‘Deinfluencer’ phenomenon, the response that opposes mass marketing

Among the best known on social media are Derek Guy and Tanner Leatherstein but growing trends

He is the exact opposite of the influencer and, rather than riding the trends, he challenges current trends to promote more sustainable and ethical consumption. It is the phenomenon of the deinfluencer, a category of digital content creators that is gaining ground in response to the more well-known influencers and which, instead of sponsoring products, criticizes them and questions the impact they can generate on consumers’ purchasing behaviour.

There is certainly one of the best known and emerging deinfluencers Derek Guy, also known as “the menswear guy” on one that could cost up to 5,000. Guy obviously points out that there are large differences in terms of quality (softness, elasticity, yarn length, longevity) between the two garments, but analyzes their impacts on the environment and animal welfare by comparing them with fast fashion.

Derek Guy seems to embody in all respects the phenomenon of deinfluencers, a consequence of the culture of influencers who on social media tell their followers what not to buy, reject current trends and unbridled consumerism or the laws imposed by mass marketing. In fact, they often start their posts and reels with the question ‘Is it really worth it?’.

Another example is that of Tanner Leatherstein, who went viral on Instagram and TikTok using his skills as a craftsman and his knowledge of leather to dismantle handbags worth thousands of euros, ultimately declaring their real value. In the videos he publishes he uses cutters, solvents, scissors and files to destroy and dissect every single component of the objects in question, asking consumers if the product is really worth the amount requested by the luxury brand in question.

The phenomenon of the deinfluencer is not new to the world of social media but it emerged as a trend about a year ago. Also Andrea Cheong, a deinfluencer with over 390,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok, shows in stores how to read labels on stitching, linings and materials. Even Guy himself tries to discourage reckless consumerism on social media. Who knows if even in Italy some consumers are starting to have a more critical and aware vision when it comes to choices.