With the climate crisis progressing, it’s no wonder why influencers today are opting to go down the eco-conscious and sustainability route. However, can a ‘sustainable influencer‘ really exist? Or is the term just paradoxical? Can the two contradictory words go hand in hand together?
Short answer: it depends.
Firstly, it’s dependent on what we mean by the very term influencer; there’s the Oxford dictionary definition with regards to marketing – ‘a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media’ – or there’s the broader sense of the word (simply a person that influences another). Let’s say we mean the first use of the term ‘influencer’ (which is perhaps the most used with regards to social media). If the influencer is advertising countless products, regardless of how ethical and sustainable the products being promoted may be, the very process of advertising feeds into consumerist culture – which, of course, contradicts the ethics behind sustainable living. However, if an influencer is recommending sustainable alternatives to less sustainable products that you already use, this is a positive thing as you would be buying that product anyway (the only difference is that you’re saving on harmful materials). In this sense, with sustainable product promotion and advocating a clear message of avoiding unnecessary extra consumption, sustainable influencing works and delivers a positive environmental impact.
Here are some sustainability influencers and Instagram platforms (with a positive impact!) to follow: