Social media influencers’ impact on consumers’ sustainable fashion consumption: A qualitative study on post-millennial consumers
The continuous growth of sustainability awareness is shaping the consumption patterns of modern consumers. However, the fashion industry is facing challenges regarding the adaptation towards more sustainable practices due to consumers’ demand for fast-paced fashion cycles. This could be related to consumers being more influenced by social aspects, in comparison to sustainability aspects, when consuming fashion. Furthermore, social media influencers, operating on digital platforms, have proven to be distinct drivers of social aspects such as trends and norms. This suggests that influencers are in position to shape fashion consumption among consumers, which could provide the opportunity to influence a more sustainable consumption behavior. This study investigates the two fields of influencer marketing and sustainable consumption and aims to develop a deeper understanding of how consumers' sustainable consumption behavior can be affected by the use of influencer marketing. This study undertook a qualitative research approach by focusing on the post-millennial generation from a consumer perspective. Five focus groups were conducted with a total of 28 respondents. The findings showed that social media influencers could be seen as a complex driver of post-millennials’ sustainable fashion consumption. Four themes were identified being knowledge, social influence, responsibility and credibility, which contributes to an understanding of influencers’ role in affecting sustainable fashion consumption behavior. This research provides valuable insights of a relatively unexplored subject which is arguably relevant for businesses, social media influencers and the society.
MSc in Marketing and Consumption