Gen Z – The Generation Demanding Brand Transparency

I am currently studying a PR module at university where we have to create a campaign surrounding sustainability in fashion. I chose to focus on the topic of transparency as it has come to light in past years that fashion brands aren’t always honest to their consumers. The idea of our campaigns is to create behavioural change in our TA, Gen Z. I believe by encouraging Gen Z to demand for greater transparency in fashion brands, fast fashion could come to a halt. 

Gen Z live a virtual life, they are aware of most issues going on in the world, as they are able to access the news at any time. They are self-aware but also very easily influenced, they respond to people who they look up to, for example, influencers and celebrities. Gen Z like to turn hobbies into careers and generally see the sky as the limit. They listen to all sorts of things, YouTube videos, TikTok’s and podcasts, so this may be a good way to reach them. 

I conducted my own study, where I asked 20 of Gen Z fast fashion buyers what they thought about brand transparency. 100% of them thought it should be a legal requirement for brands to state what their conditions are like behind the scenes. This was helpful for my campaign as I understood that Gen Z did care about where their clothes were coming from. Although they cared about this, it was clear that most of the people I had asked hadn’t done any research for themselves on this topic yet as only 32% of them had heard of the sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). The SAC is comprised of 250+ members to change the apparel, footwear and textiles industry so that it “produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities”. It has been made clear to me that Gen Z want to help but need to be encouraged in order for behavioural change to be made. 

A huge 95% of the people I asked believed that fast fashion was a problem that they (Gen Z) needed to tackle. This was promising as I knew that my TA would be interested in my campaign. I wanted to know if including an ‘influencer’ in my campaign would potentially help it reach more of my TA. I asked the participants whether they would stop buying fast fashion if one of their favourite influencers did. It was an interesting result as 53% said yes, and 47% said no. This tells me that there still is a big divide between Gen Z, and that I would have to find a way to target them all. Conclusively, 83% of them believed that brand transparency would be the key to stopping fast fashion, helping me understand that my campaign would be beneficial to the fashion industry. 

As I continue my campaign research, I am thinking about the best ways to reach my target audience. The campaign needs to be engaging, with all the assets I create being eye-catching and thought provoking.  

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