Wallet trends of the last decade 2010 – 2020.

Just like any fashion accessory or item of clothing things come in and out of fashion faster than you can even understand what to buy. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve bought something and only a month later it’s already ‘uncool’ in the eyes of the industry. That’s what we call fast fashion.

So what defined the wallet trends of the last decade. From a worldwide perspective, a lot changed. With the ever-increasing popularity of the internet, smartphones and online shopping has made it that much easier for small businesses to innovate and sell their goods online. Most of the wallets I review are actually small companies with few employees and operating on passion and uniqueness to sell their goods. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the trends in wallet trends in the last decade and explain how they changed the way we carry our things forever. 

Increase in Sim & Minimalist Wallets

It’s no secret that slim wallets have been dominating the market in the past 10 years. You only have to look at crowdfunding success stories such as the TGT or the DUN wallet to see that the popularity in slimming down your everyday carry (EDC) has never been higher. 

But why is this? I think it has a lot to do with the way we pay and the changes in the way we do this. Cashless societies are becoming more and more common and fewer people – myself included – are going cashless not carrying any sort of physical cash on us. At this point, this has almost become an unnecessary burden and the ease and accessibility of paying through credit/debit are too commonplace to be ignored. 

So this has to lead to some pretty useless features when it comes to many brands of wallets. After all most traditional leather bi-folds’ biggest feature is a large slot for banknotes – which in my case – would now be useless. 

As we move further and further into technology-driven payment systems (paying on your phone for example) I’d assume our wallets will shrink in size even more as we’d have less reason to even carry credit/debit cards with us. The next evolution beyond that is the successful transition to cryptocurrency payment systems (blockchain technology) which would be the ultimate slimdown of the traditional wallet.

RFID Functionality is a Must

RFID technology has become a must in all wallets as the advent of contactless crime is on the rise. RFID is something that’s integrated into your wallet to shield your contactless credit/debit cards from criminals who can swipe them take your money. This crime is very obviously new to the last 10 years (and is still rare in certain countries) so will become even more popular in 2020. For more information on RFID security read our full article on the top here.

Decrease or Stagnation in Leather Wallet Sales.

Leather wallets have always been the industry standard for wallets since the beginning of time. But in the last 10 years, we’ve seen a slight shift in the number of people transitioning away from leather to more unique materials such as wood or metal. The most notable example of this is carbon fiber (see graph) where we’ve seen a huge spike in the number of carbon fiber wallets on the market. 

This has obviously had a negative impact on leather wallet sales as people switch from this traditional material and that has been a recurring theme over the last 10 years.

The evolution of smart wallets

A smart wallet is one that uses technology to enhance the features of said wallet. These wallets didn’t really exist until the rise of smartphones with the release of the Apple iPhone. What’s curious about the graph below is how the peak interest in smart wallets peaks in 2017 and declines until the present. 

I think there are two reasons for this (the first being the actual reason). 2017 was the peak of Bitcoin a cryptocurrency that’s taken the world by storm with its amazing technology blockchain. Is just so happens that people store this currency on something called ‘wallets’ so I’d assume that this traffic is not referring to ‘smart wallets’ as we classify them but the Bitcoin kind.

Nevertheless, I have another theory as to this peak in relation to actual smart wallets. 2017 just happened to be the time most of the top-funded smart wallets on platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo were successfully funded. At this time to technology and idea were relatively new so the buzz around such an innovative and creative concept was high. But this buzz died a death and smart wallets have quickly become known as a ‘gimmick’ feature that doesn’t really add anything useful to your daily carry. 

The Rise of Crowdfunding

The evolution of crowdfunding has quickly become the best method for innovators and creators to bring their ideas to life. This has been constant over the last 10 years and has been a great platform for men’s wallets to raise hundreds and thousands of dollars to launch their new wallet.

That’s one of the things I love about the internet. If people have a common goal they’ll come together to make it a reality. I do a monthly blog that reviews the current month’s crowdfunding campaigns. Make sure to check out the latest one!

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