Spotlight on Jeans: Denim Bounces Back

July 2018

Jeans is predicted a 2% CAGR over 2017-2022, mainly driven by standard jeans. The circular economy will define the jeans industry in the years to come. More sustainable dyeing processes, water efficient practices and fair labour conditions will create the right values for those jeans companies targeting consumers willing to identify themselves with the same ethical values. Creating new materials, textures and jazzy designs will be the pillars of a new jeans industry that is rising once again.

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Athleisure impacted jeans but turns out to be an opportunity

Jeans value sales saw a 3.4% CAGR over the review period, while sports apparel posted a 6% CAGR, demonstrating consumer willingness to buy sports apparel and complement their healthy lifestyles. As consumers feel more concerned about health, sportswear is being included within daily outfit options. In an effort to compete against athleisure, jeans manufacturers are innovating and adapting to new consumer needs.

Standard and economy jeans will continue being the preferred option

Standard and economy jeans represent 70% of total jeans value sales at a global level and will continue representing the biggest growth in absolute value sales and CAGR over 2017-2022. Fast fashion retailers and internet retailing have pushed prices down as consumers can easily find fashionable and good value for money designs.

Sustainability and ethical approach

As a consequence of healthier lifestyles, consumers are integrating a holistic approach and find value in being ethical and sustainable. This is why denim companies have to offer and align themselves with these values. Finding more sustainable manufacturing processes and raw materials is key to target a growing consumer base concerned by the impact of their purchase decisions in the environment.

More innovation to come

Denim players such as G-Star Raw or Levi’s are partnering with high-tech companies in order to develop new fibres and production processes that are more sustainable and ethical. Water-efficient processes and fair labour conditions are some examples of how companies can innovate to put jeans back in consumers’ wardrobes.

Positive outlook ahead converging to greater jeans and sportswear integration

Jeans is predicted to see a positive growth trend over the forecast period seeing a 2% CAGR over 2017-2022. Denim companies will fight back against the sportswear trend, leveraging product innovation to regain market share and attracting consumers accustomed to the comfort of sportswear. Companies’ efforts to reinvent jeans will encourage the consumer to perceive this product not as a staple but as the perfect outfit element that can match and go with any occasion.


Definition of jeans
Key findings

Jean’s Current Position

Jeans’ growth reflects its adaptation to new consumer lifestyles
Standard and e conomy j eans remain favourite c onsumer choices
Jeans evolves and shows good performance overall
A c hanging competitive jeans landscape reflects innovation

Athleisure Impact on Denim

Athleisure broke dress code boundaries…
…and directly impacted the jeans and apparel landscape
Athleisure expands jeans limits to create more functional garments
Merging jeans and activewear combining durability and style
Denim brands likely to further develop their tops and jackets ranges

Denim Moving Forward

As athleisure reaches maturity, rigid denim rebounds
Increasingly well-informed consumers demand sustainable denim
Innovation begins at fibre l evel
G-Star Raw: Reinventing the dyeing process
Developing a circular jeans economy
Hiut Denim: Traceability and sustainability to move forward
Redefining jeans to minimise negative environmental impacts
Jeans and sportswear will converge leading to hybrid products
A revolution in denim is yet to come


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