How your fashion brand can connect with Gen Z through last mile innovation

Gen Z Insights is your source for the latest Gen Z marketing trends and perspectives, presented by UNiDAYS.

Subscribe to Blog

How your fashion brand can connect with Gen Z through last mile innovation

    Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19

    The highs and lows of Q3 for Gen Z

    Gen Z boasts a well-earned reputation for being a notoriously tricky demographic to get onyour side. So, how do you make students fall in love with your brand?...

    If you’ve eagerly tracked a package that’s ‘out for delivery’ you’ve virtually walked the last mile. The journey that takes goods from a distribution hub to their final destination, the last mile is retail’s most troublesome logistic, rife with inefficiency, high costs and environmentally unsound solutions. 

    While retailers revise ESG strategies to strategically address these challenges, Gen Z consumers remain largely in the dark: 67% of students feel they don’t know enough about delivery services to assess which are doing a good job regarding eco-delivery.

    As it happens, there are a wealth of last mile solutions for fashion brands to choose from. Zedify, for example, provides a fleet of cargo bikes, e-bikes, quads and electric vehicles in various cities across the UK. Japan is trialling delivery droids. And densely populated areas such as London and Shanghai are served by walking couriers too. 

    Which is all well and good for the logistics department, but how can brands connect with Gen Z about this and encourage more of these influential consumers to go green? Here’s what we know about our student members when it comes to sustainability. 

    They genuinely care

    Gen Z, like all 18-25 year olds before them, is an aspirational generation: they have high, passionate hopes and aren’t afraid to express them. 

    That means they really want to do good for the environment, even if they’re not always able to do so. Case in point: 55% of students are buying more eco-friendly products than a year ago. And 65% are planning to purchase more of them in 12 months’ time. 

    Plus, they say things like: “if I had the money I would shop in places that had good labour policies. I would make better choices if my bank balance allowed.” 

    When it comes to the last mile, stats indicate that messaging that acknowledges these aspirations will strike an authentic and supportive chord. 

    Rather than making blanket green-washing statements about offsetting emissions - which may appear disengenuous to this passionate crowd - explain how your fashion brand is making greener delivery choices, and aspiring to do more. Get honest, get precise and you’ll get loyalty in return. 

    They believe it’s brands’ responsibility 

    Gen Z put sustainability firmly on retailers shoulders

    • 47% believe brands should be responsible for regulating the beauty industry. 
    • 68% want clothes manufactured to the highest standards. 
    • 67% prefer brands that appeal to their social conscience. 

    This means fashion brands need to do the hard green work so Gen Z don’t have to. And is perhaps why just 2 in 5 are willing to travel to a collection hub to collect their parcels. 

    The takeaway? Bring the green last mile to them. Position environmental delivery solutions as effortless choices that benefit Gen Z, and they’ll be more likely to select the greenest options. 

    Price is a priority

    Gen Z consistently cite price as a priority when making purchasing decisions. But their aspirational side strikes again because: 

    • 1 in 4 students (23%) would pay 10% more for eco-friendly products. 
    • Over half would pay 20% to 30% more 
    • Over 80% would consider paying more if the product met their sustainability expectations. 

    Be careful how costs for sustainable last mile solutions are passed on. Messaging and options are key. Explainers that empower Gen Z to choose from a range of green delivery options will be more acceptable to them than one expensive choice so they always feel they’re getting the best possible bargain. 

    They’re ready to know more

    Articulating all this is where fashion brands can really stand out. 

    According to a report from ParcelLab, 0% of retailers include sustainability messaging in their delivery communications. And students feel least informed about last mile eco deliveries when compared to other sustainability terms. 

    After impatiently tracking deliveries through the last mile, unwrapping a purchase should not disappoint. There’s a huge opportunity here, to educate in the moment. 

    From the wrapping, to the tape, to the branded inserts, fashion retailers can tell sustainability stories in more than words. Clever copy about carbon emissions or surprising messages about recycled packaging will be noted. Use this opportunity to connect with Gen Z. 

    For more insights into Gen Z’s hopes, dreams, choices and emotions, check out our latest resources

    New call-to-action

      Every hour UNiDAYS creates 10,000+ brand engagements for our partners


      Bridging Gen Z’s sustainability say-do gap

      In 2021, Zalando compared the attitudes and behaviours of Gen Zs and Millennials across 12 sustainability dimensions. It found that “60% of survey respondents...

      Gen Z’s sustainable shopping demands and how to meet them

      The pressure is real. Governments, stakeholders and consumers are demanding retailers go green and begin to prioritise people, society and the environment over...

      Get Gen Z Insights straight to your inbox

      Think digital marketing is all it takes to reach Gen Z? Think again. Download the research report here.