Gen Z entrepreneurs: Fruity Towels

Gen Z (aged 16-21) are the next generation making waves on the WGSN radar.

If you’ve not read our recent Gen Z Equation white paper, Gen Z are unlike any generation before them. To help you better understand them, we’ve split them into two tribes –  Gen Me & Gen We. One thing both cohorts have in common is their determination to get sh*t done. When it comes to their ambitions, Gen Z are goal-orientated and dream big.

This generation are go-getters, prioritising financial security and, crucially, not assuming college or university is the only way to achieve it. As a result, this generation are busy building their own companies that reflect their beliefs.

WGSN’s Becky Stevenson caught up with Gen Z-er Alice Gorman, 21, who co-founded Fruity Towels.


Why did you decide to start your own business?

I’ve always seen starting my own business as an option on the table. Our generation has access to endless information, and the range of apps out there to make things like building a website or managing payments much more accessible – it feels like it’s possible to have a go at just about anything. A similar mentality gave us the idea for Fruity Towels. We saw a clear gap in the market for improving something people use every day. We’re all about making it easier for people to achieve more with their time. So, in the same way that Google maps or AirBnB gives users the freedom to travel more easily, freely and cheaply, our towels are about facilitating that same lifestyle – packing lightly and getting more out of your time… and your luggage allowance.


What are your priorities for your brand?

We see Fruity Towels as an enjoyment brand. That means creating great products that people enjoy using for their quality, but also that allow people to get out and enjoy more of life. We have a saying, “minimise without compromise”. it’s about being able to do more with less. We’re trying to contribute to life being a little bit better rather than just generate short term sales, so we’re focused on quality, design and sustainability.


As a Gen Z-er do you think it’s important that the brand reflects your personal beliefs?

If I’m going to invest my time in something, I think it’s important that I believe in it – otherwise it wouldn’t fulfill me. There’s obviously a financial gain from working hard, but it’s important to feel integrity in what you do. I think the influence of social media on Gen Z-ers has given us a certain sense of self-importance – in a positive way. Growing up with constant access to global platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you feel like a member of a wider, global community depending on your passions and the power to do good exists at the individual level. I wanted the brand and the product to be something that I would support, use and recommend to my friends.


Where do you see your brand going in the future?

At the moment we’re focusing on doing one thing really well. We’ve developed some great fabric tech and worked up some designs we love, so we’re really happy with our product and we’ve had brilliant feedback from our customers. We just secured some funding and mentorship from Virgin Start Ups, we’re over the moon about that and we’re really focusing on making the most of that support.

Would you consider yourself Gen Me or Gen We?

“We started Fruity Towels because we want people to experience more of life – that’s all about sharing experiences and learning from travel and exploration. I’d definitely consider myself more “We” than “Me” in that respect, it’s empowering to feel that I personally can make a difference, which is what I think Gen We is all about. Growing up as a close family, my parents always instilled the importance of real life experience and collaboration in me and my siblings. I think Millennials and Gen Z face can be perceived by older generations as lazy or vapid due to social media devotion, yet I think both Gen We and Gen Me are beginning to show the power of harnessing these tools to benefit both yourself and greater causes.


Feeling Inspired? Discover more Gen Z go-getters

Slashed by Tia created by Teni Adeola is a student in college at The New School majoring in Culture and Media. She is the brains behind ‘Slashed by Tia’, creating beautiful, sheer ruffled garments. At just 20 years old, her future’s bright.

Elise By Olsen, the 18 year old from Norway who at 13 became the “world’s youngest editor-in-chief” of Recens Paper magazine. After resigning to give opportunity to younger teens(!), Olsen gave a TED Talk at the ripe old age of 16. She now reigns as the editor-in-chief of Wallet, which talks about the fashion system and capitalism.

Tiffany Zhong, 21, CEO and Founder of Zebra Intelligence, also dubbed the “Gen Z Whisperer” has created a business based on understanding her own generation and helping companies tap into the Gen Z market.

For more insight into this go-getter generation, download WGSN’s white paper The Gen Z Equation.

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