4 Brands Going Zero-Waste For Gen Z & Millennials

From apparel to personal care, indie up-and-comers and big brands alike are cleaning up industries with recyclable alternatives and reusable packaging that appeals to eco-conscious young shoppers…

Young consumers’ interest in helping the environment impacts their purchases. Though their relationship to eco-friendly products is sometimes complicated, they undoubtedly want brands to provide environmentally-friendly products, with half of 13-36-year-olds saying they're more likely to buy a product described as “sustainable,” and 46% of 13-36-year-olds saying they’re more likely to buy a product described as eco-friendly. According to a report from The Shelton Group, nine in ten Millennials are not only more likely to purchase ethical brands but to recommend them to their friends, too.

For these eco-minded young consumers, zero-waste is perhaps the biggest recent buzzword of environmentalism. The plastic straw was a major symbol of this movement last year, with Millennials and Gen Z revolting against plastic by instigating the #StopSucking movement, which aimed to get brands and companies to drop useless plastic straws. Companies as far-reaching as Starbucks, Disney, Hyatt, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, SeaWorld, and more pledged to ditch the plastic straw in response. As zero-waste remains the cause du jour, it has begun influencing their purchasing decisions, and more brands are making massive changes—beyond straw sacrifices—to get closer to a plastic-free future. Here are four who are going zero-waste in a major way to appeal to young consumers:

Trader Joe’s

In response to an online petition, this beloved grocery brand started 2019 with an announcement that they’ll be making “packaging improvements” that will eliminate more than one million pounds of plastic from their stores.…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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