Generation Z and Millennials Can’t Buy Sustainably

·2 min read

New research by Untold Insights, a U.K.-based digital customer research and strategy company, found that the cost of living is directly impacting consumers’ ability to buy sustainably.

The study, which surveyed about 1,000 people across the United Kingdom between the ages of 16 and 40, found that 96 percent of Generation Z and Millennials report that the cost-of-living crisis is inhibiting them from making sustainable purchases. The study was commissioned by Earthtopia, a popular TikTok eco-community.

More from WWD

These two generations say that they are being let down by sustainable brands that aren’t providing them with economical price points. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they will give priority to money-saving options rather than selecting an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.

Rob Greenfield, head of Earthtopia, said, “sustainable products are often cheaper in the long run due to their reusability. However, their typically higher upfront costs can make it difficult for many young people who are trying to live sustainably and within their means to buy them. It’s vital, therefore, as this report indicates, that governments need to do more to level this playing field by imposing taxes on those companies that produce low-quality, plastic-heavy and energy-intensive products and, in turn, incentivize them to produce more affordable, sustainable alternatives.”

The study also found that despite Gen Z being touted as the “climate change generation,” Millennials —who have more spending power and, therefore, more choices — are the change makers. When it comes to actively engaging in making sustainable choices, 43 percent of Millennials consider themselves actively engaged in conversations around climate change and, thus, have made considerable changes to their lifestyle.

Fifty-two percent of Millennial respondents say they would buy less of a brand and have negative feelings if a brand was found to be greenwashing, as compared to 45 percent of Gen Z. However, Gen Z is more engaged with making sustainable choices because of cultural indicators, such as it being seen as better or because friends are. Only 34 percent of Gen Z view fast fashion brands positively, as compared to 47 percent of Millennials.

Best of WWD

Click here to read the full article.