Activewear refers to clothing suitable for sports and recreational activities – it provides a combination of style, comfort, and function. Sustainable materials that offer comfort and long lifespan are used to make activewear. Until a few years back, apparel manufacturers focused on sportswear, which found applications in sports activities. However, increasing social activities and active lifestyles have accelerated the demand for activewear, which is capable of providing a sense of style and comfort along with flexibility. Several manufacturers of sportswear, such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma, undertake research activities to develop and utilize newer and better materials for activewear that compliments people’s active lives.
Awareness regarding health and hygiene is contributing to the growing popularity of yoga and other fitness-related activities, which is expected to drive the activewear market during the forecast period, 2019–2026. Moreover, sports activities and events around the globe are also projected to fuel the activewear market. Research and development targeting the introduction of materials capable of providing a higher degree of flexibility, comfort, and aesthetics are expected to further scale-up the growth of the activewear market during the forecast period. The use of sustainable and biodegradable materials in the manufacturing of activewear is also expected to provide impetus to market growth.
The global activewear market was valued at USD 3, 83,256 million in 2018 and is projected to reach a value of USD 663444.70 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period, 2019–2026.
The global market for activewear is segmented by product, distribution channel, and material.
On the basis of product, the market is segmented into clothing, footwear, and accessories. The clothing segment can be further segmented into upper-body wear, lower-body wear, and others. The footwear segment is expected to hold a significant share in the global market, due to the growing sales of footwear for sports, gym, yoga, and others. Millennials in emerging countries such as India, China, and others are expected to influence market growth positively. According to the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Survey, in 2018, 50% of the global population was under the age of 30.
On the basis of the distribution channel, the market can be segmented into retail and online. The retail segment can be further divided into traditional sports goods retailers and specialty stores. The online segment is expected to gain popularity in the global activewear market during the forecast period, 2019–2026. The growing demand for online shopping, backed by the enormous availability of options, attractive discounts, and product promotions through social media, is also slated to drive the sale of activewear. According to the Brand Equity Foundation, the e-commerce sector was pegged at USD 39 billion in 2017 and is predicted to reach USD 120 billion by 2020.
On the basis of material, the market can be segmented into natural and synthetic. Natural materials can be further classified as cotton, wool, and others, whereas synthetic materials can be classified as polyester, nylon, spandex, neoprene, polypropylene, and others. Polyester fiber is extensively used for sportswear due to its lower regain value, which doesn't absorb or hold water molecules – so the sweat generated from the body is not be absorbed by clothes made from polyester.
Geographically, the activewear market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (LAMEA).
Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the activewear market during the forecast period. This is primarily attributed to the growing awareness regarding leading an active lifestyle among the region’s population. Different charity institutes such as InspiringHK Sports Foundation, HandsOn Hong Kong, Share Limited (Liberty Asia Project), Hong Kong Cancer Fund (HKCF), Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation, and Youth Diabetes Action work to treat people suffering from chronic diseases by encouraging them to practice yoga and lead an active lifestyle. This trend is also expected to drive the activewear market in the region.
North America dominated the activewear market in 2016, accounting for nearly a 37.5% share. The region’s eminent position can be attributed to the increasing adoption of active clothing such as printed leggings, sneakers, and t-shirts for official and casual use.
North America is expected to grow at a considerable pace in the global activewear market, owing to the presence of several key players as well as local manufacturers of activewear in the region. Europe is expected to witness significant growth in the activewear market due to the increasing adoption of athleisure wear for corporate and as well as casual purposes. People are becoming more aware regarding health and fitness, and this trend is further supplemented by the improving standard of living.
LAMEA is expected to witness healthy growth in the activewear market during the assessment period, owing to the gradual improvement in Brazil’s political situation and upcoming sports events such as 2022 FIFA WorldCup, 2023 World Aquatics Championship, and UCI Road World Championship in the Middle East. Prominent sports events lead to an upsurge in the sale of merchandise, with fans donning colors to support their teams.
Some of the key players in the global activewear market are Nike, Inc., Adidas Group, ASICS Corporation, PUMA SE, SKECHERS USA, Inc., Under Armour Performance, Gap Inc., KORAL LLC, and Columbia Sportswear Company.
Future Developments Expected to Influence the Activewear Market Trends
Activewear Market Segmentation