Are influencers terrible for the planet?

Behind that very strong statement is hiding a complex reality, with no binary answers. Influencers play a huge role nowadays on how we perceive brands, and even how we perceive the world. Especially with the younger generations, where some influencers are more famous than our prime minister.

Influencers, by advertising for brands, become their ambassadors. This mutual relationship helps brands attach their image to values that an ambassador carries. Yet, with this monetary exchange, we can wonder if influencers genuinely promote brands that reflect the right values, or if it’s a biassed exchange right from the start. Influencers become public personalities, with a massive audience that is looking up to them. They set trends and often a social norm, while displaying a perfectly marketed image of their lives, and are highly regarded by many. And they embark a whole generation with them on this journey.

Unfortunately, a majority of them promote a lifestyle that isn’t sustainable for our planet. It promotes the idea of overconsumption as a way of life, where things and products become our identity, as avid consumers, rather than educated citizens, where identity revolves around who we are as human beings. And of course, not only is it a lifestyle and a model that is destructive for the planet, and not aligned with climate change goals, but also destructive for people and workers, somewhere along the supply chain.

At Thuja, that’s everything we fight against. We thrive for a sustainable model, where workers and nature, our environment, are cared for and respected. We want people to buy a lot less, only what they need, from brands that encompass all these values.

We believe that influencers, but also people that follow them, have a collective responsibility. Is a giveaway for 2000 $ worth of sneakers, 6 different types of coolers, or a weekend to Dubai or Cancun for a music festival, really aligned with our values ?

Yet, is influencing necessary all bad, and bad for the planet? Should every influencer be painted with the same brush? We don’t believe so.

It’s in the name. Influencing. Influencing is neutral, it can be done in many ways. Questioning this model is healthy, but it’s important to come up with positive examples, and solutions. Many influencers use their status and audience to promote great values. Some are only ambassadors of brands that are sustainable and ethical. Some educate their audience around science, climate change, nature conservation, BIPOC representation, indigenous knowledge, and have a positive impact on the world we live in. Among many, here is a few examples of who we love at Thuja : Nerdy about nature, Mya Antone, The_rogue_essential, Tj Watt, [Jenise, insert of few influencers you could think of, that promotes different things] And these are the people we want to work with at Thuja. Educate our audience on what really matters.

Influencing is not necessarily all bad, but more than that, we will need everyone on board to tackle climate change and live in a fair and sustainable world. We believe in influencer’s responsibility around the brands they promote. We believe in a code of conduct, and values that they should carry. We will thrive for that in the future. Being part of global initiative for a better model of influence for the planet.

With kindness and an open mind, we can ask them to shift their influence to better brands. And we want you to take an active part in that. By following the right people. By calling out the ones promoting greenwashing. By suggesting to us the one you really love. By being part of a initiative for better influencers.

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