Interview with Larkin Brown, User Researcher at Pinterest.

Why Generation Z and Millennials are the most sensitive about consumption of planet resources?

As the two generations that currently best represent what the future will look like, we’ve seen that Millennials and Generation Z are searching for inspiration to lead a more sustainable lifestyle as they are 2x as likely to search for sustainability ideas than Pinners over 38 years old.¹
Given the current environmental state of the world, Millennials and Generation Z stand out as the two generations that most want to feel like they are making an impact and driving change.

Have you noticed a change in the last few years regarding users’ attention to the environment? Do you believe this change was influenced by the “phenomenon” Greta Thunberg and Fridays for Future?

On Pinterest we’re seeing a rise in people searching for sustainable and eco-friendly ideas across areas such as travel, food, parenting and style. As people use Pinterest to learn about sustainability and discover ways for living a more sustainable lifestyle, searches for “sustainable living for beginners” have increased 265% since last year.

With this increase, we see that people around the world are being more mindful of the environment as they are inspired to take action and make small changes to their lives. Do you believe that “the good example” is contagious?

Yes and that is demonstrated by an effort effort we’re seeing in searches on Pinterest to inspire a sustainable lifestyle to future generations. With a 59% increase in sustainability in childcare, parents are being more mindful of how to teach sustainability to their children by incorporating sustainable kid activities into their routine. This shift shows how parents living a more sustainable lifestyle can pass that onto their kids early in their childhood.
Is Pinterest also used to report incidents of lack of respect for the environment?
More than 300 million people around the world come to Pinterest each month to plan things big and small in their life such as what to eat for dinner, what products to buy, how to decorate their homes and much more. We find that people are using Pinterest to search for inspiration to make a positive impact on the environment.

Tourism and fashion are increasingly responsible and sustainable. Are there any examples of accommodation structures and fashion cases that envisage this sensitivity on the platform?

Within the tourism industry, there’s been an effort to be more mindful of the environment and searches for “zero waste travel” have increased 74%. People on Pinterest currently using the platform to discover ways to pack lighter, reduce their carbon footprint and use less waste when travelling to a new place.
In the fashion industry, there has also been a growing interest from Pinners in sustainable fashion. We’ve seen searches for “sustainable fashion brands” increase 49% over the past year as they look for more sustainable products to buy. Some Pinners are going the extra step in being more sustainable in fashion by renting their clothes, which not only helps the environment, but also helps them stick to their shopping budget. Fashion brands are responding to this shift in how people are shopping and making their products in a more mindful and sustainable way.
There is a San Francisco based shoe company that developed a chic, comfortable women’s shoe made out of 100% recycled plastic water bottles and uses Pinterest to find new customers.

¹Ratio of searches on sustainability for Gen Z (defined as ages 13 to 23) and Millennials (defined as ages 24-38) each was twice as high as the ratio of searches on sustainability for Pinners over 38.
Percent increases are calculated using normalized searches form December 2017 to December 2018.

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