On Monday evening, Bryan Gray Yambao, better known as BryanBoy, one of the most famous fashion influencers on Instagram (679,000 followers), Twitter (500,000 followers) and TikTok (2.9 million) together addresses the new generation: “Had I known what I know now, I wouldn’t have wasted all the money I spent on clothes back then. […] I should have just focused on Chanel and Hermès. So, kids, please save your money. All this is not worth it.”
Almost 40 years old, Bryan Boy, who since 2004 has been displaying his passion for fashion and his looks – often in a humorous way – no longer swears by two of the most luxurious houses in the clothing industry because, he says, his closets are bulging. of clothes he no longer wants, or even has time, to wear. He can now afford entire wardrobes from major brands if he isn’t overloaded with gifts from all kinds of brands. The vast majority of young people it targets have much less budget to buy clothes. But they dream of the same fate as him.
One of the most popular formats of TikTok, the third-favorite social network of young people aged 16 to 25 (after Instagram and Snapchat), according to several studies (1), gives many the illusion that they use it with disturbing ease. the “charge” (loot in French), which first appeared on YouTube, is some of the most viral content in TikTok territory and a caricature of what consumerism 2.0 can bring.
The principle is simple: you film yourself opening a package filled with your latest purchases, you describe what’s in the package, give your opinion about the packaging and the product itself, you test this on the same occasion. The catch can be food, devoted to toys, furniture, cosmetics and thus clothing.
In this game, fast fashion brands are largely doing well, especially Shein, a Chinese fashion giant at – very – low prices, according to an article on the site reporter† The prices are so attractive, the turnover of its products so frequent and the promotional offers so enticing, that Born in 2008 and the most visited fashion site in the world in 2021, Shein would make Zara and H&M look like turtles in the clothing trade. A parade of Shein products ensures that young people who do not have great means appear in front of the camera to be overflowing with purchases (the average price of an item on the platform is 7 euros).
On TikTok, the hashtag #SheinHaul has 4 billion views. The Chinese site benefits from a lot of viral and free publicity, and thus from a plethora of commercial spin-offs. The site also allows “ambassadors” and “ambassadors” to take advantage of discounts when they advertise its products. In category “plugged in”he invites his customers to “won[r] commissions on all referred sales simply by directing customers to Shein,” in a system he considers “win win”†
The over-consumption of clothing, which contributes greatly to the pollution of the planet, is nevertheless at the heart of young people’s concerns. Asked by reporter, Jean-Baptiste Bourgeois, head of strategy at the communication agency We are social, which specializes in social networks, underlines the paradox: “This generation is basically very committed, militant. But it is also a generation that spends money on fast fashion brands and in fact encourages rather reprehensible models. There is a tension between ecological values and the reality of the wallets of these young people, subject to the tyranny of social networks. Many young consumers don’t feel like their participation in the system is the real problem, blaming the ecommerce sites themselves — the least of the worries of a juggernaut like Shein.
(1) In particular those of the Moderator’s Blog and Diplomeo, performed on a panel of nearly 3,800 young people in recent months.
TMC will broadcast the documentary on Tuesday at 21:15 Fashion victims, what are their new codes? by Martin Weill, who is interested in the consumption habits of young people.