It may come as a shock that Gen Z are so hooked on crochet. Why pick up yarn when you can scroll on TikTok, hang out with your friends, or do just about anything else that doesn’t seem more suited to a grandma?
Against these odds, during the COVID pandemic, there was a 140% increase in the number of crocheters, and it is now the most pinned trend on Pinterest.
But why are so many young people getting hooked? And if you’re not already, why should you join them?
Statistically, Gen Z struggles more than any generation with mental health problems, the most common being anxiety. This was revealed in 2022, when Harmony found that nine out of ten young people diagnosed with a mental health condition suffer from anxiety.
Crochet is proven to slow the nervous system and reduce the number of stress hormones released, as the brain must focus on the activity at hand. Similarly, actions such as picking and fidgeting, some of the body’s methods of releasing anxiety, can be replaced by and channelled into the act of crocheting.
It reduces screen time
It’s so easy to waste time scrolling through videos of people showing you how they live their lives. Not only do you compare yourself to their appearance, but to the supposed productivity of their lifestyle, leaving you to feel rubbish when you realise you’ve achieved nothing in those hours of watching them.
Having small, off-screen tasks to complete throughout the day, whether that be a little granny square or a row of stitches to complete, can help your self-confidence and create a sense of accomplishment.
Less screen time similarly means better sleep. The blue light emitted from a screen suppresses melatonin, which makes it difficult to switch off your brain and fall asleep. And, as we all know, better sleep means better time spent awake. So crocheting before bed isn’t only good for general anxiety, but also calms you down in the night.
It’s completely unique
Due to the intricacy of the crochet stitch, it is impossible to recreate using a machine. This means that in an age where anyone can find and copy a specific outfit online (through tech such as Google capture), what you’re wearing can never be duplicated en masse, and your individual fashion identity can stay yours.
Being unique also means that fast-fashion companies can’t easily capitalise on the crochet trend. With the fast-fashion industry being one of the largest contributors to global warming and pollution, its inability to make certain items prevents its carbon footprint from getting even larger, and creates a market for personal, hand-made clothes that are less likely to go straight into the bin next season.
That being said, since items can only be handmade, young people can have their own shops in online stores such as Depop and Vinted, turning their hobby into a business.
If you could capitalise off a hobby that’s cool and unique, protects your mental health, and helps the environment, why wouldn’t you?
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