The latest consumer insights from LIM College reveal that while Millennials and Generation Z see themselves as key to increasing sustainably produced products into the market, when it comes to their current purchasing practice “Millennials are not eco-fashionistas,” the college said today.

“While Millennials overwhelmingly claim to embrace sustainability and believe they will drive social change, the eco-friendliness of a fashion product may be the least important factor in their purchasing decisions,” researchers at the college said.

In LIM College professors Robert Conrad and Dr. Kenneth M. Kambara’s latest survey of students, five purchasing influencers were compared. The researchers found that “only 34 percent of those Millennials surveyed reported that they are driven to make a fashion purchase because the apparel or accessory was eco-friendly and sustainably produced.”

This compares to ease of purchase at 95 percent. Price and value also ranked high with 95 percent of respondents citing it as the key driver for making purchases. Product uniqueness was a top purchase influence with 92 percent of those polled while 60 percent cited the brand name as the most important factor.

Conrad and Kambara’s latest study, “Shopping Trends Among 18-37-Year-Olds,” was based on a survey of 685 students and alumni (aged 18 to 37) from LIM College, RMIT University in Australia and London College of Fashion.

“Our research is very revealing about how Millennials view themselves and future generations, and their ability to change the world,” Conrad noted. “Nearly 90 percent of the those surveyed agreed that, ‘Millennials and Gen Z will help create more sustainably produced products by convincing businesses and governments to alter existing practices.’ An equal percent report they ‘would abandon a product or brand for eco-unfriendliness.’ This sends a clear message to the fashion industry.”

Conrad went on to say that while Millennials would prefer to buy eco-friendly fashion, “the industry is not providing them with sufficient choices that also meet their most important criteria for making a purchase. As we learned from our previous surveys of Millennials, ease of purchase, price/value and uniqueness are their highest priorities.”

Kambara said the disconnect between Millennials shoppers wanting to buy and not buying eco-friendly fashion “is the lack of fashionable eco-friendly choices that also meet their ease, price/value and uniqueness tests. There are only a handful of eco-friendly youth-oriented brands — such as Anek, Everlane, Nudie Jeans, Patagonia, People Tree, Reformation and K.O.I. — and none have the scale or variety of fashion offerings to meet Millennials’ requirements for ease, price/value and uniqueness.”

In short, fashion brands are trying to deliver products they want to push into the market, and not what Millennials want, Kambara added.

For more business news from WWD, see:

In Price Fight Between Walmart and Amazon, Bentonville Wins

Today’s Consumer: Frugal, Community-Minded and Tech Savvy

Amazon, Wal-Mart and Apple Top List of Biggest E-commerce Retailers

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