Incredibly, "the average Gen Z shopper makes their first luxury purchase when they are 15," reports The Economist, citing a McKinsey study. The age of Instagram and TikTok has apparently convinced ever-younger buyers to spend what little money they have on posh items.
French luxury design house Hermès is also introducing youngsters to consumer goods—but in a more positive way than advertising and selling them. The Hermès Corporate Foundation, which aims to do social good, runs a program called Manufacto that they describe as "a unique system to raise awareness of manual trades in schools." The idea is to teach kids that handbags, furniture, lighting, etc. aren't just things people buy; they're things people make. And the best way to reinforce that is to show the kids that they can make them, too.
"Manufacto is deployed at the rate of twelve two-hour sessions per class, during class hours, within the voluntary school establishment. The project is fully integrated into the curriculum, from primary to high school. Supervised by a trio of professionals – a craftsman, an assistant and a teacher – the students discover the creative gestures of leather goods, carpentry and saddlery-upholstery. Each level corresponds to a specific object, specially imagined by a duo of designers according to demanding specifications."
"A lamp, a stool, a purse... between raising awareness of the world of shapes and role-playing, combining technical practice and the pleasure of doing things, the students create beautifully crafted objects, of which they are proud. All these sessions call upon the values ??of craftsmanship – high standards, quality, teamwork – and reinforce self-confidence. As this apprenticeship progresses, Manufacto intends to change the outlook on the artisanal sector, and even open up prospects in terms of orientation."