According to a new report released by Australian financial technology company Afterpay, Generation Z – those born between 1995 to 2012 – care about sustainability and are drawn to fashion and beauty companies that combat waste, have transparent supply chains, embrace circular economy, promote social values and represent diversity.
The report, Global Gen Z Report: Financial Feels, provides insight into the attitudes and behaviours of Gen Z consumers, revealing attributes such as high social media aptitude, self-reliance, transcultural curiosity, political engagement and entrepreneurialism.
These digital natives witnessing their parents suffer stress in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, are more cautious when it comes to spending. Soaring property prices, unstable job markets and economic recession prompted by COVID-19 have led to a reluctance in this group to take on consumer debt such as credit cards and personal loans.
Furthermore, with these under-25s nearly three times more likely to have been working in a sector adversely affected by pandemic lockdown such as hospitality and retail, they’re even more budget-conscious than they already were; cutting unnecessary spending and prioritising savings.
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Driven by frugality and environmental concern, Gen Z are also more willing to consume second-hand fashion than their predecessors; embracing thrift and consignment apps such as Depop and eBay. Unlike Millennials (born 1981 to 1996) who prefer authentic, independent labels, Gen Z will spread their support around; buying from small labels, global brands and from peer-to-peer sites.
According to the report, 57% of ‘Zoomers’ surveyed valued happiness while only 13% feel wealth is important. This is a generation that rejects overt displays of status and wealth; preferring services that promote financial wellness, not financial anxiety and materialism. Anti-privilege, anti-status and anti-elitist sentiments are growing within this segment; Zoomers are declining aspirational messaging in favour of advertising campaigns that use diverse, real people and promote attainable lifestyles.
Maintaining flexibility and not being financially tied down is key for this group, who prefer to lease, rent and share rather than own; spending on goods and services that will help them achieve health, pursue a sense of purpose and attain sustainability without compromising on convenience.
“As a generation who has a firm grasp of the role finance plays in their lives, Gen Z Aussies are emerging as a self-motivated generation that pay, play and save differently from the Millennials that came before them,” says Afterpay co-founder Nick Molnar.
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Cover image by Vlada Karpovich.