Sportswear is constantly changing. Here are five key trends that are shaping the industry:
Trend #1: Compression
Compression garments (clothing that fits closely to the body) has received much attention in recent years since there is a growing body of research to attest to its health and performance benefits including “enhanced circulation.” Some independent studies have even shown that compression gear can increase circulation by 30%. What’s the point of better circulation? … When your body becomes more oxygenated it improves strength, stamina, endurance and recovery time.
Trend #2: Moisture-Wicking Synthetics
It seems like everyone is getting on hopping on the “wicking” band wagon these days. Wicking essentially means mesh fabric, since the fibers move moisture away from the body. Complex or not, “synthetic performance fabrics” (i.e. dry-fit, polyester shirts) have transformed an industry that once was basically all about cotton. Synthetics are hydrophobic, meaning moisture doesn’t penetrate the yarn, whereas cotton is hydrophyilic, meaning moisture penetrates into the fabric, so that cotton gets wet and heavy and can sometimes feel chilly on the skin. However, the real challenge is making synthetic fabrics that are as soft as cotton. Natural fibers such as bamboo also provide strong wicking abilities.
Trend #3: Antimicrobial Technology
Another big trend in tech apparel is antimicrobial protection which is clothing that can prevent the growth of bacteria and provide odor-minimizing properties. Most people are not proud of foul odors that hang around on their clothing during workouts, and there are also growing concerns about locker room health threats, such as staph infections, are contributing to the interest in antimicrobial protection. And you can certainly tell products that don’t anti odor protection … for example, there are some synthetic fabrics that pick up odors very quickly and easily.
Trend #4: Eco-Conscious Design
Eco friendly green products are a rapidly growing trend in sportswear. These products include natural fabrics such as wool, bamboo and coconut. It’s becoming more and more evident that the environment really hits home with younger generations who are looking to what the world will be 50 years from now. Many sports enthusiasts are coming to the conclusion that they would rather spend a few extra dollars now to save our earth later.
Trend #5: Lifestyle Integration
Consumers are trending towards performance apparel that is “all-in-one” and want to do everything in a single outfit. For example, after someone works out, they want to feel comfortable around town. We are going to see a lot of pieces that easily go from the gym to the street and still look great. Everybody’s always on the go, so consumers want styles, prints, and designs that will work in the gym and out of it.
What’s The Point?
The above trends are changing the way that future sportswear is being developed, and while sportswear is becoming more and more advanced it is important that sustainability plays a role making future product decisions.
-The Singlo Sport Team