The end of the decade brought with it a chance to reflect on the past 10 years, as seen on social media with the hashtag and challenge, "#10yearchallenge," with users comparing themselves from 10 years ago to now.
Ten years ago, the iPod Nano was still for sale on Apple’s website. "Toy Story 3" was the highest grossing film of the year. "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha was number one on the Billboard Top 100. And Barack Obama was in the second year of his presidency.
A lot can change in 10 years, including the brands we buy, music we listen to, where we live and our ways of life. Within the past 10 years, brands have paid more attention to the values of their customers and have become more sustainable. Vowing to reduce the testing on animals and become more eco-friendly, sustainability efforts have increased within the past decade.
In what started as a company that made tools for climbers, Patagonia has risen as one of the most well-known and trusted sustainable brands young adults purchase today. Started by climbers and surfers, Patagonia hopes to reflect values that are important to the consumer, such as making items that are durable and serve a function as well as donating portions of each sale to causes important to the brand.
Another sustainable, earth-friendly brand, Chaco, has claimed home on the feet of many, hoping to not only leave a mark titled “chaco-tans” but also a mark on the earth by “pushing for environmental conservation to promoting inclusion and diversity in the outdoors,” according to their website.
What helps to make Chacos popular is the ability to pick, choose and customize your shoe, from the straps to the soles. These shoes have been seen on college campuses, hiking trails and rock formations everywhere due to the sense of individuality it brings to the customer.
Categories of style have been used this decade to classify individuals and help them shop with an image in mind to uphold. Preppy, VSCO girl, E-boy, E-girl, Granola and so many more have been used to help give a name to the styles popular within the past decade.
Preppy styles typically involve brands such as Vineyard Vines, Sperry and oftentimes involve a clean, sharp look. The VSCO girl category, while only becoming prominent this past year, has risen in popularity like no other. Scrunchies, Birkenstocks, oversized tees and Starbucks are all well-known items to look for when pointing out a VSCO girl. E-boys and E-girls are seen as the more edgy, punk styles, similar to those in the late '90s and early 2000s. Oftentimes, darker color palettes and an excess of silver and metal jewelry is worn. The category of Granola gives off classic summer camp vibes. Even if you’ve never been to summer camp, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
This past decade also brought with it the fall and rise of Crocs. In 2018, news broke about the rubber sandal company, stating that it was going out of business. Young adults then made it their mission to turn that around, making Crocs one of the most-worn shoes of the past couple of years. With celebrities such as Post Malone having a design of Crocs, youth are drawn to the simplicity and ease of the shoe, which is just as simple as sliding on and deciding whether to activate sport mode or not.
It’s hard to predict whether the next decade will have as many stand-out trends as this past decade did or if brands will continue to strive for sustainability and reflecting values important to consumers. If one thing does remain the same, however, it will be the randomness and unpredictability of the brands that become popular, making individuals question why we wear and buy the things we do.