Instagram was created in October 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Who knew these two would create a social media platform that would ultimately have a stake in our economy all to one day resign from the positions as co-founders? Well when they start Instagram didn’t have algorithms in play and all you could post were photos. No videos, no paid promotions, and no influencers. Look how far the app has come.
Instagram, now a behemoth with millions of user daily and thousands of businesses, has become saturated with accounts that are created everyday, all fighting for one commodity, our attention. Today brands that are the most disruptive on Instagram have influence and influence is somehow correlated to money?? So what was once an innocent platform used for discovery has now become a source of tension and concern surrounding fast-fashion and dystopia in the fashion industry. Fashion is still another form of expression, craftsmanship and culture, but Instagram has played a large role in fueling the fast fashion epidemic.
Instagram helped give small businesses a virtual store front, fulfilling the need for a direct-to-consumer platform by adding the feature that links the instagram post to a page to purchase the product. Removing all the obstacles and allowing these brands to interact directly with their followers really made the Instagram a competitor. With stake in the market, the fashion industry swelled and so did the demand. As people expected more from brands, consumer were split between big and small businesses, ultimately leading to what have now which is a surplus of unworn, unused, and never purchased clothing. Thank you capitalism.
With a shift in focus, consumer seeking purpose driven brands are actually combating fast fashion. But what hasn’t helped are large corporations, like H&M, that need the products to fill their racks. So what’s popular for the moment soon becomes obselte and hopefully recycled. So is it the fear of missing out (FOMO) that makes fashion somewhat problematic and or has Instagram exposed us for who we are as wasteful beings?
To stop fast fashion there needs to be tighter restrictions and regulations in place to stop the over production of products. It also should be called into question whether it’s a good practice of creating two large of a supply regardless of the demand. What is true is that if you’re starting a brand and don’t know want to fall prey to the toxic cycle of fast fashion, be willing to move on demand and stick to smaller batches.