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Wearisma’s Ones to Watch Q2 2019: Sustainability Influencers

Posted by on August 27, 2019

Sustainability is slowly becoming one of the main criteria that consumers consider during their purchasing decisions. When brands embrace sustainable practices, they’ll only maintain authenticity if they are working with brand advocates and influencers who organically live and promote sustainable lifestyles. To give you an idea of the type of people you should be working with, Wearisma has generated a list of 4 top-performing (by engagement rate) #sustainability influencers in Q2 2019. Wearisma interviewed these sustainable advocates to find out why they joined the movement, how they connect to their audience and who are their favourite sustainable brands. 

1. Amira @amira58

UK
Followers: <20K
Average engagement rate for #sustainability in Q2 2019: 10.65%

What made you decide to get involved in the sustainable movement?

I’ve always been into fashion and when I was younger, there was a sense of pride for bargain-hunting and creating outfits off the high street. Unfortunately, now the high street is deemed detrimental to our planet and the sustainability movement makes it harder to shop as so many brands I used to love are at the forefront of fast fashion. I’ve really become more aware of sustainability and the impact my small choices, particularly in fashion, have on the environment.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have given a second thought about shopping on fast-fashion websites, whereas now I do. I’m still struggling and still shop. If I do, I make sure the item I’m buying is something I love. I also then go home and make sure I sell a piece of clothing to someone looking for a second-hand gem or give it to charity (I argue the first is more sustainable as, despite postage, the person buying the pre-loved item actually wants it vs. not knowing where the item in the charity shop ends up if unsold). 

Why do you think this post in particular resonated so well with your audience?

It was a sustainable fashion tour in Amsterdam and I was wearing sustainable brands – Lindex and All Birds. I love them both; they’re both affordable and the outfit wasn’t some ridiculous creation with the sole purpose of getting attention. It’s a low-key outfit I can wear again and again (and I will) and it matched the event I was at. I also tagged the brands I visited on the tour so that might have helped with engagement.

What are your favourite sustainability brands?

My favourite eco-friendly brands are actually Lindex and All Birds as they’re versatile and not too expensive. I love Reformation and Christopher Raeburn – really unique pieces and I love the ethos behind the collections. Sadly my budget won’t allow haha. Ohoy Swim, Tucca Swim and Pursuit The Label are great sustainable swimwear brands – Suntribe Swimwear has good options all around.

2. Claudia @claudiachannn

Hong Kong
Followers: <20K
Average engagement rate for #sustainability in Q2 2019: 9.34 %

What made you decide to get involved in the sustainable movement?

I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in New Zealand. I’ve always loved spending time around the water as young. In my first year of teaching, I saved up enough money for a trip to Tonga to swim with humpback whales. July 2016, I went on a dive trip to Bali and swam with manta rays. A month after my trip to Bali I came across a video online of a diver diving at the same spot in Bali. Instead of pristine blue waters, the manta rays were swimming in a sea of trash. I was extremely sad knowing I was there a month ago and seeing the way it was just felt like a stab to the heart. After learning about the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans/planet, I had to do something, so I started sharing on my social media with friends. I would do projects with my students to educate them about the issues we were facing in today’s world. 

2018 July I did something crazy, I decided to join a beauty pageant in Hong Kong to use it as a platform to raise more awareness on this issue. Then I decided to quit my job as a primary school teacher to move back to HK and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Through this platform, hopefully with my exposure, I will gain a wider audience/following, then I can reach out to more people and share this important message to them. Now, post-pageant, I am doing lots of dive cleanups and beach cleanups in Hong Kong. 

Why do you think this post in particular resonated so well with your audience?

Lying amongst lots of trash isn’t the typical photo you would scroll across on Instagram so that probably stood out to people. Secondly, the hashtags! I think that definitely helped. I posted around Earth Day & that probably attracted a lot of interest and attention among the eco-warriors haha. Thirdly, it’s relevant and I’ve addressed a real issue in our world. I think people do appreciate real and raw content sometimes. It was a risk I took and I’m glad the turnout was great!

What are your favourite sustainability brands?

I do really like Patagonia, it’s a very ethical brand where they do a lot to give back and stand up for our environment. I also like Ethique (a New Zealand brand), their packagings are all plastic-free, all their products are concentrated bars and use recycled paper for packaging and their ingredients are ethically sourced. 

3. Bryanna @bryanna_angel_mua

UK
Followers: <20K
Average engagement rate for #sustainability in Q2 2019: 6.95 %

What made you decide to get involved in the sustainable movement?

I fell in love with makeup quite early researching styles, trends, techniques. I’ve been working in fashion and television 18 years now and watched many designers come and go and their styles repeatedly replicated. I found it so sad that clothes were just binned even though these styles were continually being recycled. I’ve always been a person with strong morals and ethics when it comes to recycling. 

At work one day I met a stylist with a personal interest in sustainability (Emily Evans), the conversations flowed and the longing for research and change began. There was so much more to it than the vast wasting of clothes there was also the mass harmful production of high street brands using dyes, chemicals, inks etc. and how they disposed of them. It was so much bigger than I thought and more environmentally harmful than I could have imagined. Now I’m working with teams, designers and magazines to promote ethics and morals, trying to bring awareness to a wider audience.

Why do you think this post in particular resonated so well with your audience?

The story was a very powerful story based on a high amount of research and ethics. The designers were all sustainable and promoting actively. The makeup all cruelty-free and Vegan. The magazine, Vogue Italia having a personal interest in the cause also resonated well. 

What are your favourite sustainability brands?

My favourite is The Worn out project, their passion and enthusiasm are exceptional, they upcycle vintage designer wear painstakingly sourcing it then creatively decorating it. They also give all the profits to the young minds charity to help young people with emotional needs such as depression, eating disorders and self-harming to name only a few.

4. Armelle @armelleferguson

UK
Followers: <20K
Average engagement rate for #sustainability in Q2 2019: 10.02%

What made you decide to get involved in the sustainable movement?

I come from a small French Caribbean island; Guadeloupe. When I was 17, I left my family home to go and study law in Bordeaux, France. After I had my degree, I moved again, to London this time, to do a second masters degree in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion (LCF). When I was at LCF, it was also the beginning of the sustainability movement in the fashion industry, and it was becoming a very important topic.

Being a vegan, and aware of my impact on the planet, I knew that was my branch and what I was meant to do from that point. That’s how I started writing, getting training, and now I’m providing personal styling services with women with values, and sustainability consulting for small fashion businesses that want to minimise their impact and do good. I believe my Instagram profile should be a reflection of who I am and what I stand for, so I use it as a platform to do exactly that.

Why do you think this post in particular resonated so well with your audience?

I think there are still a lot of misconceptions about sustainable fashion and what it looks like. This post shows that sustainable fashion is actually stylish. I feel the outfit, together with the simplicity of the style are what made it work. It’s a very refreshing post and I feel like that’s what people saw in it.

What are your favourite sustainability brands?

In the luxury and high-end category, I’d definitely say Stella McCartney, for the very simple reason that: she started it! She started caring about ethical fashion even before it was a “thing”. In the same category, I also love Maggie Marilyn. For everyday wear, I’d say Filippa K for the basics and the “must-have” designs; Christy Dawn for the jumpsuits (I’m obsessed with jumpsuits); and People Tree because… well if you know a little bit about basics and sustainable fashion, you can’t miss People Tree.

Now let’s not forget Organic Basics for the underwear (yup! This also counts!), Studio Markovic for their use of fabric waste in accessories (and clothing), By Blanch for their shoes made of vegan leather. I think that’s a good start for a stylish sustainable wardrobe

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