Gen Z is demanding ethical, environmentally friendly fashion brands; Why and how?

By Sandesh Ambhore,

Before the world learned about influencers, the onus was on young ones to fill that social role of creating and interpreting trends. Generation Z, a term coined for those born between 1995 to 2010, has some different ideas, however, and is bringing new influencers to the fore. Labeled as true digital natives, this group of individuals is racially and ethnically diverse, progressive, and cares about improving the world.

Unlike previous generations, Gen Z categorizes consumption in three formats- as access rather than possession, as an expression of individual identity, and as a matter of ethical concern. In their bid to contribute toward a healthier and more sustainable future, Gen Zers are conscious about their choices, especially including fashion.

While others have a tendency of blindly consuming products sans much thought into their environmental impact, Gen Z is not only cognizant of their own choices but also recognize that it is the responsibility of garment manufacturers to deal with social and ecological challenges. Young people are actively taking the lead in the sustainability movement and are willing to spend even twice as much on sustainable products from brands that are conscious of the environment and contribute toward a healthier planet.

Nine of ten Generation Z customers think businesses should address social and environmental issues. Latter’s inclusion represents a shift from the perspective of the preceding millennial generation that was more concerned with the environment. Younger shoppers are very worried about social and environmental concerns, which many people believe to be the most important ones of our day, and monumentally impactful on our future. They more frequently support their ideals through their purchasing decisions, supporting companies that adhere to their beliefs and opposing those that don’t. Strong voices take the initiative in terms of protests, pages on social media, and awareness or charity campaigns.

A study found that the fashion business is responsible for 10% of all annual human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is now crucial for companies to prioritize sustainable business practices to draw clients in the current market and safeguard the earth and future generations. The fashion industry was criticized worldwide when thousands of workers lost their jobs due to the pandemic without compensation. This led the Gen Z group to pick up speed on a movement with a long history.

Many young people are becoming more aware of the things they purchase and how they affect the environment, which has led several fashion markets segments to move in a more environmentally friendly direction. Independent fashion brands are gaining recognition for their dedication to developing sustainable products, acting as brand activists, and establishing a goal to have a beneficial impact on the environment. In contrast to fashion firms that meet mass production deadlines, they are more interested in sustainable brands that go above and beyond to enhance the quality of life on our planet through fair trade.

Environmental justice and sustainable fashion are particularly connected for Millennials and Generation Z. They are aware that it is crucial to consider every individual and the problems our society faces. The newest consumers know the need for quick action to undo the harm. They adhere to the belief that fashion brands with open supply chains and moral business practices should be supported.

Since sustainable products are still a tiny minority, young customers seek more ethical offerings. Fast-fashion behemoths advertise their sustainable designs everywhere in print, online, and on social media to appeal to Gen Z.

The integrity of the work is the main focus of sustainable brands, which eventually guarantees longevity and lower wages. They are renowned for producing elegant, long-lasting pieces. Wearers have a wide variety of options, which increases their ability to express themselves, be creative, and develop a unique personal style.

Products made from sustainable materials have an increasingly noticeable influence. As a result, market segments are turning to eco-friendly brands instead of unsustainable ones, also known as fast fashion brands. Millennials are a tremendous force in spreading knowledge of eco-conscious consumerism thanks to their social media presence. They can help ensure that fashion has a sustainable future by sheer force of will. By introducing transparency to the distribution networks and gaining the general public’s trust, many sustainable fashion businesses in the industry are well on the way to enhancing the environment and having a positive social impact, encouraging other brands to join hands in the effort.

(The author is CEO and Founder Director, Styleyn. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of


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