A lot of us are trying to do our bit to make the clothes we wear more sustainable, and social media influencers are certainly no exception. We've selected some of our favourite Instagrammers who are known for championing vintage and second hand pieces over new, as well as promoting and supporting organisations with an ethical approach to fashion.
1. Emma Slade Edmonson | @emsladedmonson
Based in London, Emma Slade Edmonson is a self-styled sustainable fashionista, known for her pre-loved and charity shop finds. With a background in retail, marketing and branding, she has built up a following of 22.5k and has even been included on the Forbes 100 Environmentalist list. Emma also founded Charity Fashion Live – an organisation that reimagines London Fashion Week looks in real-time with second-hand clothing.
2. Carry Somers | @carrysomers
Carry Somers is the founder of Fashion Revolution, the world’s largest fashion activism movement. In 2019, she was selected from a pool of 10,000 applicants to take part in eXXpedition Round the World – a two-year expedition around the world to raise awareness of the negative health and environmental impacts of single-use plastics.
3. Tolly Dolly Posh | @tolmeia
At just 19, Tolly Dolly Posh has proved to be an important part of the sustainability movement. She is quoted as saying “To all the leaders; to all the politicians; to all the CEOs, stop feeling proud of youth activists. Start looking at us and feeling a sense of shame”.
4. Aditi Mayer | @aditimayer
Aditi describes her mission as “decolonizing style, sustainability and social justice”. She serves on the council of Intersectional Environmentalist and State of Fashion. Aditi will be spending 2022 as a National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow, spending one year documenting the social and environmental impacts of India’s fashion supply chain.
5. Dominique Drakeford | @dominiquedrakeford
The founder of @melaninass and @sustainablebk, Dominique's cause is rooted in the importance of bringing sustainability to the forefront of underrepresented communities. With a background in youth development and adventure-based outdoor education and recreation, Dominique considers herself a non-traditional environmental educator. In her own words, "Fashion is my entry point - my entire lifestyle stimulates a mosaic of reaffirmed sustainability standards."
6. Aja Barber | @ajabarber
American-born, London-based Aja Barber advocates for self-styled second-hand finds, as well as tips on how to rework and repurpose the same item of clothing. With a following of almost 240,000, Aja raises awareness about fast-fashion, as well as sharing the hashtag #IGaveUpFastFashionBecause. On the subject of second-hand clothing, Aja said “I hate that people ask me how I can afford this clothing and assume that I’m rich or well off because I like nice things. I’ve been acquiring these pieces for years and years. They were hunted, hard fought and won, each one with its own unique story.”
7. Kara | @theflippside
San Francisco-based Kara advocates for and encourages second-hand clothing, and her feed is a colourful celebration of textures, patterns and styles. She recently launched @theflippsidestyles which aims to showcase ethical fashion styling. “Shopping secondhand is wonderful and financially probably more responsible for most of us. It also allows me to save for high quality, ethical and season-less items that I know I won’t give up on.”
8. Kim Seidensticker | @kimseidensticker
Kim is a big sustainable fashion advocate, and also encourages clean beauty and low/zero waste living. Her inspiring versatile style is an eclectic mix of sustainable brands and pre-loved items. On avoiding fast fashion garments, Kim advises "Ignore trends by avoiding places where you might see language like ‘trendy,’ ‘on-trend,’ ‘the latest trends,’ ‘trend forecasting,’ etc."
9. Tyler Chanel | @thriftsandtangles
Tyler is known for her natural hair blogging and thrift store finds. Her blog Thrifts and Tangles has been running since 2012 and Tyler describes it as "A way to share my hair journey and my thrifted outfits. Over the years, this blog has transformed into a space to inspire women to give secondhand shopping, sustainability, and their natural selves a chance." She also co-created The Orange Collab podcast which gives business advice to WOC looking to enter into entrepeneurship.
10. Venetia LaManna | @venetialamanna
Venetia is a broadcaster and ethical fashion campaigner. She also co-founded Remember Who Made Them, an organisation that works to amplify the voices of garment workers, who are predominantly women and girls of colour. Venetia is passionate about the importance of slowing down fashion, and focussing on the people who make our clothes - especially their lives, their treatment, their payment, and their justice.