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Trend Q&A: The rise of micro culture and more

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WGSN Original Image, Karolina Grabowska/Unsplash
Mar 22, 2023 By WGSN Insider

TikTok and the rise of niche, the new activewear trends and the anhedonia effect. That and more on today’s episode.

Want to know what’s next? Listen to the show where our experts from around the globe unpack your biggest challenges. This week, WGSN’s CEO Carla Buzasi takes us to New York and London to look ahead at consumer attitudes and expectations into 2025. 

Watch the full episode below or read on for highlights of this episode:

Q: Is niche becoming the new norm thanks to the influence of TikTok?
“TikTok users don’t have to opt into the content they want to see by following family or friends. The algorithm does the work for them, recommending content based on preferences. This warps attention and narrows feeds, creating digital cultural echo chambers designed to retain user interests.

“Over the next two years we’ll start to see a shift from mass to micro culture, driving a rise in interest-based creators, communities and platforms, redefining digital culture as we know it.”
– Cassandra Napoli, Insight Senior Strategist, WGSN
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Q: What are the updates for activewear core basics such as leggings and T-shirts?
“Updates will come through materials such as a functional, therapeutic material. We’re seeing new innovations that use ingredients such as seaweed, which could be a great thermoregulating or cooling material.

“Taking circularity into account is key. Use sustainable materials that go beyond recycled PET – think new technologies such as carbon-capture materials, recycled textiles, recycled textile dye and even materials that are made from recycled car tires.”
– Yvonne Kostiak, Senior Strategist & Trend Forecaster for Activewear, WGSN
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Q: I’ve heard of the anhedonia effect. How is this affecting the world of retail?
“Anhedonia is your brain’s inability to feel pleasure, making it impossible to draw joy from things that once elicited excitement. Early research suggests anhedonia is rising since 2020 and ripple effects are emerging. For instance, consumer neophobia, which means the fear of anything new, is impacting food, drink and travel industries.

“But combating the anhedonia effect is a prime opportunity for nearly all industries as people start to chase pleasure. Everything from dopamine dressing, which is still tracking in fashion, to high-intensity flavours in food and drinks can snap us out of this apathy and get our synapses firing again.”
– Andrea Bell, Director of Insight, WGSN
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