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New Etsy survey reveals top back-to-school trends

A recent Etsy survey uncovered exactly what styles kids are loving and parents are buying this back-to-school season.

The annual Etsy trend report, which polled more than 700 shoppers, found 82 percent of parents strive to instill the values of creativity and originality in their children, while 69 percent said they favor items that allow their kids to express themselves.

From DIY fashion to llamas, activism and more, check out these back-to-school trend predictions based on some of Etsy's most-searched items.

Change makers

Credit: Etsy/Nature Supply Company

Activism is in. Almost three quarters of survey respondents said it's important for their children to be politically and socially aware. In fact, in the past 12 months, "searches and purchases related to female empowerment have increased by 440 percent," according to Etsy's trend report. What's more, "Kids Pride T-shirts" were among the bestsellers this year. 

Designs that reflect these engaged kids are on the rise, including hats and other accessories that flaunt causes and shirts that speak out.

Inclusive products

Credit: Etsy/ikibondo

In the past year, searches for "inclusive products" surged by 50 percent on Etsy, which include multicultural figures, sensory-sensitive toys, dolls with hearing aids and more. These toys allow all kids to feel included, help boost identity and build  confidence. 

Llama love

Credit: Etsy/Babymoon Boutique

Move over unicorns, llamas are taking center stage this back-to-school season. Etsy has seen a 350 percent increase in llama searches compared with this time last year. Currently, there are more than one million items tagged "llama." The cute animals can be found on everything from clothing to lunchboxes, accessories, home decor and more.

Artistic expression

Credit: Etsy/the trendy tot

The do-it-yourself trend is fun for the whole family, as it promotes quality time together and strengthens individuality. Whether it's crafting, singing or painting, parents are encouraging creative behavior early in their children's lives. According to Etsy, "messy play and sensory props" show results for more than 82,000 items. DIY opportunities range from decorating clothing and accessories, drawing on felt animals, creating a terrarium and more.


Credit: Etsy/sweetcloroform

An old-time favorite, the cheerful sign is gaining in popularity as Etsy saw a 43 percent jump in searches in the past year. Rainbows are taking over clothing, accessories, school and office supplies, as well as kids decor.

Love yourself

Credit: Etsy/Mindful Kin

The conversation about mental health has been picking up support, and younger generation parents are behind it. In fact, 96 percent of survey respondents said they care about their children’s mental well-being just as much as their physical health.

Searches for products that contain "self love" increased by 57 percent in the past year. Items include special lotions or bath bombs, motivational stickers and messages, and games that encourage mindfulness.

Social branding

Credit: Etsy/The Ritzy Rose

Parents posting first-day-of-school photos have taken social media by storm. More than half of survey respondents enjoy posting pictures of their kids on social media sites, and more than a third say they always post first-day-of-school photos online. 

What's more, parents are buying or making personalized signs, banners and props to mark the monumental day. Just in the past year, Etsy has seen a 43 percent rise in searches related to first-day-of-school signs.

Signs and other items marking other milestones in a child's life are also on the rise, from becoming an older sibling, losing a first tooth and more. 

Gender neutral

Credit: Etsy/High Street Littles

Parents are increasingly looking for items that are gender neutral, as well as sustainable products. In the past year, Etsy found that searches for gender-neutral items increased by 28 percent, while environmentally friendly toys saw a 42 percent increase.


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