Data Points: Responsible Youth

Gen Y is exercising its political activism—at the cash register

Despite being portrayed by some as entitled and lazy, Gen Y really, really wants to make the world a better place. That’s the conclusion of the Intelligence Group, the research arm of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). It's especially evident when it comes to the brands and products they prefer. From 2007 to 2012, young consumers are placing much greater importance on characteristics like “sustainable” and “eco-friendly." Similarly, Gen Y is much more likely to look for products that follow ethical practices and are aligned with social causes and are slightly less concerned about buying brands for their luxury or cool factor. Gen Y has faith in brands’ ability to change the world: Asked who can make the biggest difference in the world, 22 percent named Apple, behind President Obama (44 percent) and followed by Oprah (14 percent).