Buying sustainable brands doesn’t make you sustainable

BannerBuying sustainable brands doesnt make you sustainable

Social media and influencers encourage us to consume and that’s something we can’t deny. Influencers live of pure and simple consumerism, and it is complicated to raise awareness among your followers once you have fed your audience with daily packages through Stories or monthly hauls on platforms such as YouTube. The connection we can have with the people we follow can be powerful, and that makes us buy more than we should. We’ve all been there at some point.

As I mentioned on Instagram, sustainability is being used as a marketing tool and although as much as it pains me to say this, all that effort for fair trade for all, labour and environment is falling on deaf ears for several reasons.

Buying sustainable brands does not make you a responsible consumer:

  • Donating your fast fashion clothes to charity to buy sustainable brands can be selfish and unethical. Much less collaborating with ethical/sustainable brands if you are still buying Inditex very often. Our actions speak for themselves. We are more than consumers.
  • Not everyone can afford to buy sustainable brands and it is very irresponsible and demoralising to make your followers feel bad about buying fast fashion brands. Could they do better? Of course, they could. Perhaps educating them and teaching them about more sustainable alternatives such as second-hand clothing is the solution.
  • Having the ability to reach thousands of people can be overwhelming and a huge responsibility, but you can achieve wonderful things by leading by example. You don’t have to accept every gift that brands want to send you. I watched a video on YouTube no long time ago of someone doing a haul of six pairs of black sandals. Is that really necessary?

Is the person that buys eco brands more sustainable?

I started unfollowing a lot of accounts that I don’t feel comfortable with anymore. So, searching for ecowarriors or sustainable bloggers, I started to feel bad about myself because… how can I start a sustainable lifestyle when I’m still wearing fast fashion clothes? All those influencers have amazing sustainable, ethical items that they can recommend to their friends/followers but I’m still loving and wearing beautiful clothes that I bought from Inditex years ago!

Then, I realised that this wasn’t the way that I should think about sustainability. This was the same debate that I had with myself and other people when I stopped buying from companies that test on animals three years ago. I’m still using some of their products – like eyeshadows or blushes – because there is no sense throwing everything away. The most sustainable item you have is the one that is already in your wardrobe.

Talking about sustainable brands, there are a lot of small brands doing the right thing that need support but what’s wrong with buying less, second hand and wearing old fast fashion? There is so much fashion in existence anyway! Sustainability is being used as a marketing tool and donating all your fast fashion clothes to charity to buy sustainable and ethical brands is not the solution. You’re just perpetuating the problem. I don’t think that we can buy our way to sustainability!

Sustainability is being used as a marketing tool

On the other hand, why are Sustainable Brands sending products or paying influencers who are NOT sustainable at all? Influencers who upload massive Zara or Amazon hauls EVERY MONTH or new stuff on Instagram Stories EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Again, buying sustainable brands doesn’t make you sustainable. However, I’m not mad with the influencer, I’m DISAPPOINTED with these brands or with who the hell are managing their social media.

Do you think that their followers are going to give a shit about your brand? Do you think they are going to understand WHY they should spend £100 on a cardigan when they can buy two or three in Zara? How are these influencers going to be able to do a good promotion when they’re not a good reference?

This pisses me off not because of me – believe me, I’m far away from that -, but I’m frustrated because they are a lot of amazing content creators out there, doing their best, and who are struggling right now with the crisis and everything and they’re not able to get a collaboration because they don’t have enough followers for some brands, for example. Even when ALL THEIR CONTENT is educational and inspiring.

So, in case any of these brands read this article and are short of ideas, here are some accounts that you should invest in – quality, honesty and creators according to your values which is the MOST IMPORTANT thing. Marketing BASIC: find your target audience.

Marta Canga

Aja Barber

Venetia La Manna

Mikaela Loach


Isaias Hernandez

Please, let me know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand this behaviour… Also, if you know any content creator who deserves being in this list, comment below, please. Who knows? Maybe some brand will contact them! Discovering new accounts is also cool too!

I would love to know your thoughts about all this! I know that it was an intense talk. See you soon.