Behind the Green Claims: A Critical Discourse Theory Approach - A study of the critical discourses derived from fashion brands green social media marketing
In today’s society, social media is an inflated part of marketing within the fashion industry and has become a part of green marketing for many brands, enabling consumers to communicate directly with them. Here, discourses within media texts are created as a result of such marketing practices and consumer interactions adherently possibly change the meaning of the green statements and consequently, the social image of such brands. Thus, our purpose is to explore and illustrate the critical discursive practices performed by consumers on social media posts of fashion brands in connection to green marketing. From the platform Instagram, we analyse the discursive practices in their social media context as well as their connection to a wider societal perspective of governing and responsibilisation. In order to contribute to the discussion of consumer discourses on Instagram, we include four different fashion brands (Arket, Filippa K, Fjällräven and Kappahl) and inspect their green marketing posts uploaded between January 2017 and February 2020. Further, we use a hermeneutic interpretation method by Palmer (1969) in order to analyse the material. Through the perspective of critical consumer discourses, we argue for the presence of four main critical discourses within green social media marketing and their influence on fashion brands, namely (1) Requesting, (2) Greenwash accusing, (3) Seeking economic justification and (4) Impugning. We conclude that these four consumer discursive practices can have an impact on a broader societal context of consumer governing and influence on brands, as well as affecting marketing practices.
MSc in Marketing and Consumption