Sustainable fashion. It’s a fast-growing trend championing change to the fashion industry to improve its environmental impact.

The movement attempts to combat the carbon footprint of fast fashion and address the entire manner in which clothing is produced and how long its lifespan is before it reaches landfill.

And it’s very important to Gen Z.

In fact, brands must act ethically and sustainably or say goodbye to their next generation of customers.

That’s the stern message from young people coming out of YouthInsight’s Quarterly Member Survey released earlier this year.

Student Edge members were asked about their expectations for brands and products when it comes to ethics and sustainability and the report found that, for the majority of Gen Zs (70%), brands acting ethically is important to them.

Additionally, 61% said it was important to them that the brands they buy from align with their values and 59% said they would stop buying from a brand if they didn’t agree with their morals and values.

And brands that aren’t making an eco-conscious effort– well, they might pay the literal price, with more than half (52%) of young people saying they’ve chosen one brand over another because of their ethics and sustainability practices, and 46% saying they look for environmentally friendly products.

We know social justice is also important to Gen Z, but that’s true within the fast fashion industry as well, with 21% saying they actively avoid buying from those retailers, and more than a third (37%) saying they look for brands which contribute to social or environmental causes.

As for the future, young people are expecting brands and retailers to step up (77%).

So, how will brands adapt and ensure they lean into ethical shopping? It’s essential they find a way for the good of the planet and their next generation of customers.

For more unique Youth Insights, check out our Gen Z reports. Or, to submit a question for our next quarterly Gen Z survey, get in touch at