As America’s youngest generation begins to enter the consumer market, workforce and voting booth, they have proven to be on a mission toward improving their planet. But as some companies attempt to meet Gen Z’s demands for sustainability, others might merely be presenting a façade.
Gen Z shops green
Sustainability is important to 19-year-old Trinity Gbla. Having grown up experiencing wildfires and extreme heat near her home in Southern California, Gbla said these past few years have highlighted climate change as an increasingly pressing issue. She’s not alone: Climate change/protecting the environment was the No. 1 concern for Gen Z, followed closely by unemployment and health care/disease prevention, according to a recent Deloitte survey.
“There’s such a huge climate crisis going on in the world that you just cannot ignore,” Gbla said. “Usually, when I’m shopping, I like to see what’s ethically sourced, or if it’s environmentally friendly. Price is definitely something that’s important to me, especially because I’m a college student, so it’s like, I’m broke. But I’m willing to pay for more expensive stuff when it’s ethically sourced.”
This desire for sustainable products among Gen Z is robust. According to a 2020 report by First Insight, 73% of Gen Z consumers surveyed were willing to pay more for sustainable products, more than every other generation. And, despite being the youngest cohort with many still in school, they were willing to spend the most in added costs, with 54% saying they would pay more than a 10% increase in price for a sustainably made product.