At The Fashion Student Hub, we love hearing from young talented people who are striving for change and are conscious of the impact they will make in the world that lies ahead of them.
We asked one such talent Tolmeia Gregory of tollydolyposhfashion.com, an ethical blogger approaching her late teens, to answer a question for us.
Here's what she had to say.
Social media is difficult to deal with in that respect because there are so many different people talking at the same time, you get pulled in every other direction. It means we're able to cover different grounds; although there are many positives to this, like freedom of speech and being able to empathise with and really understand causes from all angles and perspectives, in the ethical industry, this can be difficult to push through with.
Blogging and influencer marketing once began to make advertising more relatable but due to the fact it has grown into such a huge and successful industry, these ideas have become over saturated meaning what we consume is now no longer organic or natural, or relatable in fact. Fashion bloggers are businesses and brands in themselves meaning a lot of them produce and work in compensation for huge sums of money.
There is less money in the ethical industry due to the fact that the core value of most ethical brands is to focus profits back into the manufacturing and communities which provide for them. There isn't a budget big enough to persuade big names to be part of this huge influence. The new generation isn't being opened up to these more positive ideas as much as they are still being opened up to the ideas of fast-fashion and consumerism.
This doesn't mean it isn't possible, though. With social media being such a free space it means that those who are active users do get opened up to these issues when they're put in front of the right people. Initiatives like Fashion Revolution make huge strides in leading us all in the right direction. Fashion Revolution started after the Rana Plaza disaster which hit hard with a lot of people because it was the root cause of consumerism and was in connection with a lot of the brands that are so well known and so well marketed online.
Education is one of the most important parts of trying to change the industry and the way fashion works. Even if it's not in school or at university directly with students, we need more people with big voices to start steering those they can influence in the right direction.
One of the best ways to do this is by starting with more positive stories. Although hard-hitting truths like human rights and ethics are a quick fire way to get people informed, they're also a quick fire way to stop people learning more because it leaves them feeling downtrodden and perhaps guilty.
Showing people the more positive sides of ethical and sustainable fashion and making it feel as satisfying as 'ordinary' fast-fashion, is what we need more of. As sharing and using your voice is such a big part of the younger generations' lives, we need to give them a reason to share and start learning more. We need more campaigns like #WhoMadeMyClothes in order to reach far and wide and get a conversation started.
If you are a big voice and would like to work with us to help develop educational products and courses on ethical fashion and the related issues that can inform the next generation, we would love to hear from you.
Contact Cheryl at [email protected]
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