If young people adopt some good practices, they also show that the temptation of low prices and the quest for the latest trendy clothing sometimes (often) get the better of ecological concerns.

This is the conclusion drawn by Teenage Lab by Pixpay, the payment card for teens co-piloted by parents, which today unveils its study on the carbon impact of the consumption habits of the young generation.

A study conducted in response to “How dare you?

launched by Greta Thunberg at the United Nations, as young people urge adults to take concrete action against global warming.

Shein and fashion as bad students

Fashion is in the third most polluting industries in the world.

It produces 10% of global CO2 emissions and nearly 20% of wastewater.

And yet, fueled by fashion influencers, even the most eco-conscious teens end up succumbing to the shopping frenzy of big chain outlets.

Result: by monopolizing 17% of their budget, fashion is responsible for 28% of their total CO2 emissions, far ahead of visits to the supermarket, purchases of cars and motorcycles and stops at the local fast food restaurant.

By comparison, seniors spend only 4% of their budget on clothing.

Shein, the Chinese fast fashion giant, has something to do with it.

It alone weighs 12% of the total CO2 emitted by teens (and even 22% of the total CO2 emitted by teenage girls).

“Between the planet and a crop top at 4.99 euros, my heart swings…”, quips the Teenage Lab in the presentation of its study.

The study also concludes that it is the mode of consumption of young women that has a greater impact on the climate, fashion obliges.

A teenager emits an average of 0.40 kg of CO2 per euro spent, while a teenager emits "only" 0.32.

That being said, it would seem that in adulthood, things are reversed, with men dropping their consoles to become passionate about cars.

Teenagers still have an eco-friendly soul

Teenage Lab asserts that young people have “deeply understood that they are part of a model that is anything but responsible and even less sustainable”.

Faced with their contradictions, six out of ten declare themselves ready to curb their buying fever

It should also be noted that teenagers are not content to give moral lessons to the oldest.

More than the rest of the population, the younger generations are seizing alternatives to buying new and are increasingly indulging in second-hand.

13.5% of them have already made at least one transaction on Vinted, now the 8th favorite merchant of Pixpay users.

Another positive point, teenagers have a much more ecological transport practice than their elders.

According to the study, they often favor walking and are more open to soft mobility, such as cycling, public transport or carpooling: 47% of 15-17 year olds have already used the latter compared to 33% in the rest of the population.

“Finally, teenagers echo the contradictions of their parents and grandparents before them. As in 1968, youth sincerely want to change the world, but remain vulnerable to the traps set for our hedonistic consumer nature, attracted by novelty and easy purchase,” concludes Caroline Ménager, co-founder of Pixpay and head of the Teenage Lab.


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  • Company

  • Consumption

  • Teenager

  • Pollution

  • ecology

  • Style