Fast fashion and influencers: social media made me buy it!

As Black Friday is approaching and has increased in popularity in The Netherlands, I thought it would be interesting to write about the impact of social media influencers on our consumer behaviour. When I open any social media app on my phone I do not only see my friends and some adds passing through, but I also see influencers continuously buying and receiving products and promoting these. The same happens when going on YouTube, I will see loads of vloggers showing off all the products they have spent their money on, and no we are not talking about small amounts. Has social media ever made you buy something?

I will admit: yes, social media has made me buy probably more than I have ever wanted to. Especially when I was a teen, I would look up towards social media influencers and wanted to be like them. Even now, when searching for clothing hauls online you will be spammed with tons of videos of people trying out all kinds of clothing and brands. I personally do not buy certain products without watching a review video about it first.

Screenshot of YouTube video

Social media, fast fashion and the ethical

For brands product promotion via social media is of course very beneficial: it promotes your brand and goods, influencers can leave positive comments which will reach tons of people and giving influencers affiliate links to give discounts to their followers will make viewers more likely to buy your products. However, at the same time it also has its less ethical consequences. Influencers easily spend up to hundreds, if not thousands, of money on online products, which might not even get used after a video is recorded. Also, large (clothing) hauls from brands that are known to have little care for ethical and sustainable production are being promoted as well. Think about the thousands of people watching clothing hauls from Primark, Wish or Shein. No care at all is being spend on how such products are produced. When I was younger I would watch videos of youtubers showing off all their clothes and make-up, making me think I had to buy more! It seems pretty logic here that social media contributes to consumerism. Nevertheless, by the time your package has arrived, your favourite influencers is already sharing a new product or brand.  

Green influencers

A new type of influencers appears to be arising, let me introduce you to the green influencer. The green influencer is someone who raises awareness about climate change, gives out tips for being more eco-friendly and promotes products that fit their “green” lifestyle. This type of influencer does not care so much about product promotion, but rather educate their viewers about their personal environmental impact and aim to make a change. Nonetheless, this new influencer is still on the rise and probably mainly followed by an already environmentally aware group of people. Do you think that the green influencer could be the next thing?

We can ask ourselves why we care so much about what an influencer does and has to say. Despite wanting to be like an infuencer as a teen, I feel pretty confident saying I do not really care about online product promotion anymore. Did social media ever made you buy something or are you not that easily influenced?


How Does Social Media Influence Consumer Behavior? – Clootrack

Fast-Fashion Influencers and their Environmental Impact – One Green Planet

The ‘green influencers’ targeting the TikTok generation | Environmental activism | The Guardian