The Slow Fashion Influencers of Instagram and The £1 Bikini
Watching how fast social media has changed over the years has definitely felt like we’re living in an episode of Black Mirror, but the influence it has over the youth has been even more terrifying. Celebrities and influencers have been paid to the plug harmful and toxic agendas for companies whose revenues feed off the insecure, disengaged and unempowered.
I was triggered to write this article after Missguided introduced one of its newest, controversial products, the £1.00 bikini. When I was transitioning towards the slow fashion movement, it didn’t take me long to figure out that no garment made with sustainable/non-toxic material, in a safe dignified environment costs £1.00 to produce. Adverts promoting the Missguided bikini were plastered all over my social media but thankfully, they were met with serious scrutiny and the company was bombarded with calls for transparency over its process of production and manufacturing. Missguided then released a statement in response to the backlash:
“We launched the £1 bikini as a promotional item to celebrate 10 years of empowering women to look and feel good without breaking the bank. It cost us more to produce than £1 and we're absorbing the costs so we can offer it at an incredible price as a gift to our customers. There has been no compromise with this bikini - it is sourced to the same high standards as all of our other products.”
Missguided has yet to disclose these high standards with the public. What made me eye roll into oblivion is that Missguided really thought they could convince us that they were releasing this product to celebrate their empowerment of women. Missguided is widely known as one of the many fast fashion brands to use UK based sweatshops, also known as “dark factories”, where their conditions are far from ethical or empowering. In a previous article, I shared that with the many environmental and ethical corners being cut, the fast fashion industry has become the second largest polluter of clean water after agriculture in the whole world, and its human costs are even worse! 80% of garment workers are women and they work in some of the most dangerous environments you could imagine. I find it hard to see the empowering message that is being pushed here.
A great way to stay informed, engaged and motivated to stick to the sustainable, slow, low/zero waste utopian lifestyle we all want to live is by unfollowing those who do not share or spread this message and following those who do. I have curated a list of people and movements who use their platforms to share their advocacy, activism and everyday tips:
@Fash_Rev is widely known as a labour focused movement that unites people and organisations to work together towards changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed. Through its advocacy for equality and transparency within the industry, it has sparked trends such as “Who Made My Clothes?” and is an inspiring platform to for all to follow.
@ClothedInAbundance is a thrifting superstar and identifies as a minimalist. She defines her minimalism as a means to intentionally simplify life in order to focus on the important things without any societal pressures. She hits you with motivation, inspiration and shares her ethical and affordable finds.
@Revival.Collective is a feminist multi-platform working to change our attitudes towards the production and consumption of fashion. They also aim to disprove previous stereotypes about ethical and sustainable living and offer alternatives by making the many existing modern and stylish ethical and sustainable brands more visible! They even have an online store you can check out here.
Article by Social Media & Content Manager Yaz Omran