Do you remember that moment, maybe around the second week of April, when you realized that there was nothing to do but stare at screens all day during the great lockdown 1.0? You weren’t alone in that thought. A study by trend forecasters WGSN has given us proof of our theory: pandemic-induced digital fatigue has forced Gen Z to play with more tangible forms of expression, including crochet, sewing and all things DIY.
In its 2021 Youth Culture Study, WGSN observed how the pandemic has transformed the behaviors, hobbies and emotions of Gen Z. They identified how the pandemic has changed our approach to money and work, encouraging us to become “micropreneurs” and create our own businesses. , many of which are creative. There was also a desire for stronger bonds with our family and friends.
Our love for the physical meets at this crossroads. One of their main identifiers was our new love of nostalgia. Due to Gen Z’s desire to cash in, sewing machine sales have skyrocketed: UK department store John Lewis reported that sewing machine sales rose 127% in April 2020. Meanwhile , Google searches for “sewing machines”. had quadrupled in the United States. But while the stereotypical sewer has often been an older woman, that has been completely turned on its head: young men, who are now officially known as “sewing bros”, are moving in.
Just look at TikTok to see that’s true. #rugtok is now booming with men and women who love tufting (that crazy gun that lets you make colorful patterned rugs), many of them making real careers out of it. The study cited Sean Brown as an artist who polished it well; he’s made what he calls “art mats” that look like CDs, perfectly primed for the IG grid.
Quilting and crochet games also have their time. We all remember the JW Anderson cardigan from Harry Styles, right? Then there’s Massachusetts textile wizard Michael Thorpe, who helped bring quilts back to life.
So there you have it: 2021 will officially be the year the couture sibling goes mainstream. Arts and crafts are for everyone, baby!
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