Generation Z is generation green.
The cohort of shoppers typically 22 and under is more willing to pay up for sustainable brands compared to other demographics, according to a study by First Insight. The findings by the digital research company found that 73 percent of those it surveyed would pay more for sustainable items, with the majority of that chunk willing to pay a 10 percent price premium.
“With Generation Z on track to becoming the largest generation of consumers this year, retailers and brands must start supercharging sustainability practices now if they are to keep pace,” says First Insight CEO Greg Petro. “With every generation, sustainability is becoming further embedded in purchase decisions.”
Retailers are racing to meet rising consumer demand for sustainable or environmentally-friendly products. Apparel is a notoriously wasteful industry, sucking up vast amounts of water and easily discarding clothing. Some retailers like Gap and Everlane have invested in sustainable business practices while others have built their business models around it. The second-hand apparel market comprised of companies like the RealReal and ThredUP that buy and sell high-quality used clothes are gaining in popularity as environmental concerns gain traction.
The study of 1,000 U.S. respondents showed the Gen Z population beat out the preceding cohort known as Millennials, as well as Generation X, which refers to the group of people born after the Baby Boomers, in terms of preference for sustainable items. The Baby Boomer demographic, often the grandparents of Gen Z, were the “hold outs,” according to the study. Still, sustainability is becoming more important in consumer choices overall and the majority of respondents expect brands and retailers to become more sustainable, according to First Insight.