As you’ve probably noticed by now, yoga pants are no longer just for yoga. Going shopping? Running errands? Heading to the movies? Yoga pants have seemingly replaced blue jeans as the go-to casual attire. And it’s not just for brands we expect to see like Nike and Under Armour. Even designers like Tory Burch are moving into the athleisure market. And for good reason. Brean Capital reports the athleisure market “grew 7% last year to $35 billion and now comprises roughly 17% of the $206 billion total U.S. apparel market. By comparison, the total clothing market, without activewear, grew only 1%.”
According to Citigroup Research, lululemon “almost single-handedly invented the athleisure industry”. By making workout clothes more fashionable and improving the fit, people began wearing their workout clothes everywhere, even to work. Athleisure is now one of the fastest growing sectors of the apparel industry and everyone wants in on the action. Joining the previously mentioned companies are: Athleta, Sweaty Betty and Nordstrom’s Zanella.
Cotton Incorporated’s 2014 Sports Apparel Survey reports that 9 in 10 consumers say they wear athletic apparel for activities other than working out and that non-active consumers spend nearly as much as active consumers on activewear. One of the most interesting aspect of their findings is that “while price ranks as the third most important factor when shoppers purchase clothing in general, price is the sixth most important purchase driver among consumers buying active apparel”. And it’s probably no surprise that comfort ranks as the most important factor when shopping for athletic wear.
But don’t count out denim just yet. BMO Capital notes that Americans buy 450 million pairs of jeans each year and “despite tremendous strength in athleisure, resurgence in denim drives largely from its newfound ability to keep up with the comfort factor offered by athleisure/legging via fabric technology new to mass market this year. While skinny jeans remain the dominant style, as 2015 vehemently co-opts the 70s decade, we see even more newness in denim on the horizon via silhouette shifts (including from skinny to wide/flare leg and low-rise to mid and high-waist).”
So whether you’re full steam ahead with your yoga pants or kickin’ it old school with your jeans and Chucks….it’s good news for the Cotton Industry.