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Mar 1, 2022
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Nike, ASOS, Old Navy are key picks as Gen Z embraces gender-neutral - report

Published
Mar 1, 2022

Gen Z consumers around the world are looking for greater gender inclusion and representation in the fashion industry with 61% of UK students thinking minority groups, including non-binary and trans people, are overlooked by the mainstream industry.


Photo: Pixabay/Public domain



But the good news is that Gen Z consumers internationally think some brands and retailers are heading in the right direction and the three they think are doing most in this respect are Nike, ASOS and Gap Inc’s Old Navy.

That's all according to a new study of 4,000 students on the panel of discount website UNiDAYS.

They said that the three brands “are leading the way in challenging gender stereotypes”, which should be good news for their sales as 49% of the Gen z respondents are more willing to purchase from a brand that showcases better representation and gender-neutral clothing.

In the UK specifically, as many as 87% of the Gen Z students believe strongly there should be better gender equality and inclusion within fashion. Young consumers want brands to do more to champion inclusivity in their campaigns, as when it comes to marketing, only 31% of UK Gen Z feel that brands are getting it right at present when using inclusive and diverse gender representation.

It’s interesting that with many brands choosing to use gendered language online and in-store, some 26% of  Gen Z also believe labelling products according to gender is not inclusive.

So what do consumers think of those that are getting it wrong? Some 56% of UK Gen Z said some brands come across as ‘tokenistic’. 

Meanwhile, 51% say brands aren’t doing enough to support wider inclusivity initiatives, 38% want them to better support organisations that benefit non-binary individuals, and 45% say they should market gender neutral clothing more explicitly.

And one very practical suggestion is that 65% think brands could improve the online retail experience by providing the option for shoppers to search ‘gender-neutral’ ranges online, rather than having to search for ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ ranges from the start. 

As far as the items that are gender-free are concerned, UK Gen Z are already buying such pieces. Some 47% buy genderless tops and T-shirts, 40% knitwear, 38% accessories, and 37% footwear.

And while 83% wouldn’t expect to have to pay more for an ungendered item, some would be prepared to do so. Around 10% would be willing to pay between £1 and £25 more per item if it was designed and marketed as non-gendered.

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