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How Gen Z and millennials are evolving

Our new in-depth report, online now, explores how shoppers in their twenties and thirties feel about fashion. 

“Gen Z” has become just as much of a buzzword as “millennial” did a few years ago, and is already synonymous with certain traits. If the headlines are to be believed, members of gen Z are strident environmental activists, they are progressive, they are careful with money and they have short attention spans. But lumping such a broad, diverse group into one amorphous age bracket is a mistake.

Our new report on gen Z and millennials surveys 2,000 shoppers aged between 18 and 38, and explores how these shoppers buy fashion, as well as how they feel about the industry in 2019. Here are a few of our key findings:

They care about sustainability

More than three-quarters of the respondents said sustainability was either very or quite important to them, while almost half (48%) said they had abandoned a purchase because a brand or retailer did not fit with their values. In addition, 46% of shoppers say they spend time researching ethical and sustainable brands to buy from.

The report explores whether sustainability is truly going to become a purchase driver or whether these consumers say one thing, but act in a different way. It also explores the differences in attitudes between the two generations.

They care about equality

These shoppers also report that equality is important to them. We asked how important it is for brands they shop with to show they care about equality in all its forms – whether that means gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality or disability – because focusing overwhelmingly on gender, as many workplace equality schemes tend to, feels out of date for these consumers. They are a diverse group and interested in improving opportunities and human rights for everyone. In our survey, 77% said equality was either quite or very important to them – the differences between men and women, as well as age groups, are explored within the report.

They are contradictory

Although the importance of sustainability to shoppers in their twenties and thirties is clear, they are also keen on shopping behaviours that are not particularly environmentally friendly. They want fast delivery and immediate gratification. Their desire for one-click shopping for low-cost outfits they see on social media requires fast supply chains that rely on cheap labour and production processes that prioritise speed over ethics. The report explores what retailers can do about this, and how this might play out in the coming years.

Mobile and social are central

These shoppers are using mobile and social networks for buying fashion, and they have become central to the fashion purchase process. The report explores how social networks have become central to every part of the fashion industry. Not only are purchasing rates led by social media likely to increase further as platforms such as Instagram evolve, but growing numbers of Gen Z and millennial-led brands are likely to build momentum and find their markets on the channel.

Download the report, available for free, at bitly.com/GenZ-report to read about these themes and others, including whether these shoppers would ever give up shopping in store, what most annoys them about online shopping, and the cultural drivers behind much of this change.

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