GEN Z HOLDS THE KEY

THOUGHT PIECE

In episode 5 of season 5 of Queer Eye, we are introduced to Abby Leedy, an 18 year old climate change activist from Philadelphia. She works full time with Sunrise Movement, a youth organisation dedicated to fighting climate change.

Netflix’s The Politician senate candidate college student, Payton Hobart, centered his running campaign on fighting climate change to appeal to the younger voters.

It is often said that pop culture is a reflection of society. Do we influence it, or does it influence us? Perhaps we don’t like to admit it, but pop culture definitely influence us more than we think. It is after all, the whole basis behind celebrity endorsements.

Is the younger generation the one to turn back the hands of ecodestruction?

I think so.

Between the years of 1946 and 1964, the United States experienced a baby boom. Consumption increased, production increased. People worked hard to build a better life for themselves and their children. It was a thriving time, and there was little concern about harm that could happen.

Harm? What harm, we are providing for our families.

I am a product of my parents born in those years, and I am witnessing change to the way we consume, and adopt a more conscious way of living. In 2018, when I opened a vegan restaurant, the swell of a movement to use less plastic was rising. In 2019, the sustainability movement went into full swing, and our little red dot saw the opening of zero waste shops, trendy vegan restaurants, launching of sustainable skincare brands. We changed the way we ate and packed food, “hi, collapsible silicone container!”. We changed the way we washed our skin and what we put into our bodies.

This year, I’m hoping we will change the way we care for our sexual wellness. If you care so much about what you ingest, why would you not care about what you put around and into your life canal.

And perhaps the Gen-Zers can help us. I only saw a shift to conscious consumption in my thirties, but Gen-Zers are growing up with it. The more society talks about sustainable period products, and the more society shows sustainable period products, the more society sees sustainable period products. Until a menstrual cup, reusable menstrual pads, organic material or biodegradable sanitary pads and tampons, absorbent period underwear are the only period products that the newer generation knows.

When I interviewed Suzanne Siemens, co-founder of Aisle, she told me that the 15 year old daughter of other co-founder Madeline Shaw is a user of reusable cotton menstrual pads. In a Forbes interview on tampon tax, Kristy Chong, CEO of Modibodi, said that 70% of her Australian customers use Modibodi products to replace disposable period products – a number that jumps to 80% for her teen customers. One of UK-based BP3’s loyal customer is Anaïs Gallagher, 20-year-old daughter of queen of Meg Mathews, founder of Megs Menopause, ex-wife of ex-Oasis band member Noel Gallagher.

Which brings me to a concluding thought. 2020 saw celebrities like Lily Allen, Dakota Johnson, and Cara Delevinge endorse sextech. Imagine if 2021 is the year we see celebrity endorsement of conscious period care.

Who knows, pop culture and Generation Z might save us indeed.

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