A recent data from Edited showed that global activewear sales are expected to reach $547 billion by 2024, and fashion brands are exploiting growing activewear demand as people are buying these products.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, activewear sales have been growing significantly. Data displays that activewear brands like Lululemon, Puma, and Adidas are seeing likewise sales growth as well.
This growth also increases struggle — and brands are looking for ways to capture consumers’ attention to their functional apparel.
From branding to ingredients used, to technology incorporations, to new spins on well-known products – but mostly, brands within the activewear space are doing things uniquely in optimisms of pushing ahead via innovation.
Functional brand Aerie (parent company AEO) launched a new sub-brand named OFFLINE™ by Aerie in late July.
A development of the brand’s prevalent ‘Chill.Play.Move.’ collection, the sub-brand’s activewear and accessories are ‘built for movement’ and promote marketing that encourages consumers to slow down, to take care of themselves, and to be active—a relevant angle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, early sales and consumer interest around the line have been promising, and as such, two physical stores for the new sub-brand are slated to open in New Jersey and Nashville by the end of 2020.
Fabrics innovation boosting activewear
One of the common areas of innovation in the activewear space is fabrics for several years now. And it is no wonder that this trend has not decelerated. With sustainability getting precedence for more customers, activewear fashion brands are now asking themselves are more and more introducing sustainable materials that also offer improved performance.
Environmentally friendly-made, innovative fabrics may not come cheap, but it is not hindering brands from producing premium products with them.
Running – intensive activewear brand Janji, for example, is experimenting with new material blends—including ones pervaded with volcanic ash.
Numerous of its latest eco-friendly activewear products, like the Runterra SS tee, are entrenched with volcanic ash particles for odor-control and thermoregulation.
Apparel brand WearableX is turning to technology incorporations to give its activewear products an exclusive advantage, especially as more health-conscious customers are working out at home.
WearableX embedded sensors allow wearers to become haptic guidance while doing activities like a yoga practice. Vibrations, produced through accelerometers and audio that are built into the garments, aid wearers progress their private yoga practices by cueing practice movements, poses, and proper form.
Brands like Hexoskin – which offers smart activewear with health-monitoring properties via tech integrations – now offer activewear apparel with built-in textile ECG & Respiratory sensors for real-time (and historical) reporting.
Elastique Athletics has branded itself as ‘wellness-wear’ and ‘activewear meets skincare’, adding a new spin on well-known products like leggings and crop tops.
Elastique Athletics’ activewear offers a non-invasive, non-toxic wellness solution that fits on the wearer’s physique and is powered by natural movement. And works with a strategically placed MicroPerle™ beads that encourage the movement of lymphatic fluid in the body.
Increased consumer demand
As functional activewear demand and interest are growing, one thing is sure: This section is ripe with opportunity.
With various global reports projecting a 2.6% CAGR over the next 7 years for this ever-increasing apparel segment, constant innovation and an emphasis on sustainability will aid activewear brands to pull ahead.