Athleisure clothing is an emerging fashion trend, involving athletic clothing that is both comfortable and fashionable. This fashion style was first introduced in 2010, with the foundation of growing Yoga Pants for women, soon to adopt as casual and semi-formal wear by the community. However, within a flash of months, the style was embraced by the men fashion wear industry. And with the introduction of variety in clothing, from tights and sweatpants to hoodie, jackets, and sneakers, there was no looking back. Still, it was not until 2017 that the industry hyped. The market size of athleisure clothing surged at an exponential level from 2017 onwards, with hype in personal grooming and physical fitness importance, especially among the young generation.
And with the growing acceptance of athleisure look informal sectors, further kicked the market. Not just the sportswear industry, major jeans manufacturers as well initiated the acquirement of this growing trend. The latter companies were facing huge due to loss of market demand with the replacement of athleisure clothing as a casual and formal look. Levis Co., for example, has a global jeans brand. But the company faced a fall in demand, with the rise in the athleisure look. Hence the company has started manufacturing products to fit the market demand.
Athleisure Clothing: The Growing Fashion Trend
The Athleisure clothing is comfortable, flexible, convenient, eye-catching, and of supreme quality. The market growth, which initially depended on the sports industry, is slowly becoming a new fashion trend. The growing perception regarding a healthy lifestyle has given way to the rise of new sectors such as physical fitness services along with suitable clothing for better results from those activities. Further, the rise in disposable income has facilitated expenditure on fitness and related accessories. But owing to its look and nature, this clothing style is becoming a new fashion trend. It signifies health enthusiasm along with fashion, fitness, and urban culture. Moreover, acceptance of casual wear in the corporate sector has further hooted up the market.
Furthermore, athleisure is now signifying active-wear clothing and has successfully carved out a niche in the clothing industry. The active-wear segment has seen a hype in growth and size as compared to non-active wear in the past decade. And with the Covid-19 pandemic along with the emerging work from home corporate culture, consumers prefer clothing style which is comfortable, convenient, and cost-effective, features that are fulfilled by the athleisure market style.
The Surge in Demand Due to the Growing Sports Industry
In recent years, the sports industry around the world has undergone a major expansion. With rising healthcare concerns and health consciousness, the governments as well are promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, especially with sports facilities and the spread of yoga. The Indian government, for instance, has launched the Play India program, setting aside US$262 million. China, on the other hand, has experienced a rise in investment in the sports industry, as a secure business opportunity. The developing nations, in particular, are receiving record levels of corporate funding in sports and sportswear owing to regress promotion by their governments.
The growth of the sports industry has led to an increase in the market growth of athleisure clothing. The style is comfortable, fashionable, and escalating. Moreover, the rising gym trend along with cheap fitness services has further pushed up the demand in the market. Additionally, shooting popularity of Yoga, Zumba, and aerobics, especially among women for greater health benefits, has created the demand for flexible clothing, which is fulfilled by athleisure clothing. Owing to this, the female athleisure market is predicted to grow substantially and at a faster pace than the male athleisure clothing market, which is expected to see a notable surge. And with the increasing women participation in fitness and sports, the female segment of the market is expected to propel at a remarkable rate during the forecasted period.
The emergence of e-commerce and penetration on the internet has opened several opportunities for global as well as local manufacturers, especially in the clothing industry. The contemporary world has undergone major technological advancement and an increase in online channel sales, significantly high proportion acquired by the clothing and accessories industry. The athleisure market, no exception, has also received huge product demand through online channels than the traditional offline distribution segments. Further, major global players and international products are available on-screen, enabling easy comparison and convenience. Strong customer care and support ensure trust among the company and customers. And not just the global, but regional as well as local players are acknowledging this virtual opportunity and emerging with new business channels.
Also with the covid pandemic and nation-wide shutdowns of physical stores, online channels are emerging to rescue both, large and small businesses, bring along opportunities for innovation and development.
Geographically, North America is the major market hub for the athleisure market. Sprouting concerns regarding health and fitness along with mushrooming gyms and gym culture have a significant role in increasing the demand for active-wear and sports-wear along with necessary accessories. Especially in the states of the U.S., and Canada, where the market has a significant size in sports and casual wear. And with the rise of sports events and popularity, athleisure clothing is further promoted. Manchester City, the English Premium League Club giant, for instance, has strategized to acquire football teams. As a result, the club purchased a Chengdu-based club. This acquisition is forecasted to promote and increase the athleisure market demand for sportswear needs.
The Asia pacific reason, as well, is predicted to record noteworthy growth. Corporate investment in the sports industry, promoted by the government has increased opportunities for the market significantly. The government itself is promoting the industry and supporting the accessories required. The Chinese sports industry is valued at $326.3 billion, as per the data from the Chinese National Bureau of Statics. This opens the athleisure market with greater opportunities. Further, the region is a cost-effective manufacturing hub that has window for development and growth.