Bedbugs, EasyScandals & #Unwell: What Got Gen Z Talking This Month?

Ahh, Autumn: the season of renewal. Summer greens turn to oranges and golds, students return to campuses, syrupy condiments spike our blood sugar and we blast Bon Iver guilt-free. 

However, before we get completely immersed in all things Autumnal, it’s time to cast our minds back; because eCommerce Moments of The Month is back, baby –and just like Vogue, the September edition is always the best…

Alix Earle and Madeleine Argy are #UNWELL

Call Her Daddy fans: are we old?! 

Well, maybe not ancient, but old enough to see the reins being passed from one blonde bombshell to another. 

In September, podcast sensation Alex Cooper launched The Unwell Network. Fronting this new channel is everyone’s favourite it-girl, Alix Earle, and the UK’s beloved trauma-dumping purveyor of messy girl aesthetic: Madeline Argy.

The same person in different fonts, tbh

The Unwell Network has set its sights firmly on young consumers, with Cooper recruiting two of the biggest stars in the Gen Z space. Within weeks of launching, both podcasts are already making huge waves (*partly because Madeleine revealed all the goss behind her split with rapper Central Cee in episode one…).

RIP to the modern day Pro Green and Millie Mackintosh

Gen Z’s consumption of podcasts is firmly on the rise. In fact, in the last five years, it’s increased by 57%. Young consumers want to feel connected to their favourite creators – and for Argy and Earle, who have built their platforms through authenticity and storytelling, this partnership feels like a natural next step.

Argy, in particular, has become known for her relatability and no-holds-barred content. She often films from her car, chatting candidly to the camera in a way that makes you feel like you’re on FaceTime with your best friend.

Episodes of Pretty Lonesome are released every Monday on Spotify and YouTube and episodes of Hot Mess by Alix Earle drop every Thursday on Spotify.

Relationships are temporary, but tattoos are forever… or are they, Tinder?

Relationships, eh? They famously don’t last forever. But do you know what does? A tattoo. 

And, according to Tinder, almost half of today’s young singles have tattoos that they regret because they remind them of a relationship they’re no longer in (the matching stars seemed like SUCH a good idea at the time…).

In September, Tinder announced that they were partnering with SixtyInk to turn those pesky sentimental tattoos into fresh new artwork.

Claudia Traina, the lead artist, shared that “it’s all about rocking that fresh ink and getting back out there to date with confidence.”

EasyJet sue Easy Life

An unlikely crossover between a Leicester boy band and a low-cost European airline… legal cases don’t get more bizarre than this. 

At the end of September, alternative indie group Easy Life announced via Instagram that they were being sued by EasyJet. The reasoning behind this was that Easy Life had “infringed on a company trademark” (read: the word Easy). 

Fair play – as one Twitter user pointed out, the line between buying concert tickets and a one-way flight to Andorra is pretty murky. 

Since releasing the statement, the band has embraced a flurry of support, including from their constituent MP Harriet Harman. They’ve also inconsequentially created a bunch of great memes. We’re eagerly awaiting how this will pan out; but for now, the band has decided against defending the lawsuit due to the financial cost.

Tinder might be able to help you, Lewis?

Abercrombie & Fitch falls from grace (again)

Behold! CNN announced in January 2023 the news we’d all been eagerly awaiting: Abercrombie & Fitch is cool again.

After shedding the controversial CEO Mike Jefferies (remember his “are we exclusionary? Absolutely” comment?), the brand set its sights on becoming a positive and inclusive brand.

The brand became recognisable for its specific focus on model-esque hires

Alas, nothing lasts forever, and the brand has found itself in hot water again. A BBC Panorama special recently accused the brand of exploiting young men for sex. Allegations were made that a “highly organised network” used a middleman to find young men, with “modelling opportunities” promised to lure these individuals in.

At Student Beans, we know how important the values of a company are for young consumers. In fact, a massive 73% of Gen Z buy from a brand based on their values alone. So, when Abercrombie and Fitch earned the title of “most hated retail brand” in the US in 2016, the re-brand came fast, and it came hard.

After investing heavily into TikTok and creator marketing, revamping their stores, expanding their size ranges and making their pricing more affordable, the question begs: can they shake off their past scandals?

A scroll through TikTok would imply not – many young consumers have taken to the platform to denounce the brand, whilst comment sections on one video include the following:

‘*Pretends to be shocked*’

Just when Abercrombie rehabilitated its racist image over a decade ago, this news drops…”


Bedbugs invade London, and Gen Z are as unserious as ever

And finally, how could we conclude this piece without a reference to the news we’ve all been itching to talk about? Yep, it’s #BedBugGate. Pest control calls are through the roof, tube bosses are vigilantly monitoring networks, and plans are being cancelled with those returning from Paris stat.

The bedbug crisis has had France up in arms. Over in the UK, we’ve been following the debacle on the edge of our seats.

Then, recently, it became official: the creatures have hot-footed it over to the land of tea and biscuits.

They’re here, we’re hysterical, and we’re dealing with it in the only way we know how. Through memes and a great sense of humour, of course.

And that’s all, folks! We’ll see you next month for another round-up. Until then, keep it tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite…

For more trend-related news, subscribe to our weekly briefing today.

Drive your biggest growth yet this Festive Season

Access insight-packed infographics, reports, blogs and more to fuel your holiday campaigns