24 May 2022
According to reports, the athleisure market is anticipated to grow to US $549 billion by 2028. Athleisure and comfortwear are certainly what the customer is demanding to ‘stay on the go’ and be comfortable throughout the day. But it is now also on the brands to keep reinventing their ways of doing business and innovation, designs etc., to give the customer something new to choose from.
The athleisure brands have for a long time taken it upon them to rework their strategies to meet the consumer’s fast changing buying requirements witnessed post-pandemic. The consumers today want both comfort and variety at the same time and these brands are therefore putting their best foot forward to educate people about the right fabric selection for workouts and the right fit for proper support.
Athlizur, which started in June 2020, has done this very strongly by tying it up with their brand philosophy. “I am glad to say that over the past few months, we have been able to source exactly what we have been looking for with the right mix of Polyester and Elastane and achieved the perfect balance between everything. However, going with our brand philosophy, we did not settle for the very first options we found. We are always on the lookout for a better, softer, more comfortable pc of cotton fabric while at the same time keeping in mind the pricing of the final goods for the consumers. As of now, we are using Organic Cotton and Premium Micro Fleece for all our cotton products and are pretty happy with how it has all evolved,” mentions Arpit Poddar, Founder and CEO –Athlizur.
Fabric selection plays a big role when it comes to wooing the customer and pushing the market towards growth. Apart from that, brands are always trying to ramp up the products to suit different body types. This is another trend, which has seen a lot of takers in the market. Athlizur for instance is constantly trying to maintain a balance with its products within the women’s activewear segment and fromfibre strength, breathability to stretch and composition, it is always experimenting to suit the fitnesswear needs of women.
A brand born during the pandemic,Saa Active entered the market to fulfill the sheer dearth of Indian brands manufacturing fitness apparel in India. According to Avni Bathija, Founder, SaaActive, they were manufacturing yarn to yoga set and and hence wanted fabric that is light and durable along with all the major properties of sports apparel like moisture wicking, anti-microbial and anti-odour. Hence, Saa Active pushed Indian manufacturers to create a double knit which they have trademarked as Flexilite. Their first collection has been purely dedicated to fitness apparel but as the pandemic wore on, they merged the lines between fitness apparel and loungewear and dropped their first athleisure capsule called Off-Duty.
Avni identifies that fitness, sustainability and limited financial resources to shop are the key drivers that have shaped consumer behaviour in the segment. She believes that the market is about to grow exponentially in the time to come, so keeping that in mind, both she and Arpit are eager to try sustainable approaches and rule the aisle with more sustainable clothing for their respective customer base.
Aastha Rattha, Founder-CEO, Pace Active also talks about building her brand by striking a balance between sustainable and the highest quality performance fabrics. She mentions that her team and the brand pay a lot of attention to customer feedback and their backend is structured to constantly evolve and adapt with their feedback and meet their needs. According to her, they want to be as sustainable as possible without compromising on the performance and feel of the fabric.After investing in sampling fabrics from numerous vendors worldwide, Pace Active is eventually using fabrics made from recycled materials, which have really worked for them.