The Power of Generation Z: Leading the Way in Sustainability. Born between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s, Generation Z has lived through turning points in the consequences global warming has on our planet. Events such as Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill witnessed some of the most devastating long-term effects on the environment and the then-world population of 6 billion.
That’s not to say we haven’t seen disasters like this before with previous generations. Still, as a generation with the internet in full swing and online presence at their fingertips, it is no wonder Generation Z is becoming a powerful source in shaping the future of sustainability for generations to follow. That said, Generation Z also supports fashion brands prioritising sustainability, demanding brands to be more transparent and statistically more likely to Invest in high-quality, timeless pieces.
Power through social media
Around the time of the birth of Generation Z, getting your hands on a smartphone was becoming more accessible.
Around 2015, social media became much more popular than ever.
Combine the two, and you have the entire world at your fingertips and a perfect platform for activists to amplify their voices to a broader audience.
Platforms like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok have allowed activists to raise awareness about environmental issues on a global scale.
A great example is The Fridays for Future movement, initiated by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg who used Twitter to promote the idea of school strikes for climate action, which eventually led to protests and demonstrations in cities around the world.
Driving for sustainability
With up-cycling and thrifting being used to reduce waste and promote sustainability, Generation Z has taken re-commerce much more seriously than any other older generation.
In fact, 36% of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials said they “continue to value sustainability and environmental benefits when buying pre-loved goods”.
Since the pandemic, there has been a shift in attitude towards sustainability and ethical practices.
As well as this, traditional fashion supply chains have been disrupted, paving the way for smaller businesses to enter the market.
With the leverage Gen Z has on social media, it has been much easier for fashion startups to reach a global audience and engage directly with their audience.
A Voice of the Future
Considering the above, it is clear that Generation Z is on a clear path to shaping the future for a greener, sustainable world and influencing many generations to follow.
With an entrepreneurial mindset and a focus on sustainability, a new economy is rising. With 75% of people from Gen Z in the USA finding ways for additional income, there’s now more incentive than ever to turn a passion into earnings.
With this in mind, and with social media as a platform for a global audience begging to be educated about sustainable fashion trends, Gen Z has been highly vocal about how others can make a difference. A great example is the #PayUp campaign in 2020, a movement led by Remake in response to workers’ wages being cut due to the pandemic for incomplete orders for various fashion brands.
The campaign was blasted on all social media platforms and was a complete success after accumulating over 270,000 signatures and recouping up to $15 billion of lost wages. Another victory is thanks to Generation Z’s advocacy for making fashion brands accountable for their environmental and societal impact.
Wear what you love. Cherish it, and it lasts a long time.
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