Fashion, an important tool that determines the way a generation expresses itself, also shapes the general point of view adopted in a certain era. In this sense, it can be said that each generation becomes the representative of a unique fashion trend.
Mainly set by Gen Z, today’s fashion trends create an eclectic style by intertwining with futuristic fashion trends. Born between 1995 and 2010, Gen Z is the most important determinant of today's consumer society as they have started to enter the business world and gain economic freedom. Consisting of consumers that are highly active in such areas as entertainment, social media and fashion, and focused on sustainability and ecology, Gen Z deeply influences the marketing strategies of brands. Accordingly, the production trends related to textile manufacturing, as well as the approaches about apparel design and textile sourcing are also shaped by this generation.
Because of they are highly active in such areas as entertainment, social media and fashion, and focused on sustainability and ecology, Gen Z deeply influences the marketing strategies of brands.
As this generation gets bored quickly, gives up easily, consumes the trends soon and is difficult to please, the cyclical nature of fashion has changed in a way that it consists of shorter cycles. In other words, drawing the attention of the dominant generation has become a harder task than in the past.
Although the trends they follow change frequently, Gen Z is known to adopt a clothing style that is inspired by the fashion of 90s and 2000s. Since the generation in question differentiates itself from the traditional consumer profile with their life experiences and perspectives, it has been the main subject of numerous studies for years, and brands have been producing special collections for this trend-setting generation which is far very different from previous generations.
Companies need to be more inclusive in their campaigns
Fashion is one of the most talked about topics of Gen Z on social media, which is a great tool to follow the expectations of this young group. Thus, creating a fashion industry for Gen Z requires mastering the terms sustainability, inclusion and diversity that are key to attract the attention of this generation which is now in a decision-making position as a consumer. In the age of social media, international fashion chains, which fail to show sensitivity to these issues and which do not represent all genders and races, have to face sharp declines in sales and be ready to be judged on social media. As Gen Z dislikes comments that categorize people, fashion brands need to be more inclusive and gender neutral in their production and marketing campaigns. In fact, these concerns have already been among the hot topics on the agenda of international fashion fairs and textile shows where textile manufacturers, textile vendors, retailers, fashion designers, and textile and apparel sourcing partners meet with fashion lovers and potential buyers from across the world.
Gen Z dislikes comments that categorize people, fashion brands need to be more inclusive and gender neutral in their production and marketing campaigns.
Comfort at the core of style
Gen Z, who likes to break the routines, does not like perfect combinations. Young people's school life, friend environment, and active social lives are reflected in their clothing. Almost the most basic fact that shapes the clothing preferences of Gen Z is their love of comfort, which is mirrored in their favorite pieces consisting mostly of wide jeans, loose tights, yoga pants, colorful sneakers, oversized clothes, denim jackets, overalls and jumpers, sweaters, sweatshirts and tracksuits giving them a sportive and cool outlook. Such cozy clothing items were among the most popular pieces on display at the recent fashion shows and fashion weeks held across the globe. Gen Z is also keen to wear garments that are not characterized by typical gender norms, which has led to the thought that producing gender-neutral clothing could be a revolution in fashion.
Sustainability-oriented ideas versus consumption-oriented habits
Gen Z prefers to shop from brands that are transparent about values and that adopt an ethical and environmentally friendly approach in production. This generation is environmentally friendly, experience-oriented, not dependent on brands, and supports approaches such as recycling and upcycling. Due to their sensitivity about nature, they try to stay away from consumption as much as possible and feel closer to such concepts as second-hand and vintage.
However, there are various studies showing that they have lost this approach in practice. Shopping data of Gen Z indicate that they tend towards cheap sources and naturally support FMCG brands. According to a research by Adweek magazine, 74 percent of this generation shop from fast fashion brands, moreover, 50 percent of the respondents are aware that fast fashion is harmful to nature. Apparently, in the world of young people, where convenience and speed are of top priority, being able to access products quickly on the Internet causes an increase in consumption.
Gen Z prefers to shop from brands that are transparent about values and that adopt an ethical and environmentally friendly approach in production.
Market dynamics reshaped by Gen Z
A study conducted by Deloitte shows that 75 percent of Gen Z examine product labels while shopping and prefer to invest in sustainable products. Although 62% of them state that they prefer to invest in sustainable clothing brands, survey participants also state that they buy the most affordable products in real life and that the issue is more economical than preference.According to a research by McKinsey & Company, Gen Z prefers a value-oriented approach. Having led to radical changes in consumption, communication and relationship management, this generation chooses brands based on such criteria as their mission, purpose and the value they create in the society. Rather than carrying products and brands only because they are in the luxury segment, they opt for unique products that will make them look different. Meanwhile, the accuracy and consistency in the discourses of brands is of critical importance for the loyalty of Gen Z.