PUMA’s Conference of the People puts Gen Z voices front and centre

Anne-Laure Descours, Chief Sourcing Officer at PUMA

New research from PUMA, which surveyed 6,000 young people aged 18-25 from the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Italy and Spain revealed that 94% of the respondents care about the environment. At the same time, however, almost one in five aren’t motivated to help improve sustainability because the focus is on older generations.

PUMA is addressing this focus with Conference of the People. The event will centre the voices of Gen Z as the fashion industry comes together to discuss solutions towards more sustainable processes and practises. Live from London, streamed to the world on Sept 6th.

What were the findings of the survey?

When asked what they would like to see brands doing more of when it comes to environment and sustainability, taking quicker action came out on top (52%). Making more commitments to change what they’re doing came next (49%), followed by communicating their goals better (40%) and being transparent with customers (34%). Two fifths of them are interested in connecting with brands to actively make the change themselves.

It once again became clear that young people want brands to listen to their thoughts and opinions on the climate emergency as well. 26% of those surveyed do not feel that there is a platform for their generation’s opinions regarding environmental sustainability. The same amount also said they want brands to create platforms to hear from younger generations.

How will the event meet the concerns of young people?

For its one-day event, PUMA has compiled panels that will feature some of the most prominent voices in sustainable fashion along with some famous faces, and next generation thinkers. Topics include tackling waste, using more sustainable materials, impacting climate change, and finding ways for the industry to collaborate to achieve results sooner.

Eco-anxiety is also on the rise amongst young people. Over a third (36%) of the survey respondents admitted to feeling very anxious about global warming and the climate emergency. The number is highest in Italy (66%). The sportswear brand plans to tackle this head on. Actress, model, and activist Cara Delevingne will feature in a conversation on how young people can manage the anxieties they’re facing when it comes to the climate crisis.

Conference of the People is a first of its kind event. The aim is to create an environment for PUMA’s industry peers, activists, NGOs, experts, ambassadors, and consumers to come together and discuss solutions for some of the fashion industry’s most pressing sustainability challenges. All whilst amplifying the of voices of young people across the world.

What were the executive’s thoughts on the event?

Anne-Laure Descours, Chief Sourcing Officer at PUMA says, “With 71% of young people believing that their voices aren’t heard when it comes to environmental sustainability, it’s clear there’s a problem. Gen Z will have to live with climate decisions that are being made today, so we recognise that it’s important that they’re heard in these conversations.”

“My hope is that through the event, we can give a platform to their voices and create a safe environment for them to collaborate with us, as an industry, on better ways of operating.”

To learn more about Conference of the People and to register interest in physical or virtual attendance, users can visit PUMACOP.com. Conference of the People will start on September 6 at 12pm BST (1pm CET, 7 am ET) and the livestream of the event is free to access for all.