Australia’s shopping habits are changing… for the better

Sarah Neate 18 May 2017 NEWS

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Gone are the days of consumers buying the cheapest goods, Gen Z shoppers are more interested in ethics.

New insights from AMP Capital’s 2017 Recommended Retail Practice Report show Generation Z are shopping in a more ethically-sound way than ever before. Generation Z - also referred to as "future shoppers" - are 18-22 year olds. More than 1500 Australians and Kiwi's were surveyed for AMP's study.

The results show that Generation Z want to shop with retailers who stand for transparent, authentic and sustainable practices. Future shoppers are highly engaged in global issues, with an impressive 62% claiming to prefer brands that "stand for something", aside from simply selling products to consumers.

Right Angle Studios strategy & insight director Barrie Barton claims we shouldn't see Gen Z as an extension of Gen Y. Instead, he says they're "the most globally aware consumers to ever roam the planet". He puts this down to their access to global information and ability to extract information very quickly.

"You have an incredibly worldly customer walking into your shop, even if they haven't travelled out of Australia by the time they are 18," Barton said.

One brand leading the way in sustainable manufacturing is Lush. The environmentally friendly cosmetics retailer is famous for its ethical buying, strict stance on animal testing and handmade goods, in addition to supporting many ethical campaigns around the world and making charitable donations.

Lush brand communications manager Natasha Ritz says Lush's values attract Gen Z shoppers because, "with knowledge comes understanding and questioning". Gen Z have "always been able to access answers to questions or delve deeper into an issue. They are interested, passionate, and want to learn."

Ritz puts Lush's success down to their customer's appreciation for sustainable products.

"We get lots of feedback from customers on products like our Solid Shampoo Bars. The Lush-invented bars were designed to challenge the environmental impact of an everyday product like shampoo, as the bars have no packaging and are concentrated so that one bar can replace up to 3 large bottles," she said.

Another value Lush customers praise is plastic-free glitter, which Ritz explains has no detrimental effect on marine life, waterways or our oceans' eco-systems. "Further to this we chose not to patent this formula so that we could offer an opportunity for other cosmetics manufacturers to jump on board," Ritz said.

Find out where else you can buy organic and cruelty-free beauty brands in Australia.

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