The Fashion Perception Of Generation Z Sustainability Takes Priority (1)

The Fashion Perception of Generation Z: Sustainability Takes Priority

The Generation Z became the catalyst for change in the fashion world. Over 50% of Generation Z shops from brands focused solely on sustainability and abandons those indifferent to this matter. Generation Z is pressuring for a more sustainable fashion industry by speaking out against social and environmental injustices through social media…

Each generation has a defining moment. The Silent Generation had World War II. Baby Boomers witnessed the moon landing. Generation Y experienced the global financial crisis. However, Generation Z’s defining moment was a warming planet, in other words, climate change. Born between 1997 and 2012, they grew up on the internet, accessing content and information freely and sharing them on social platforms. More importantly, they developed a deep interest in sustainability.

Every day, as much clothing waste as the Empire State Building is generated.

While all brands aim to connect with Generation Z, the fashion industry stands out. Fast fashion operates as an industry based on social media, trends, and urgency, using limited collections designed to boost sales. However, this led to a vicious cycle of overproduction and overconsumption. In fact, fashion has become one of the most polluting industries. It resulted in producing more clothing waste than what can fit in the Empire State Building in a day. The price is paid by the planet while saving money on cheap clothes. Fashion brands are struggling to connect with the largest generation; over 50% of Generation Z only shops from sustainable brands and cancels out the indifferent ones.

Generation Z is driving the transformation.

As Generation Z reaches the age and income levels to apply their environmentally conscious values and beliefs to their clothing choices, cheap is no longer considered fashionable. Only 34% of them have a positive view of fast fashion brands. Especially among digital natives aware of other costs, they use the tools they grew up with to express their ideas and encourage others to feel the same about sustainability. Generation Z is applying pressure for a more sustainable fashion industry by speaking out against social and environmental injustices through social media. While Generation Z serves as a powerful catalyst, technology acts as the spark igniting this transformation.

The Fashion Perception of Generation Z Sustainability Takes Priority (3)

The rise of second-hand clothing fashion.

Technology, especially social media, has contributed to the resurgence of vintage clothing and second-hand shopping. This trend is embraced by younger generations, giving rise to second-hand clothing sales apps like ThredUp, Vinted, and Depop.

But this change isn’t limited to second-hand clothing apps. Fashion brands like Zara are using carbon recycling technology to create clothing collections from recycled CO2 and materials. Technology is also being used innovatively to minimize water usage, waste, and energy consumption through alternative printing methods. Epson’s advanced dry fiber technology creates new materials from used clothing instead of reusing them as they are. Already commercially used for paper recycling, technology has been adapted to produce new non-textile fiber materials from discarded clothing. By combining dry fiber technology and digital textile printing, fashion helps reduce the industry’s environmental impact and overproduction issues.

Only 9% of packaging is recycled.

Furthermore, brands are examining their supply chains, particularly in packaging-related areas. Packaging contributes 40% of plastic waste, with only 9% being recycled. Recognizing Generation Z’s influence, Nike recently introduced the “Nike One Box” concept, eliminating the need for external boxes when shipping shoes and reducing packaging waste by 51% for single online orders.

Brands need to pause and listen.

Thus, Generation Z sheds light on the fast fashion industry. They are exerting pressure for change by holding brands accountable to create a stylish and sustainable future. However, if fast fashion wants to win Generation Z over, the industry must pause and listen. Brands are expected to acknowledge the determination of this generation in fighting environmental injustices. What began as a fleeting trend has evolved into a powerful global movement dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of all industries and striving to create a more sustainable future.

The Fashion Perception of Generation Z Sustainability Takes Priority (2)

About Epson:

Epson is a technological pioneer and manufacturer aiming to enhance the lives, communities, and organizations with sustainable operations and efficient, compact, and precise technologies. The company’s current value is 8.5 billion euros. Epson invests 1.14 million euros daily in research and development, producing its own products in its own factories using its original technologies and adhering to high working standards. Aspiring to advance sustainable innovation further, the brand has committed to being carbon-negative and free from underground resources by 2050.

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