Promotional Products Agency

2016 Youth Trends

With 2016 just around the corner we thought we’d share some youth trends we’ve noticed over the last year. These are trends that are here to stay for 2016 and will have an impact on your clothing and merchandise program.

The three trends we are going to focus on are: social media (the visual explosion), Normcore (extreme simplicity) and Fast Fashion (the revolving store window).


Social media isn’t anything new but it is ever evolving and new apps are popping up left, right and centre. They allow users to interact with each other and with brands in different ways.

Instagram just had its 5th birthday and has had a huge last couple of years. The photo sharing app has become a staple amongst youth (and brands) and camps alike. If your camp isn’t on Instagram you are missing out.
You’re missing out on a simple and free way of staying connected with your campers and staff by sharing photos of camp. You’re also missing out on bringing in new campers and staff who might be drawn to photos of your camp and camp life.

Instagram has also become an awesome way to showcase your clothing and merchandise program. Teasing what will be available in your tuck shop has never been easier (and has never looked so good!).

Vine and Snapchat are newer players in the social media world and are rapidly growing in popularity (particularly Snapchat). These are platforms that allow instant sharing of video and photos that show what the user is doing right then and there (and in Snapchat’s case these photos and videos are only visible for a limited time).

Brands are still trying to figure out their place in the Snapchat world (Snapchat was valued at $15 billion this year) but mark our words, you will be seeing and hearing a lot more about this app in the coming years.


One of the biggest fashion trends we’ve seen lately isn’t anything new at all. Normcore is a growing trend of extreme simplicity. Gone are the bright crazy colours and loud graphics that were all the rage in years passed and back in action are the simplistic pieces like crew necks and 1/4 zips that have minimal and subtle branding. Don’t get us wrong, we still love loud, bright pieces and do a LOT of them but there has definitely been a shift towards simple classic pieces.

If you haven’t tried a crew neck or ¼ zip in your tuck shop lately you should consider throwing one in next year’s program. We can guarantee that your older campers and staff will love them and so will your camper parents!


Fast fashion isn’t anything new and has been a staple of brands like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 for ages. Yet, it is still a trend that is worth noting because of how much it impacts camp clothing and merchandise programs.

Gone are the days when a clothing label produced a line of clothing that lasted an entire season., Now a lot of major retail brands are releasing new product every few weeks, sometimes even more regularly than that. This means people can expect to see new product anytime they go into a store and their options for individualization have gone through the roof.

So what does this mean for camp clothing programs?

It means your campers have grown to expect new options from you. They don’t want to be offered the same hoody, t-shirt and hat each summer! Don’t get us wrong, we have no problem with a staple t-shirt or hoody that doesn’t change from year to year. There is always room for a classic repeated piece. But make sure you are offering your campers variety each year.

If you offered a zip-up last year switch things up and do a pullover or crew neck next year. Did you offer a plastic water bottle last year? Try a stainless steel one next year.

Your campers will thank you for the variety and best of all, they’ll keep buying (and best best of all is they’ll have a wardrobe full of camp clothing to wear throughout the rest of the year and help you market to their friends!)

Want to chat more about youth trends? You know where to find us.

CampRightsleeve is the youth-focused division of RIGHTSLEEVE Marketing Inc.  We are experts at helping camps and schools establish emotional connections to their brands through clothing & merchandise programs. Say hi on twitter or facebook

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