The Rise Of Commuter Culture

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A general rule of economics: A trend is viable and legitimate if you can make money from it. With this in mind, do a quick Google Search for “Commuter Clothing.” Don’t wanna take the time? I’ll help ya out, here’s what comes up in the Images tab.

And this is just the beginning. Once you search for this and click a couple of links, every pop-up ad on your social media feed will feature ads like the ones below. Company after company, selling high-end clothing with ads featuring good looking people biking, scootering, taking public transit to work… the trend is real, because quite frankly, the trend is making money.

And it’s not just clothing. It’s backpacks, bikes, scooters, helmets and skateboards. It’s a growing emphasis on a positive, cool, attractive visual marketing wave that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Startups, designers and internet companies are jumping on the commuter culture bandwagon, painting a canvas of a growing movement that’s finally beginning to crest the wave of social acceptance.

Why is this important? The answer is legitimization. Styles, cultures, even sub-cultures need advertisers, media outlets and product designers to “normalize” their existence in order for mainstream society to take them seriously and inspire their proliferation. In our capitalistic world, this often occurs when companies and advertisers realize they can make money off a trend, an image, and a growing cultural shift.

Car-free transit culture and the multi-modal commuter lifestyle is now a growing business demographic. We even see it in the way we market cars…

Ford and other car companies often include bikes and people riding bikes in their car ads today, showing how their vehicles “fit right in” with the evolving urban fabric.

How do we know the active commuter movement is trending upward? Because our capitalist culture has identified it as a profitable market, further legitimizing its existence, as well as quietly inspiring further growth. In our America, this is the proverbial green light of legitimacy and a subtle nod that we are doing the right thing.

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