Gen Z is perhaps the first generation that believes in radically rewriting the rules for an institution through a tik tok dance.
Generation Z aka Gen Z kids have been accustomed to technology and information since a very young age this reflects on how they view the world too. Studies suggest that Gen z is the most politically and socially active generation, lately the brunt of their ‘woke-ness’ is being felt by the fashion industry.
The fashion industry dwells on larger-than-life concepts of luxury and grandeur. The extravagance and self-indulgence of the fashion industry have always been unquestionable prerequisites.
Gen z is challenging all that without losing any substance and glamour.
1. Sustainability over trends
Gen Z is more environmentally conscious, according to Forbes 75% of Gen Z are more likely to be vegetarian/vegan. Most Gen Z have gone meatless due to the existing animal cruelty in the meat consumption industry, the other reason is how a vegetarian diet is good for the planet. This generation applies the same moral code to how they shop fashion. It is no surprise that fast fashion is a major contributor to a daunting percentage of carbon emissions worldwide. The fashion industry thrives upon using cheap, environmentally unfriendly materials and paying substantially low wages, and a generation that spends most of its time on the internet not only knows this but is actively trying to choose better options. Most Gen z have already given up fast fashion and believe in actively picking up fashion brands that are environmentally friendly and politically align with Gen z values.
2. Unisex fashion
Gender norms are going through a revolution and that has given birth to fluid fashion. Simply put- fluid fashion is a trend that goes beyond the conventional two binary genders, it is neither feminine nor masculine. The fashion industry which traditionally catered to strict gender norms is having to adapt with their youngest buyers who have 40% of purchasing power. The binaries are coming to an end and the fashion world is following suit.
3. Body Positivity Movement
Of late the conventional beauty standards have been critiqued not just by this generation but also culturally and through media as well. In 2020 amidst criticism from numerous celebrities for not including plus-sized models in their shows Victoria secret canceled its annual fashion show, followed by a big loss in its sales. The new generation has conversations and communities around body positivity, the notion that all sizes have to be included when we think of fashion has caught on fire recently. Even Pop culture has made the shift in being conscious of the same. Recently Victoria secret has agreed to make clothes for plus-sized folks and other giants are echoing the same.
4. Less is more
The fashion stance of gen z is very minimal, most of these consumers are traveling, studying, or doing two jobs at once. Youthful fashion that needed a ton of accessories has no relevance in a fast-paced life of a gen z. In the battle between comfort and style, comfort has won.
5. Thrifting and supporting local businesses.
Thrifting is reusing pre-owned and upcycled or thrift-ed items of clothing and accessories.
In other words, it means shopping at a thrift store, garage sale, or flea market for gently used products at a reduced price. Gen z predominantly thrift on Instagram or other social networking sites. Due to this instead of loud fashion, Gen z fashion is extremely vintage in style. Gen z are also community-driven individuals, so instead of buying clothes from big brands, they prefer supporting local businesses nearby.
In the coming years, the rules of fashion are likely to change more. So far a lot of big brands have listened to the voices of this new politically charged generation. For the first time, all notorious norms of the industry are being forced to change. Gen z doesn’t stop at accountability or apologies, it is demanding change through action. The youngest consumers have the most power to spend so it’s fair to assume that companies will have no choice but to go environment-friendly, cruelty-free, responsible to their workers by paying them a fair wage and inclusive of all shapes, sizes, and genders.