Old habits die hard in the post-pandemic global active-wear segment as consumers still prefer to wear comfortable the clothes they have become used to over the last two years. With healthy lifestyles taking precedence over having a good time and an indulgent lifestyle, majority of consumers (76 per cent) say they are trying to put more emphasis on improving their physical health, revealed a Coronavirus Response Survey (Wave 12, July 2022).
Lifestyle changes augur well for segment
People now prefer to go for a jog in the park rather than meet friends over a drink or coffee after work in the corporate segment. The survey shows, the most popular garments worn in last few months are T-shirts (58 per cent), activewear (31 per cent), denim jeans (30 per cent), athleisure (28 per cent), sweatpants/sweatshirts (26 per cent), and leggings/yoga pants (26 per cent). And the most popular activewear purchases are shirts (72 per cent), bras (63 per cent), shorts/capris (62 per cent), pants (56 per cent), underwear (52 per cent), and sweatshirts/hoodies (47 per cent), according to the Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated’s 2022 Global Activewear Study.
A growing number of awareness campaigns to promote sports by various organizations across the globe have spearheaded the growth of active-wear market. The use of environment-friendly green textiles in sustainable method of manufacturing around the world is also a big hit with consumers. Continuation of work-from-home in many corporates as well as leisure activities, such as running and cycling, is strengthening market growth. Also giving a push to the market are celebrity collaborations along with the wide availability of designer active-wear brands through offline and online distribution channels.
Growth a global phenomenon
The global activewear market has grown from $342.9 billion in 2020 to $380 billion this year, reveals Statista, a global leading provider of market and consumer data. It’s projected to reach $455.4 billion by 2027 and fuelled by fitness-conscious consumers and a growth in street-wear, which has led to consumers incorporating activewear into their personal style statements. And as Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst at NPD Group states, to look their best, people must also feel their best. While people still want to look fashionable, comfortable clothes versatility remains key reasons why they make a clothing purchase for themselves. With changing economies times, versatile items that can be worn for various occasions and seasons can ease consumers into making an investment during uncertain times.
Merging street styles with active wear
As per a Lifestyle Monitor Cotton Inc report, top brands are concentrating on merging active and street styles, so what is worn at home can also be worn as trendy yet casual street-wear clothes. Signed by McFly is a Black-owned street wear brand that has included cotton stretch body sets, cotton track suits, velour hoodie and jogger, cotton-body/leather-sleeved varsity jackets along with smart streetwear pieces like logo T-shirts and hoodies. Celebrity endorsements for streetwear is the rage with most brands adding cotton-infused clothing that is durable, light and breathable and increasingly used for sports like skateboarding, parkour, and roller skating.
The Naturals, a group of women athletes in male-dominated sports, were chosen by Cotton Incorporated to represent cotton and its natural abilities. This group of athletes including, Leticia Bufoni, a professional street skateboarder and six-time X Games gold medalist, Sydney Olson and Jasmine Moore, a professional roller skater are just some of the many names promoting the market for cotton in a big way.
Active-wear is running fast ahead of the pack with brands laughing their way to the bank knowing it is just a matter of time when the post-Covid complacency of dressing down wanes and the fashion catwalks are back with a bang.