Performance Apparel and its Global Market Trends
Performance Apparel, simply defined, are the garments that perform or function for some purpose. These performance clothing help athletes and active people keep cool, comfortable and dry through moisture management and other techniques. Performance Apparel consist of two sections- Sports wear
and Protective Clothing. Performance Apparel is sold to both, individual consumers as sportswear at retail prices, and as business-to-business protective clothing at wholesale prices. For real, they have the same characteristics working to meet the needs of the wearer's circumstances, and to defeat the risks of the outside environment. There are many methods to make an apparel perform. They include making of garment in specified ways, fabric and trim specification, or fiber and chemical treatments.
Why Performance Apparel?
Performance apparel is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global textile industry
. This growth of performance apparel market can be attributed to the changes in the life style of the majority of people today. Active sports such as aerobics, athletics, running, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, ballooning, parachuting, snowboarding, and ski-ing are preferred today, over any other recreational activities. With the increasing risks in the industries due to the exposure to hazardous materials such as chemicals, polluting wastes etc. and due to increased risky events like fire, terror attacks etc. performance apparel has all the more become important. The corporate wear sector is also growing with demands for more functionals clothing. Not only functionality, it also needs to be fashionable and stylish. As such, high tech fabrics and apparel that are made for high performance has become a necessity. Apart from representing status and sophistication, today, clothing is about being fit for purpose, clothing that performs.
Fibers and Fabrics Used for Performance Apparel
A very wide range of fabric textures is available in the marketplace for performance apparel manufacturers
, thanks to innovations in yarns and new fabric technologies as also to the market demands. People today demand garments that are easily cared for and those which can keep them comfortable in all seasons. Polyester has come up as a favorite of performance apparel market as it can be engineered to wick moisture away from the body.
When talking about fibers, it's the synthetic microfibers that is mostly favored for performance apparel.
are lightweight, soft, easy care, low pill, low shrink and fast drying. These fabrics can perform well even in most demanding applications. As such they are preferred for both sports wear
and industrial clothing
Global Market Trends for Performance Apparel
The Global Market for performance apparel is growing day by day. The worldwide market size of performance sportswear is currently estimated at US$ 6.40bn, which is up 19.4% over the last four years, and is expected to grow a further 18.75% to US$ 7.6bn by 2014. According to one of the reports, performance apparel will outperform all sportswear by a factor of two, raising the US$ money value of performance sportswear from US$ 5.89bn to US$ 7.20bn. Its share of total active sportswear will rise from 10.71% to 11.86%.
Performance protective wear is also predicted to outperform all work wear or
industrial clothing by a factor of two with 15% growth across the six-year period to 2012, whereas work wear in totality will increase by 7%. This will increase the US$ money value of performance protective wear from US$ 1.55bn to US$ 1.79bn. The share of performance protective wear of total work wear will rise from 36% in 2006 to 39% by 2012.
If the supplier selling at wholesale values is considered, the value of performance sports apparel in 2012 will be US$ 2.5bn and that of performance protective wear will be US$ 1.79bn. The total wholesale market for performance apparel is forecast to be worth US$ 4.29bn in 2012.
The credit for this goes to the consumers who enjoy an active lifestyle and indulge themselves in active sports, competition, recreation and exercise. The growth is also a result of the increased health and safety legislation in the developed world.
Growth of Performance Apparel- Various Criteria
According to the reports, forecasting trends of performance apparel, sportswear will continue to grow faster for men than for women and most of the growth will be in North America, East Asia and Europe. If product categories are taken in consideration, then underwear, fleece products and weather resistant outerwear will remain far ahead than other categories of products.
As far as protective wear is concerned, it will grow faster for women. Most of the growth will be recorded in Europe, North America and East Asia. Female image outerwear will lead in the product category.
Innovations In Performance Apparel
It is a well known fact that fabrics are made hi- tech by using chemicals and other such methods that are not very environmental friendly. However, consumers these days have become more eco- conscious. They want both, eco- friendly as well as performance clothing. They are not ready to sacrifice any of the characteristics. In such an event, the performance apparel sector has no other way apart from being innovative and introduce such performance apparel that are ecological too. Some of the apparel manufacturers have started showing interest in natural fibers such as bamboo, soy, and corn-based fibers or yams for the purpose. More innovative manufacturers have been experimenting with organic and recycled fabrics and many of them have come up with �Green Performance Apparel� made of such fabrics. Mostly, recycled polyester is used for the purpose. However, blends of organic cotton and recycled polyester are also used for making eco- friendly performance apparels.