In comparison to May, overall mentions (including shares) increased by 482% in June.
What we’ve seen over the last month is a relatively small number of messages (shown in the first chart) that have sparked a huge amount of interest (represented in the second).
People have become more aggressive when demanding change, provoked by a 97% increase in media reports on fast fashion in June in comparison to May. These stories referenced sweatshops producing clothes for some of the largest fast fashion brands in the world and orders being left unpaid by corporations, according to BuzzSumo.
Those driving the conversation during lockdown weren’t all influencers in the traditional sense. One account, run by a hair stylist with a few thousand followers, was able to reach millions of people with their critical take on fast fashion.
It’s important to note that there’s no single issue at work here. Conversation from March to June stretched across:
- The exploitation of workers – 55k mentions
- A lack of pay and unpaid wages – 39k mentions
- Sustainability – 35k mentions
- The disproportionate effect on women – 14k mentions
- Corporate bonuses while orders were unpaid – 5k mentions
What does it all mean?
Online fast fashion brands may have been quick to adapt to the pandemic (and to any other trend that’s come their way in recent years). They may even have found more success than they expected in what has, for many businesses, been a terrible few months.
But the issues with fast fashion are becoming a bigger and bigger part of online conversation and public consciousness. In a world where key workers are heroes and concern for the environment remains high, no kind of exploitation will go unnoticed or uncalled out.
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Brandwatch Response Team