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Here Are The Eco-Friendly Products Gen Z & Millennials Are Most Likely to Buy

Over half of Gen Z and Millennials think brands should be creating more eco-friendly products—here are the ones they’re most interested in purchasing…


Last year, we reported that while the pandemic and its immediate effects are of course top of mind for all generations, climate change is a long-term issue that will still be a major concern for Gen Z and Millennials. Our recent Sustainability behavioral report found that this is clearly the case. The majority of young people tell us that they worry about climate change, and we found that 70% have made changes to their purchases or behaviors because of climate change.

It’s also clear that they expect brands to join them in saving the environment: The majority agree that corporations should take more responsibility for fighting climate change. Creating more eco-friendly products is the top thing that young people say brands should be doing to help, with 51% of 13-39-year-olds, and 58% of Gen Z, saying brands should be taking this action. In this same survey, we also asked young consumers exactly what eco-friendly products they have purchased or are interested in purchasing, and found that the majority are either purchasing or interested in purchasing eco-friendly versions of products across industries:

Secondhand clothing and accessories are the top type of eco-friendly product that young consumers are already purchasing. Not coincidentally, this is also the product type that is both eco and budget friendly, while many other green products also come with a heftier price tag. But eco-consciousness is a major draw for secondhand shopping apps and platforms that have been massively successful in appealing to young shoppers. Refinery29 reports that for Gen Z, thrifting is more than shopping, it’s a lifestyle that’s ultimately about choosing an eco-friendly alternative. According to a ThredUp report, the U.S. secondhand clothing marketing is projected to “more than triple in value” in the next ten years—from $28 billion in 2019 to a whopping $80 billion in 2029. Currently, the market is worth $379 billion. The industry has the chance to “alter” the prominence of fast fashion: While fast fashion is expected to grow 20% in the next 10 years, secondhand is poised to grow 185%. Our data clearly shows that young consumers are helping to propel that success.

But across the board, from sustainably sourced foods to eco-friendly beauty products, the majority of young consumers are either already purchasing or interested in purchasing eco-friendly products. And while Gen Z is often lauded as the more environmentally conscious generation, our research found that thanks to their more mature spending power, Millennials are more likely more likely to have changed their shopping behaviors because of climate change, from the products they buy to the number of products they buy — and they are less likely to take price of eco-friendly products into account compared to 2019.


YPulse Business users can access the full Sustainability report and data here.

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