From Crocs to Frank Greens: Inside the teenage Christmas wishlist

Amy Martin
Updated December 11 2023 - 5:53am, first published 5:30am
Claire Templeton and Sarah Miller with Crocs, Frank Green bottles and White Fox jumper - this year's Christmas must-haves. Picture by Elesa Kurtz
Claire Templeton and Sarah Miller with Crocs, Frank Green bottles and White Fox jumper - this year's Christmas must-haves. Picture by Elesa Kurtz

They were once every fashionista's worst nightmare. Now they're sitting underneath the Christmas tree for teens everywhere.

It seems the aesthetically debatable clogs, Crocs, have made what is possibly history's biggest comeback, with them featuring on many Christmas wishlists. And joining them? Most likely a hoodie from White Fox Boutique and a Frank Green water bottle.

That is if they're not like Canberra's Claire Templeton and Sarah Miller, who are already ahead of the trends. The 14-year-olds, who both row in their spare time, are particularly fond of their Crocs - an easy option for not only everyday wear but heading to and from training.

"They're easy to put on and they go with almost every outfit," Claire said.

"I'm not really into the Jibbitz [shoe charms] but some people have it at rowing. It makes it easy to work out which pair is yours. But they're comfortable. It's something you can dress up or down, or just lounge around in."

Those who don't have a teenager in their life may find the wish list a little perplexing. Where are the days of Playstation games and Bluetooth speakers? Simply put, social media is what happened. All three of this year's must-have items have used social media to make them must-have items.

Last year alone saw Crocs' annual revenue rake in $US 3.555 billion ($5.397 billion) - a 53.67 per cent increase on 2021. Celebrities including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber wear them, meanwhile, some brides are even opting for white Crocs to be worn underneath their wedding dresses.

But a large portion of the increase in the popularity is Generation Z. According to a Piper Sandler survey earlier this year, teenagers ranked Crocs number five on a list of top footwear brands.

Some, such as Emily Brayshaw at the University of Technology Sydney, hypothesise that it's partly because Generation Z grew up in the era of ugly fashion, or at the very least, comfort dressing.

"The early 2000s gave us ugly comfort dressing in the form of the bright, velour Juicy Couture tracksuit," Ms Brayshaw wrote for The Conversation.

"Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake's iconic matching double denim moment at the 2001 American Music Awards embodied the era's ugliness. Generation Z grew up in this ugly fashion world. Many rocked their first brightly coloured pair of Crocs as toddlers."

When it comes to the White Fox Boutique hoodie, influencer collaborations and social media have been the driving force behind the Australian brand's success. And that's grown to celebrity influence with Kendall Jenner, Dua Lipa and Paris Hilton all fans of the brand.

And while they sell other clothing items, it's the hoodies and track pants that have been taking over TikTok feeds, building a popularity that has helped them withstand controversies over copycat allegations and sustainability concerns.

Meanwhile, the other Aussie must-have brand taking over TikTok is Frank Green, with #frankgreen gaining 387 million views on the platform. When the reusable water bottle released its new limited edition gradient colourways earlier this year, it made headlines across the country.

It's so popular, it is usually referred to as an "emotional support bottle" or simply "Frank Green".

"I have four of them," Sarah said.

"I have a mini grey coffee cup, and three others in different colours. I like the look of them and it keeps my water cold because that's how I like it."

Of course, this is not the first year Frank Green has made it onto gift guides. Since launching in 2013, the brand has regularly made it onto lists come December, but originally as a suggestion for the sustainability-minded person in your life. Recently though, it's been featured on lists designed for teen gift ideas, with many collecting them in every colour.

WATCH: The bigger the better when it comes to hydration. Courtesy: @MattyActon

This, of course, has raised the question of what this means for sustainability.

According to Frank Green's LinkedIn, "in as little as 15 uses, you've offset the environmental impact it took to create your Frank Green and you don't contribute to the trillions of plastic bottles and cups going into landfill or in our oceans every year".

The company also sources locally, using 100 per cent recyclable plastics, as well as teaming up with environmental organisation, Parley, which cleans up and conserves the Great Barrier Reef.

The question is, will the water bottle company - or indeed anything on this year's Christmas wish list - fall victim to the microtrend culture, which tends to only last a few years or even months, meaning that items will be discarded into landfill after a short time once the trend has passed?

Amy Martin

Amy Martin

Canberra Times lifestyle reporter

As the lifestyle reporter, I love finding out what makes people tick and giving insight into the different ways that you can enjoy the city we live in. Email: