Many people, especially Millennials and Gen Z, understand why sustainable fashion matters. They believe that clothing companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues.
Conscious consumerism is growing, particularly among the youngest generation. Sustainability has become more present in the mind of consumers to reduce waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.
It's time to rethink the way we produce and consume clothes. And Millennials are pushing towards making fashion more sustainable.
It's also very encouraging to see the clothing industry implement more sustainability practices. The most promising change is the growing importance of local, fair, ethical, and sustainable fashion.
Here is everything you need to know about Gen Z and sustainable fashion.
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Sustainability in fashion for Gen Z
Recent studies have shown that sustainability is more important than ever in the mind of young fashion lovers, even though consumers have various understandings of what being sustainable means.
30% of consumers would completely stop using a brand if it didn't use sustainable and ethical practices, and more than 30% would purchase less frequently.
Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products and are demanding that brands become more transparent, accountable, and responsible.
Brands must commit to environmental protection and ethical manufacturing to keep the trust of their employees and win over young customers.
Gen Z believes that brands should take massive action toward sustainability. Some also think that the government has a more active role to play in regulating sustainable practices.
Young consumers have the power to drive positive change in the clothing industry by changing their shopping habits, boycotting unethical fashion brands, and switching to eco-conscious clothing.
Millennials are starting to rethink how they spend their money. They are planning for the future, being more careful about spending and saving more than ever before.
Sustainable fashion after COVID-19
Young fashion customers are asking for more transparency, accountability, and sustainability. They believe that fashion companies need to make more sustainability efforts after COVID-19.
To thrive in the market after the coronavirus pandemic, taking massive action to reduce pollution, waste, and carbon emissions is necessary. The fashion industry doesn't have the luxury to ignore sustainability anymore.
Conscious consumers demand more sustainability from brands, particularly Generation Z customers. They are becoming aware of the environmental crisis and climate urgency.
The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters globally. It has been responsible for environmental degradation and human rights violations for decades. The COVID-19 crisis has only made it more obvious.
Gen Z is increasingly concerned with the impact of fashion on the planet, people, and animals. And clothing brands need to make meaningful changes.
Corporate sustainability is now crucial for young shoppers. People want to buy from companies that support charitable causes larger than themselves.
The social dimensions of sustainability
Millennials and Generation Z especially link sustainable fashion with environmental justice. They understand that it's necessary to include all people and issues that we face as a society.
Marginalized and oppressed communities, people with low income, and people of color are more likely to be exposed to polluted air, soil, and water due to fast fashion, and they require more attention.
The youngest consumers understand the urgency of driving change to repair the damage done. Industry leaders need to take them seriously and start taking massive action to reduce waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.
Fighting for more climate protection should also make fashion more sustainable. Sustainable consumption and production are crucial to protect the environment and fight against social injustice.
Sustainability, sometimes referred to as green economy, is so much more than just environmental protection. It has economic, social, and ecological dimensions.
Social dimensions are too often misinterpreted, misapplied, or completely forgotten. Many brands still fail to sufficiently consider the social impact of their products and manufacturing processes.
The global textile and apparel industry employs more than 300 million people worldwide, most in developing countries. Every fashion company needs to treat employees and local communities better, protecting marginalized or disadvantaged groups.
A sustainable fashion future
More than 90% of consumers are changing their behavior for more sustainability in fashion. The latest reports indicate that even the leading fast fashion brands are becoming more sustainable.
Sustainable fashion is already trending, and the crisis has even accelerated change. Young consumers demand more responsible offers as sustainable collections are still an insignificant minority.
To appeal to Gen Z, fast-fashion giants promote their sustainable collections everywhere in print, on the web, and on social media. But the large majority of their business continues to be wasteful.
Sustainability is attracting interest from Millennials, and fashion retailers are becoming aware of their concerns. Brands need to become more transparent and show their efforts in this area.
Unfortunately, there is no international regulation regarding what is sustainable in fashion. So there is still a long way to go before sustainability becomes more common in the textile and apparel industry.
Generation Z has a role to play to make the future of fashion sustainable. They can support sustainable fashion brands and be more willing to consume greener.
Sustainable fashion products make a more and more visible impact. So they are turning away from unsustainable brands and choosing eco-friendlier options.
Their social media presence also makes Millennials a powerful force to raise awareness towards eco-conscious consumerism. With their influence and willpower, fashion can have a sustainable future.
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About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.