Welcome to a new episode of DATA_format, our monthly column in which we analyze in detail the new trends and the state of the market in the fashion and luxury industry, by means of the data provided to us by the Fashion in Process Research Lab (FiP) of Politecnico di Milano. This month we will focus on the preferences and characteristics of Gen Z consumers.
Starting from the size of this market share, the consumers belonging to this generation have an estimated purchasing power of $360 billion, according to Business of Fashion Insights.
Interviewees who are less than 20 years old are more likely to buy products that were not designed specifically for their gender, with 56% of the cohort stating they buy clothing that is not classified by gender at all. On the fashion app Lyst searches for terms including “genderless” and “gender neutral” increased 33% in the first half of 2021. In South Korea, the number of posts about genderless fashion more than doubled in 2020 on Naver. This shift is already translating into sales, as can be witnessed in handbags, a category that traditionally caters to women. Luxury resale site The RealReal reported growth in interest for Birkin bags has grown twice as fast among men than women, and resale marketplace StockX said there is an even split of men and women among consumers shopping within its handbags section.
But Gen-Z customers also pose new questions to address: they don’t necessarily seek out gender-neutral garments as they prioritize other factors such as affordability.
Another very important aspect in the behavior of young consumers is represented by time. 94% of 18–25s, in fact, agree with the sentence: “When shopping online, I expect my purchase to arrive immediately.”
However, this does not mean that young people are inclined towards a “fast fashion” ideal. On the contrary: sustainability is an important value. The 3 top reasons why Gen-Z wants to quit fast fashion are:
1. Sustainability. They want to shop from more sustainable, ethical brands.
2. Quality. They want to buy clothes of higher quality.
3. Guilt. They know fast fashion & overproduction is harmful to the planet.