Adored by millennials, skinny jeans have been trending and holding their pride of place for the longest time. However, rumbles of its popularity on the decline, whilst exaggerated, does hold some truth.
The retail platform Edited recently presented a report that states a sharp fall in men’s skinny jeans where slim-fitted jeans hold on to the number one position. Whilst the demand for skinny jeans hasn’t experienced such a sharp drop in the women’s category, the straight fit has now achieved the number one status although the ladies are still buying full price black, mid-washed and ripped skinnies.
The figures indicate a definite decline – 29% in women’s skinny jeans and a whopping 52% in men’s. In the first half of 2022, blue skinny jeans were the best-sellers with 63% in men’s and 61% women’s, whilst grey was the second most popular colour for men at 11% and black for women at 21%. The report also indicated the different washes preferred by the two genders – men opted for a light wash whereas women chose the mid-wash.
So what’s going on with skinnies? Gen Z flare up
The Zoomers decided that silhouettes needed to change as the craved their own fashion identity. Hence wide-legs and flares are making a comeback. Fashion pundits are saying that skinnies are no longer considered a trend but a staple, joining the ranks of the straight-leg. High street brands have made great slashes to their skinny jeans collections. In the men’s category, these tight trousers held a 48% stake in 2021 but this year, dropped by 27%. Whilst some brands are exploring no-frills skinny jeans as great for travel wear, aviation experts are warning against.
Global denim market
Skinny or not, the global denim market stood at USD 19461.38 million in 2021, and indications are that by 2028, will reach USD 26147.31 with a CAGR of 4.31% during the forecast period. Retail experts attribute this growth based on consumer segmentation of style-types as well as demographic, mass and premium labels, and channels of distribution as e-commerce is gaining steady grounds and becoming a leveler for most mass brands.
Denim’s environmental stamp is a concern
Denim’s environmental footprint is a concern area. As all denims are manufactured from cotton fibres or blends with a high percentage of cotton, this fabric is a large consumer of water as well as chemicals. Many innovative attempts are underway to substitute cotton with fibres that are greener in their production. Hemp is being hailed as a popular alternative and Germany and the Netherlands are leading the way on hemp textiles and are recommending the use of rotor spinning instead of twilling. However, hemp can only go main stream as the cotton substitute of choice if it can also exhibit the toughness and durability of cotton as its key characteristic.
As the denim retail comes out of a pandemic-related setback compounded by the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict and the economic upheavals in the western world, it does show the resilience associated with the core fabric – here to stay and grow as denim jeans keep reinventing through styles, washes and innovative blends.