Sportswear consists of functional clothes, with the sole purpose of being used while working out or engaging in any sports activities. This segment has experienced huge growth over the last few years and has seen an increase in consumer base almost double than that of the apparel sector. The sudden growth is all thanks to the improvement in the quality of living and people getting more and more health conscious by each passing day. Also, the average consumer now is comparatively more demanding, with more disposable income, to spend on all the extra things they wish to have.
This huge drive in sales has given rise to more and more companies dedicating their teams to sportswear and this forecast in sales has indirectly made the average price rise higher. Almost 75%-80% of the cost of making a sportswear garment goes behind the fabric used. More and more finishes are being applied and newer technologies are being experimented with, with the sole purpose of value addition and competitive advantage in the market. Everyone is trying to find something “extra” that’s enough to pique the customer’s interest and generate revenue. A lot of efforts and resources go into improving the performance of these fabrics and providing a better quality product. The number of finishes applied on the fabrics ranges from superior wicking properties and excellent four-way stretch to better breathability and anti-odor/bacterial finishes. There are various tests that this activewear are made to go through, so as to test things like colorfastness, the strength of the fabric and the durability of its construction.
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There has been an ever increasing participation of women in sports and fitness regimes, resulting in a more trend-conscious and fashionable sportswear market. People are becoming more conscious of the fit and aesthetic appeal of a garment, and these areas have become equally important to the functionality of the garment. Ill-fitting garments are frowned upon while customers are shifting their focus more towards apparels that make them look good while they’re working out or playing. Apart from being comfortable while active movement, it has become important for people to look good too.
There are many brands that have dedicated teams for bringing their sportswear out into the market like Nike, Inc., Ralph Lauren, Lululemon Athletica inc., Adidas, Puma, etc. These brands are tapping into all the right technologies and marketing strategies, so as to take over the sportswear market efficiently. A lot of promotion is done by celebrity collaborations and pop culture influences. Majority of the consumers of this sector consist of young people who are largely influenced by celebrities and movie stars. These brands are also trying to establish their online presence, be it through online retail stores or active social media presence, which are again good ways of tapping the target customer base.
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Another important addition to this sector has been the emergence of the Athleisure market, which combines athletic and leisure garments into one and provides much-needed versatility to customers. They’re fit for working out and fit for going out somewhere at the same time.
Overall, it has been observed that this market has huge potential and will continue growing as the average consumer becomes more conscious and aware. It is a clothing segment that beautifully combines purpose with aesthetics and technology with comfort.