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We May Finally Know What Millennials Want In Their Apparel

April 3, 2018 | Hannah Abrams

Millennials have gotten a lot of flak in the news for their love of avocado toast, their dependence on technology and their inability to flee their parents’ basements, and yet marketers nationwide have long been obsessed with what millennials want. At least in the apparel world, we may finally have an answer, and the results may surprise you.

When it comes to millennials and clothing, the media has often assumed that millennials are obsessed with fast fashion retailers like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, Mango and Uniqlo. But, as it turns out, millennials might actually be increasingly reaching for quality over quantity for their outfits.

According to Business Insider, millennial customers are looking for practical fashion, as well as clothes that last longer and have more of a purpose. The article points to brands like Patagonia and The North Face as evidence. While those outdoor apparel brands used to be reserved for ski trips, winter hikes and surfing getaways, it looks like it is no longer just for outdoor enthusiasts.

millennials

Credit: Patagonia

And the numbers don’t lie. According to Business Insider, Patagonia’s sales have quadrupled in the last 10 years. The Guardian also reported that the company had sales of $800 million in 2016.

As an explanation, Business Insider referenced an interview from Quartz.

“Economical or ideological climates definitely influence designers and consumers in the way they interact with fashion,” Kate Nelson Best, a fashion and culture expert, told Quartz.¬†“For example, after the relative freedom of style in the 1920s, the 1930s [during the Great Depression] saw a return to a more conservative style of dressing: long dresses for evening, and suits for daywear. There was a more inward-looking consciousness.”

This shift, of course, poses a problem for fast fashion. With more millennials choosing quality over quantity, it will be difficult for these brands to compete with the resources they have. However, Amazon will probably continue to see success in this climate because it offers a plethora of apparel at different quality levels and price points.

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