Erica Stolman Dowdy, or @fashionlush on Instagram, gracefully shared her honest thoughts on sustainability and slow fashion through the eyes of an influencer.
The fashion lifestyle blogger and co-founder of FashionKush has amounted a high following on multiple social media accounts, making her consumption choices more calculated, as she holds a high level of influence.
She touches on her relationship to fast fashion in her time of being an influencer:
"Unfortunately, I wouldn't be blogging or doing what I am doing today in this business without the existence of fast fashion. When I was younger, all I could afford was Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. Working with those brands opened the door for me to work in this field. But it's interesting, because now, I just received a PR box from Shein in the mail, and the clothes are cute, but I don't want to promote them. I am a fashion blogger, so many brands inquire me to work with them through my agency. But I don't really feel inclined to tag a fast fashion brand that sends me things if its unpaid. I can choose to wear or not wear what I get, but I'm not going to send my followers to Shein. I'm just not."
Erica uses her platform to be real with her followers often about the ethical disparities behind major brands:
"I posted something recently bringing awareness to brands similar to Nike, that don't have good practices or labor laws. I know I can't win them all, but I can still use my platform for what I think is right. From the influencer's perspective, you want to influence good and influence responsibly."
She relates fast fashion to accessible fashion, which is the one thing she wishes could be more common in sustainable brands:
Her industry may not offer her the option to be fully sustainable, but she makes an effort to educate herself and her followers:
"I'm not fully sustainable, it's impossible for me in my work, but I can learn more. I can look for websites that have sustainable pages, or styling something I already own. I mean, why am I going to purchase it if I'm only going to wear it once? I want to start thinking like that."
Present Iteration celebrates Erica as a powerful influence to the sustainable community - as her honest thoughts are extremely relatable to the confused consumers who are new to sustainable fashion.
Support @fashionlush by checking out her cannabis chic products on www.fashionkush.com or on Instagram, @fashionkush.
*transcribed by J.N.