With their razor-sharp observations and ability to disarm us through humor, memes are an effective way to raise awareness of serious issues. Just look at how important they've been in destigmatizing mental health issues and furthering the feminist cause. Now, they're being used to take on the scourge of fast-fashion and promote ethical and sustainable alternatives.
@SlowFashionMemes has been posting on Instagram since January and has about 700 followers so far — but it deserves many more. Its bio promises "organic, certified fair trade memes manufactured from natural fiber w/ living wage distributed transparently to ur feed faster than u can say Primark," and the posts follow in much of the same sardonic vein, using sarcasm and highly relatable memes to take down everything from unethical diamonds and nylon and polyester garments to plastic bags and toothbrushes.
The account was created by 23-year-old Fifi, a sustainable fashion student at University of the Arts London, who is a passionate believer in sustainable, ethical fashion. She told Refinery29 she wanted to "appreciate the irony of the slow living movement in this day and age, because it’s so hard to do anything 100% consciously."
"It’s fun to approach these matters in a positive way, and I hope other people enjoy the memes and can relate to them," she commented, saying she hopes sustainable and ethical fashion is one day "as big as the vegan and organic movements." The ethical fashion community is "still so niche, and not many people would read a blog post or article about slow fashion or conscious consumerism unless they were already involved." But the trick to creating successful memes that a wider audience cares about "is probably keeping it simple but also versatile, to acknowledge as many communities as possible, so that we can get more people involved," she says.