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Survey Says… Materials Matter

A new outlook emerges on material choices for active lifestyles.

Establishing new exercise routines during Covid accomplished double duty by helping individuals stay fit while also heightening awareness of how material choices enhance not only workout wear but also what we wear to work. Results from our May Trend Insight consumer survey confirm this trend. For example,  survey participants report that when shopping for activewear special fabric features are now top of mind. Respondents ranked “Breathability” highest, with “Wicking” and “Odor Control” rounding out the top three choices. In addition to these factors, “lightweight,” “vented,” and “easy to move in,” were highlighted as important characteristics by consumers when asked to describe features attributed to their favorite activewear.  In other words, nowadays it’s all about comfort.

For example, a 49 year-old female survey participant, stated, “Comfort is first and foremost. Because we’re all used to staying home all the time (think lounge pants and PJs), I reach for my most comfortable workout wear when I choose exercising.” A 35 year-old male from Virginia, said he favors “shoes with arch support, a shirt with ventilation and shorts with ventilation. All help keep me cool and allow me to walk for longer.” And this from a 58 year-old Maryland man: “I choose what makes me feel comfortable.”

The expectation of comfort provided by functional fabrics is starting to spill over to streetwear: 59 percent of our May Trend Insight survey participants said they are more likely to look for functional fabrics when shopping for jeans. And a whopping 87 percent of these respondents would also be inclined to seek out performance materials when purchasing casual wardrobe items like khakis and button down shirts. This emerging material-savvy outlook bodes well for growth opportunities for performance fabrics in apparel sectors beyond activewear.

A complete report of survey results appears in the May/June issue of Textile Insight magazine.

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May 24, 2021


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