In the past few seasons, the difference between active and sports clothing has gained the profile of different consumers. Since millennials and Genz consumers tend to ask for more conscious fashion and are polarized for social purposes or strongly interested in quick satisfaction of the brand on demand, brands have to come up with the most personalized options. The activewear market in 2020 and 2021 will revolve around satisfaction with the technical and digital lifestyle, while producing sustainable fashion.
Brands have to aim for the right to gain more brand loyalty, as we have selected the few consumers to profile those who will lead the market.
In early 2017, Running the USA, a nonprofit that deals with endurance racing and races in the U.S., found in an in-depth survey that the number of road racers had gradually decreased for the third year in a row. In 2016
The Wall Street Journal published an article that also looked at changes in fitness habits, millennial preferences for non-competitive fitness activities, and the possible future of running events.
Despite this apparently pessimistic scenario for new business opportunities, independent clothing brands continue to emerge and attract those athletes who have remained loyal to this activity.
Most of these new brands arise from the wish of their founders for a different aesthetic of running clothing or from their constant search for high-quality sportswear.
The reason for this lack of high quality sportswear is due to larger companies, e.g. Nike and Adidas focus their research primarily on the development of shoe technology and not on the innovation of technical clothing. Another reason is that most sportswear brands usually have a unique aesthetic – often very colorful with visible logos – that a large part of the running community doesn’t like.
This was the case with Path Projects, a company founded in 2017 by Scott Bailey, an ultra-runner and former CEO of One Distribution Company, the parent company of the skate wear brands Supra and KR3W. Unsatisfied with the running apparel on the market, he decided to create a line of neutral, minimalist clothing made from the best fabrics he could find.
As reported on the GQ website, at least a dozen new brands with similar origins have come onto the market in the past five years. The British brands Ashmei and Iffley Road; the Danish brand Doxarun; and the American brands Isaora and Tracksmith, the former American brand that focuses on expensive exercise equipment and parkas, and the latter that invests in a vintage Ivy League aesthetic, to name a few.
Much like the craft beer movement, these independent brands take advantage of online shopping and the ease of social media marketing, creating high-quality clothing for runners looking for clothing that suits their needs as well as their individual style.
Activewear consumer profile:
The definition of sport is expanding thanks to the growing profile of urban and electronic sports. In cities around the world, river surfing, women’s 5-a-side soccer teams and garage gyms create spaces for community and experimentation.
Meanwhile, E-Sports attracts a large audience to see the world’s best video game players – the game streaming platform Twitch reports that fans watched 434 billion minutes of content in 2018 alone.
Everywhere in Africa, in the Balkans and in Central Asia, new cultural centers are emerging because we are looking for different perspectives. Travel is also changing, as we are looking for new experiences away from the tourist flow inspired by Instagram, regardless of whether it is forgotten nature parks, regional cities or traditional resorts.
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