Activewear Brands Emphasize Quality in an Oversaturated Market

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Photo: Courtesy of Satva Living

With so much activewear flooding the market as consumers pursue wellness beyond their wardrobes, brands are working to combat this dilemma and stay relevant by touting quality in their branding and supply chain initiatives.

From sourcing high-tech fabrics to incorporating sustainable materials, here’s what some activewear brands are doing to elevate their collections.

Grana

Hong-Kong based retailer, Grana, is expanding its clothing assortment with a new activewear collection dubbed Grana Move.

“Grana Move is designed for everyday living where comfort is key,” Grana CEO and founder Luke Grana said. “The macro trend in fashion is all about blending sportswear, apparel, outerwear, night to day styling; going across boundaries and territories.”

The company, which is known for using premium fabrics in its apparel, launched the collection in response to consumers’ demands for affordable, high-end and versatile activewear. To provide consumers with garments that are functional and suitable enough to wear outside of the gym, Grana turned to an advanced fabric for Grana Move. The line, which features understated designs, is created from a new Taiwanese technical material. Sourced exclusively from Taiwan, the 88 percent polyester and 12 percent elastane fabric blend has moisture-wicking abilities and enables free range of movement during physical activities.

The collection’s garments, including leggings and racerback tanks, incorporate this unique polyester and spandex blend, along with ergonomic panelling that contours the body and provides extra support during workouts.

Available in sizes XS to L with products retailing at $45 or less, the collection provides garments suitable for consumers’ various workout needs. Grana plans to expand the collection as part of its ongoing mission to supply consumers with luxury-quality activewear staples at budget-friendly prices.

Satva

Satva Living is also changing the game when it comes to activewear quality.

With a mission to fortify the Earth, its supply chain workers and consumers’ health, the New York-based activewear brand uses eco-friendly materials, including Global Organic Textile Certified (GOTS) certified organic cotton, in its garments.

“As a company, we believe in offering certifications for our consumers because it is easy to say that it is made with organic cotton, but there is no proof,” Satva co-founder Puja Barar said. “So we want to give that confidence to our consumers.”

Through its partnership with sustainable cotton production corporation, Suminter India Organics, Satva works with roughly 20,000 farmers to harvest non-GMO (genetically modified) organic cotton. Satva and Suminter India Organics also support farmers by providing them with a premium for their work.

“How Satva is helping is buying directly from them and eliminating middlemen, so all the money that they earn for us helps them to live above the poverty line,” Barar said. “Because we are also growing organic cotton, we are not using agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, so that is a cost of savings.”

Satva’s Spring 2017 collection features a wide range of activewear, from vibrant printed leggings to neutral-tone bralettes. Made from GOTS certified organic cotton blended with other materials, like Lycra, the collection’s pieces are versatile enough for many low-impact activities, like yoga and leisure. Satva’s line is available in sizes XS to L and garments are priced from $10 to $59.

RUMI X

RUMI X, a Hong Kong-based eco-conscious activewear brand, is prioritizing the environment with its sustainable apparel materials.

Setting itself apart from a host of athletic clothing retailers, RUMI X uses materials made of recycled polyester and spandex for its products.

Recycled plastic bottles for the clothing are collected and processed through a recycling facility. The bottles are then melted, dried into flakes and milled into a fine powder that can be spun into an eco-friendly yarn. With this greener materials process, RUMI X aims to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and give consumers a eco-friendly option for their workout gear.

“Individuals are becoming more aware of the impact of their consumption habits,” RUMI X founder and director Melissa Chu said. “We are often hearing and seeing more news about environmental issues such as climate change, air pollution and pollution in our oceans, I think the public understands and truly believes that their purchasing behaviors make an impact on their environment, society and community.”

In June, the brand will launch a new apparel lineup, the RUMI X CORE Collection. The line’s garments, including leggings, will contain RUMI X’s sustainable second-skin fabric with 4-way stretch, in addition to other performance capabilities like breathability and sweat wicking. Created for everyday use, the basic collection will be available in navy and black hues, and available in sizes XS to L.

Beloforte

Beloforte, a California-based activewear label, is bringing consumers high-end gear that’s “Made in USA.”

The label, which is known for its stylish-meets-functional pieces, sews its garments in southern California. To support its at-home supply chain initiative, Beloforte attempts to source its components and fabrics primarily with U.S. mills, and though it also works with other mills in Asia, Canada and Europe, the label always sews its apparel domestically. By supporting local mills and engaging in nearshoring, Beloforte can provide consumers with quality apparel that also supports North American manufacturing.

The label’s new Spring 2017 collection, “Lines In The Sand,” demonstrates the brand’s luxe-activewear roots with its edgy sophistication and functional feel. Available in sizes XS to L, and priced from $70 to $154, the collection features looks that are trendy and suitable to wear from barre class to brunch.

The line comes in shades like blush and combat, and garments are created with fiber blends including, 88 percent nylon/12 percent spandex, 95 percent polyester/5 percent spandex and 96 percent nylon with 4 percent Lycra. Best sellers, like the Beverly Bra and Cherish Legging, contain these materials in constructions that support body movement and breathability.

“Activewear throughout the next few years will definitely still be growing. Our goal is to introduce a new look and a different approach with every season,” Beloforte co-founder and creative director Whitney Quaresma said. “As long as health and wellness are in vogue, activewear isn’t going anywhere.”


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