Take care and be aware what you wear

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This master thesis reviews the impact of contemporary sustainable fashion campaigns on Instagram by fast fashion brands H&M, Zara, and Pull and Bear on the target group of youth aged 18 to 25. This is examined by means of literature review, a concise discourse analysis of the images and texts on Instagram and eight in-depth interviews with the target audience. Fashion in the twenty-first century is typically fast fashion, characterized by mass production, high turnover and goods designed for a short lifespan. The sustainable fashion movement arose in response to the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry. Sustainability in the fashion industry is complex because it is based on different characteristics and goals. The complexity of the textile supply chain, both in terms of the production of material goods and that of immaterial content and brand values, makes sustainability in fashion difficult to achieve. The discourse analysis shows that the three fashion brands H&M, Zara and Pull and Bear raise awareness on their websites about how they intend to become more sustainable in the coming years. However, on their Instagram page this intention is barely visible. The three fashion brands use their Instagram page mainly to promote new garments, but do not mention whether they are from their sustainable collections (the Conscious collection of H&M or the Join Life collection of Zara and Pull and Bear). Through interviews with the target group I found that young customers expect that information a fashion brand provides should be truthful, and that sustainability should not be promoted solely to boost the company’s image. According to the target group, it is important for fashion brands to be transparent and open in the production process. The target group would like to receive information concerning how to make the right choice and what to look for when buying sustainable clothes.
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