- In the last ten years, the way we shop, eat, and exercise has transformed drastically.
- Direct-to-consumer brands have taken over in the last 10 years, with products and mission values that resonate with consumers’ increasing focus on sustainability and social consciousness. They are also better equipped to meet the needs of an increasingly digital society.
- From Casper to Glossier, these 12 new brands transformed retail in the last decade.
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The future of retail is here, and it’s not in shopping malls.
In the last ten years, the way we shop, eat, and exercise has transformed drastically. Sure, malls may be dying along with the American dream. But out of their ashes arise a shiny new cohort of brands that live online, whose digital presence is exponentially more important than their physical presence.
Consumers are more aware than ever how their purchasing choices affect the world around them. As a result, the brands that have taken over retail during the last decade reflect the socially and environmentally conscious values of the newest consumer generation, as well as the increasingly digital lifestyles they lead.
From Casper to Glossier, these 12 new brands transformed the face of retail over the last 10 years.
& Other Stories
Founded in 2010, & Other Stories is an H&M-owned, largely direct-to-consumer brand that has thrived by utilising Instagram to build a diehard community of chic young fans. & Other Stories was one of the first brands of its era to show that fashion doesn’t have to be bespoke to feel bespoke.
Before S’well launched in 2010, water bottles were mostly functional tools. But S’well turned the water bottle into a sleek, upscale fashion piece and identity statement. S’well positioned its drop-shaped bottle as a mascot for the war against plastic bottles, even though reusable bottles have been displacing plastic ones long before S’well came into the picture.
Founded in 2010, Warby Parker is an online glasses startup that disrupted Luxottica’s dominance in the eyewear industry. The fashionable and impact-conscious retailer has become a household name over the course of the last decade, especially among young professionals.
Founded in 2010, online-only retailer Everlane pioneered the “pay-what-you-want” policy for its chic sustainable clothing. In an effort to be transparent, Everlane’s website contains photos of all its factories along with information about them.
Exercise is no longer a choice between working out at a gym or in your home. Now, thanks to companies like Peloton, you can work out at a virtual gym from the comfort of home, either with their bike or with their app. Founded in 2012, Peloton has made it possible to work out anywhere and still be in the encouraging hands of a charismatic celebrity trainer.
Before Thirdlove was founded in 2013, buying a bra online was unthinkable for most women. But with its revolutionary half-cups and online fitting, Thirdlove promises a better-fitting bra, made by women for women. Look out, Victoria’s Secret.
Casper came onto the stage in 2013 and catapulted boxed mattresses into the urban yuppie lifestyle canon. Sure, there was Tuft & Needle before, but it was Casper that made boxed mattresses mainstream.
Founded in 2014 by two beauty editors as a blog, “The Gloss” eventually became “Glossier” and beauty advice became beauty products. This direct-to-consumer brand promotes “less is more” makeup philosophy that is wildly popular with young women – and would have been unthinkable ten years ago.
Warby Parker alumni founded Away in 2015, a direct-to-consumer luggage brand that sells luggage that’s designed to withstand the slings and arrows of modern air travel. With a built-in charger and laptop pocket, Away is the first mainstream luggage brand that’s truly designed for the digital world.
Launched in 2016, Rothy’s combines feminism, practicality, and sustainability in one expensive but very functional package. Who’d have thought machine-washable ballet flats made from plastic bottles were what working women were waiting for all along?
White Claw Hard Seltzer
Millennials are ditching beer for other alternatives. They’re drinking less, and when they drink, they prioritise quality over quantity. Enter White Claw in 2016: a light, fruity, low-calorie alternative to beer, White Claw was the brand that sparked a hard-seltzer revolution.
Mirror only launched in 2018, but it already promises to be the next step in the evolution of virtual fitness. A mirror that’s also a digital screen, Mirror displays a virtual gym class in real-time with real instructors and classmates.