Traditionally, luxury has been associated with material wealth: jewellery, cars, large mansions and anything that involves spending a high amount of money. But like so many other things in life, luxury has also evolved and it is Generation Z, the young people born between 1995 and 2000, approximately, who are setting the new course. Understanding luxury as “the abundance of riches and comforts”, they are moving away from the purely material to give value to everything that surrounds them. They seek abundance in its broadest sense, at the same time that social and collective awareness is growing. They are the generation born and raised in a world marked by economic crises, job insecurity in many sectors, high academic competition, uncertainty about the future and a planet severely affected by climate change that no one knows how it will evolve. In short, they are the generation that cannot predict their future. And that leads them to live the present from another perspective, more humanized and conscious of their actions.
- A dignified life, the new luxury
Born in the midst of the digital era, this generation does not fear change, but rather provokes it, with a high level of adaptive maturity that has taught them to live in a society where everything that is considered pre-established is constantly changing or evolving. From politics to the digital world. The flexibility to adapt to change is, without a doubt, one of their characteristic values and what will allow them to survive in this world marked by constant change.
It is precisely this feeling of not being able to hold on to anything that changes their order of priorities, putting the focus on what we see and feel ahead of what we own. Back to basics, deconstructing in order to build again. Young people look at a world full of possibilities with only one hope: that it will be possible for them to live with dignity. To be able to access the desired studies, to find a well-paid job with future prospects, or to be able to become independent and maintain an optimal quality of life without giving up any of the basics. This is the definition of luxury for a large part of Generation Z, and at the same time it is a challenge to be met for the majority.
- Innovation and culture, the pillars of a future to be built upon
Innovation and entrepreneurship are the order of the day for this collective, which sees its creative and entrepreneurial capacity grow daily, following a path that the previous generation had already started. Digital businesses, consultancies, online sales, influencers, freelancers of all kinds of services, startups … More and more young people who, after years of study, choose to launch themselves into the market on their own. If society cannot guarantee them a future, they will create their own, with the effort and dedication that this entails. The learning and maturity of this generation in terms of making a living not only marks them, but also gives a new perspective to past generations, who see in this new digital world a showcase where they can reinvent themselves, and in the same way opens the doors to future generations who will no longer grow up contemplating only one way of living.
The relationship with money also changes and the idea of possessing no longer prevails, but of enjoying. Luxury is not having a house, it is choosing the place where you want to live. It is not having a transportation vehicle, it is being able to move in the most comfortable and economical way possible, always with a sustainable vision. Luxury is not eating in expensive restaurants, but betting on proximity and ecology, and enjoying real food again. Or to be able to visit museums, read books or consume culture in any format that transports you to places that make you think, dream or stir your conscience. It is not enough to train the body, we must also train the brain, and a lot of it. And this is a value that, beyond characterizing generation Z, marks the future of an advanced society based on culture, knowledge and critical thinking. Freedom, in this sense, is their ally, and will surely be the principle they will never renounce, since to do so would mean losing the essence that has brought them this far.
- The digital generation in three words: connect, disconnect and share.
Everything is connected, and digitalization has been the main culprit. Knowledge and information move at an ever-increasing pace, trends are constantly changing and, for years now, have been created almost exclusively through social networks. Social interaction takes on a new form and naturally becomes a means of communication that is used on a daily basis, whether directly with people in the environment or indirectly with companies, banks or between users. Provided it is used correctly, the online world opens up a range of possibilities that is growing every day, and in which young people are finding their way of connection.
Generation Z, however, goes beyond the digital realm and is looking for a real connection with both people and the environment, starting with oneself. It is as important to be connected as it is to know how to disconnect. Although, in a generalized way, we upload our life to the networks, we do not find real life there. And both generation Z and previous generations have been able to differentiate between these two concepts and use the networks more or less responsibly, but always with the aim of creating a community to share and interact. Surrounding yourself with people who add up is also a luxury
- The revolution of starting over
There is a growing awareness of the individual and collective power that, thanks to the knowledge acquired from past generations, allows young people to draw a new social panorama where everything is susceptible to change, as has been demonstrated in recent years and in various situations. The world is constantly changing, therefore so should the way society relates. For example, a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle is a must for the new generations. And where many see a fad, they simply see a way of living that can ensure they can preserve a world more or less similar to the one we have today.
And although many of them will manage to reach an economic level that will allow them to buy all the material luxuries they desire, the real victory for Generation Z will be to never lose sight of the reason for their actions. Never disconnect from this spirit of renewal that, beyond marking them, has marked an entire society, demonstrating to the world that nothing is permanent and that wealth appears in change.
Now, generation Z is contemplating, with responsibility, a scenario that has rarely been seen before, and that is that they have generations ahead of them that keep this renovating and revolutionary spirit alive and that, far from conforming to the established system, remain firmly oriented in the struggle for a more dignified future. Because, at the end of the day, among all that we may or may not consider luxury, if one idea is clear it is that a dignified future should not be a luxury for anyone.