Building a sustainable closet or lifestyle in general can be intimidating. It takes changes in habit, new lifestyle choices, and a true passion for the life that you want to live. Changing any habit is tough, but it’s not impossible. Of course, it won’t happen overnight. But a simple step in the right direction can be as easy as detoxing your Instagram feed. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is one of the best things you can do for your personal sustainable journey, and all it takes is a few “unfollows” and some added “follows.”
Let’s just be honest, it is not always possible to surround yourself with people who believe the same things as you in real life. I learned that the hard way. While I did have friends that loved thrifting and making better choices for the environment, it was exhausting to try to explain every little life choice to some family and friends. There are some things that are worth explaining, like Rana Plaza or simple clothing washing tips. Then there are topics that I’ve researched in depth for a while that are just too much to lay on someone right away. Bottom line: in real life, I can’t be surrounded by people that are supportive and make empowering choices all the time. But I can be online.
Detoxing my social media was one of the best things that I did for my sustainable journey. The task is simple, free, and totally empowering. It’s nearly impossible to change your life when you’re scrolling through Instagram and looking at bloggers buying new shoes, sweaters, and skirts every day. Or people from high school that you no longer have anything in common with. If you’re looking for permission to delete these people from your online life and follow who you really, truly want to, this is it.
Like I mentioned before, detoxing an Instagram feed is one of the many ways to start or dive deeper into your sustainable lifestyle journey. It also happened to be the most impactful for me. There is no right or wrong way to detox your feed, but here are three simple steps to start your Instagram detox that really worked for me.
1. Slowly unfollow people that only buy fast fashion.
That blogger that’s always promoting her “super affordable” fast fashion finds? Unfollow. The friend you had in high school that spent more time at the mall than class? Gone from your feed. The people that you knew in college, but don’t have anything in common with anymore? Feed be gone. It’s that simple.
This was a big step for me. Of course, I always want to support fellow blogs that I love and friends who love fashion. But ultimately I decided that it was not helping me to see new items promoted every single day on my feed. Instead of going through my friend list and deleting everyone in one fell swoop, I waited until they popped up on my feed. If it was something that wasn’t inspiring, I’d click their profile, decide if they’re worth having on my feed, and then hit “unfollow” if they weren’t. I still do this little trick today.
Of course, I’m not saying that you have to get rid of everyone that isn’t living a sustainable life. This is your journey, and there are no rules. But you are what you constantly see, read, and think. The less time you spend looking at and being subconsciously influenced by, the easier your personal sustainability journey will be.
2. Getting rid of brands that aren’t inspiring.
Just about everyone follows some sort of brand of celebrity on Instagram. But it’s worth it to ask yourself, what are they adding to your feed? Brands and celebrities are often promoting every single thing they do. That’s a whole lot of marketing in your face and on your feed. Is the message that they’re promoting in line with your values? Do you genuinely love reading and seeing the content? These are all personal decisions that you can answer for yourself.
Of course, there are some brands and celebrities that will be in-line with your personal values. You don’t have to unfollow everyone. These are simply just suggestions to curate the feed that’s right for you. People always talk about curating photos on their own grid. But we need to think of out feed as being curated as well. You can make the rules for what you want to see. It’s also worth it to remember that most brands and celebrities have public profiles, so deleting them from the feed doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to see that content.
3. Find people to follow that inspire you.
Like I mentioned before, it was nearly impossible to surround myself with people in real life who have the same personal values as I do. It was much easier to do it online. Although it took some time and a few down-the-rabbit-hole moments, I have found a community online that I can comment back and forth with and get excited to see their content every day. Some of the people I love to follow are @the_spines, @petraalexandra, @thegreenedition, and @kate.eskuri. Not all of them have the same content as me or as each other, but I genuinely get excited when I see their posts pop up on my feed. That’s what Instagram is all about.
You can do the exact same thing with brands. I love to follow brands that I’ve bought from and even the ones that I’d love to buy someday, especially if they have an incredible message. I follow brands that don’t push me to buy “right now” but ones that are genuinely inspiring.
Now it’s time to curate your own feed. Think about the people and brands that you truly enjoying seeing on your timeline. You don’t have to follow people just because it’s your cousin or best friend’s bridesmaid or anyone for that matter. This is your personal feed to get inspired by. Think about it as your own personal vision board. It’s time that Instagram be a place of inspiring messages and positivity — and it can be if you make it that way.