A customer tries out cosmetics at a duty-free shop in Sanya, Hainan province. [Photo by Wu Wei/For China Daily]

Young Chinese consumers want brands to step up their eco-friendly efforts and apply mindfulness to their creative processes, the South China Morning Post said on Tuesday in a report titled China’s woke Gen Z want sustainability, mindfulness and ‘invisible luxury’– why pricey Western labels aren’t enough for conscious consumers in 2021.

Modern consumers are more educated and better equipped to make informed purchases. They also have more choices than ever before. Against this background, their values, beliefs and behaviors are evolving to emulate changes in society.

Conscious consumerism is a global trend that’s largely associated with mature markets. But now, China’s younger generations are bringing “woke” culture to the forefront.

Generation Z differs greatly from previous generations. While growing up, this cohort enjoyed a high standard of living and witnessed China’s transformation into a global economic superpower. Therefore, their consumption patterns and attitudes toward luxury are more mature. Moreover, like Gen Zers in the West, these consumers adhere to high moral principles.

With consumers becoming increasingly interested in mindfulness, leading brands like JD.com and Alibaba have begun investing in sustainable technologies and green-minded practices. Additionally, the focus of provincial governments is increasingly environmentally aware.

Various initiatives backed by the government and e-commerce giants have capitalized on green trends, which have magnified the call for mindfulness. Independent designers have also embraced eco-friendly practices and created a blueprint for mindfulness and sustainable consumption.

But mindfulness is not solely driven by a passion for sustainability. Consumers have started prioritizing their health and comfort and that has been accentuated in an era when consumers have been forced to live with a global pandemic. Unsurprisingly, subscriptions for workout apps like Nike’s Training Club and the Chinese app Keep have seen a boost this year. Sales of home-fitness gear and activewear have also increased, and specialized gyms are booming.