United Kingdom: UK Activewear Apparel Consumer Survey for Textile Companies

The activewear market is booming at present. The momentum it is currently gathering is facilitated by the rising number of health and fitness options. Growing popularity of exercise classes, along with a rising number of boutique fitness studios and low-cost chain gyms, support the market growth. Also, athleisure, which is now believed to be more than a trend but instead a change of people''s life values, accelerates the market expansion. Today, many people who enjoy exercising and live an active lifestyle prefer to be casually dressed in activewear, keeping them comfortable, functional and stylish.

Growing consumer interest in activewear garments results in a rising number of entrants into the marketplace. Besides, in the digital age of information, there are many information sources available that help to compare different options. This enables consumers to easily and quickly view different offerings and prices as well as share and access product reviews. All these factors result in buying decisions being more complex, making it more vital than ever that companies understand what consumers pay attention to when buying activewear products.

In fact, understanding consumer behaviour is not only critical to brands but also to their vendors as, very often, they need to assist their customers with decisions about end-use products and production processes.This report presents the results of a consumer survey. The findings are based on the responses of 274 activewear garment shoppers who live in the UK. The paper is focused on aspects which are of primarily interest to textile companies operating in the activewear garment sector.

The report is divided into three main sections. In the first section of the report, findings from the section of the survey which asked participants to rate the importance of price, high quality, fashionable appealing design, sustainability and clearly labelled textile technology are presented. The report also shows results indicating how different environmental sustainability aspects are important (usage of hazardous chemicals, usage of organic materials, usage of recycled materials, CO2 emission, water pollution and recyclability or degradation after use), how different eco and social labels are recognised (EU Ecolabel, Confidence in Textiles, bluesign, Global Organic Textile Standard) and whether they influence the choice to buy activewear. It investigates whether consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable activewear garments.

The second section shows the results of the average importance of several functional, comfort and durability properties that were listed in the survey. The research focused on the following properties: odour control, ''stay dry'', ''keep cool'', stretch, lightweight, UV protection, feeling of softness and smoothness to the skin, and high washing durability. The report also presents findings on how often consumers wash their activewear garments and how long they expect them to last. The last section looks at what fibres they like their activewear garments to be made of.

Source: News Times, United Kingdom
Saturday, 06 January 2018

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