So you’re interested in learning more about sustainable fashion and about being a more conscious consumer in general? That’s great. But where do you go for information and who can you trust? With over 1 billion users globally, and almost 4 million users in South Africa, Instagram is my ‘go-to’ for bites of information and it’s where I have found people who are making change and disrupting mainstream fashion consumption habits. Here are my top 10 favourite Instagrammers:
Clare is the sustainability editor-at-large for Vogue Australia, the author of Rise & Resist, and she has a podcast called WARDROBE CRISIS. She has 22.5k followers so I like to think she’s an authority in this field. Follow Clare to find out more about the various projects she’s involved in, conferences that are taking place globally around sustainable fashion and garment workers’ rights. She’s also a snappy dresser and big on vintage gems.
2. Céline Semaan
The Lebanese-Canadian sustainability and human rights worker gives her followers a postcolonial take on design. She’s also a writer, designer and entrepreneur and founded Slow Factory, The Library and Study Hall, all shaping how we can make the fashion industry, and the world at large, a better place. Céline recently organised a UN Summit on sustainable fashion in New York (see pic below – Celine is in the red suit). Fashionista describes Céline as “a thoughtful person who cares deeply about the planet and its hazy future, working tirelessly to bring lasting change so that we can provide for our children and our earth”.
3.Global Fashion Exchange
A friend of Clare Press, Patrick Duffy is an ecopreneur and advocate for social impact. Much like Clare, Patrick is often a guest speaker at various conferences addressing ethical fashion and our impact on the planet. He is also the founder of @globalfashionexchange which works with change makers around the world hosting activation events to raise awareness around the need for a circular economy when it comes to fashion and how to incorporate the fundamentals of sustainable fashion into your business and wardrobe.
This is a global movement calling for transparency in the fashion industry. The Fashion Revolution was started almost six years ago after a factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1100 people. On the anniversary of this disaster, Fashion Revolution calls on consumers to ask brands #whomademyclothes? and in an ideal world, these brands are able to respond with images of the garment workers, who are hopefully paid a live-able wage. There are also various Fashion Revolution representatives in different countries so you’ll come across Instagram profiles for said countries.
Be still my beating heart, I have a massive girl crush on Stella McCartney and she can do no wrong in my eyes. She is one of the pioneers of sustainable fashion in the luxury fashion space – think vegan leather shoes, recycled fabrics and magnificently tailored garments. Her ranges are proof that fashion that does no harm can indeed still look smoking hot. You do not have to forfeit style when you embrace sustainable and ethical fashion. Stella is the proof.
6.Ellen MacCarthur Foundation
The Ellen MacCarthur Foundation works with academia, government and businesses to build a framework for a circular economy. This account highlights the foundation’s work to help CEOs address plastic waste, wastage of clothes and to ‘redesign’ how we think and live. Great for interesting quotes and stats, and many moments of awe and inspiration.
7.Sustainable Fashion Matterz
I stumbled across the website by accident one day, and am ever so grateful for that. This profile serves interesting sustainable fashion facts, dishes out the news on innovation in textiles and technology, with a side order of profiles on interesting people and sustainable fashion shopping guides for major cities. It really feels like a good friend sharing information with you in a way that inspires you and makes you want to do more to help.
8.Fashion for Good
Fashion for Good is a global initiative striving to make fashion good through collaboration and community. The Fashion for Good Experience launched in Amsterdam in 2018, and is the world’s first interactive museum for sustainable fashion innovation. Wowzers! It defines good fashion as fashion that not only looks good, but meets the following five criteria:
Good Materials: safe, healthy and designed for reuse and recycling
Good Economy: growing, circular, shared and benefitting everyone
Good Energy : renewable and clean
Good Water: clean and available to all
Good Lives: living and working conditions that are just, safe and dignified
9.The Ethical Market
If you mention sustainable or ethical fashion at any dinner party or over drinks, I can guarantee you that someone will turn around and say: “It’s so expensive to buy ethically made clothes. This is South Africa, we don’t even have ethical designers. I’ll keep shopping at *insert brand names for mass produced clothing imported from China here*” Next time that happens, you tell them to calm their farm. The Ethical Market (THEM) founded by Emma Longden of Sitting Pretty a few years ago gives local designers and brands an opportunity to showcase their products and tell their stories. The pop-up market has, well, POPPED UP in Cape Town and Johannesburg to date. Follow this profile to see our local talent with links back to their own Instagram profiles, and for updates on the next THEM.
10. Slow Fashion Memes
Because every now and then you need a bit of light-hearted relief… This account has a selection of memes regarding slow fashion and sustainability because slow fashion can be fun too.
The more time I spend on Instagram, the more profiles I find that, as Marie Kondo would say, are ‘Sparking Joy’ and the facts don’t lie. If you’re not thinking about #whomadeyourclothes or how you can minimise your impact on the planet already, you need to make that shift.
- Images: Instagram