72% of college students bought fast fashion in 2022; Can ThredUP change its wasteful ways?

Gen Z is hooked on fast fashion and ThredUP wants to do something about it. With the help of famed Gen Z breakout star Priah Ferguson of “Stranger Things,” the savings giant has launched a confessional that aims to kick GenZ out of his spendthrift habit.

The Vehicle to End Addiction: A hotline that allows students to empty their fast fashion carts and choose thrift instead. The disturbing behavior, according to Erin Wallace, ThredUP’s vice president of integrated marketing, was revealed in the e-commerce site’s first Gen-Z Fast Fashion Report in partnership with GlobalData.

But there is a disconnect with Generation Z and its members’ desire to save the planet. “They have an obsession with single-use fast fashion,” Wallace said, using the language of addiction. “Viral terms like #Rushtok and #OOTDs are flooding the internet with new looks every day, and nearly half of college students say it’s hard to resist the temptation of fast fashion. In fact, “worrisome one in three Glen Zers confesses that he feels addicted,” the report says.

“Generation Z has shown the world that they care about the planet more than any other generation, but they are inundated with shopping options that make it easier than ever to consume mindlessly,” said Neil Saunders, CEO of GlobalData Retail. . “This presents a unique challenge for Gen Z. With one in three Gen Z consumers saying they are addicted to fast fashion, our data demonstrates the dichotomy young consumers face today and presents second-hand as a viable alternative for sustainable and affordable fashion for generations to come. .”

ThredUP and Priah’s Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline are timed to stop temptation, launching just as youngsters gear up for back-to-school shopping, according to the report. “ThredUP’s Gen Z study found that 71% of college students plan to shop for new clothes this back-to-school season. In addition, more than two in five college students say they buy clothes for events that they will probably only wear once.

“Young consumers are also looking for value more than ever this season, with nearly two-thirds of college students looking for more affordable clothing options when shopping now compared to years ago,” the report says.

Savers can now easily swap their fast fashion purchases for thrift by shopping for Priah’s back-to-school looks at thredUP.com/hotline. Priah curated her favorite items on ThredUP, and thrifters will be able to shop similar styles for up to 90% off retail value, the used clothing giant said. “From classroom and internship outfits to school dances and formals, Priah’s ThredUP styles fit every back-to-school occasion. They also offer all the fun and value of fast fashion without the waste.”

“The report we did on fast fashion and Generation Z was the inspiration for the hotline,” Wallace said. “We were seeing this dichotomy of the fast fashion brand, Shein. The Gen Z analysis emphasized that value and savings were also very popular. The data confirmed what we were seeing, that his love of fast fashion is at odds with his sustainable views.

“Shein’s speed is unrivaled,” he continued. “It seems that at the expense of Shein and the increase in the normal return to university is even more alarming than we thought.”

The hotline tilted on August 16. Callers to the hotline will find it to be a fast-fashion confessional. “You call the hotline and hear that Priyah Ferguson inspires you to save,” Wallace said, adding that Ferguson helps Gen Z blow off steam and confess her fashion secrets or sins.

“It’s very embarrassing to make a fast fashion purchase,” Wallace said. “This is a fun way to educate people. It is still too early to see results. We want to launch the back to school shopping and marketing hotline. We are injecting ourselves into the conversation.

“We didn’t talk to any professionals to find out if it’s a psychological tendency,” Wallace added. “In terms of getting the message across, it was really important to work with someone known to Gen Z and not preach. Priyah bought fast fashion and realized that the quality was not very good.

The confessors listen to Ferguson’s confession and at the beep they leave theirs. “It depends on how we’re going to handle the content,” Wallace said, referring to Gen Z mea culpas. ”.

Sixty percent of fast fashion items are produced and disposed of in the same year, according to the Gen Z report. “One of the best ways we can reduce this waste and drive a more sustainable future for fashion is to keep clothing in use and out of landfills,” Wallace said.

According to thredUP’s Fast Fashion Confessional Report, the average Gen Z shopper plans to buy 12 new pieces of clothing this back-to-school season. If every member of Gen Z traded in those 12 new items for used ones, nearly 10 billion pounds of CO2e would be saved. That is equivalent to planting 116 million trees.

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