What are the views of the younger generation on sustainable clothing?


The younger generation is comprised of the millennials and Generation Z. This bunch is the biggest consumer pack of the current global market. With increased spending power and progressive media vigor, this young generation is like no other. With the social media tool at their disposal, they are always ready to fight their battles.

This generation cannot be pleased easily. They look for proof in place of verbal trust. The entire younger generation is a group of shrewd consumers. While being alert and quick in their decisions, they advocate for complete betterment. They have often been termed as being self-centered, but through their actions, they surely know how to make a collective difference. A difference for the greater good. 

When they have issues on their mind, they are not afraid to voice their opinions be it socially or politically. 

younger genration
The younger generation

What is the younger generation doing?

For some amount of time now, these young consumers are seriously concerned about the fashion industry. An industry that is particularly close to many of these youngsters as they often use fashion as a means to express their opinions. 

They have been particularly clear about speaking their mind about the social or environmental issues caused by the fashion industry. Well, it would be fair to say, not all of them, but yes definitely most of the lot.  

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk and action around the idea of sustainability. Especially, the younger generation has expressed their views on sustainable clothing. Young people around the world are working to clean up the fashion industry. 

How is the younger generation keen on promoting sustainable clothing:

1.  Being woke and active: 

The first step to lead any kind of change is to ourselves be aware of the situation. The internet has answers to all the questions, right to where are the fabrics sourced from and where are your clothes dumped? It can be easier to get more people to change their ways with the help of numbers and statistics. There is no use in knowing everything if one can’t make active counteractions. This woke generation knows well how to use their resources. It can be easier to solve a problem only once they accept it. 

younger generation on sustainable clothing
Younger generation protesting for fast fashion

2.   Assess one’s actions:

The younger generation has turned on their switch to sustainable clothing. While starting with their wardrobes first. According to a survey by Samsung, about 39% of the younger generation is willing to switch on to sustainable clothing. They revealed they would rather be ‘sustainable’ than ‘fashionable’. The younger generation has an option to switch to ethical and sustainable clothing options and they are dwelling on it. They are also actively trying to make conscious efforts in buying their fashion. Not only while buying but they think twice before discarding an item. Try to use it for a longer amount of time by using their creativity or modern techniques. 

3.  Ask questions: 

The younger lot are vigilant and shrewd consumers. They interrogate before they buy. With the advent of the media, they don’t even have to physically ask these brands. Brands that are environmentally conscious and sustainable put out such information on their websites or social media. The ‘slow fashion movement’ has also compelled brands to adopt a more transparent business model. This has helped a lot of young shoppers to make conscious decisions before buying. Before buying, they consider questions like, where does the material come from? How ethical was the production process? How decomposable is the cloth? The ethical practices of the brand?

4.  Maximize utility:

upcycled clothing
Upcycled dress

Once raw materials are put in the process, they hope to get full use out of it. This helps in two ways, reducing the waste and them also getting the full value of their money. Practices such as Three R’s or upcycling have been common for a long time. The younger generation now talks about concepts like thrifting, vintage or second-hand shopping. Here, previously worn clothes are often available at lower prices, making it fair for both, the buyers’ pocket as well as the environment. Upcycling helps them make pieces that are often unique helping them win at their fashion game. They have understood the need to shop less but quality. 

5.  Hold corporations/brands accountable:

In the age of social media, huge corporations are more concerned about their brand image now. They want to please this woke generation by being sustainable and not a destructor of the environment. Social media has seen global outrages for issues like unethical work practices, fast fashion brands or being destructive to the environment. Many famous brands have also been called out for ‘greenwashing’ their image. 

Concluding views of the younger generation on sustainable clothing:

With thoughts in their mind, they have been clear to voice their opinion about some defining issues. The younger generation doesn’t even mind spending more on sustainable clothing.

Compared with Generation X, 34%  of them are willing to spend more; 50% of millennials don’t mind the same. Further comparing it with Generation Y,  54 % are willing to spend an incremental 10 percent on sustainable clothing. 

Despite all these constant warnings of the dangers of fast fashion still, many fast fashion brands are having skyrocketing sales. Many of them are still oblivion about the harm.  Sustainable brands and fashion advocates are trying their best to help people make a switch to more sustainable fashion. The younger generation needs to take active decisions to make our planet a better living place.  

younger generation on sustainable clothing

Image source: Sourcing Journal

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