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March 24, 2020
Sustainability and Gen Z

The importance of sustainability and connecting with conscious consumers.

Year after year, sustainability continues to be a true north driving consumer behavior. Now more than ever consumers are motivated to take action to care for the environment and are taking into account the environmental impact of their buying decisions. Recent studies into consumer shifts show us that younger generations are increasingly willing to pay more for products that have the least negative impact on the environment (McKinsey, 2019). What does this mean for brands interacting with this growing consumer demand and passion point? In our current climate, brands have a unique opportunity to leverage their communities and drive loyalty with their brand and sustainability missions.

Recent studies into consumer shifts show us that younger generations are increasingly willing to pay more for products that have the least negative impact on the environment.

Emerging direct-to-consumer companies with sustainability-led value propositions are not the only brands who have the opportunity to connect with conscious shoppers. Legacy brands with progressive eco-friendly or cruelty free measures can also lead the way in addressing their consumers’ cares. Nike CEO John Donahoe recognizes the importance of consumers’ alignment with sustainability initiatives to the business. Only one month on the job as CEO, Donahoe personally dedicated time overseas to gain a deep understanding of how consumers are interacting with the brand on a global scale. From there, Nike has been to produce new products from upcycled materials and carbon-plated running shoes.

In the global fashion landscape, sustainability was one of the biggest trends at this past season's NYFW. Young fashion designers are increasingly paving the way for sustainability in fashion and the conversation about sustainability continues to evolve. When it comes to sustainability initiatives in the fashion industry, fashion designer Phoebe English says “talking to people is the biggest asset to a pathway to better practice.”

Here at Zyper, we’ve also witnessed the importance of sustainability and eco-friendliness for younger consumers by word of mouth. When speaking with a potential fan for one of our beauty communities, one of the first questions that came up was re-confirming whether the brand was cruelty free and vegan before participating. When explaining the criteria for joining a beauty brand community, another fan wrote us to say:

“I am not comfortable testing products that have been formulated and tested on animals. It (animal testing) does not align with my values”

With the high quality touch and high quality engagement, brands can better understand Gen Z’s desire for sustainable lifestyles. At Zyper, we believe that a community is driven by a leader who provides consistency and excitement around bigger sentiments like environmental concerns. This leader can be one person as much as it could be a brand identity. Activating a brand fan community allows brands to connect with their strongest advocates - their actual consumers.

To learn more about how your brand can gain proximity to consumers send an email to lauren@zyper.com.

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