Know it all in the blink of an eye : How to communicate sustainable fashion to generation Z
Abstract: The fact that the textile industry is concerned with environmental, social, and economic issues has been acknowledged worldwide, both by companies and their different stakeholders. As a result, more and more fashion brands have shown different types of sustainability initiatives, for example by offering sustainable fashion products. Communicating these kinds of initiatives is associated with many risks and challenges for the companies. It is essential for the brands to know how to communicate sustainable fashion to a specific target group. A new customer group that is going to dominate the market soon is Generation Z (people born in mid-90 to 2010). Generation Z differ from previous generation, especially regarding their values and how they communicate. Despite the fact that this is a new important target group for fashion brands, little academic research can be found on how fashion brands should communicate sustainable fashion towards these consumers. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative research is to identify possibilities and challenges of marketing sustainable fashion towards generation Z.10 participants from generation Z were interviewed in order to answer the following research questions: What attitude does generation Z has toward sustainable fashion and sustainable clothing consumption?; and what marketing activities does generation Z prefer regarding sustainable fashion? The findings showed revealed that generation Z do have knowledge about sustainable fashion in general, still they are eager to know more. They are positive toward fashion brands that engage in sustainability matters, however, some skepticism could be found. This implies the importance of brands staying truthful and consequent in their sustainability marketing. Social media, in particular Instagram and YouTube, seem to be appropriate platforms to reach them at, especially though the use of videos. The messages on social media should be informative and preferably somehow radical or shocking, yet still short and easy to understand. Also, as stated in previous research, influencers are a good tool to use when communicating sustainable fashion. Other important marketing strategies are to use interactive marketing to involve them, and also to focus on having an attractive store communication. What is significant when communicating sustainable fashion towards generation Z is to make it easy and convenient while being logical and transparent in the marketing activities.
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