Denim is an all-time classic that transcends seasonal boundaries and stays fresh with multiple eye-catching updates. This season focuses on minimalist and efficient designs while merging them with a playful sensibility.
The past years have driven consumers toward a creative mindset to counter stress and solve complex problems–and this wardrobe staple adapts creativity with a greater sense of purpose.
Discover the top denim wash and details trends to fulfill consumer desires in 2023.
How big is the denim market?
In 2021, the worldwide denim jeans market generated US$ 70.71 billion in revenue. Despite this massive value, experts anticipate the industry’s expansion at a 6.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2030. They also expect it to reach US$ 121.50 billion over the forecast period.
Marketing analysts make such predictions due to the constant evolution of consumer preferences for stylish attires and steadfast product innovations flooding the market. These factors, coupled with the rising fashion sense among millennials and baby boomers, are major driving forces for this market’s growth.
Experts predict the men’s category has enough potential to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Men’s denim experienced significant popularity growth, with straight leg, tapered leg, slim fit, and skinny jeans emerging as the hottest selling types. However, the women’s segment will stay caught up as spending capacity on beauty apparel keeps increasing steadily.
North America will register as the dominant regional market due to the presence of global brands and their stead innovations. However, Asia Pacific will experience the fastest-growing rate over the forecast period as multinational companies engage in a fast-paced expansion.
Revolutionary denim wash and finish trends
Color-infused draws inspiration from sun-faded and naturally aged denim. In retrospect, this wash trend adopts the style of earthy grounding pigments, which provides an uplifting and refreshing vintage aesthetic.
Additionally, denim embracing this wash direction will utilize vegetal, food waste, or low-impact certified dyes for precise pigment prints on brushed and softly washed cotton drills.
The trend also gravitates towards eco-friendly fading methods, like enzyme and laser dyes, and combines them with natural hues for an earthy feel.
Love-cycled craft emerges as a response to the streetwear community’s sudden love for heirloom and craft techniques. In addition, this new textile caters to the youth market’s desire for a playful spin on classic denim.
This trend updates old-time heirloom techniques, like quilting, crocheting, and boro, with modern applications, hues, and fabric selections. For example, Canadian label Bent Gable Knits inspires with their upcycled Levi’s.
In addition, retailers can also draw inspiration from the founder of Proleta Re Art, who enhances the techniques acquired while working at Kapital with a fresh streetwise appeal.
Denim is so versatile that manufacturers can embed entirely different fabrics and maintain its best qualities. The cabincore cozy trend embodies this ideal by evoking comfortable getaways for consumers lounging in the great outdoors.
The tactile theme adopts cabin-cozy blanket textures, enhancing classic looks with warmth-inducing accents and fleecy and brushed softness. Fibers under this denim trend include ethnically-sourced animal-hair yarns, RMS mohair, and RWS worsteds. Interestingly, these modern yarns imbue designs with natural insulation.
The cabincore cozy theme uses warm and thermal properties to upgrade the classic denim this season. Blends like wool/cashmere can easily make regular-looking denim comfortable and winter-ready. Plus, adding napped and brushed finishes will provide similar effects.
NYC label B Sides inspires the retail market with their mohair-lined denim jackets. In addition, businesses can feel inspired by Cone Denim and Pendleton’s collaboration which produced the ultimate all-American outdoor denim.
Take denim for an updated spin by merging functional utility with cozy fabrics. Homebound comfort is about creating items perfect for consumers on the move or working from home.
Homebound comfort champions softness and durability by utilizing fibers like COTS-certified cotton, T400, recycled polyester, and nylon. Retailers can give cotton drills and twills more practicality with a smartened-up aesthetic. Offer denim in clean and raw designs to make them ready for the outdoors or office.
This wash theme also creates room for natural weatherproofing properties. Adding this feature to denim jackets will imbue them with sustainable protective quality. On the other hand, trousers will feel more authentic and smart with nuanced woven stripe textures.
Retailers can add circularity to their catalogs by leveraging the new generation of highly-optimized, closed-loop cellulosic fibers. This time, the focus is on traceable yarns and recycled/upcycled synthetics, like Infinna, Roica V550, and Circulose.
Circular systems shift attention to vendors offering cradle-to-cradle standards, like AGI denim, Soorty, and Candiani. Draw inspiration from Calik’s and Kings of Indigo’s collaboration that kick-started the traceable denim trend with blockchain technology.
Additionally, businesses can invest in the latest cellulose-rich fibers that are quickly becoming a fad for core denim brands. For example, Wrangler utilizes Infinna, a yarn capable of transforming textile waste into a premium (and sustainable) cotton alternative.
Upcycling techniques are taking on a bolder approach this season with modular layering and simplified collage forms. Cutout collage creates statement patterns using classic indigo denim and colored surplus fabric.
Cutout collage taps into a grunge-inspired look by merging distressed textures with contrasting layers, making denim bottoms ideal for winter months. In addition, retailers can apply random patchwork effects to emphasize the appearance of cut-and-paste surfaces.
Brands to follow include Balenciaga, which layers joggers underneath jeans, and GCDS, for merging knitted sleeves on denim trucker jackets.
Winter eco-acid employs enzyme-washed darks to push summer’s Hyper Hypo theme toward a moody winter direction. The wash trend blends natural GOTS-, BCI-, and GRS-certified cotton with post-consumer or industrial recycled fibers.
This story aims at replacing bleach applications with ethical alternatives that take advantage of low-impact solutions and less water-intensive processes. These substitute processes can help retailers achieve an #acidwash and frosted aesthetic.
For instance, Italian wash specialist Officina+39’s Recycrom and Oz-One powder are eco-friendly techniques relying on fog systems while saving energy and water. Also, Chantuque (Turkish laundry expert) creates a bleaching effect through enzymes on an ozone base and layering with lasers.
Do it your way
With the DIY economy evolving, consumers are shifting towards elevated takes on denim repurposing. Do it your way takes on a trash-to-treasure sourcing method, imbuing jeans with crafted placement details and recycled trims & embellishments.
Follow this trend by using recycled denim with circular cellulosic fibers. Retailers can also remodel denim with novel surface textures, like all-over embroideries. However, recycled plexiglass, rPET, or upcycled materials & beads should be a significant focus for embellishments and other components.
Do it your way creates striking contrasts by adding color shapes and patterns to various denim essentials.
Denim doesn’t have to be dark and gloomy. Retailers can harness the optimistic sentiment of energized dopamine brights for a proactive and ‘positive main character’ aesthetic.
Dopamine minimalism reimagines a minimal-maximalist beauty by updating simple silhouettes with hyper-brights. Thanks to advances in dye technologies, retailers can utilize environmentally friendly high-octane hues with low impact.
Invest in solutions like Garmon Chemical’s OVD dyes that need shorter processing periods, less water, and lower energy consumption. Plus, they should also comply with ZDHC standards.
Fashion and technology are merging as more items adopt advanced, techy features—even denim takes a technological approach with this trend. Interestingly, digital denim embeds timeless jeans with improved traceability and functionality.
Utilize blockchain technology to reflect consumer demand for transparency. For example, digital denim offers a completely traceable look and smart fibers providing antibacterial and performance qualities. As a result, this denim wash trend also caters to consumer concerns about wellness and hygiene.
Retailers can follow Unspun’s example in this regard. The digital-fit apparel brand pushes its product lines toward advanced circular weaving technologies. Another one to watch is Levi’s Near Field Communication technology which adds IoT engagements to denim items.
Outstanding denim trims and details for 2023/24
Gemstone repurposing and stone cycling are emerging as techniques for adding attractive details while staying within the boundaries of circular waste-stream sourcing.
Retailers can use buttons, beads, and embellishments to capture upcycled and reprocessed materials’ unique and irregular surface detailing. More importantly, sellers can apply reprocessed industrials on jackets, dresses, and denim.
With outdoor and flexible working lifestyles gaining popularity, consumers are shifting toward weather function and maximalist outdoor looks. But that’s not all. Anywhere commuter also enhances performance-driven details with playful aesthetics.
Support versatile and easy styling with durable zips, cord locks support, D-rings, and carabiner-style clips. Additionally, experiment with materials, scale, and color to blend travel-ready items with functional details.
Home-proud focuses on elevating #kitchenbody and home-based cottage core themes with cozy fibers and tactile materials. Interestingly, taking this direction offers comforting warmth for outdoor and indoor styling.
Retailers can tap into this trend’s benefits by opting for fiber-based trims in robust natural fiber yarns. What’s more? They can use them for belted, durable cord & tie, and hard-wearing cuffs details.
Grown composites take a natural route by creating solid material innovations with agricultural crop composites and food waste.
Businesses can showcase the beauty of irregular and organic surfaces through tactile fiber blends, encased composite materials, and warm sunset & sunrise palettes.
This nature-inspired trims and details trend works well with separates, outerwear, shirts, and denim.
Consumers demand longevity this season, and businesses can promote extended use through repair services.
Dive into this trend by encouraging garment restoration and repair through DIY repair kits and in-house mending services. It also allows for more customization, allowing retailers to increase the appeal of post-purchase goods.
Tidal movements are all about using elemental designs, like water and tidal movements, to create eye-catching patterns for fluid-fiber and solid material details.
Drawing influence from this trend involves utilizing materials that replicate undulating wet surfaces. Additionally, businesses can apply this style to details like fastenings, belts, and buttons.
The trims and details trend is relevant for denim separates, blouses, dresses, and jackets.
Otherworldly and weird trims gain prominence this season, helping retailers explore nature’s interconnectedness. For example, the midnight garden draws inspiration from unexpected organic networks, flowers, and plants to create fractal and web-like lace designs.
Apply midnight-garden-inspired trims and details on intimates, jackets, blouses, and separates.
Consumers who love metallic accents will run wild for Space Sahara detailing. This trend offers a futuristic feel on circular utility details through powdery, muted metallics.
Space Sahara encourages a shift toward finishing processes with lower impact and other circular solutions. In addition, sellers can extend their utility product’s lifespan by investing in removable and repairable trims and detailing.
Denim jackets and separates are high-selling options that can embody Space Sahara’s metallic aesthetic.
Precision craft has become more popular, and consumers love its style. However, this season softens these looks with abstracted interpretations of nature and ergonomic, organic forms.
Ergonomic forms drive businesses toward additive manufacturing processes and injection molding techniques to cut down hard-to-recycle waste. Retailers can apply this detailing trend to denim blouses, intimates, jackets, and separates.
With more consumers prioritizing longevity, fluid workwear and versatility, enhanced classics will gain increased popularity this season. Tactile minimalism updates high-touch components with a refreshing sense of luxurious tactility, which creates a premium feel.
For this trend, retailers should focus their investments on categories where elevated details can give items a timeless value. Consider adopting this trend for dresses, intimates, jackets, denim, and jackets.
Denim washes and finishes takes a more organic approach while reducing dependency on cotton. This season, a new generation of natural dyes also takes a stance by brightening up moody denim collections.
In addition, modular and adaptable details provide opportunities for consumers to enjoy post-purchase customization. Plus, these trends move away from novelty detailing to ensure products have longevity.
Retailers canfocus on these denim wash and details trends to keep their catalogs fresh and exciting in 2023 and beyond.