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The rise of gorpcore and the winter sports boom

Person in lime green skiwear
Natalia Kretinina/Pexels
Feb 05, 2022 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

This week we throw the spotlight on outdoor lifestyles, a topic we’ve been closely tracking at WGSN.

The pandemic has shifted consumer behaviour across the globe, with people embracing socialising and activities in the fresh air. Health and wellness has become a priority, rising alongside trends such as forest bathing as well as social sports, from surfing to skateboarding. 

As we look forward to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, the northern hemisphere is experiencing a winter sports boom and with it the rise of an associated aesthetic: gorpcore. So slide into your activewear and let’s take this episode outside...

Leveraging digital opportunities

“It’s incredibly aspirational – you get these really glossy, high production quality videos of people skateboarding. With the interlinked digital ecosystem, you can go onto YouTube and watch a video that is skateboarding 101; you can order a skateboard and it can arrive the next day. The barriers to entry have come right down and that’s resulted in an explosion across a whole range of different sports that we’re seeing at the moment.”
– Joe McDonnell, Head of Insight, WGSN

Two people snowboarding captured mid air
Colin Lloyd/Unsplash

Transitioning into the metaverse

“One of the evolutions we’re calling the metaverse streetwear. This is playing into the hyperreal aesthetics only found in the digital world from digital artists or even in-game creations, where the look is quite surreal. It’s getting really creative. But what I think is going to be a real resource for creativity and imagination is designing within the metaverse.”
– Yvonne Kostiak, Senior Strategist, WGSN Fashion

Close-up of hand drawing an illustration on a tablet
Balázs Kétyi/Unsplash

Actionable insights

Tap into nostalgia, harking back to the early glory days of ski culture. As snowwear comes with a hefty price tag, especially for beginners, consider entry-level packages, resale strategies or rental models for circularity. On that note, look to win in environmentalism as outdoors companies – particularly winter sports brands – are naturally tied to the impact of the climate crisis. Take a stance and create a compelling story for eco-conscious consumers to buy in.

To hear the full discussion tune in to Episode 43 of our Create Tomorrow podcast, The Rise of Gorpcore & the Social Sports Boom, on Anchor, Apple and Spotify.

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