Rebel Mum – what you need to know about this 2018 trend

rebel mum trend report 2018

Rebel Mum is the first of the four trends from our 2018 trend report that we’re taking a closer look at

Rebel Mum, as part of the Kindness Trend is a value-led trend. Women have never wanted to be fit into a box called “mum” and sold to as a homogenous mass of assumptions, Rebel Mum shows women taking those assumptions and blowing them away. It isn’t just about mums, the “mum” bit seems a shorthand for “woman we’ve put in a box” and we’re already seeing non-mums included in the trend – Frida Khalo and Carrie Fisher (Space Mum) as prime examples.

As a value and experience led trend Rebel Mum captures the desire not just to be different, but to demonstrate that difference. Not just to care and have principles and values, but to show that through purchasing decisions. Rebel Mum tags onto self-expression, diversity and body positivity. This trend is happening at a time when women are making their voices heard across all ages, demographics and politics.

Why is Rebel Mum important?

  • Women make up 50% of the population – so there’s that. Women are still the gatekeepers of many purchasing decisions – either as part of a couple or family or as a solo-wage earner
  • Women still carry out most of the chores in a household and are often making the decisions on the brands that go in the grocery shopping, the clothes that are worn, the car that is bought and where the next house move is to
  • Women are the gifting gatekeepers and celebration organisers
  • Ignore women, their voice and consumer power at your peril

Where are we already seeing the Rebel Mum Trend?

Boden ran an advertising campaign at the end of 2017 called “Wear it like a Mum” which included women talking about their work and life while wearing Boden clothes. The premise was that this was a “…mission to reclaim what mum style really means: wearing what YOU want in your OWN way.”

While Boden might not be the edgiest of brands, the campaign seeks to re-imagine “mum-ness” as non-conforming and individualistic.

Rebel Mum influencers

Look for the #dresslikeamum hashtag as used by fashion and style bloggers, including influencers @VoguishandCalamity , @style_mum and @jess_soothill

Other influencers such as Violet Fenn, writing at challenge the notion that mums are defined by their children, she writes openly about the challenges of both her and her son being autistic, about music, sex toys and relationships, lipsticks and her obsession with Nick Cave.


Rebel Mum in business

  • Rosie Johnson Illustrates – Rosie uses humour, social commentary and politics in her unique designs
  • Veronica Dearly – straight to the point captions on pin-badges and stationery – using humour to subvert as well as state the obvious.
  • Reddskin UK – Karen is passionate helping women to find their voice by creating beautiful, handmade pieces that evoke fond memories and a sense of heritage. Her moto is: freedom, creativity, honesty
  • an eclectic design mix of punk, kitsch and fairytale.

A great trend for…

  • Design businesses already working in an alternative space and aesthetic
  • Creative businesses that can provide personalised items or incorporate slogans into their designs – stationery, clothing, merchandise, gifting businesses
  • Businesses working in the eco and green spaces – health food shops, vegan and vegetarian suppliers and food businesses, wellness practitioners
  • Businesses working in the creative and crafting spaces – sewing, wool crafts, cookery schools, baking, making and crafting  – both suppliers and training
  • Family and experience-based businesses – forest schools, hiking and foraging, camping and glamping

How to incorporate Rebel Mum into your business, social media and marketing

  • Don’t try to speak to “mum” as a stereotype in  your content – speak to women as a decision maker
  • Speak to their values by showing your own
  • If you’re a women-led business or have women in your team, use your and their take on things in your social media and marketing
  • Use humour – especially if it is laughing at the social norms expected of women
  • Use a “real life” voice – life isn’t Instagram perfection it is messy and awkward and fun and joyful
  • Representation matters, mums are a diverse and savvy consumer group. Avoid tokenism and connect with the diversity of your customers

Next week we’ll look at the Pink to Lavender trend for 2018