Activewear brands are answering the call for more functional, high-performance and stylish workout apparel by leveraging new innovative fabrics—all while enabling consumers to jump on the global wellness trend.
At Active Collective’s New York trade show this week, nearly 125 activewear exhibitors, from All Fenix to Yummy & Trendy, showcased their collections for 2018. During the show, these activewear leaders demonstrated how innovative fabrics played up their garments by keeping consumers comfortable, dry and breathable throughout activities beyond the gym.
Finding the perfect fitting running leggings or top is key for activewear—and Nancy Rose Performance is stepping up consumers’ fitness with its innovative PowerLux fabric.
The New York-based company, known for its functional-meets-fashionable aesthetic, incorporated PowerLux in various garments, like compression pants, to keep consumers comfortable and dry throughout the day. PowerLux stays clean, keeps sweat at bay and contours to muscles via body heat—allowing consumers to have free range of movement.
“It’s a nylon Lycra microfiber that is antimicrobial, moisture-wicking and has a unique compression component to it that contours your body and gives you your best shape. When you put them on, the heat of your body helps the pants mold to your body,” said Nancy Rose, creative director and founder of Nancy Rose Performance. “We’ve heard when people put them on—they make them feel good.”
In addition to PowerLux, popular Nancy Rose Performance styles, including the Bandit Ankle Pants, possess other functional features, like UPF protection, four-way stretch and an invisible pocket for consumers’ iPods or smartphones. While adding in these functional components to its fabrics, Nancy Rose performance aims to make its garments wearable for numerous environments—from workout classes to lunch dates.
[Read more about activewear: Advancements in Cotton Activewear Could Give the Synthetic Kind a Run for Its Money]
“The fabrics are going to continue having more technical attributes because people are doing innovative things with their products. One of the keys for us is going to be to take these technical innovations and not necessarily make them feel like technical aspects—and still making them versatile,” Rose added. “Working out and wellness are so important in everyone’s day—they need the versatility and one wardrobe.”
Los Angeles-based Lanston Sport is also delivering on consumers’ demands for stylish and high-performance apparel with its innovative fabrics.
Leveraging nylon and Lycra blends, Lanston Sport creates activewear for high intensity workouts. A consumer go-to favorite is the brand’s Samson Block Legging that features an 80 percent nylon and 20 percent Lycra blend, anti-moisture capabilities, an SPF 50 protection base and sculpting for optimal fit. What’s more, the leggings also work as a transitional apparel piece—allowing consumers to avoid bringing multiple outfits to their classes and still look trendy post-workout.
“The trends that you are seeing for the fabrics is going back to the lightweights, prints, breathability. Right now, athletic wear is the daywear,” said Ocean Showroom account executive Alex Leblein. “They want something that is fashionable and that they can wear from work to the gym. The more normal—the better.”
While innovative fabrics continue to elevate consumers’ workout wardrobes, sustainability is also gaining momentum among activewear brands—including Industry.
The Montreal-based company is paving the way for a new era of high-performance-meets-eco-friendly activewear derived from bamboo. The bamboo-based fiber provides the same functional capabilities as some conventional synthetic fabrics—without the negative carbon footprint. The material, which is incorporated into Industry’s fabric, provides natural antimicrobial, breathability, moisture wicking and UV protection capabilities.
“In every other part of their life, they are conscious of being more natural and healthy,” said Industry design director Tania Derubeis. “They want the fabrics that they are wearing and putting on their body to match what they are eating and working out, it’s a continuation of their lifestyle.”
Rounding out Active Collective’s robust lineup was Shashi—a company that incorporates innovative fabrics in its socks.
Established by pilates veteran Natalie Lerch Sudit, Shashi’s socks aren’t the typical workout socks, since they are breathable and feature moisture wicking to keep feet comfortable throughout body movement exercises, like Barre, Pilates and yoga. Various fabric technologies, including Coolmax, Lycra and Invista enable Shashi’s socks to stay durable, clean and breathable on consumers’ feet.
“We use Coolmax and Lycra, those are the key ingredients,” Sudit said. “It has performance features, such as moisture wicking and breathability. It makes the socks very light and breathable. It helps consumers because you have a hygienic covering of your foot, yet you feel as if you are not wearing anything.”
Sudit added how Shashi is filling a void for fashionable and functional accessories, since most activewear highlights other body garments, like leggings, tops or jackets. With Shashi, consumers can easily transition from their workout to leisure activities without worrying about their socks staying comfortable and fresh.
“Our socks satisfy the fashionista in most women, by completing their studio outfit and moving with them throughout their everyday adventure,” added Sudit. “The sock has for a long time been the forgotten piece of a wardrobe and today, the socks have become a true accessory.”
Target on Monday announced its Freshwater Stewardship Approach, a water-management effort for cleaner, safer water and water efficiency.Read more
Isko is taking steps toward making better choices for its supply chain, and it wants the rest of the industry to follow its lead.Read more
eBay is investing in a more circular world and the e-commerce company has partnered with Circle Economy to launch Circle Lab, a platform for crowdsourcing some of the solutions that will make it happen.Read more
Every day, it seems a new dart gets thrown at the target that is global trade, and one too many could start to see things falter further.Read more
The U.S. challenge to India’s export subsidy programs that run afoul of WTO rules could result in increased prices or reforms in the Indian economy, and also seems to presents a dichotomy in U.S. policy.Read more
Reacting to the explosion of e-commerce, DHL has introduced DHL Parcel Metro, described as a "fast and flexible service" for online retailers mean to help meet fast-growing consumer demand for same-day and next-day delivery.Read more