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Growth in Athleisure clothing could be the silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic – Sourcing Journal


“I’ve been wearing hoodies and sweatpants for so long that I think I forgot how to use the buttons.” ~ @Joshgondelman, Twitter

In a matter of days last March, everyday office wear changed from traditional work clothes to workout clothes. That’s if people got out of their pajamas as the coronavirus stop forced everyone to work from home. Athleisure has quickly become the go-to for every day: great for daytime Zoom meetings, but turns out well for evening sourdough bread / Netflix frenzy! Of course, yoga pants and fleece clothing are also suitable for those who feel inspired enough to work out.

the Boston Consulting Group says the next two or three years could be “the most tumultuous that most people in the fashion industry will ever experience.” Agile and decisive brands that can free up capital for investment can settle down to create an advantage in the face of adversity. They can scale their operations and embrace new business practices while still giving customers what they want. “

And athletics is one of the things consumers really want, according to a JP Morgan survey of stimulus spending. The Wall Street Journal writes than 24% of respondents chose active / athleisure clothing as one of the top three categories where they intended to spend their stimulus checks in early spring.

The U.S. athletics market was valued at $ 155.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $ 257.1 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research. That’s a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.7% from 2019 to 2026. A recent technavio report, released in May, indicates the category has the potential to grow by nearly $ 81 billion from 2020 to 2024, with 30% of that growth coming from North America.

Nearly half of all consumers (48%) say active or athletic bottoms have replaced some of the denim jeans in their wardrobe, according to the 2020 Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle monitor™ Survey. And more than a third (37%) say they prefer to wear athletic pants over denim jeans.

Gym + Coffee’s Diarmuid McSweeney, co-founder of the Irish-designed athleisure brand, said the company needed to respond as quickly as possible to changing demand when the pandemic began to spread.

“When COVID hit, it was a little scary moment, to be honest,” McSweeney told Morgan Laskey of Klaviyo, cResponsible for Community Marketing Events, on Klaviyo’s Live From Your Laptop. “We had to think immediately about closing all our stores. We had to think about the health of our team while receiving clients. And we realized how important the selling period was going to be, but we hadn’t anticipated it. Facebook, Instagram and a few other platforms have kind of gone a bit crazy. And in the United States, I think, a lot of big brands have stopped advertising, which has created a huge opportunity for us. Once we quadrupled our digital spend, it seemed a bit surreal at the time. I think people thought they were just going to work from home for a few months and wear comfortable clothes. Plus, all you could do was workout at home or run. “

Of those who work outside their home, 7 in 10 (70%) say that if they had to choose between a job that required them to wear formal clothes and one that allowed for casual clothes, they would choose the one with a casual dress code, depending on the Monitor™ research.

In a matter of days last March, everyday office wear changed from traditional work clothes to workout clothes.

Gym + Coffee offers cotton blend hoodies for men and women in the USA, as well as leggings, joggers, tops and socks. As the clothes are being shipped around the world, the company had nearly half a dozen permanent and ephemeral locations in Ireland before the pandemic. Most have reopened.

Factg.MR, a marketing intelligence firm, says her research shows that the concept of athleisure has revolutionized casual wear, as “stretchy suits, smart sneakers and high-tech fabrics are worn in the workplace.” Athleisure has seen “staggering” growth, according to the firm, as workwear increasingly focused on comfort. According to Mr MR, the category is more and more attractive as workwear for women, as more fashionable athletic clothing has entered the market which has breathability, temperature regulation properties. , moisture wicking and wrinkle resistance.

American Eagle recently launched its own athletic brands named Offline by Aerie. The retailer calls it sportswear “designed for real movement and comfort.” Pieces include leggings, hoodies, tops and bottoms. American Eagle’s Chad Kessler, Global Brand President, said the retailer was “pushing up leggings and lining up their sweatshirts” for the back-to-school season.

Luxury sportswear brand Koral collaborated with Italian sportswear manufacturer Kappa for an athleisure capsule collection launched in May. The Koral x Kappa The offer includes a cotton crop top, the Vera Valo cotton blend with an open racer back and the Blank Valo hoodie which features contrasting fabrics and an elastic logo hem.

And Guess launched a full athleisure collection that includes cotton and cotton blend hoodies, joggers, tees and tank tops. These newcomers join Lululemon Athletica, the athletics powerhouse which has seen its the share value jumps almost 40 percent during the pandemic.

More than 4 in 5 consumers (82%) say they would be more likely to seek out workwear designed to be more versatile, according to the Monitor™, which means it can be worn at work, at work and after work. And some employers might be interested to know that more than a third of workers (34%) say they would prefer to have an informal dress code at work rather than an extra $ 5,000 pay.

the NPD Group says most women’s sportswear is purchased for both leisure and performance activities, with its primary use being for ‘casual / daily’ activities or athletics / sports / exercise, both of which have experienced a decline in dollar sales in 2019.

“With the women’s market not reaching its full potential, while having almost the same market share as the men, this is a renaissance opportunity to develop the overall market,” said Matt Powell, vice president senior and sports industry advisor at NPD Groups. “Women also have a big influence on the men’s and children’s side of the business; once she is in the door, she is likely to buy for others in her life. Marketing to women can only be a win-win in all areas. “

Cotton Incorporated is a global resource for all things cotton. The research and promotion organization continues its nearly 50-year commitment to providing expertise and information on all aspects of the global cotton supply chain: from dirt to shirts and beyond. Additional relevant information can be found at

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