Hear the word “millennial,” and an abundance of strong illustrations spring to mind. Luxe lifestyle expectations, a strong sense of entitlement, ample materialism -that is until the economic bubble burst.

In a bid to define the demographic spenders of the future, marketers are now looking to generation Z – the generation born after millennials.  With this generation barely out of high-school, it’s apparent the adolescent of 2016 inhabits a substantially different world than one of 2005. As digital natives, arriving amidst the economic downfall and war on terror, their eyes are fully open to the struggles of the modern world. (The NY Times, 2015)

As the first generation to fully express themselves thanks to their predecessors, this digitally sophisticated demographic desire authenticity over equality, aiming to help the planet and struggling communities.

Martina Spetlova | The Guardian

Striving to reduce their carbon-footprint and source sustainable alternatives to man-made fabrics, the fashion industry is now attempting to eradicate the corporate exploitation of natural resources. With more consumers conducting research online into the background into the ethos of their products, it’s apparent “green is becoming the new black.” (Another Magazine, 2015)

Selfridges London | Katie Jones Window Display | Bright Young Things 2016

Championing the future of sustainability, luxury British retailer Selfridges have introduced the latest iteration of their annual “Bright Young Things” concept. Celebrating the most exciting new names in sustainable fashion, the exhibition presents a wave of young talent constructing their creative eco-empires. (Selfridges, 2016)

Auria | BINGO SS15 | #ARTEMIS SS13

Proving fashion and sustainability can co-exist successfully, London-based brand Auria explores the impact of discarded fishing nets on the environment and impoverished communities in the Philippines. Creating futuristic swimwear styles from recycled fabric, creative duo Diana Auria and Margot Bowman work with Net-Works, extracting the abandoned nets and recycling them into carpet tile, to then re-use as a textile. (Dazed, 2016)

Katie Jones | Spring 2016

Uniquely crafting each piece through a series of traditional design techniques, Central Saint Martins knitwear graduate Katie Jones works alongside her creative team in East London transforming waste material into wearable art. Adopting unwanted materials from organisations such as Designer Surplus, the collection of bold colours and playful aesthetics are delicately handcrafted accentuating individuality and bespoke styles. 

Martina Spetlova | SS 2016

Studying chemistry in the Czech Republic before jumping ship to study fashion at Central Saint Martins, designer Martina Spetlova is the leather connoisseur with the eco attitude. Insisting she only uses by-products of the meat industry,  the Czech designer is targeting zero waste production.  Ensuring her supply chains are as clean as possible, Spetlova uses computers to cut her leathers then donates any excess to the construction of smaller accessories or fashion colleges. Working alongside a refugee community of weavers and craftspeople, Spetlova aims to help struggling communities as well as the environment;

“Leather is precious. It’s important I know where it’s coming from” – Martina Spetlova (The Guardian, 2016)

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Faustine Steinmetz | SS 15

Striving to make ordinary clothes feel extraordinary, designer Faustine Steinmetz encompasses the psyche of sustainability. Believing overconsumption is the one of the planets main issues, the french designer creates intricate hand-loomed pieces from recycled thrift-store jeans. Armed with a multitude of “How To” youtube videos, Steinmetz has recently  partnered with a denim mill in Spain for Spring 2016. (Vogue, 2016)

Faustine Steinmetz | 2016 Collection

With a fine array of sensible artisan techniques, the Parisians objective is to inspire minimal consumption by offering exceptional design quality; 

“When people talk about us and sustainability, they say it’s because we hand weave and we don’t use electricity. For me it’s more promoting the idea of making clothes that take a long time and that you keep a long time.”- Faustine Steinmetz (The Guardian, 2015)

Ezekiel Design Studio  | Black & White Stick Earrings | Flat Drop Earrings

SHOP EZEKIEL

Paying close attention to fine details, Israeli designer Shimon Ezekiel delicately uses eco-friendly wood to craft costume single units or a small series of products, starting at the concept stage and ending with the final product.

Erato Kouloubi | Momolecular | Two bodies cannot occupy the same place

EXPLORE ERATO KOULOUBI

Addresses a number of environmental issues, specifically the effects of water contamination on the eco-system. Greek designer Erato Kouloubi, adopts tar as her main material in order to convey the threat, fear and crude death of all living organisms condemned by the humanity.

Ashley Heather | Grassveld Pendant

DISCOVER ASHLEY HEATHER

Partnering with the largest metal refinery in Africa, talented designer Ashley Heather extracts the metals found within unwanted electronic circuit boards to produce high-quality silver treasures. Claiming the silver obtained at the end of the refining process is of a higher purity than mined silver, the creative designer hosts an intricate collection comprised of  minimal lines, simple shapes enriched with a soft elegance.(Dazen, 2015)

In an age when supply and demand often takes precedence within the fashion food chain, it’s encouraging to see a new wave of fresh designers carry the fashion  juggernaut of future sustainability. With the emergence of Generation Z, the dubbed “kids who’ll save the World,” it’s inevitable the consumer of tomorrow is no longer intent with basic buying and these changes are now more important that ever.

References

Dazed (2016) Watch Vivienne Westwood in a Garden of Eden under threat [Online] Available at http://Http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/28796/1/watch-vivienne-westwood-in-a-garden-of-eden-under-threat [Accessed 2016]

Selfridges (2016) Bright New Things [Online] Available at http://Http://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/content/bright-new-things-group?rd=bnt [Accessed 2016]

Selfriges (2016) BRIGHT NEW THINGS 2016 [Online] Available at http://Http://www.selfridges.com/HK/en/content/article/are-you-bright-new-thing [Accessed 2016]

The Globe And Mail (2014) Generation Z: The kids who’ll save the world? [Online] Available at http://Theglobeandmail [Accessed 2016]

The Guardian (2016) Meet the future stars of sustainable fashion [Online] Available at http://Http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/jan/03/stars-of-sustainable-fashion-ethical-clothing-bright-new-things-selfridges [Accessed 2016]

The New-York Times (2015) Move Over, Millennials, Here Comes Generation Z [Online] Available at http://Http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/fashion/move-over-millennials-here-comes-generation-z.html?_r=0 [Accessed 2015]

The World Post (2015) Say Hello to the World’s TransGeneration (Generation Z) [Online] Available at http://Http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-horner/say-hello-to-the-worlds-transgeneration_b_8071528.html [Accessed 2016]

Vogue (2016) Faustine Steinmetz [Online] Available at http://Http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2016-ready-to-wear/faustine-steinmetz [Accessed 2016]