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How TikTok Became The Biggest Social Platform For Sustainable Fashion

The Social Media Titan Has Been A Prominent Voice In Advocating for Sustainable Fashion

By Courtney Raymond

With 689 million active users worldwide, the video-sharing social networking service, TikTok, has proven it has staying power. Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has amassed a fanatic following, especially with younger crowds like Gen-Z. As the most downloaded app in Apple’s iOS store, TikTok is reaching people from across the globe and not just those in search of entertainment. One emerging trend among TikTok users is promoting sustainable fashion and activism. 

Gen-Zers in particular have taken to the platform to share their passion for secondhand shopping and ‘thrift flipping’ - the act of upcycling used fabrics and clothing into new, unique garments. Content creators use 15 to 60-second clips, designed to keep viewers interested and engaged, to share the message that sustainable fashion matters.

TikTok has become a meeting ground for Gen-Zers interested in forgoing fast fashion for more sustainable options. The hashtag #sustainablefashion has more than 760 million video views alone, while #upcycling and #vintage have a combined 8 billion. Videos showing thrifting hauls and tutorials for repurposing clothes are spreading like wildfire among the app’s mostly Gen-Z user base. 

This movement is also creating awareness among those who aren’t currently consuming sustainable fashion. The educational videos inspire users to hunt for additional ways to make fashion purchases with a more eco-friendly attitude. That, combined with content creators going viral for sharing secondhand scores and upcycling tips, is proving TikTok is inspiring younger generations to embrace environmentally friendly clothing.

TikTok has also become a place where sustainable fashion brands are able to connect with and appeal to Gen-Z. Vintage Restock Reserve (VSR), which revives old clothing through custom dyeing, sewing and reworking, has built a following of more than 1.9 million with its eco-fashion focused videos.

Founded by two members born to Generation Z, VSR uses TikTok to show people how they can reduce unnecessary clothing waste while making it fun. Gen-Zer Taylor Bright, known as @sustainablecherub on TikTok, uses her clout to educate on fashion and sustainable living. Videos such as “We Don’t Need Fast Fashion” and “It Rains Plastic” have garnered more than 63,000 combined views. Both VSR and Bright are examples of Gen-Zers inspiring their peers to embrace sustainable fashion and activism through TikTok.

TikTok is full of quickly digestible content and users competing for their 15 to 60 seconds of fame, but somewhere in between are environmental pioneers looking to make a difference. Gen-Z is using the platform to transform the way younger people perceive fashion and its global impact. As sustainable fashion and environmentally conscious brands gain more and more traction, TikTok has demonstrated it’s going along for the ride.

At D.O.B, we are committed to discovering and sharing brands who are sustainable, inclusive and local.


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