Have you heard of the ‘Sinnfluencer?’ A German term, the combination of ‘sinn’ (purpose, meaning, even spirit) and the English word ‘influencer' describes a growing phenomenon of online personas garnering a following around their commitment to social or political causes.
While these YouTubers and Instagrammers tackle an array of issues ranging from government policy and feminism to self-care, lately their focus on sustainability has attracted attention. So has their ability to act as partners for brands and retailers looking to not only reach consumers, but also help them make more sustainable choices.
Ant not without good reason: Research has shown that consumers want the help of the companies they buy with to live more environmentally friendly lives, looking to them as a resource. Could this be the next frontier for brands and retailers looking to encourage sustainable and otherwise ethical consumption beyond circular practices and add-ons, and instead actually influencing the mindsets and everyday behavior of consumers?
Time will tell, and PSFK will continue to track. Already, YouTubers like Annie Jaffrey and Niomi Smart have cultivated and sustained massive followings, and feature as well as partner with smaller, up-and-coming and eco-friendly makers, which gives the latter exposure while also leading by example for their young viewers worldwide—yet doing so in channels that were originally established around topics like beauty and fashion. Considering these online presences (as well as more strictly eco-focused ones like Greta Thunberg and glacier996girl), It seems there's some major potential for wide-ranging eco-influence and beyond from the guru guides people are already watching.