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How Influencers are Making an Impact on Sustainability

21 February 2024 6 MIN READ
We take a deeper look at what sustainability influencers are and how they are making an impact for brands.

Sustainability can be a scary word, especially when it relates to your brand. It has become such an important topic within day-to-day life now and with the rise of sustainability influencers, activists and voices, there is no better time to get on board. 
When a brand has a clear vision of what they want to say in regards to being green, and more importantly they have the data and evidence to back it up, then the logical next step is to shout about it. According to a recent study, nearly two-thirds (61%) of UK consumers feel sustainability is more important to them than it was two years ago. So if your brand aligns with these values, consumers will want to know about it, and that’s where influencers promoting sustainability come in.

What is a Sustainable Influencer?

A sustainable influencer is someone with a presence on social media who uses their platform to speak about social causes, promote awareness and have real discussions with their followers on the environment and ways we can help it. This could be in the form of posting about their physical activism, choosing only to work with sustainable brands or creating content that educates on sustainability.

Brand Using Sustainability Influencers

Harnessing the power of influencers has allowed the message of sustainability to spread far and wide, resonating with audiences and creating a ripple effect of conscious buying. Perhaps the strongest example of this is Love Island switching sponsors from a fast fashion brand to the pre-love fashion platform eBay. The campaign saw searches for eBay’s key product category jump by over 1,400%. The aim was to raise brand awareness, drive the growth of its fashion category, and promote consideration of eBay as the home of fashion, which it has clearly achieved. 

This move also saw stars from the show move away from traditional fashion partnerships to more sustainable collaborations, such as season 8’s Indiyah Polack choosing Pretty Little Thing Marketplace as her major ambassadorship when she left the villa. Second-hand platforms are no strangers to influencer marketing, Disrupt probably has the best case study of all through our work with Vinted. Working with 100s of creators over the last few years, the brand has seen substantial brand awareness growth, partnering with the likes of Venetia La Manna to talk about their Climate Impact Report and Jordan Bunker to promote slow fashion.  

It doesn’t stop there, airline Wizz Air, a Disrupt client, has the youngest fleet of aircraft in the UK, fully recycled leather seats and one of the lowest emission intensity rates in the European aviation industry. We’ve partnered with creators such as Gardiner Brothers and Howey Don on some really cool content to bring awareness to this. 

Top Sustainability Influencers

There are some major names in the sustainability influencers space, all doing incredible things and making change. Some creators particularly enjoy are: 

Emma Slade Edmondson, Sustainability & Behaviour Change Consultant with 22,500 followers, working with brands such as Now TV and Save Your Wardrobe.

The Benefits of Brands Getting Behind Sustainability

Enhance Brand Reputation

Collaborating with sustainable influencers aligns your brand with eco-conscious values, reinforcing your commitment to environmental responsibility and enhancing your brand reputation. If your brand is serious about its sustainability mission (if it has one), then it’s a no-brainer. This is key though, your brand actually has to have sustainable advantages otherwise influencers in this space won’t take you seriously, they are very particular about the brands they work with and need to align with their missions. 30% of consumers are less likely to stop buying if a brand is found guilty of greenwashing so you need to be honest about what you represent. 

Improve Financial Performance

Partnering with sustainable creators not only aligns your brand with environmental values but also offers financial advantages. Consumers are increasingly drawn to sustainable products, and collaborating with such creators can enhance brand perception and attract more conscious consumers. 79% of global respondents in a recent survey stated they were very likely to choose a particular retailer if they offered a wider assortment of sustainable options in-store.

 Reach New Audiences

With the rise of conscious consumerism, sustainable brands can open doors to new markets and demographics that prioritise eco-friendly choices, driving sales and revenue growth. You might think your brand is only for 50+ males in affluent jobs, but once you open that sustainability door, you could find that all demographics are now interested due to the values you are putting out into the world through sustainability influencers. 

Promote Sustainable Offerings

In the fashion sector, where sustainability is gaining traction, collaborating with sustainable brands positions influencers and companies at the forefront of change, ensuring long-term relevance and resilience in a rapidly evolving industry. While it’s not always feasible for the average consumer to only buy from sustainable brands in many cases, there are higher price tags due to ethical sourcing, premium materials, limited production, and eco-friendly practices. There are ways around this, such as the pre-loved platforms, highlighting small ways in which your brand is sustainable and showcasing it as a small step for change.

Showcase Ethical Brand Values

One of the biggest buzzwords in influencer marketing is authenticity and integrating sustainability into campaigns cultivates that authenticity massively. Fostering stronger connections between brands and influencers with eco-conscious consumers shows they are listening to what their customers want and they see the type of person and shoppers they are. It makes the brand more personal and gives it that human touch, showing the values and ethics are shared between the brand and consumer.

Through sustainability influencer marketing, we can help positively impact the climate AND financial crisis by elevating awareness of environmental issues, promoting sustainable buying through the brands who work with influencers, and de-influencing spurred by the need for sustainability in buying.

How Sustainability is Changing Creator Content

All of this change is at the forefront of how influencer marketing will be in future. At Disrupt we’ve talked about how the more polished influencers are becoming a thing of the past with ‘creators stepping into the spotlights as more audiences seek authentic and engaging content. We don’t want to see the things we can’t have, we want people to relate to, and people talking about actual issues in the world is the tip of the iceberg.

These creators have access to thousands of people who hang onto their every word, imagine what could be done if they use that platform for good and to create change. There is and will continue to be a new wave of influencers who are not only activists day to day, but curated content creators who enjoy making things that inform and educate people. 

There is a lot to discover about influencers promoting sustainability and hopefully, we’ve been able to give you some insight into how your brand should start. For further info and help with your next sustainable influencer marketing campaign, get in touch through our website or socials. 

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