A lone ghost influencing sustainable fashion in manufacturing and retail
Gen Z fashion trends:
A fun fact about Gen Z (also known as zoomers) is that they’ve never known a world without fast mode. And although these young buyers are increasingly aware of the environmental damage caused by fast fashion, they still want to buy these brands because of new styles at affordable prices. In short, Gen Z will buy what’s available, affordable, and trending. Fast fashion ticks all of these boxes. And while young millennials and Gen Z share some generational crossover, zoomers diverge quite dramatically in style choices.
During my research at fashion institute of technology, I concluded that Gen Z consumers are much more likely to say they’re interested in clothing with logos, fast fashion, and even gender-neutral clothing. I also find it odd that this demographic remains largely interested in early 2000s fashion trends, such as zip-up hoodies, hippie styles, tracksuits, trucker hats, strappy dresses, shoes and platform boots and even mom jeans – yes, mom jeans. * In my opinion: “If you’re over 25, don’t try to wear mom jeans – leave that fashion style to the zoomers.”
Generally, the way I see it is that the pandemic has accelerated an idealistic fashion reformer to center stage. And the reformer is Indoor clothing. More in my opinion, there is a cyclical nature to decade-specific trends that often reintroduces styles from past decades. These days, as zoomers reach adulthood, they’re taking a few things from the past, putting them in their style arsenal, and heading out to explore.
As the fashion preferences and needs of young consumers continue to evolve and grow. It’s clearly a different set of expectations and desires. In fact, today’s young consumers are currently buying loungewear, a midlife uniform with neutral looks that Gen Z has triumphantly brought to the forefront of the market. This rhythm is a relatively modern innovation.
And now, retailers have now turned their attention to Gen Z, who have recently reached the spending age. Young people are conditioned to accept low prices as the norm; but with an individualistic approach. market research and surveys have revealed that most young consumers care about sustainability. Gen Z demands commitments from the companies they support. When it comes to demanding change, I don’t have to tell you that Gen Z is quick on the draw. The rapid pace of interconnectivity has fueled a discourse on fashion’s global expansion as major retailers invest in sustainable technologies and pledge to be more sustainable and resourceful in public campaigns.
Twenty-four year old entrepreneur Indy Blue Severe, does her best to avoid fast fashion, but she can’t remember a moment without it. As the founder of her viral streetwear brand lonely ghost, she suspended all sponsored content to focus on growing her multimillion-dollar brand. And as young millennials and Gen Z do, Severe has built his brand with his personality and his online community.
When Severe was born, brands such as Zara and H&M were earning billions of dollars in sales.
Through a successful mix of social media influence, Severe’s creative strategy gained acceptance across all social platforms, essentially serving as free marketing for the brand. In 2015, after graduating from high school, Severe established herself on Youtube and Instagram. at the time, she was one of the few content creators gaining traction. As a traveling influencer, she was able to secure dinners at the fanciest restaurants and accommodations of the world’s most prestigious hotels, in exchange for posts about the experiences. It has implemented its means to navigate through the digital and economic revolution that influences a multi-billion dollar industry.
“I really think influencer is going to evolve, but overall this style of marketing isn’t going anywhere. It’s a new era” she says.
Lonely Ghost aims to become a leader in streetwear market segmentation. Recently, Indy opened a brick-and-mortar store in Provo, UT that’s modeled after an aesthetic grocery store. Not only did the set attract a sense of nostalgia in its target audience, but it also became a unique and Instagrammable place. Given Indy’s influencer status, the store instantly became a hotspot for fans and followers, while attracting new customers.
Building a community:
Lonely Ghost’s brand statement aims to create a brand that is all-inclusive.
“I wanted to create something that everyone could participate in. Clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Phrase favorable to positivity and interaction” she says.
From a design philosophy perspective, Lonely Ghost’s collections consist of comfortable and fashionable tracksuits, t-shirts, sweatshirts, beanies and much more. Most importantly, all rooms are designed to be inclusive.
Lonely Ghost’s new “Ghosted Garments” collection, along with their pop-up store, has gained national press and major momentum. Ghosted Garments is another example of the importance of brand expansion to embrace the buying power of the Gen Z market. The collection is a plus sustainable way to wear the LG label. Lonely Ghost was able to select blank pieces to use as a canvas for creative designs while repurposing them for the good of the environment. Every week, 25 unique pieces of clothing are sold at the Ghost Grocery store, adding another reason for people to travel from all different places to get their hands on a piece.
Indy’s entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with its loyal following, is the secret sauce behind Lonely Ghost’s success. And speaking of success, Lonely Ghost has seen over 400% growth since its first year, Indy continues to grow in brand extensions such as homeware and capsule collections as the brand expands into new categories.
I’m always intrigued by fashion influencers and how they grow their brands. As a Lonely Ghost, I have a strong hunch that this brand will grab the attention of zoomers and millennials – as they seek out the coolest brands for a generation whose buying power is on the cusp. to triple in the near future.