You need to enable JavaScript to run this website.
Climate, Good World

Gen Z Millennials Want Sustainable Fashion But Can't Afford It

jascmeen contributor

Image via Stella McCartney

Our hearts are in the right place. Our wallets? Not so much.

UK-based research company Untold insights has some new tea re: sustainable shopping. To put it succinctly, it's giving "want to, but can't."

The study found that out 1000 surveyed people between 16 and 40 years old, 96% of Gen Z's and Millennials call out the cost-of-living as the main reason behind why they cannot afford to shop sustainably.

53% of the surveyed group go on to say that sustainable brands aren't affordable enough and are forced to shop with cost-saving measures in mind.

TikTok eco-community Earthtopia commissioned the study, though it doesn't seem surprised at all at the findings.

Head of Earthtopia Rob Greenfield told WWD, "Sustainable products are often cheaper in the long run due to their reusability. However, their typically higher upfront costs can make it difficult for many young people who are trying to live sustainably and within their means to buy them.

It's vital, therefore, as this report indicates that governments need to do more to level this playing field by imposing taxes on those companies that produce low-quality, plastic-heavy and energy-intensive products and, in turn, incentivize them to produce more affordable, sustainable alternatives."

​Here's a few other findings from the study:

- 52% of Millennials would buy less of a brand and have negative feelings of a brand was found to be greenwashing versus 45% of Gen Z respondents

- Only 34% of Gen Z view fast fashion brands positively compared to 47% of millennials who may enjoy a secret Shein moment from time to time.

Final thoughts: The state of sustainable fashion is in a precarious situation. Yes, it can be pricey, but when fast-fashion brands take a stab at sustainable capsules they aren't well-received since these brands are also perpetuating the environmental crises.

True, the average Zillennial has no extra money to choose a sustainable tee over a more affordable one, but the responsibility isn't *solely* on the governments to rectify this. Sustainable brands need to lean into education and stop looking to eco-consciousness as a full-on design ethos. Step 1. Make it good. Step 2. Show me why it's worth the price.