How Retail Brands Are Capitalizing On Growing Activewear Demand Through Innovation – Forbes

Posted: September 30, 2020 at 1:53 am


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With data from Edited showing that global activewear sales are projected to reach $547 billion by 2024, its clear why competition is heating up in this realm: People are buying these products.

We see this evidenced in reports that indicate even during the pandemic, activewear sales have been on the rise.

Athleta, for example, saw its sales increase 6% during the most recent quarter (despite its parent company Gap's GPS sales falling.) Data shows that other activewear brands like Lululemon, Puma, and Adidas are seeing similar sales growth as well.

But with the uptick in sales comes increased competitionand as such, brands in this space are looking for ways to differentiate their products.

From branding, to materials used, to technology integrations, to new spins on well-known products, brands within the activewear space are doing things differently in hopes of pushing ahead via innovation.

With interest around lounge and activewear on the rise during quarantine this year, womens apparel brand Aerie (parent company AEO) leaned in and launched a new sub-brand called OFFLINE by Aerie in late July.

Aerie

An evolution of the brands popular Chill.Play.Move. collection, the sub-brands activewear and accessories are built for movement and promote marketing messages that encourage shoppers to slow down, to take care of themselves, and to be activea relevant angle amidst a global 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 have been a common area of innovation in the activewear space for several years now, so its no surprise that this trend hasnt slowed down.And with sustainability becoming a priority for more consumers, activewear brands are now asking themselves: How can we introduce sustainable materials that also offer improved performance?

Responsibly-made, innovative fabrics do often entail a higher price tag, but thats not keeping brands from creating premium products with them.

Janji

Running-focused activewear brand Janji, for example, is experimenting with new material blendsincluding ones infused with volcanic ash. The wearer doesnt feel these particles within the garments, but gets the benefits of their properties.

Several of their newest eco-friendly activewear products, like the Runterra SS tee, are embedded with volcanic ash particles for odor-control and thermoregulation. Its worth noting that this particular product is also currently sold out on the brands ecommerce site.

Brands like WearableX are turning to technology integrations to give their activewear products a unique edge, especially as more health-conscious consumers are exercising privately at home rather than in a group setting or with an in-person trainer.

WearableX

In their case, embedded sensors allow wearers to get haptic guidance while doing activities like yoga practice. Vibrations, produced through accelerometers and audio that are built right into the garments, help wearers improve their private yoga practices by cueing practice movements, poses, and proper form.

In another use case of smart activewear with health-monitoring properties via tech integrations, brands like Hexoskin now offer activewear apparel with built-in textile ECG & Respiratory sensors for real-time (and historical) reporting.

Theres also Elastique Athletics, which has positioned itself as wellness-wear and activewear meets skincare, putting a new spin on well-known products like leggings and crop tops.

Elastique Athletics

Their activewear offers a non-invasive, non-toxic wellness solution that sits on the wearers body and is powered by natural movement. How it works: Their activewear is lined with strategically placed MicroPerle beads that work to encourage the movement of lymphatic fluid throughout the body.

The combination of medical-grade graduated compression and our MicroPerle beads apply pressure to encourage lymphatic return, the brands website says.

By positioning itself as apparel that multi-tasks, theyre catering to an audience of busy buyers who want to practice self-care (but are crunched for time.)

As demand and interest for activewear continues, one thing is certain: This vertical is ripe with opportunity.

With reports projecting a 2.6% CAGR over the next seven years for this ever-growing apparel segment, continued innovation and a focus on sustainability will help activewear brands pull ahead.

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How Retail Brands Are Capitalizing On Growing Activewear Demand Through Innovation - Forbes

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September 30th, 2020 at 1:53 am