2024 trends: Biodegradable denim, ‘thrift-dulting’

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Jess Tang

The cat lounges on his daybed by the window, occasionally pawing at a feathery mobile as he marinates in the sunbeam filtering through fruit-colored curtains billowing in the breeze. You pop out briefly to spritz the greenery with their regular dose of moisture before hopping back inside to settle in the sofa in your comfiest thrifted blazer and repurposed denims, giant mug of rice milk in your hand. You tell Alexa to put that rug-making class you came across online on your calendar, finally having decided to go for it.

This scene could very well have been plucked from the World Global Style Network’s (WGSN) trends forecast for 2024, and it’s looking pretty cozy—like apricot dreams and emotional vitamins.

While 2023 was essentially a period of “introspection, retrospection and exploration”—a transition year, so to speak, as the world tried to extricate itself from the global pandemic—this year is when people actually take action.

Yes, there was revenge travel and revenge shopping then, but those were more of a spike rather than a continuing trend, according to global trend forecasting company WGSN senior consultant for Asia-Pacific Jess Tang.

READ: ‘Mob wife’ is the flashy fashion look of early 2024

For the first time, WGSN employed artificial intelligence in their creative direction, emphasizing the emerging trend of using technology to augment daily activities.

WGSN forecasts more connected digital and physical worlds than ever, where AI will be used as a tool to enhance what humans can create with their minds and hands. In fact, an increasing use of AI as cocreators and assistants is seen to improve productivity and offer support to humans, allowing them more time for their own pursuits.

Restart button

This also gives way to what Tang called an intentional reboot. Now that people have had the chance to parse their own head spaces to find out their priorities and needs, it’s time to push that restart button and actually try to get to where they want to be.

However, she reiterated that people across the Asia-Pacific region are still reeling from a challenging economic climate caused by the rising cost of living. That persistent sense of uncertainty about the future moves consumers to give in to micro indulgences instead of making major splurges in order to get some sense of relief, joy and adventure without putting added pressure on the bank.

Tang said that people are looking to be more intentional about how they live their lives moving forward. “People will be looking for a little bit of positivity, to reinvigorate their moods,” she said. “Colors like apricot will be key because it’s warm, restorative, reinvigorating.”

For the home, people will tend to lean toward the cozy, embracing curtains as sources of “sensorial benefit,” she added. Not only do drapes offer a sense of softness and comfort as well as protection from harsh temperatures, they also help define a space and compound the inhabitants’ own temperaments. Tang called it cozy sensory reality.

There is also a strong movement toward multispecies homes, which has been happening for a while. But it’s not just a matter of getting a pet or a plant anymore, but actually outfitting the house to also accommodate these other residents’ lifestyles.

Biodegradable denim —FRAME-STORE.COM
Biodegradable denim —FRAME-STORE.COM

“In the kitchen, you may be taking care of a kombucha. Or you may have these pet-centric interiors or your own mini greenhouse,” Tang explained. “This is actually another emotional vitamin, because by doing that, you’re a little bit more intentional about how your pet or plant live their lives.”

According to her, consumers also get a boost from treating themselves to micro indulgences, stemming from the need for newness in everyday life. “People are still looking for that mini sense of adventure, those micro moments of joy. Maybe like a little ice cream or a nice lipstick.”

There is also a sense of adventure in discovering and creating new flavors, which gives rise to trends like third culture cuisine—or new dishes that take inspiration from a mix of cultural influences—and savory drinks featuring classic meal profiles and umami flavors (think Adobo Gin and Tonic or Pizza Negroni).


The years of isolation have only compounded instances of urban loneliness, and so people are moving toward a more communal way of life. This means joining communities of like-minded people, engaging in social learning and a proliferation of niche interest groups.

But overall, the world still has sustainability and climate preparedness on top of mind. “We have trends like plant milking, backyard beauty and biodegradable denim,” shared Tang.

At least in Asia, people are continuously looking for alternative ingredients that are nondestructive and able to maximize yield while minimizing land and water use. This also offers a sense of novelty as well as awareness in improving our own ecosystem.

Thrifting is a continuing trend that has been integrated into Philippine, Japanese and Korean fashion culture. “It has always been there, but the way we talk about trends now has accelerated,” said Tang. “Now, it has become even more important.”

After experiencing years of lockdowns, people feel like expressing themselves more in 2024 through “thrift-dulting,” or blending their personal style into professional dressing. “It’s a little bit more playful, with a little bit more attitude. People want [to] refresh their own wardrobes, customizing their outfits and selecting something a bit more eclectic,” she explained. In a way, thrifting also grants us that sense of novelty and adventure that we’ve been craving and are finally able to grasp.

“Trends that persist are actually great because it’s more sustainable,” said Tang. “If you’re looking at a long-term trend, then you’re looking at something that’s impacting the whole society.” INQ

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