TikTok’s ‘EcoTok’ Spawns Fashion’s Next-gen Creatives

TikTok has not lost its footing amid fashion’s drive for social influence, and in fact, a new guard of sustainable fashion creators is taking the wheel.

Welcome to the corner of TikTok called “EcoTok,” where creators’ content spans climate change education, thrifting flips, do-it-yourself fashion (like the making of a sustainable Met Gala dress in 24 hours) and demystified looks at overconsumption, supply chain nuance and recycling rabbit holes. Here, a look at three of TikTok’s rising stars in the sustainable fashion space.

More from WWD

First up is Augustina Panzoni. As a futurist and fashion trend researcher, Panzoni lends her talents to Depop as the official trend spokesperson and category manager for women’s fashion. After only a short time on TikTok, she gained a cult following for her forecasting videos where she has a community surpassing 250,000 followers.

Augustina Panzoni, 26, futurist and fashion trend researcher.  hethealgorythm - Credit: Courtesy

Augustina Panzoni, 26, futurist and fashion trend researcher. hethealgorythm – Credit: Courtesy

Courtesy

WWD: How did you venture onto TikTok?

Augustina Panzoni: In 2019, I lost my dream job due to a Visa delay. I used to work for a trend forecasting agency [WGSN] doing trend research for its consultancy team. I got my papers back right at the beginning of the pandemic. At that time, finding any job was difficult, especially getting back to trend forecasting (an industry already known for being hard to get into).

Noticing TikTok’s rise as a leading platform, I decided to start my account: hethealgorythm. The goal was to put out a few trend reports, grow a small but mighty following (10,000 was my target) and use my TikTok as a résumé builder. Within a month, I had 10,000 followers. To celebrate I created a TikTok introducing myself and my story. My account grew to 100,000 followers overnight!

WWD: Do you consider yourself a sustainable creator? Why or why not?

AP: When you share trend forecast reports with consumers, you are propelling new consumption. When I started my account I told myself I was democratizing access to trend forecasts to small brands, but after a while I realized that a larger audience than just small brand owners were watching my reports. First, I pivoted from trend forecasting – which I now do internally for the secondhand marketplace [Depop] I work for – toward trend reporting; aka talking about what’s already here. Then I moved from talking about trends to talking about shifts in fashion: the rise of modularity, clothes for compost, mending. I’ve also put out a few videos aiming to extend the life of “trends” by challenging the concept of trends altogether. Am I a sustainable creator? It’s a work-in-progress, but I try to push myself more in that direction every day. This is my hope for the future of wardrobes.

WWD: What TikTok trends are you into right now?

AP: Not a trend, but I can not resist a thrift flip DIY! I love that TikTok has provided a platform for individuals to share their creations and inspire others to do the same. I definitely bought my sewing machine due to influence from the upcycling community on TikTok. Am I good at using it? Once again, it’s a work-in-progress!

Taylor Bright, 25, sustainable creator.  ustsustainablecherub - Credit: Courtesy

Taylor Bright, 25, sustainable creator. ustsustainablecherub – Credit: Courtesy

Courtesy

With a following of 140,000 on TikTok and millions of likes, Taylor Bright – or “sustainable cherub” as her handle reveals – is squarely bent on making sustainability awareness grow to the masses. But this mission does not have to be overly complicated.

WWD: Why do you make videos? What do you hope people get from them?

TB: I honestly felt like my friends and family were growing weary of my sustainability lectures! I’m constantly reading and learning new things about what’s going on, and I love that TikTok has given me a place to educate others. I hope my audience is becoming more inspired to start learning about sustainable fashion. It’s not about becoming sustainable quickly, it’s about learning and using that knowledge to make educated decisions and purchases in the future.

WWD: What is on your thrift list, aka, what are you hunting for and where?

TB: I’m actually on a shopping hiatus. I stopped shopping last year and think I’ve only purchased shoes this year. I’m really loving how shopping platforms are so big right now! Etsy has some good shoes I’ve been keeping my eyes on.

WWD: What brands would be a dream collaboration?

TB: One of my favorite designers is Vivienne Westwood. I love how she does climate talks and has maintained her rebel punk aesthetic. She has such a true brand image that has stayed strong her entire career and it would be a dream to do anything with her, or Andreas.

Kai McPhee, 19, content creator.  @ knawt.kai - Credit: Courtesy

Kai McPhee, 19, content creator. @ knawt.kai – Credit: Courtesy

Courtesy

Kai McPhee is a content creator with some 250,000 TikTok followers engrossed in the latest fit or sewing tutorial. For McPhee, inspiration is literally everywhere.

WWD: Do you consider yourself a sustainable creator? Why or why not?

Kai McPhee: Definitely! Sewing is a main topic on my page. When I joined TikTok, I saw a lot of clothes that I wanted but couldn’t afford. I decided to just begin making my own. Ninety percent of my fabric I use when creating is either secondhand or thrifted.

I make videos because I like showcasing my creativity. When people see my videos, I hope they get inspired. I try to show my followers that you don’t need to be rich to dress how you want. Be resourceful and do what you can to get to where you want to be. Also, I hope that I may inspire someone’s next outfit or project! Inspiration comes from everywhere and I don’t mind being someone’s inspiration.

WWD: What inspires you about life, in general?

KM: That is a deep question. I would say the creatives who came before me? I really do like seeing people older than me living their dreams because I know I’m going to get to that level one day. I do recognize, though, that everyone does things differently. So the path they took to get to their success might be totally different from mine.

WWD: What brands would be a dream collaboration?

KM: I would love to work with Telfar – they’re at the top of my list. I also want to work with Pyer Moss. I love his whole brand.

WWD: Anything else to add?

KM: I suggest everyone get a sewing machine. I have a Singer heavy duty and it’s perfect for beginners! I also make sewing tutorials on my YouTube channel knawtkai.

Sign up for WWD’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button
MONTAGNEDISTRIBUTION