How the Sportswear Industry Balances Functionality and Style

activewear trendsActivewear has certainly taken off in both the fitness and fashion industries. The fact that consumers have taken it out of the gym and shifted activewear clothing to their day-to-day lives has transformed the market. Now, the athleticwear industry is expected to hit US $83.0 billion by 2020.

It’s no longer good enough for an activewear label to be either fashionable or functional. Both women’s activewear and men’s activewear must be balanced if the label is to have any success in what has become a competitive market. But what exactly is driving the popularity and profitability of athleticwear?

Activewear Brings Style to Fitness

It’s clear that people worldwide are going through a collective awareness regarding health. We want to eat better, live better, and work out more than we have been. And, of course, we don’t just want to work out; we want to work out in style. Thanks to activewear fitness apparel, there’s now style as well as functionality where previously there was only functionality.

Function is still an important part of what makes athleticwear so appealing, but brands are looking at fabrics that are more comfortable as well as high functioning. A recent independent survey conducted by Female for Life, an Australian lifestyle and sportswear brand for women, showed that close to 90% of women felt more motivated to work out when the gear was comfortable and flattering to their bodies. These results further demonstrate how much design is important when it comes to activewear.

Reasons Why People Love Activewear

There are so many reasons the activewear industry is blazing its own trail right now. And there are several reasons we can point to that have made people fall in love with this trend.

Comfort would have to be one of the top reasons. Remember that consumers are not just working out with activewear; they are wearing athleticwear clothing as they would jeans and a t-shirt. And if someone is going to wear something with that type of frequency, then it had better be comfortable.

For it to even be possible to for the activewear trend to step outside of the gyms, the designs had to be up to par—and they certainly have been. When consumers are blending pieces of activewear with other garments to go to parties and other social events, it’s a nod to the attention manufacturers are giving to sportswear design.

You can never forget he performance aspect of activewear. Activewear doesn’t work if it isn’t built to sustain a rigorous workout. Consumers must be confident that they are able to run, jump, lift, and move in all sorts of ways without ever feeling restricted by their clothing. That’s the great benefit of activewear is that it is still functional for the user.

Current Trends in Activewear

Within every industry are specific trends that pop up season to season or year to year. A few activewear trends worth noting are:

Women in Fitness
The fact that women are becoming more active in fitness, participating more in sports, and even going into work in a more leisurely fashion is boosting the overall activewear market upwards.

Think about what you would wear during a Saturday spent at home watching movies on your couch. It’s the “lazy” look that can just as easily be shifted to be appropriate for a trip to the grocery store or for a casual brunch.

Jogging Suit
Fall is here and winter is coming, so those sporty crop tops may have to take a backseat. Jumpsuits are looking cool, and not just for a morning jog or evening yoga class. Throw on a jacket over one of these jumpsuits and you suddenly have the makings of a fashionable outfit suitable for fall weather.

Stretch Reflective Material
The new True Stretch technology is quickly becoming a popular trend. What’s notable about this material is that it boasts 100% recovery rate and doesn’t distort any of the branded designs. Silver is the traditional colour most activewear brands choose, but gold, black, navy blue, and yellow-green are also favourites.

The True Stretch technology is exclusive to The Unique Group. The innovative material is perfect for designing athleticwear products and is competitive with any performance material currently on the market. Contact us now to learn more about our True Stretch material. Plus, you can stay updated on our products by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.


“How Activewear Can Help Motivate Your Active Lifestyle,” Female for Life, last accessed October 11, 2016;

Castro, A., “Activewear Market to Bring in $83 Billion in Sales By 2020,” Complex, October 8, 2015;