EcoTok isn’t your run-of-the-mill TikTok creator house.
Creator groups like Hype House, and the now-defunct Sway House, were formed with intention. Their members often live together — sometimes in large, extravagant mansions — to make videos, work with celebrities and form corporate partnerships.
EcoTok, on the other hand, started with a group text.
“We already all kind of knew each other [beforehand],” Sabrina Wisbiski, one of EcoTok’s main creators, told In The Know. “Just because there weren’t a ton of creators at the time making environmental content [on TikTok]. We basically just put people in a group chat and kind of got started.”
The group, which started with nine creators but has since grown to a total of 16, came together around a simple, easily expressed goal: To educate TikTokers about sustainability, climate action and the environment.
By any measure, they’ve been successful so far. The group launched its TikTok page in the summer of 2020, bringing along hordes of followers from their respective accounts. Now, less than a year later, the main EcoTok page has nearly 100,000 followers of its own.
EcoTok’s members come from a wide range of backgrounds. There are college students, professional environmentalists, biologists, government workers and even an actress. Locationally, the collective is just as diverse — spanning from Hawaii to Montreal, Canada and everywhere in between.
That diversity is, in many ways, EcoTok’s biggest strength. On a given day, the group could post content on nearly anything related to environmental issues, whether that’s greenwashing, eco-friendly packaging, “energy positive” homes, public transportation or promoting diversity in the sustainability world.
“We’re pretty chill about the posting and the content,” Wisbiski said. “It’s just about what we’re all interested in. That’s kind of the point of the page, to just have a large spectrum of environmental topics that we talk about.”
So far, that scope hasn’t proven to be too broad. According to Henry Ferland — a recycling fanatic known as “Trash Boy” on TikTok — that’s because EcoTok’s followers have no choice but to care.
“There are so many people in [Gen Z] and young people [in general] on there,” Ferland said. “I think that’s part of the reason why talking about climate change and the environment does so well … It’s our generation that’s gonna have to deal with the effects of climate change.”
Doria Brown, an EcoTok member who also happens to be New Hampshire’s youngest municipal energy manager, believes the page’s reach can even stretch beyond that following.
“I think we have so much opportunity not [just] to influence people, but to influence companies and government to be better,” she told In The Know.
Carissa Cabrera, EcoTok’s resident marine biologist, echoed that sentiment. Cabrera said she wants the collective to become a “huge” virtual education resource — one that can engage with young environmentalists in a unique, personable way.
“These conversations are being had on other platforms, but they’re not happening in a really digestible, fun way,” she added. “[On TikTok], people are able to learn lessons in a really short amount of time.”
To get there, EcoTok has plenty of plans, but its founders are also trying to stay open. The group formed organically, and it hopes to stay that way — nearly all of its creators use words like “chill” and “laid-back” to describe how videos are scheduled.
However, as EcoToker Chistine Lan noted, there’s one thing the group has failed to accomplish: meeting in person. The page was founded and developed amid a global pandemic, and when it’s finally safe again, many members would love the chance to talk without a screen in front of them. Despite their different ages, hometowns and careers, EcoTok’s members have become close friends over the past year.
That connection has created a sense of true community, which comes through in all of the account’s videos. As Brown noted, authenticity reigns supreme on TikTok, and, thanks to its mission and collaborative nature their group has plenty of it.
“I think one of the reasons we’ve been so successful on our page is because we don’t sell products, we sell ideas,” Brown said. “We are looking to further people’s knowledge … and I think that’s been important to people because it seems really authentic and also gets conversations started.”
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