Livity - Gen Z are putting fashion brands on notice

In 2019, more than three quarters of young people care about what their fashion brands stand for — and more than ever they expect the words to be backed up by meaningful action. If brands don’t practise what they preach, young people are prepared to call them out or ‘cancel’ them altogether.

At Livity we use youth culture to design the future. We know that for a business to be successful tomorrow, it must harness the opportunities of today. We collaborate with cultural insiders to define and create what’s coming next in work, culture and society. We help brands co-design communications, products and services with and for their future audience in a way that maximises their potential, raises brand scores and delivers impact to the bottom line.

Our latest white paper  ‘Do you want to be your own person?’ looks at the place of fashion in youth culture today.

We spoke to 757 young people to find out how their opinions on how identity, the environment, politics, money and more change what you wear. And unsurprisingly they had plenty to say on those subjects and more.

Up and coming photographer Rianna Gayle shot portraits of the seven young people we talked to in most depth for the report. They include Charnah, model and creative director of gender fluidity platform, girlswillbeboys; designer, Loren; Fred and Freddy of Keep Hush, a member’s club for underground dance music; creative, Flo; entrepreneur and sneakerhead, Simeon; and filmmaker and photographer, Jordan.

Jordan told us: “If you’re really invested in the brand, you spend the time to look at their story, how they operate, what materials they use, how ethically good they are and how good they are for minorities too.”

It’s clear that fashion brands are trying their best to catch up, but with big controversies in the last year for brands as diverse as H&M and American Apparel, through to Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci, there are also frequent missteps.

For now, there’s some leeway as long as brands make the moves to be better tomorrow. As Charnah told us: “As long as that conversation is going on behind the scenes, then we have to give them the chance before cancelling them.”

Some of the other standout findings from the report were:

  • Sustainability matters more than brand names for 16 to 24-year-olds when they buy their clothes. Quality and price still matter most, but brand names matter less than environmental and ethical concerns.
  • Almost half (48 per cent) value exclusivity and limited editions in fashion, as a reaction against the everywhereness of big retailers on the high street.
  • Almost two thirds (62 per cent) have bought or sold a secondhand piece of clothing in the last six months. A clear indication of the growth of the resell marketplace.

To get your copy of the report or to get your hands on one of the strictly limited t-shirts we’re releasing with the report, email us at

About Livity:

We use youth culture to design the future.

For 18 years we’ve been bringing brands together with next gen talent to make the world a better place.

We work in deep collaboration with our network of cultural insiders to understand what matters to them, to define and create what’s coming next. We use these insights and our proven methodology to help brands to grow their audiences by doing better in the world and by earning their place in culture.

We know that for a business to be successful tomorrow, it must harness the opportunities of today. To learn more visit

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The Marketing Agencies Action Group (MAAG) is the UK’s trade association that represents entrepreneurial and independent marketing agencies. We are a growing community of those marketing agencies that are independent in culture and entrepreneurial in spirit resulting in the creation of some of the most transformative, innovative and inspirational communication campaigns for the world's biggest brands.

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