In the middle of a global pandemic, men’s trends are looking a bit different than they have in the past. Despite the slow reopening of stores, work from home is still a reality for most. WFH-friendly items are all the buzz right now, with loungewear experiencing rapidly accelerating growth. The home entertainment industry is also getting a boost from our extra time at home.
COVID-19 is no excuse to stop caring for the environment. Men with a passion for environmentalism are searching for items with a low carbon footprint. Hydroponic gardening and homemade kombucha bring the fight for climate justice to the kitchen, while sustainable denim and patchwork jeans give men a fashionable way to wear their values.
In quarantine, we all have a little more time to take care of ourselves — whether that means getting extra sleep, signing up for virtual therapy, or simply introducing a much-needed skincare routine. Men are giving their skin some extra attention as searches for men’s skincare and men’s body scrub are both up compared to last year. Fitness is another self-care ritual that is vital for staying home and staying healthy. From workout bands to full-body machines, men are searching for ways to maintain their health at every price and experience level.
For men advocating for change, the Black Lives Matter movement is not a trend at all, but an important moment in history that will directly impact our future as a nation. We all recognize the importance of supporting Black creators now and forever, and there’s a long list of Black-owned brands that can be added to any man’s wish list. For those looking to become more educated on the topic, antiracist reads are a great place to start. Men can also show solidarity with a donation to one of many organizations that are helping to build a safer and more equitable world for all.
Men’s loungewear is a current WFH favorite, with searches up +287% to last year. Warm weather alternatives like muscle tees and men’s lounge shorts are also experiencing accelerated growth, with searches up +160% and +91% to last year, respectively. To complete the outfit, men are looking for the comfiest footwear brands have to offer: slippers. Searches for men’s slippers (+58% to LY) are on the rise, as are searches for slide slippers (+116% to LY) and Crocs (+78% to LY). No one can be work-from-home-ready without something to cure their boredom. Animal Crossing (+3,348% to LY) and the Nintendo Switch (+165% to LY) offer hours of entertainment escapism, while the Sonos Move speaker (+1,404% to LY) and Bose portable speaker (+118% to LY) provide an endless summer soundtrack.
The Conscious Consumer
Men are joining the fight for climate justice. Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil and is rapidly rising in popularity. Searches for the innovative technique are up +159% to LY. Vegan baking (+124% to LY) and homemade kombucha (+35% to LY) are also garnering interest as men use this extra time at home to experiment in the kitchen. Fermentaholics offers organic kombucha SCOBY, the culture used to ferment kombucha.
Men are looking for a wearable way to save the planet, and sustainable denim (+58% to LY) is gaining popularity as a result. The sustainable sub-category is on an upward trajectory and reached its highest level of search interest in March of this year. Brands like Nudie Jeans and DL1961 are leading the way. Other notable apparel and textiles include patchwork jeans (+104% to LY), organic cotton t-shirts (+39% to LY), and bamboo bedding (+60% to LY).
The Self-Care King
Men are on the hunt for some much needed R+R with self-care products tailored specifically to men. Looking to rid himself of his stay-at-home scruff, searches for beard trimmers are up +95% to LY and social buzz is up +271% to LY. Look to brands like Conair and Braun for the most diverse selection. Men’s body scrub (+67% to LY) and men’s skincare (+62% to LY) are also on the rise. Market adoption for men’s body scrub is up +19% to LY, while market adoption for men’s skincare is up +5% to last year. Both categories have little to no discounts online.
The Fitness Fanatic
Adjusting to life at home means adopting a home workout routine. For men into fitness, home gym equipment (+491% to LY) is giving them the tools they need to stay home and stay healthy. Simple staples like workout bands (+372% to LY) and yoga mats (+160% to LY) are great for men just starting on their WOFH (Workout From Home) journeys. Mirror and Tangram Factory offer tech-infused workout gear as a more exciting alternative. Tangram Factory’s SmartRope is an LED-embedded jump rope that displays your fitness data in mid-air. Workout apparel is a must-have for any fitness enthusiast. Men’s cycling shorts (+87% to LY) and men’s cycling shoes (+54% to LY) are gaining popularity as men search for alternate forms of transportation and a reason to get outside.
The Antiracist Ally
For the antiracist men that recognize the need for systemic change and want to take part in building a more equitable world for all, the Black Lives Matter movement is more important than any trend out there. Buying from Black-owned brands is a great place for men to start on their antiracist journeys. Death World, Daily Paper, and Cold Laundry are just three of the fashion-forward apparel brands that men can add to their shopping lists. For grooming essentials, check out Bevel, a Black-owned grooming brand that offers an array of shave, body, skin, and hair products.
At a time like this, education is key. Books like So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad, and Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates are must-reads. But, supporting Black authors doesn’t just mean buying books about race. There are plenty of captivating novels out there written by Black authors, including The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, the current #1 New York Times bestseller. Donating to an organization is another great way to support the cause. The Bail Project, Know Your Rights Camp, and The Marsha P. Johnson Institute are just three of the organizations that are working to build a better future for everyone.
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