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  • Writer's pictureKaylee Elks

Affiliate Marketing is Fueling Overconsumption


Everyone has seen the rise of paid affiliate marketing and the recent introduction of the TikTok shop. These coupled with the already established quick trend cycle and shops such as SHEIN and Temu are leading to a rapidly increasing footprint onto our environment.


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is where an influencer earns commission from recommending a product and having their viewers and followers buy it. While this was a good idea at first, it is now being exploited to where some influencers are earning commission from products they haven’t even reviewed. An example would be Mikayla Nogueira’s Lash Gate, where she was sponsored by L’Oréal to try a new mascara, but used a cut in the video to put false lashes on off camera. Influencers will lie to their audience in order to get a profit from the post. 


This leads to an increase in products being pushed on social media that then turn into trash in landfills by people buying things because their favorite influencer gave it a good review. Or by popular items being copied and resold on platforms such as TikTok shop.


How is TikTok Shop Fueling the Overconsumption Issues?

TikTok has caused fast fashion retailers to increase their profits by as much as 44% following the viral videos of clothing hauls. This has only been made worse by the introduction of the TikTok Shop by having videos pop up constantly promoting different drop-shipped or other affiliate related shopping posts. 


Creators can link products directly on TikTok Shop, making shopping easier for their audience who no longer have to even search up the item. This is also harmful for kids having easier access to ordering things online without permission if they are on their parents’ phone.



To combat this, the idea of “de-influencing” has started with individuals recognizing the toxicity of the overconsumption that TikTok Shop promotes and taking it upon themselves to deter people from buying products. 


The point of these videos is to show that certain popular products are not worth the money in hopes that individuals will stop buying them. These de-influencers also serve as a reminder that influencers gain money by encouraging us to spend ours. 


It is important to realize that TikTok Shop and social media fuel overconsumption, which is dangerous not just for us, but also for the next generation. The amount of fast fashion and drop shipped products has increased in landfills so much since the start of companies like SHEIN, TEMU and TikTok shop. 


For more blogs like this check out Meeman 901 Strategies! 


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