A few months ago, the general public received a report from the United Nations stating that we have under 15 years to correct the detrimental effects of climate change that humans have caused. This garnered some stressed responses, including some calling for people to change their daily habits, such as the amount of time they spend in the shower or whether or not they carpool when driving to work. This past summer saw an increase in social media campaigns calling for changes in the food industry and even in fashion. The Guardian recently reported that Generation Z’s involvement in ethically sourced fashion has labeled them as an environmentally conscious generation. Generation Z is on a path that distinguishes them from other generations because of their seemingly lessened blind loyalty to companies that may not be beneficial to anything other than a CEO’s pocket.
Last Wednesday, CBS News disclosed that Patagonia had donated its $10 million tax cut to environmental protection and regenerative organic agriculture groups. In the past, Patagonia has also donated $10 million of their Black Friday earnings in 2017, and currently donates 1 percent of sales to environmental protection groups.
This was beneficial for preservation and raised awareness of each of our individual footprints, as well as increasing their already cult-level following. Generation Z has made efforts to purchase from companies that give back, be it companies that are traditionally well-liked through many generations, or newer brands such as Ivory Ella who donate a portion of their proceeds to Save the Elephants.
The jokes about younger generations’ affinities for locally sourced produce and climate consciousness may be based on stereotypes, but they point to a shift in consumer culture. We are moving toward a market where advertising encourages sustainable products and recycled materials. Companies that produce products locally are having an easier time getting off the ground thanks to advances in production and marketing via social media.
Through all the negativity that younger generations have gained by caring too much, we often miss the positive additions that have been made to our world by today’s youth. Headlining these positive additions are the thoughtful consideration that Generation Z is putting into where they purchase their goods and what their money will benefit.