The Gorpcore Fashion Trend Is Giving a Boost to the Outdoor-Apparel Market

Outdoor-apparel brands are booming thanks to social media’s “gorpcore” fashion trend
(Photography by Kate Ince; Styling by Nicole Billark)

The term “gorpcore” was coined in the mid-2010s to describe the type of utilitarian clothing worn by the “good old raisins and peanuts” (hence GORP) crowd—hikers, campers and the like. When celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Frank Ocean started wearing grip-sole shoes and multi-pocket pants to signal their sartorial insouciance, hiking boots and cargoes became trendy, trickling into the mainstream via viral TikTok videos and Pinterest boards. (The trend was Googled 120,000 times in the past year.) But gorpcore’s roots are in Canadian brands like Arc’teryx and Canada Goose, which have been outfitting outdoorsy types for decades. In 2022, the global functional-apparel market was valued at $319 billion and is projected to grow by seven per cent by 2031.

Here, 10 gorpcore staples that retailers can’t keep in stock.

A ball cap, insulated mug and sunglasses
(Photography by Kate Ince; Styling by Nicole Billark)

Alder Hat

One of the newer Canadian recreation-wear brands on the scene, Toronto-based Alder specializes in ethically made apparel and accessories.

Yeti Rambler

Cooler brand Yeti was started by two fishing enthusiasts, and now its insulated stainless-steel mugs are a status symbol for city commuters.

Smith Sunglasses

These vibrant, ’80s-inspired sunnies—complete with reflective flip-up lenses—are sought after by skiers and social-media stars alike.

A lime green jacket on a background made of neon coloured straps, para cords and bungee cords
(Photography by Kate Ince; Styling by Nicole Billark)

Arc’teryx Jacket

Vancouver-based Arc’teryx expanded its bricks-and-mortar retail footprint in 2023 to meet customer demand for its layerable fleeces and lightweight jackets.

A Canada Goose sneaker on a background made of neon coloured straps and para cords
(Photography by Kate Ince; Styling by Nicole Billark)

Canada Goose Sneakers

Outerwear behemoth Canada Goose released its first sneaker this past summer: a waterproof shoe designed to go from city streets to mountain trails.

A pair of Gucci cargo pants
(Photography: Gucci)

Gucci Pants

Even luxury brands are going gorp. These cargo pants from Gucci feature its signature GG monogram.

A light tan birkenstock with silver buckets and a tan sole
(Photography: Holt Renfrew)

Birkenstock Sandals

Product placement in this year’s Barbie movie was a marketing win for Birkenstock, which is now eyeing a US$10 billion IPO.

A purple uniqlo crossbody bag shaped like a half moon
(Photography: Uniqlo)

Uniqlo Bag

After its viral cross-body sold out this past summer, the Japanese brand re-released the design in nylon, faux leather and corduroy for fall.

A pair of crew socks with a Canadian landscape on them.
(Photography: Friday Socks Co.)

Friday Socks

Socks with sandals is an essential tenet of gorpcore, and this colourful pair pay a fun tribute to the Canadian Shield.

A metal carebiner keychain
(Photography: SSENSE)

Master-Piece Carabiner Key Chain

Look like a real-deal mountaineer with this brass and leather carabiner key chain from Canadian e-tailer SSENSE.

Truc Nguyen
Truc Nguyen
Truc Nguyen is a communications expert, fashion editor and freelance writer based in Toronto.