2020 A Vintage Year

Bob Dylan sang “the times they are a-changin”. Words that people would have originally heard on a vinyl record.

Fast forward and never were truer words spoken (or sang) than in the year 2020. A year in which, to use a clothing metaphor, the fabric of our lives seemed to come apart at the seams.

The song, recorded in 1963, became a ‘call to action’, an anthem for the frustrated youth. It summed up the anti-establishment feelings of people who would later be known as hippies.

In a digital age, vinyl record sales and record player sales grew globally for the 14th consecutive year in 2020.

The past can equal the future

Vinyl record sales have grown in 2020 despite significant supply chain issues and
the closure of vintage record stores. This suggests people, more than ever, are
willing to search for what they like and care about. Of course, the digitally connected world enables that search.

So, the times are a-changin, but we’re looking backwards for inspiration.

The millennial and generation z demographic (born between 1980 and 2010) are
driving the vintage vinyl trend as well as other retro trends.

This may tell us that younger generations are seeking the nostalgia of seemingly
happier, calmer times. However, researching current trends at a deeper level we
find Dylan’s ‘frustrated youth’ alive and well, continuing to push for a better, more
enlightened world.

What really matters in 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic people have placed health, family and freedom of
movement ahead of self-serving fast fashion trends.

A recent study* demonstrated that Millennials and Generation Z’s felt that there is a widening gap between what business’s do and our belief in them.

The study indicates that health, community, the planet and social good are now the driving forces of our behavioural patterns and what we choose to spend our money on.

The rise of online vintage fashion

It may not feel like it, but 2020 really has been a vintage year! A vintage clothing
year. Yes, on-line shopping of all kinds has hit new heights, but vintage clothing
purchases have spiralled beyond all expectation.

Yes, the pandemic has driven increased on-line sales across all retail sectors, but
some 57 years on Dylan’s anti-establishment revolution is reignited and gathering
pace in a vintage world.

Health, community, the planet and social good are at the heart of meaning and purpose for younger generations and they are voting for this ‘call to action’ with their fashion choices.

The times are definitely a-changin.
Long live the vintage revolution.


* Deloitte Consulting Forbes article. Shaping a better world.

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