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Global Trends to Watch: Wanderlust Style Straight From the Source

May 22, 2018

by Dayna Isom Johnson handmade and vintage goods

The Etsy Trend Guide is a compilation of fresh trends our expert has discovered across Etsy and the world as a whole: what sellers are creating, what shoppers are loving, and what’s hot right now in the wider market. These global trends are based, in part, on searches on over the past year.

I’ll let you in on one of my favorite travel secrets: I always pack a spare duffel in my luggage when I’m vacation-bound because I know I’ll come back with as many great finds as I can carry. No matter where I’m headed—from the boutiques of Paris to the street stalls of Southeast Asia—shopping from local artists and makers is how I get to know the unique culture of a new destination and uncover unexpected trends and one-of-a-kind items to update my look and my living room.

But who has the budget (or the vacation days) to tick off all the destinations on their travel bucket list? That’s where Etsy comes in. With 2 million active sellers in almost every corner of the world, Etsy makes it easy to satisfy your global shopping wanderlust from the comfort of home (and the convenience of your phone).

Explore global trends on Etsy

You won’t be alone in your exploration. Etsy items already traverse the world every day, crossing time zones and hemispheres to connect like-minded buyers and sellers—like the handmade bronze ring that covered 12,000 miles from Wellington, New Zealand, to Salamanca, Spain (our current distance record). And Etsy searches for “international” are only rising, with searches for “international jewelry” up almost 100% in the last 12 months, relative to the year before.

Not sure where to start your own search? Read on for some of the freshest trends and reimagined traditions emerging around the world today. From statement lighting handmade in the Netherlands to bold red Lithuanian linen jumpsuits, you’ll find modern spins on centuries-old heritage that bring your (global) style to life.

Let the globetrotting—and shopping—begin!

Japan: Understated ceramics

Last year, I predicted that wabi-sabi, an imperfection-embracing Japanese philosophy, would become one of the biggest home decor trends for 2018. We’re seeing that organic, approachable aesthetic continue to pull through and evolve, with searches on Etsy for minimalist and Japanese ceramics up 15%*. Local sellers in Japan are delivering in the category they pioneered, creating quietly beautiful pieces for coffee-lovers, plant enthusiasts, and foodies alike.

Spain: Sculptural jewelry

Throughout history, Spain has produced some of the biggest names in modernist art and architecture: Think Gaudi, Picasso, and Miró, to name a few. And today, their stylistic influence endures in many of the sculptural accessories currently emerging from jewelers in the country. Unexpected shapes, clean lines, and restrained color palettes come together in avant-garde chokers and mixed-media earrings that are themselves works of art. A quick look, and it’s easy to see why searches for “Spanish jewelry” are up almost 30%*.

Germany: Vintage rattan

Thanks to their vibrant local vintage scene, Etsy sellers in Germany can always be counted on to be ahead of the decor curve. The current reboot of all things ‘70s-inspired—from terrazzo to rattan—is no exception. Whether you’re looking to incorporate just a hint of the woven stuff in the form of mirrors and planters or want to go all-out with larger furniture pieces, there’s no need to scour flea markets to find the perfect item—German vintage sellers have done the hard work for you. And their efforts are paying off with a spike in demand: We’ve recently seen a 90%* increase in searches for “rattan” globally and 30%* specific to Germany. It doesn’t hurt that rattan is lightweight and durable, making it well suited for shipping overseas.

Lithuania: Modern linen

It’s official: Linen is 2018’s must-have fabric for home decor and apparel, and searches for items made from the material are up almost 20%*. But not just any old linen will do—we’re talking about a fully 21st-century spin on the timeless summer staple. It starts with new palettes and patterns and modern silhouettes—like boxy, unisex separates, saturated colorways, and windowpane-check prints. One of the best places to source this breathable, natural fabric? Lithuania, where regional traditions for cultivating, spinning, and weaving flax into linen date back thousands of years. This rich history—coupled with easy access to some of the world’s best raw materials—has clearly inspired local Lithuanian creatives, who’ve listed more than 18,000 linen items on Etsy already.

Netherlands: High-concept lighting

Playful, smart, and always functional: Dutch design has long played by its own set of rules, focusing on practical objects that can pass as art, and favoring airy interiors that let those items truly shine. Innovative lighting designs that celebrate and showcase the materials from which they are made—from origami-esque paper fixtures to a laser-cut pendant lamp inspired by a leaf—are a particular specialty. Etsy shoppers are already picking up on that fact, with on-site searches for “statement lighting” up 38%*, and “minimalist lighting” searches seeing a 42%* boost. If you want to look like you spent your summer browsing the galleries, ateliers, and showrooms of Amsterdam, a Dutch-made statement lamp is just the (brilliant) ticket.

India: Block-printed textiles

India’s artistic heritage is as rich and varied as it is technically impressive—the textiles alone are riots of color and intricate, many-layered prints, which are often applied individually and painstakingly by hand. If you’re a pattern-lover like me, Indian block prints—adorning home decor, jewelry, and more—are at the top of your summer must-buy list. I’m definitely not alone in my obsession: On Etsy, we’ve seen searches for “Indian fabric” and “block print” go up 16% and 11%*, respectively, and searches for Indian jewelry increase 34%*.

*Percentage increase in searches from year spanning April 2016 and April 2017 to year spanning April 2017 and April 2018.

Ready to see more of the world on Etsy? Here are eight other noteworthy local specialties to explore:

Israeli Etsy sellers are redefining how buyers wear, style, and incorporate leather into their wardrobes (hint: it’s all about label-free statement pieces), while a legacy of soap-making traditions has created a modern-day natural-beauty bonanza in France. Sellers in Italy are indulging an appetite for opulent, over-the-top accessories that evoke an old-school brand of luxury, and UK sellers are championing a bona fide letterpress revival with their bold, typographic artwork. If you want your accessories to do good as well as look good, Australia is leading the sustainable fashion charge with sellers taking an innovative eco-approach to jewelry and accessory design, while Kenyan Etsy jewelers are bringing traditional beading techniques into new contexts. And in Canada and Uruguay, Etsy sellers are making the most of their countries’ particular natural resources—a wealth of tree-covered terrain for the former and a bounty of sheep for the latter—to carve out their own creative niches in modern woodworking and woven merino wool designs.

Shop global trends


  • bvysgqdo

    bluewine studio from bluewinestudio said 3 years ago

    Great selection. Love to know summer trends. Also, I've been on the hunt for a rattan side tables or stools! Thanks for sharing!

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    Sujata from TreasuredMemoryLane said 3 years ago

    Lovely upcoming trends for summer! Good to know. Thanks for sharing and giving us head up what to look for in coming months.

  • kgarrett1966

    R.M Garrett from ArtisticAcrylics said 3 years ago

    This article has inspired me to search Etsy for items from different cultures that I'm interested in exploring! I forget to do that because I get stuck in lamenting about not being able to travel to all the places I've daydreamed about, that I forget that as an American I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many different cultures, that I can reach out and explore in different ways, and that all is not lost just because I can't physically travel to all the places I'd like to. The items from all these shops are beautiful and amazing, my personal favorite being the ceramics from Japan, and also thank you for this much needed change in my perspective; to open my eyes to the opportunities around me, instead of focusing on what's not. Congratulations to all featured shops!!

  • sunrisesbell

    Sunrise Bell said 3 years ago

    I want to know were to get those shoes on your cover image. Please let me know. Thanks, have a beautiful day

  • DancingMooney

    Janell from DancingMooney said 3 years ago

    Thanks so much for this! Loving all the fresh colors and patterns right now!! ♥

  • emrehancerli

    Emre . from IvaDecorStudio said 3 years ago

    It's a pretty hard thing to knit Rattan. But I can guarantee that you put a different style in the house. The selected parts from Germany are very nice.😍

  • inw689pv

    Ganesh from GaneshcraftsStore said 3 years ago


  • filzifelti

    Rita Shoes from FILZIFELTI said 3 years ago

    Lovely items and great article.

  • PokutniaAnna

    Anna from FairyToysWorld said 3 years ago

    Thanks for article. It is so nice that design from different culrutes are popular this summer.

  • mariekenhoefnagel

    Marieken Hoefnagel from invisiblecrown said 3 years ago

    Love everything about those ceramics!

  • Kashuen

    Kashuen Collectibles from Kashuen said 3 years ago

    I really like the Sculptural jewelry. Thanks for the great choices.

  • rocketjackprints

    Rocket Jack from RocketJackDesign said 3 years ago

    Love seeing all these different trends from around the world! Esp love the vintage rattan!

  • FireHorseTextiles

    Julia K Walton from JuliaKWalton said 3 years ago

    Wonderful selection! I particularly love the Japanese ceramics - gorgeous :o)

  • jacobswoodentoys

    Tim and Brigita Cornwell from jacobswoodentoys said 3 years ago

    Great collection of items! Thank you for sharing.

  • 5dragonfly

    Iva said 3 years ago

    Thank you for this wonderful article. Like the other person commented that they dream about traveling I too feel that way! I have always wanted a nice linen top and after looking at some of the shops I ordered myself one! So thank you for inspiring me to do so.

  • RandMhandmade

    Renee from RandMhandmade said 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing!!

  • unatuna

    Oonah from unatuna said 3 years ago

    I love that you don't even have to leave your couch to travel the world! Thanks etsy!

  • gracedmoments

    Sue Taylor-Davidson from gracedmoments said 3 years ago

    Wonderful overview! Amazing how different things trend in different regions. The creativity is mind boggeling! I love etsy.

  • selenaantonic

    Selena from SarArt1 said 3 years ago

    Great stores, beautiful collection of natural products and beautiful art items! Thank you very much for fauvoring Linen, Wool and other natural and healthy fabrics amd products. It is really time to stop with polyester and other synthetics. Thank you very much!

  • eshighley

    Beth Highley from SparkleShyne said 3 years ago

    love, love, love the Italian tile print bags!

  • hecsnevb

    Zoya from ZoyaKoinashfineart said 3 years ago

    Love the linen a lot! I just wait when bad wrinkled clothes going to be trendy! Ceramic and shoes are awesome!

  • aosx9009

    Olesya from FeltToysByLesovinka said 3 years ago

    Thank you, very beautiful;)

  • QuirogaQuiroga

    Lorena Quiroga from quirogaquiroga said 3 years ago

    Thanks for highlighting the work of the Uruguayan stores :) I´m so proud! Beautiful selection.

  • StyleGraphicDesign

    Maria from StyleGraphicDesign said 3 years ago

    Want them all!

  • usbackqr

    Debra from usbackqr said 3 years ago

    I create almost everyday in some form or another so I understand how the world feels. Corporate America has seen its hay day so to speak. We don't want to pay machines to make our world anymore. In this day of technology and robotics, handmade is the "real" deal. Thanks Etsy for your wonderful outlet. Debra Bodine Glenn

  • rmrsipgv

    Katie from TinyGoldNecklace said 3 years ago

    great!!!!! selection :)

  • emaxtees

    emaxtees from EmaxTees said 3 years ago

    Love the Lithuania Modern linen style :)

  • medlongsc

    Garden Path Rosaries from GardenPathRosaries said 3 years ago

    Wonderful to see what's on trend from different parts of the world. Very inspiring! Thank you!

  • selenaantonic

    Selena from SarArt1 said 2 years ago

    Gorgeous styles, especially some Global Trends and sophisticated 70s and 90s style. But, some other styles are too childis.

  • PlanetSusan

    Susan from PlanetSusan said 2 years ago

    Rattan fills my house. The fact that it's lightweight and easy to move adds to the wonderful feeling of tropical settings it gives you. I also loved the Spanish minimalist architectural trend. There's also Gaudi and mosaics there, Picasso and abstract, Salvador Dali and Surrealism.

  • auntiemollys

    auntiemollys from Auntiemollys said 2 years ago

    Trends are so important, thank you for sharing. Love the "year in review" addition this year. Can wait to see how comprehensive we can make it in the future. Thank you Etsy!

  • omewrsuj

    Unicorina from Unicorina said 1 year ago

    Lovely items

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