Stylish activewear, ethical practices and inclusivity are what students want from apparel brands, reports Nicole Stöber, brand marketing manager of Fruit of the Loom International

Nicole Stöber

Nicole Stöber

What are the key trends in collegewear for 2024?

Key trends include a mix of comfort and sustainability, and a blend of vintage and modern styles. The fusion of athletic and leisurewear continues to be popular. Comfortable and stylish activewear, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, and jog pants, will be staples in college wardrobes. Casual and relaxed styles will dominate, reflecting a shift towards more laidback and versatile clothing choices.

There is also a growing awareness of sustainable fashion, with more students seeking eco-friendly clothing options. Brands such as Fruit of the Loom that emphasise ethical practices, recycled materials, and sustainable production are gaining in popularity.

In 2024, the growing emphasis on inclusivity and diversity in fashion is also apparent. Like Fruit of the Loom, apparel companies that promote body positivity, size inclusivity, and a wide range of skin tones are gaining traction among college students.

Are there any design features that are especially popular with students at the moment?

Comfort is often a top priority for college students. Materials like cotton, jersey, and blends that provide comfort for all-day wear are popular.

The athleisure trend has also been popular among college students. Garments such as Ts, joggers and hoodies that offer both style and functionality are very sought after. Versatile clothing that can easily transition from casual classes to a little more formal events or social gatherings are also high in demand, as are clothes that can be mixed and matched for various occasions.

We’ve also found that inclusive sizing is important to students. For this reason, Fruit of the Loom offers a wide range of sizes to embrace body positivity, cater to a diverse range of body shapes and sizes and be more appealing to everyone.

As mentioned earlier, there’s also a growing interest in sustainable fashion. Students prefer clothing made from eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton or recycled fabrics. Fruit of the Loom garments prioritise ethical practices throughout our supply chains and students specifically look for the impact their clothes have on the environment and choose accordingly.

How popular is the personalisation of collegewear?

Customisation and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are becoming more and more popular, allowing students to add a personal touch to their clothing.

Customised Ts or sweats, embroidered patches, and hand-painted designs are common.

College students are looking for customisation options and Fruit of the Loom offers perfect canvases to appeal to those who want to express their unique style.

Customising T-shirts is becoming more and more popular amongst students, says Nicole

Customising T-shirts is becoming more and more popular amongst students, says Nicole

What was Fruit’s bestselling collegewear style in 2023 and what do you expect to be top of the sales charts in 2024?

College students love our Iconic and Premium Collections. These encompass all the styles a college student needs on an everyday basis, and offer the best quality, comfort and versatility. With our commitment to doing all we can to offer the best products, made ethically and responsibly at our own manufacturing plant in Morocco, which ensures short travel distances and low CO2 emissions, we expect even more students to choose Fruit.

How do you see collegewear product development progressing over the next few years?

There will surely be developments in materials, colours and sizes, but the timeless designs and classic aesthetics of Ts, polos and sweats remain appealing. Garments with clean lines, functionality, and classic patterns can be versatile and stand the test of time.

What’s the single best piece of marketing and sales advice you can give to Images readers to help them sell more collegewear?

The marketing and sales advice I’d give is to increase access to information, particularly through social media and online platforms, to raise awareness about sustainably manufactured fashion and helping students to make more informed choices.