The BDA team, made up of trend forecasters and commercial strategists, pick out our most-loved innovations, products and initiatives across the activewear industry. From community-driven clubs to adaptive product ranges, read below for our top picks.
Adaptive & Accessible Active
The activewear industry has experienced a surge in demand for versatility and products that meet the needs of a wide range of consumers. Brands are responding by introducing new innovations designed to make activewear more comfortable and functional. From period-conscious clothing to prayer mats for Muslim hikers, these advancements are making it easier to engage in sports, regardless of individual circumstances.
1. Nike, Period Leak Protection
Nike has launched its first-ever period leak protection innovation in time for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The Period Leak Protection shorts have a new technology that prevents leakage, combining a two-layer laminate gusset to absorb, wick and hold blood, with a membrane that acts as an anti-leakage barrier.
2. Adidas Terrex x Wiggle
Adidas’s outdoor-focused line Adidas Terrex has teamed up with UK-based sports retailer Wiggle and hiking group Muslim Hikers to create a prayer mat for outdoor use. The mat, made of 100% polyester, is lightweight and durable, and is designed to let the Muslim community pray comfortably wherever they are.
3. YOUR SKIN, by YITTY
Yitty Shapewear, by Lizzo, is launching a gender-neutral shapewear range called "YOUR SKIN" with the tagline "You deserve to be happy in your skin". By creating a line for people of all gender identities, Yitty's line could be a massive step in meeting the underwear needs of those who identify as non-binary, trans and gender-fluid.
Wellness and the active industry have become more intertwined, as consumers become more invested in ingredients and mental care. We see uptrends in customers wanting to improve their health for future generations. By taking a holistic approach to wellness in the active industry, brands can offer naturally-enhancing products while leveraging tech advancements.
1. Puresport, Natural Products
Puresport has become the world's first range of natural products certified as safe for drug-tested athletes. The brand's vision is to introduce the wider world to the power of innovative and truly effective natural products.
2. Garmin Venu 2 Plus, Performance Watch
The Garmin watch can measure your blood oxygen levels, prescribe recovery time, monitor your sleep, track stress and create training plans as well as help you track activity and lose weight. Performance watches are harnessing technology to detect when the user is going to be most fatigued or at their optimum level, even automatically alerting your emergency contacts if you’ve taken a fall.
3. Lululemon x Madhappy
Lululemon and Madhappy have come together on a run-focussed collection inspired by their shared values of positivity and speaking up about mental health. Movement is a powerful driving force for all forms of wellbeing, and Lululemon wants to fuel that fire with functional pieces that boost your happiness in motion.
In the active industry, brands often embrace a community spirit to help drive consumer engagement. By hosting events, influencer collaborations and creating online communities, labels are finding ways for customers to connect with one another and the brand itself. These initiatives not only help to build relationships between customers but can also foster loyalty and customer retention.
1. Bumble X Gymshark
Dating app Bumble and fitness brand Gymshark have teamed up on a campaign that highlights the importance of compatibility when dating. The partnership will include new interest badges for Bumble profiles, including weightlifting, HIIT and bodybuilding.
2. Your Friendly Runners
Your Friendly Runners Club is a local running club in East London that meets four times a week. They have build a soild community on the idea that running brings people closer together. The group has partnered with the likes of Asics, On, Hoka, Salomon showing the importance that bigger brands now place on grassroots sports groups.
3. Hackney Moves By Wizz Air
Taking place on Sunday 21 May 2023, Wizz Air Hackney Half brings a new dimension to social fitness. In a collision of culture and movement, the event encourages people to move through the vibrant streets of East London with entertainment scattered throughout the course.
Material Performance Innovations
The activewear industry consistently pushes the boundaries of material performance, with innovations that impact everyday garments. Sustainable materials have been increasingly adopted by brands looking to reduce their environmental impact. Such fabrics are made from plant-based polymers or recycled plastic instead of traditional petroleum-based materials, which offer benefits like reduced water and energy usage during production.
1. On Running Cyclon
The On Running Cloudneo trainer is a fully recyclable running shoe made from castor beans. Lightweight, agile and super-responsive, the sneaker is engineered for peak performance. All the items in the Cyclon collection are exclusively available to Cloudneo subscribers. Subscribers never own the products, but instead use them until they are worn out, then send them back to be recycled and repeated. It's a circularity program that goes around and around.
2.Pangaia x Zellerfeld
Pangaia has launched an on-demand 3D-printed sneaker in collaboration with emerging technology company Zellerfeld to eliminate excess inventory. The ‘Absolute Sneaker' replaces more than 40 materials in a conventional trainer, using only one material that can be melted down and used again at the end of life.
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