A bright future for sustainable spending

featuresBy Helena Kilburn, Staff Writer

There is a strong stereotype, often perpetuated by older generations or dissatisfied youth, that millennials and generation X are the “me generation,” ones who are considered lazy, entitled, or selfish. If the spending and investment habits of millennials and generation X are examined, a different story emerges.

The millennial generation and their succeeding group are considerably more inclined than past generations to use their money in ways that align with their morals. An annual Global Corporate Sustainability report that came out in 2015 showed that while 66 percent of consumers will spend more on a sustainable product, 73 percent of millennials would do the same.

Millennials and generation X want to support sustainable companies and corporations, and this sets up a clear incentive for companies and corporations to become sustainable. The two generations want to support companies who are actively trying to improve the world in many different realms, which includes environmental sustainability.

Companies that have sustainable practices are able to gain customers who are being turned off by fast fashion, a high detrimental industry that is constantly spewing out “micro-seasons” in order to sell more clothing and garments in order to create a more constant, solidified consumer culture. These large companies prioritize the rate of consumption in lieu of the consumers themselves.

This growing trend of being more financially conscious has two very important messages. The first message is that perpetuated stereotypes about younger generations are not to be believed, for their actions prove they are not distinctly lazy, entitled, or selfish. Evidently, these two generations are quite the opposite of what they are often perceived to be.

The second is companies that produce in a sustainable way have the upper hand in the market. The fact is that alignment with personal values is out-competing alignment with personal benefits within both millennial and generation X spending and investing habits.