Athleisurewear - Performance & Sustainability
by Kathlyn Swantko
“Athleisure rules! This is evident in both footwear and apparel,” says Matt Powell, VP of sports/leisure trends at NPD, speaking at ORSM’19. While the industry remains challenged overall and business is slowing down, the athleisure phase is an important bright spot in both the outdoor footwear and apparel markets.”
Led by new apparel brands like RYU Apparel (“Respect Your Universe”), there remains broad acceptability of athletic wear being worn for mainstream apparel. The manufacturers in this segment are focusing on a new generation of apparel that caters to both the fashion and athletic markets through their athleisure lines, while also providing an eco and social responsibility appeal for the consumer. These companies develop their collections based on a combination of high quality workout-ready clothing that is comfortable, tougher, more durable, and lasts longer than traditional workout gear. RYU Apparel is the newest threat to challenge the conventional clothing businesses like Nike, the Gap, Adidas, and Lululemon.
Athleisure wear continues to change the entire market, fueling revenue streams for businesses that take advantage of this exciting new segment. The fashion industry is merging functional performance wear into urban clothing, providing a street-focused appeal. The crossbreeding of these clothing segments signals a new form of usefulness. The advantage for consumers is that they don’t have to buy as much, or as often, to replace their apparel.
The FabricLink Network looks at several companies exhibiting at ORSM’19, which have taken an active part in the athleisure market, providing durable performance fabrics that can easily crossover from hard core performance into more mainstream apparel.
Schoeller’s ecorepel® Bio imitates plants’ natural protection with the aid
of a high-performance, permanentlyodorless high-tech finish. It is
PFC-free and is obtained entirely from renewable primary products. The
finish envelopes the fibres of the fabric in a thin film, providing the repellent
effect which allows water droplets and aqueous dirt to run off the surface.
Schoeller has become involved with the wear2wear initiative, an innovative industrial partnership dedicated to high-quality and sustainable clothing. Five expert partners in Europe have come together to cover the entire recycling loop. Utilizing cutting-edge production systems, this group of companies will turn textile fibers from used clothing into new functional fabrics. Schoeller Textil AG is supplying a holistic textile portfolio, Inspire, for the workwear area.
For decades, Schoeller has been driven by a responsibility to the environment. Developed and produced in Switzerland under stringent conditions, the high-tech textiles and textile technologies encompass a spirit of innovative and outstanding quality. With a focus on sustainability, the company’s groundbreaking, ecological portfolio includes, among other things, genuine upcycled products with ECONYL® yarn, 100 % recycled, recyclable wear2wear woven and knitted fabrics or bio technologies based on sustainable raw materials.
Schoeller’s high-quality textiles have a long service life and can remain in use longer. The fabric properties are further improved by smart textile technologies such as water- and dirt-repellency. This helps preserve the environment and cuts down on the use of resources. In manufacturing, Schoeller Textil AG always considers the ecological compatibility of its products. Since 2001, production at the Swiss site has complied with the stringent guidelines of the bluesign® system.
Polo shirt features drirelease®Geo Cool
performance fabric 92% polyester / 8% spandex
mineral infused cooling technology, bluesign
approved fabric, mesh panels for added venting
antimicrobial treatment for odor control.
drirelease® GEO cool uses proprietary active particles derived from metal oxides that have thermal conductivity 3,000% greater than that of polyester polymer. The active particles are added during the dyeing of filament polyester fabrics or yarns, and are locked into the fiber structure to provide permanent performance for the life of the fabric and garment. Moisture management is inherent to drirelease GEO Cool as the active hydrophilic particles effectively transport moisture through the fabrics, and provides thermoregulation by effectively managing moisture transfer in the fabric, providing superior comfort.
drirelease is used by more than 130 textile based consumer brands around the world through licensed yarn spinners in North America, Asia, Turkey, Central America and Europe. Without chemicals or irritants, it's the natural, eco-friendly way to bring performance properties to any garment.
Hyosung presented a new sustainable fabric collection at ORSM 2019. This new collaboration showcases the sustainable benefits of the
two companies' leading brands: TENCEL™ Modal from Lenzing and creora® elastane from Hyosung.
Hyosung featured a combination of natural softness, comfort and performance, blending Tencel® with the power, fit and recovery of Hyosung’s creora® elastane. This innovative collection offers customers original products for sports and leisure clothing with strong sustainable credentials. The collection includes Lenzing;Ecovero with creora® eco-soft spandex/elastane for a softer touch, whiter whites and low heat settable for reduced energy consumption. Tencel® Modal and creora PowerFit deliver a smooth, natural feel with superior shaping and compression, while Tencel Modal and creora Black creates breathable, softer touch and deeper black fabrics with no grin through. The collaboration of Hyosung and Lenzing brings together an advanced fabric collection that delivers the enhanced performance of Hyosung fibers with Lenzing’s products that provide the environmental story that today’s consumers demand.
Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL) joins sustainable innovations featuring CoolVisions® dyeable polypropylene at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, with its new rPET fiber brand DEJA™. As an IVL ingredient brand, DEJA™ is available as 100% post-consumer rPET recycled flake, pellet, fiber and filament. With unique access to IVL’s global recycling sources, DEJA™ has complete traceability from source to supply, recycling over 4.17 billion plastic bottles yearly. Manufactured in Thailand, high-performance DEJA filament is available as DTY and FDY in a range of specs appropriate for apparel and home products. When thoughtfully designed, these items can be recycled and reprocessed into new high-value products.
DEJA staple fibers, made in the U.S. by IVL affiliate Auriga, are suitable for a number of applications in apparel and home, automotive, industrial, and hygiene. Working all along the value chain, DEJA offers both education and leadership by giving converters credibility, retailers accreditation and end-consumers the assurance of sustainability and high performance.