Instagram and how it’s changed the way we shop
This week I have finally got round to picking up Lucy Siegles 'To Die For' book about the fashion industry and already its showing me some hard truths. Although the book was published back in 2011 (longer ago then you think!) it is still so relevant to today and the throwaway society that continues to grow. I've still got a lot of reading to do but already it has pushed some hard questions to the forefront of my mind and I wanted to discuss these with you here. To start off, I wanted to talk about something that I have been thinking about quite a lot recently - how Instagram makes me want to shop. A lot.
I remember back when I first starting using Instagram and discovering bloggers when people weren't really talking about blogging in a big way and stars like Zoella weren't on the cover of every magazine. I think that was the moment I really knew I was into fashion and wanted to stay on top of the trends and be just like one of them. From there it sort made me spiral into a fast fashion buying frenzy, I always wanted to make sure I had the latest trends and was constantly buying to keep up but barely wearing the pieces more than a handful of times. Looking back I can see how insane and unhealthy that was and since discovering sustainable fashion and the horrific stories behind fast fashion I have definitely shopped more thoughtfully. Instagram is still a huge part of my fashion life though and I do still get the urge to shop the latest pieces some of my favourite bloggers are wearing, thinking it's just one piece. But if everyone said that we're not really making any progress there now are we? I definitely find it hard especially working in central London where fast fashion is so easily accessible, yet now if I pick up or think about going into a fast fashion store now, I want think about these following things hard and I will probably walk straight back out. 1) What material is it made out of and where was that material sourced? 2) Who made this item and where? Was it hand made? 3) What effect has this had on the planet and economic system and was the garment worker part of a fair paid factory?
I still follow many of the bloggers from before I even thought about where my clothes come from etc. and is nice to actually see that some of them are becoming more conscious (specifically Shot from the Street and here recent discussion on sustainability which you can watch here) and using their platform to discuss sustainability. But with still following them comes the urge to have what they have - shells for example are everywhere at the moment from cute greek sandals to anklets and necklaces. and the urge to join in is strong and that has 100% got to be down to Instagram and the fear of missing out on the latest trend but again going back to those questions I can ask myself and realise actually I can probably just do without.
But what can we do to change or attitudes towards this? I love Instagram and will definitely continue to use it as a platform for sharing our discoveries into the sustainable world. And I think a lot of good does come out of it, I have discovered some amazing people doing amazing things on Instagram but there is still a lot of FOMO and wanting to be like that blogger and I think it has made us all a bit jealous of everything and everyone around us. I think the thing that people are missing when looking at bloggers for inspiration is that they want the exact things that the bloggers have and will go out and buy those things rather than looking into their wardrobe and realising that actually they have similar pieces that they can use to recreate that outfit or look but with it still being unique to yourself.
This is definitely not the end of this conversation and I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below!