Consumer Behavior

Relationship of Social Media, Social Influences and Eco-Friendly Behaviors for Gen Y vs. Z

  • Jennifer Harmon (University of Wyoming)
  • Jung Eun Lee (Virginia Tech)
  • Iva M Jestratijevic (University of North Texas)


In recent decades, more attention has focused on the future of the planet (Bonera et al., 2020). The importance of the concept of generations is that the cultural climate individuals are born in and live their formative years through influences ways of thinking, feeling and acting (Gazzola et al., 2020). In this study, we identified two social influences as factors for eco-friendly behaviors: normative and informative susceptibilities. Because Gen Z are highly engaged with technology, they are more likely to engage in social media to gather friends’ opinions (normative susceptibility) and observe knowledgeable others, such as fashion bloggers (informative susceptibility) compared to Gen Y. As Gen Z are exposed to eco-friendly messages from their peers via social media, they may gradually build eco-friendly behaviors. In both generations, social influences show a direct influence on eco-friendly behaviors and an indirect influence mediated by social media engagement. However, it appears that Gen Z is not furthering the eco-friendly behaviors observed in Gen Y by previous research. For marketers, social media outreach and ecommerce platforms will be critical to attract both younger generations, presenting opportunity to engage in forming the social influences.

Keywords: Sustainability, Gen Y, Gen Z, normative susceptibilities, infoinformative susceptibilities

How to Cite:

Harmon, J. & Lee, J. & Jestratijevic, I. M., (2022) “Relationship of Social Media, Social Influences and Eco-Friendly Behaviors for Gen Y vs. Z”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 78(1). doi:

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Published on
19 Sep 2022