A Healthy Bedtime Story
Seth Casden is the CEO and co-founder of Hologenix, a materials science company dedicated to developing products that amplify human potential and improve health and wellness. The company’s flagship product, called CELLIANT®, is a responsive textile using infrared technology clinically proven to temporarily increase local circulation and improve cellular oxygenation. It is important to note that the FDA has determined that Celliant products are medical devices, as defined in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and are general wellness products.
Textile Insight has been following Celliant’s trajectory in the functional fabric space for several years. Here, Casden offers an overview of today’s market and outlines Celliant’s performance profile in the emerging wellness sleepwear category.
“First it was activewear, then it was loungewear. And now, sleepwear is enjoying a boom.
The pandemic — with all its stay-at-home orders and remote work routines — is sparking a huge uptick in sales for the comfier apparel categories. Case in point: Pajamas saw a 143% lift in sales* at the outset of the crisis as people invested in a bigger sleepwear wardrobe and chose comfort over traditional office attire.
And it’s not just pajamas that are flying off the digital shelves, but a whole range of sleep-health solutions: mattresses, pillows, and sleep-specific technology have also entered the fray. Altogether, the sleep-health industry is predicted to reach up to $40 billion* and continues to grow at lightning speed*.
“The health benefits of sleep are clear and evident, and they’re becoming more universally recognized and appreciated in a post-pandemic world.”
With all this talk of bedtime, should apparel brands be making a more definite pivot into creating sleep-health solutions, or is this just a passing consumer trend that will dry up once people head back to the office?
Why the Sleep Aid Industry Is Here to Stay
It might seem as if apparel trends born out of a global crisis might be quick to dissipate, but when it comes to sleep and health, there is reason to believe that consumers will have sustained interest.
The health benefits of sleep are clear and evident, and they’re becoming more universally recognized and appreciated in a post-pandemic world. Consumers who are more aware of how to improve mental and physical well-being are now monitoring their sleep patterns in the same way they count their steps. They’re using sleep-health devices connected to apps to help them fall asleep; measure not only their total sleep, but also rapid eye movement sleep and slow-wave (or deep) sleep; and establish consistent sleep patterns. Of course, they’re also avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
“First it was activewear, then it was loungewear. And now, sleepwear is enjoying a boom.”
And as consumers are investing in their sleep itself, they’re also beginning to expect health and wellness benefits* from their mattresses, pillows, and bedding. So although pandemic-influenced sleepwear trends might have been boosted by the change in people’s working schedules, this has certainly coincided with a general shift in people’s relationship with sleep.
On top of that, people have been suffering from a lack of sleep and irregular bedtimes even before the pandemic arrived. Studies show that one-third of Americans considered themselves “sleep-deprived*” before COVID-19 struck, and the myriad anxieties that the pandemic caused have only exacerbated the problem — 58% of people are now struggling with sleep.
Differentiate Your Sleepwear Offerings
In the growing categories of activewear and loungewear, performance textiles are already revolutionizing how people think about what they’re wearing. Performance technology creates fibers that can wick moisture, streamline airflow, and stay water- and heat-resistant. And now, they’re evolving even further to help wearers improve health and wellness.
Responsive textiles can even incorporate ceramic particles woven into fabric to capture body heat. These particles convert heat into infrared light that’s transferred back into the body, which might increase blood flow temporarily and encourage cell oxygenation, encouraging a variety of health and wellness benefits.
COVID-19 has coaxed many Americans into being more health-conscious — 43% of respondents in a study by Rally Health say they’re focusing on their health more than ever. These health-conscious consumers are likely willing to pay for the peace of mind that comes with better sleep. Responsive textiles that optimize airflow and temperature (thermoregulation) while we snooze could be just as popular as textiles that help us work out or relax.
But before tackling the next frontier of sleepwear, there’s plenty to learn about how a health-savvy audience thinks. And for brands looking to pivot toward the sleep industry, there are some challenges you’re likely to run into. For example, a brand that already makes products related to health, wellness, leisure, or relaxation would have an easier time aligning buyers. For companies with a very different specialty, moving brand awareness from your core competency to sleepwear could be a harder sell.
Doing the work to understand the purchasers of health and wellness products is also vital. Ask questions about what they’re looking for. Hand feel? Comfort? Longevity? Price? People aren’t just searching for “pajamas.” They’re looking for specific qualities (like “silky” and “satin”) because they’ve been so “starved of touch” during the pandemic. More people are coming to expect health and wellness benefits/features in addition to quality fabrics.
Understanding what sleep-conscious shoppers are craving and searching for is critical when it comes to embracing the health and wellness opportunities of sleepwear. With the evolution of responsive textiles, your brand could help magnify the health benefits of sleep for consumers who are longing to find products that serve their post-pandemic identities.”
Sources: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/12/business/coronavirus-online-shopping/index.html; • https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/private-equity-and-principal-investors/our-insights/investing-in-the-growing-sleep-health-economy • https://www.glossy.co/fashion/brands-are-strategizing-to-compete-for-the-years-ramped-up-sleepwear-sales/ • https://celliant.com/purecare-celliant-infused-recovery-collection/ • https://www.healthline.com/health-news/coronasomnia-how-the-pandemic-may-be-affecting-your-sleep#Streaming-and-binge-habits-dont-help • https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201016/Study-COVID-19-has-prompted-Americans-to-focus-more-on-their-health.aspx • https://www.businessinsider.com/why-did-people-buy-pajamas-during-pandemic-quarantine-self-care-2021-4