In the past fashion was consumed through glossy magazines and catwalks shows which ensured that it remained, to a degree, exclusive. Fashion content was therefore largely determined by editors and designers. Fast-forward to 2019 and things are very different with the rise of fashion bloggers.
Thanks to the likes of Instagram, anyone can potentially build a large following and share their own style with them. The way that brands connect with their audience has now changed because of this. Fashion consumers don’t need to wait for the latest issue of Vogue to know what the must have style is anymore. Instead they look to their favourite fashion bloggers for inspiration.
Fashion has gradually become more interactive and accessible. To be able to watch catwalk shows at fashion weeks you used to have to be there. Now they are live streamed online for anyone to watch. And you can pretty much guarantee that your favourite fashion blogger will be sitting front row Instagraming the whole thing. You feel like you’re part of the action and it creates a connection you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Watching fashion bloggers lives online makes you feel like you know them and when they covet a certain brands clothing it feels like a recommendation from a friend. People trust this kind of recommendation over magazine and TV ads and brands have very quickly realised this.
Brand collaborations are obviously beneficial to both the blogger and the brand. The blogger is quite often given free clothes of their choosing along with a fee to create content. The brand then gains the ability to appear on the platform of someone with a large following who has an audience that is probably already interested in them.
Bloggers can also make money through using affiliate links. Say they want to share an item they love with their followers, bloggers can then create a link that means when people click through to buy the item, the blogger receives a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to the shopper. Now I have used affiliate links in the past, and have even done so recently. I suppose what it really comes down to is encouraging someone to part with their hard earned money. What I now keep thinking is am I essentially convincing someone to buy something they may not actually need?
I think fashion bloggers are encouraging fast fashion to a degree. Personally I hate hauls and I think this is a big part of the problem. I feel like it’s actually the bloggers that claim they have a capsule wardrobe who are the worst. Why does no one seem to understand what a capsule wardrobe actually is? Combine this with posting a new outfit every day on Instagram and the fast fashion issue is just escalating.
I do think that haul after haul does to some extent encourage followers to spend more. But at the same point I have read peoples comments on hauls where they are essentially requesting even more hauls.
I’m not sure what the answer is. I think fashion bloggers should be more mindful of the problem and use their platforms as a way to raise awareness of the issues. I have been focusing this year on not buying brand new clothing in an effort to avoid fast fashion. Looking ahead to next year I think I will focus on buying pre-owned and from independent brands where possible. However, if there is an item I really love from a fast fashion brand then I want to be able to get plenty of wear out of it. With affiliate links I will only be sharing items that I absolutely love and would recommend to my own friends and family.
What do you think the answer is?