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What do de-influencers really do?

November 15, 2023 Margaret Montgomery
What do de-influencers really do?

Wang started her content creator side hustle as a creative outlet when she was a pharmacy student. She posted her OOTD (outfits of the day) snaps on Instagram in 2015. Over time, her approach evolved—and she went viral after posting videos that exposed poor quality materials for a high price tag at popular retail stores. 

What is de-influencing?

De-influencing is a social media trend where influencers recommend what viewers should not buy, or debunk popular products. The trend has gained traction, and it makes sense, given that Canadians are dealing with stubborn inflation, leading to climbing prices for consumer goods, and a higher cost of living. Many of us are on the hunt for value. Wang, for instance, visits retail stores and points out certain items and materials that she advises people not to buy because of their quality or value for money. Read more about 2023 shopping trends

“I never planned for or wanted to make content creation my full-time career and I still feel that way,” she says. “The reason being, as a full time content creator or influencer; you’re at the mercy of companies who are writing your paycheque. I like the freedom of being able to be truthful and sometimes critical of retailers without worrying about if they would want to work with me in the future.”

You might wonder if this method means she might not strike as many deals as an influencer, but she says she is able to bring in substantial income from her side hustle. Wang says her social media earnings come from sponsored content and advertising revenue on YouTube.

Her goal as a content creator isn’t just to make extra money, though. “Fighting textile pollution caused by fast fashion is a passion of mine and definitely something my content revolves around,” Wang says. “Most environmentalists use guilt as a tactic to stop people from buying fast fashion but this doesn’t work. If guilt-tripping people worked, we would all be vegans.” Instead of guilt-tripping, she strives to show people to skip fast fashion if possible, or at least buy better quality items. She demonstrates that buying garments with better quality can lead to longer-term savings, since she shows in her videos that high-quality items with certain materials have lasted her several years and several wears. 

“I know that fast fashion is the only option for some, but there are ways to shop fast fashion more sustainably. My hope is for viewers to apply what they’ve learned regardless where they’re shopping.”

To find out more about Wang’s shopping tips and tricks, and her personal finance lessons, we asked her about what she does as a de-influencer. 

What’s your best shopping tip? 

Almost every day, I remind Canadians that a brand name does not always equal good quality. Most people don’t realize that. A lot of Canadians spend their hard-earned money on poor-quality items just because it’s a brand name. Just like we pay attention to the ingredients in our food, we should look at the materials and construction of our clothes instead of relying on brand name to tell us if something is good quality. 

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