Sustainability Shapes Millennial Shopping Habits

One of the most interesting outcomes of one of the latest polls on the Millenials came as a kind of a footnote. The poll was designed to examine the purchasing patterns of these 18 to 34-year olds–probably the most intensely and frequently studied generation in research history. And while the findings on how they buy were certainly interesting and no doubt of great value to manufacturers and retailers, I found one small outcome perhaps the most intriguing. The researchers found that almost one-third of Millenial customers have stopped buying from companies “when they’ve become aware of social practices they deem unacceptable.”

That is promising. We know that this generation cares about the environment and embraces, in general, the values and ethics of sustainability. Here at FIT, sustainability is an issue that our student body has, for a long time, supported, promoted, and rallied around.

But they are consumers, after all. They love to shop. Moreover, many of them are out and out fashionistas–and like their peers at other colleges and universities, they can develop a touch of amnesia when they walk into the latest fast-fashion shop…or fall in love with a cute top from a notorious brand. So to learn that almost a third of Millenials–no doubt all from FIT–are making ethical decisions in their personal shopping habits is good news indeed. I think the next question is how we can boost that percentage higher–and then influence the next generation–teens from 14 to 17–to follow suit.

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