
- No. In this case, it’s important to differentiate between not talking about sustainable fashion or promoting mass consumption of fast fashion. In the second case, it’s clear that it moves away from the principles of your business.
In case the influencer talks about sustainability, does he or she have a formed speech?
- Yes. It’s important to trust people who provide quality content to their followers. Sustainability can sometimes be complex, collaborating with influencers who bring this concept closer to their audience in a more tangible way is a point in favor.
- No. It will be necessary to assess if they are using sustainability as a buzzword or if they are really interested in learning more about the subject. If the profile suits you for other reasons, make sure you properly educate them about your product before promoting it to avoid greenwashing.
Is the influencer aligned with your brand values?
- Yes. What best describes a brand are the principles of the person who wears it. If the values that the influencer promotes are similar to those of your brand, you are choosing a good representative.
- No. If all the previous answers are affirmative but in practice, the influencer proves not to be in tune with your values, it’s better to avoid collaboration.
Is the influencer consistent between what is said and what is done?
- Yes. Coherence with their speech is what brings truth to the content of the influencer, it’s interesting to rely on people that demonstrate that they comply with what they disclose.
- No. It’s not recommended to trust influencers who aren’t consistent. It would be useless to work with someone who apparently promotes the durability of garments but never repeats an outfit on their profile, for example.
Relying on solid criteria to select who to trust when promoting your business will bring authenticity and credibility to the collaboration. The only way to create a valuable relationship with an influencer in which both their community and your brand benefit.
Relying on people to promote our products has in itself a great added value. Consciously choosing the right influencers brings humanity, allows you to better listen to your audience and most importantly, gives you the opportunity to dialogue with it. Profiles like Venetia La Manna, Karishma or Aja Barber do much more than use their media as product showcases. They create content that challenges today’s fashion industry by sharing didactic information, showcasing ethical brands, and shedding transparency on environmental and social topics of fashion.
Influencer marketing can be an essential tool to bring your product closer to your target audience. Are you looking to sell more but, above all, better? At BCOME we help you develop transparent communication to increase your conversion rate. Bring out your commitment to sustainability and boost your brand’s reputation.