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Athleisure gains speed as fast fashion slows

By Sasha Fedorenko June 13, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Athleisure is gaining momentum amongst global shoppers as they are increasingly ditching unethically-made fast fashion pieces to enjoy sustainable clothes, says the new research Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2019 by BrandZ.

The research covers more than 3.7 million consumer interviews and more than 165,000 different brands in over 50 markets.

What is Athleisure?

Athleisure is a fashion trend which sees shoppers wearing clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities in different settings such as at the workplace, at school, or other casual or social occasions.

According to the report, winning in athleisure requires identifying fashion trends early, being quick to market, and reaching core audiences with relevant communications. For instance, Nike and adidas are among brands creating sneakers made from sock-like material. Nike communicates with consistency and story-telling across channels, continuing to cultivate a community around the brand.

The research says that fast fashion brands lag in value growth, in part because its environmental footprint is out of step with rising mindfulness about sustainability. Customers want to buy an item that was sustainably made but also lasts longer than just a season. The analysis gives eight key tactics to help merchants succeed in the athleisure field?

1. Inclusivity

The research advises merchants to connect across generations and be representative of the diversity and gender fluidity within each of them.

2. Responsibility

According to the analysis, the most-loved brands will be those that attempt to achieve a zero footprint. Sellers should re-think their operations and find solutions that are fully sustainable both for the environment and the business bottom line.

3. Distinction

As shoppers adopt the idea of zero waste, they will demand something genuinely different from brands. Duplication will not be tolerated. Consumers will be drawn to the brands that take risks to offer something unique.

4. Trending

The analysis says that urban living is more popular, which means closet space is declining. There is an opportunity for updated “mix and match” basics that are fashionable and durable.

5. Exploring other business models

Because of the sharing economy mentality, and concern with sustainability, even people who want more stuff may prefer to rent rather than own.

6. Versatility

The report points to the increasing trend of people looking for clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for multiple parts of their day, including work, exercise, and an evening out.

7. Tailoring the experience

Sellers should use their customers’ data to provide a tailored brand experience and even a bespoke product. As shoppers become reluctant to buy disposable fashion, their retail therapy will move from regular shopping “fixes” to shopping highs from superior products and services.

8. Helping people improve

The research says that athleisure will maintain its popularity as it’s aligned with the cultural shift to greater health and wellness. However, success can come from broader areas of wellbeing and improvement, such as clothes for a better night’s sleep, underwear that gives greater confidence, or a podcast that educates about health or wellness.

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