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Athleisure Brands – The Fastest Way To Ethical Consumers? How did we get here?
The rise of Athleisure is a significant trend in the modern world of fashion.
In fact, it has become so popular that it has managed to carve out its niche and find a place is the Merriam-Webster dictionary which now defines it as casual clothing meant to be worn both for both, exercising and general use.
You can think of this trend as executives wearing sneakers to board meetings or women wearing yoga pants after work, for occasional nights out.
Athletic leisurewear finds use in broader ranges of occasions, as customers of all ages are jumping on the bandwagon.
However, when a new fashion trend as Athleisure, is climbing so fast the charts, new questions come to the mind such as ‘what are the factors that caused this adoption?’ and ‘could it be that this is just another fad?’
Read on to find some of the answers to all raging queries surrounding the Athleisure trend.
Athleisure Fashion – Wind To Sails
One of the main reasons Athleisure has become so popular is its value proposition as the symbol of a changing consumer mindset.
For a long time, the fashion industry has separated the two segments of stylish clothing and comfort wear.
As such, when Athleisure started it naturally filled a market gap.
The adoption of the idea of an omnipotent style, which can be worn at the gym and anywhere else with equal ease, is attributed to the millennial generation as in making casual dressing a part of who they are.
Athleisure is also a direct result of the health consciousness fashion consumers, for whom exercise is not just another physical activity but rather an aspiring lifestyle.
Athleisure clothing, as such, has become an extension of their health awareness and emotional strength, leading to a cultural shift.
The two buzzwords of athletic and leisure have taken the fashion world by storm for the past couple of years, and now it has become a lifestyle that is too comfortable, for customers of all age groups, to let it go just like that.
Nowadays, it is quite reasonable to wear sweatpants and sneakers at work as in schools and work environments.
Athleisure Fashion – Millenials Power
On the subject of millennials, we must mention their changing perception towards clothing.
Rather than putting the accent on the material things, the millennial generation is known to be more inclined to spend the bucks on experiences.
Since Athleisure clothing reflects active lifestyles outdoor experiences, in general, millennials show high interested in it.
Thanks to Millenials, Athleisure was promoted from the status of a new kind of hobby to an all-encompassing lifestyle that more and more segments began to accept and embrace.
Furthermore, the shift in the clothing game pertains to the evolution of fabrics as well, as far as the modern Athleisure movement is concerned.
The traditional office wear suit made of cotton and linen does not ‘make the cut’ anymore.
The new generation of ethical consumers demands as much performance from their garments as they demand sustainability.
To them, performance translates into better tee-shirts and sweatpants, made of innovative fabrics that have innovative attributes such as stain removing, custom fit elasticity, waterproof, similar to those found in the Lululemon Athleisure line, for example.
Moreover, globally recognised brands such as Nike and Under Armour, and ‘influencer’ collaborations such as the Beyoncé with Topshop, Kanye West with Adidas, Alexander Wang with H&M, are shifting consumers to perceive Athleisure as a part of their day to day lifestyle.
Athleisure Fashion – The Key To Sustainability
Still, fashion experts are divided on the rise of Athleisure, with some brushing it off as just another fad while others are hailing it as the future of comfort clothing.
The figures support the second group of analysts, as according to research done by the NPD group, Athleisure has an estimated market of over $44 billion in the United States alone.
Moreover, Morgan Stanley’s research team predicts the Athleisure market to reach $83 billion in clothing sales by the end of 2020.
Ar the same time, it appears that the latest tech development and academic research aimed at his arena has the potential to make athleisure even more appealing to ethical consumers in their constant search for more sustainable alternatives.
Take, for example, the Dri-Fit by Nike made of a unique type of polyester with a high evaporation rate, or the use of sustainable fibres such as bamboo and mushrooms.
Also, thanks to the latest research in nanotechnology field new textiles with anti-microbial and UV rays protective capabilities have appeared, all making functional clothes much more fun, safe and exciting to the buyers while reassuring them that their purchases contribute to the wellbeing of the planet.
It is true; Athleisure started as a casual trend aiming at bringing comfort to the wearers.
However, as more fashion brands are engaging in real CSR activities, working round the clock to adopt innovations in raw materials and manufacturing plants, Athleisure has become a new, powerful engine behind the global eco-movement.