The term ‘woke consumers’ was coined for millennials but it is Gen Z that is truly owning it. The young generation of consumers, now entering the job market and business world, has ample money to spend and they are doing so consciously when it comes to fashion.
Gen Z is a big market and fashion brands . that. They make up 20 per cent of the consumer market in the US and have a spending power of $144 billion. With this kind of money comes major consumer influence on what sells and what doesn’t.
So is Gen Z changing fashion? But more importantly, is it changing fashion for the good?
Environmental and Social Impact
Gen Z is now leading the movement for a more sustainable and socially responsible fashion. These consumers are more aware of the plight of fast fashion on the planet and humanity. Naturally, it’s wavering more towards brands that are wholly sustainable or at the very least are making efforts to go sustainable.
Evidently, climate change is an issue that the young generation takes very seriously. In a survey by Amnesty International, 44 per cent of Gen Z respondents said that global warming was the most pressing issue for them.
In another survey by UNiDAYS, a whopping 93 per cent of Gen Z respondents said that brands are obligated to take a stand against climate change.
Sustainability is a driving force behind Gen Z’s shopping habits and they do their research diligently. They are also becoming increasingly aware of greenwashing, so any misleading marketing gimmicks don’t really fly with them.
Blurring Gender Lines
Again, this is something that was building up with millennial shoppers but took proper form when Gen Z hit the stores. This generation is breaking stereotypes about gender by opting for fashion that is gender-neutral or gender-fluid. They are blurring the lines between what is traditionally seen as feminine and masculine fashion.
This is one of the biggest impact they have had on fashion, as runways today, particularly for menswear, have a lot of influence from womenswear, and vice versa. It’s not unusual for Gen Z to wear bright neon colours, skirts, and pearls, regardless of the gender they were born with or identify with.
Retailers and designers have had to adapt to this new wave of fashion that is bringing menswear and womenswear closer than ever before. For decades now, menswear and womenswear have been very distinct segments of fashion but that may change soon, thanks to Gen Z.
Gen Z’s preferred consideration when it comes to putting together an outfit is aesthetics over function. That is not to say their choices aren’t practical, but the primary focus is finding apparel and accessories that promote self-expression. And that comes in a variety of ways.
All those outfits people would see on runways and think ‘who would wear these’ are readily being embraced by this generation of fashion experimentalists.
That has created room for fashion designers to be even more creative.