The activewear industry saw a major boost during the pandemic. The article traces the reasons behind it.

The pandemic has forced most people to stay indoors and perform their daily routine tasks from home. Naturally people are more inclined to stay fit at home through various ways. A fit lifestyle requires clothing that is fit for all purposes--whether you must cook in the kitchen or attend a conference call from your office--your clothes should satisfy your desire to remain comfortable and stylish at all times. This has given rise to the demand of activewear--a special category of clothing worn for sport or physical exercise. Market research by Technavio predicts post-pandemic sales of sleep and loungewear will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 9 per cent up to 2024.

Another reason why activewear sales have gone up is due to the drives that various organisations had started for people to exercise from their homes during the lockdown period of the first wave. As the various transformation photos and videos of people started flooding the internet, more and more people joined the bandwagon. This is the time when people were constantly posting pictures on social media and required more and newer outfits for their everyday workout regime. This pushed the sales for activewear. The government had also stressed on the importance of exercising during that time and had created awareness among people.

By the second wave, people realised that the situation was not going to get better any soon, and that fitness should be their topmost priority. This further catapulted activewear to the first spot in terms of people’s preferences.

Activewear slowly became the uber cool style statement amidst the pandemic. Celebrities and influencers also played their part in giving the activewear industry a major fillip. With some relaxation on the lockdown rules, people started looking out for their favourite celebrity to get inspiration to get dressed in activewear. Brands engaged in providing the best activewear for both men and women.

While the pandemic had serious negative effects on all other industries, the activewear industry flourished more than ever. In one quarter, it saw greater than 100 per cent increase in sales. Since physical stores were closed, lot of companies kept making sales through digital marketing. The online sales of activewear for many companies on an average rose to 60 per cent in a single month which meant that the sales for activewear had actually increased more than the fashion sales!

As a sign of consumers’ “normalcy-adjustment purchases”, the activewear industry started to deliver more in terms of both comfort and style. As per opinion of activewear industry proponents--this trend is here to stay and will even continue after the pandemic ends.

None of the industries were immune to the retail downturn which started right after the pandemic happened, but the activewear industry seems to hold much promise for future. The competition among brands to attract customers is on the rise, which gives the customers an advantage to choose from a large variety and price parameters. Thus, customers have changed the market dynamics according to their needs and choices and the pandemic was indeed the catalyst. Activewear and athleisure have become a good break from all the monotonous outfits and styles that we have been witnessing before the pandemic. The bottom line--the highly ignored activewear industry has soared during the pandemic like never before.

About the author: Nirmal Jhawar is the Co-Founder of Tromko.