Study Shows That Gen Z Prefers Renting Clothes Over Buying Clothes

A study conducted by researchers from Washington State University (WSU) found that most Gen Z adults prefer to rent clothes than buy them. Most of them claimed they do this to reduce waste and overconsumption. They argued that rented clothes are worn longer as most people throw away their clothes after wearing them a few times.

According to Ting Chi, a study co-author and the chair of the Department of Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Textiles in WSU, Gen Z young adults have shown interest in protecting the environment and would make sacrifices for the cause.

Gen Z is more likely to rent clothing compared to other adults

The researchers gathered about 362 people born in 1997-2002, generally referred to as Gen Z, for the study. Results showed that while Gen Z wanted to be fashionable, they didn’t see the need to own the products they used to achieve this. They consider renting a way to increase the life cycle of a clothing item since many people wear them.

The researchers found that Gen Z adults were more willing to make these changes compared to older adults. Gen Z focused on usage, and through renting, they can get more clothes frequently than buying new items.

Renting items such as wedding dresses and tuxedos has always been a common practice.

In 2018, The Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S reported that consumers had sent more than 17 million tons of old textile to landfills. This amount was twice that sent to the landfill in 2000.

The excessive amount of clothes bought by Americans pose a danger to the environment.

Researchers say that we are wasting a lot of textiles as Americans buy about 67 articles of clothing in a year, most of which they do not need. While the clothes are not expensive, they can cause a significant amount of damage to the environment. Chi concluded that we need to adapt to a sharing economy to reduce textiles and other materials being wasted

The team is currently planning to survey older participants from Generation X and Millenials for their opinion on the topic.

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