Starting an Activewear Line?

Activewear is a popular business line and a market that has grown dramatically over the years. Virtually anyone who goes to the gym or even just runs outside will likely own some kind of activewear. They are the perfect clothing items for exercise and market very well on social media.

If you’re thinking of starting up your own clothing business, activewear can be a lucrative opportunity. It’s no longer just dominated by the likes of Nike and Adidas, there are lots of small activewear brands out there all with their own unique selling points and dedicated fanbase, and you could join them. If you want to start your own activewear line, here’s a guide to how to do just that.

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Activewear Category

First, you need to brainstorm and research which area of the activewear market you wish to tackle, as there are a number and it’s important to focus your efforts on doing one line really well before branching out as your business grows. Broadly speaking, there are three categories of activewear:

- High impact: This kind of activewear is performance-focused and offers maximum support, flexibility and comfort for its wearers.

- Medium impact: Much of the activewear market will fall into this category. This kind of apparel offers average levels of support for activities like weightlifting and cycling.

- Low impact: These styles offer little support and are suited for low-impact activities like yoga, hiking and casual exercise. They are likely to be the activewear worn by people even when not out exercising.

Brand Direction

Once you’ve selected which area of the market to tap into, you then need to narrow your range even further with some market research. You need to know who your target market is, who would be buying your range and why. Build a customer profile and delve into their lives to find out how to best cater to their needs.

Your activewear will need a strong selling point that makes it unique to stand out in the crowded market. What products are people not currently getting from competitors? Could you fill that gap? Know your product inside and out and why people would want to spend their money.

Look at how your target market shop. Are they primarily getting their shopping online or instore? Do they search for activewear with a mobile or on a desktop? These details will significantly impact how you do business and how your market your products, so investigate your target market's shopping habits and let their preferences guide you.

Your marketing strategy depends on you knowing your market and building brand credibility. You will need a brand logo that speaks to your target market, and that also looks great on the final product itself. It will need to be consistent across your website, email, social media and any packaging or official documents. Activewear is known for its clean and striking branding, so research other brands to find out what is popular in the market today.

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Specialised Features

Activewear uses specialist fabrics not found in typical clothing. These fabrics are used to add unique features to the garments that give the user something special that aids in their exercise. For example, you can find breathable activewear, preventing the wearer from becoming overly heated, or antibacterial or moisture-wicking activewear. Think about your target market and what kind of features they might want from activewear.

Design and Construction

There are a number of considerations to take into account when designing your line:

- Fabric: Choose your material in line with the kind of activity your target market will be doing in your activewear.

- Fit: Activewear can offer compression, which helps reduce muscle fatigue, prevents straining and can increase power and movement. So think about the activities wearers will be undertaking and how they might need compression in their garments.

- Support: This is where the activewear category comes in. For high impact sports, your garments will need a lot of support. Elastic tape is ideal for inside bindings around the arm and neck holes to prevent stitches from coming apart when stretched. Mesh in between the fabric layers can also help reduce stretch and provide better structural integrity.

- Panels: These are used to target muscle groups and have specific fabrics and designs used to offer the best support.

- Reflective details: These are recommended for night-time activities like cycling and running, often found on the arms, back and shins.

- Ventilation: An important consideration in exercise gear, you can add ventilation with cut-outs and mesh in high sweat areas.

- Stitching: This is important as your garments need to provide comfort to the wearer. Flatlock stitches are typically used in compression garments to avoid discomfort and overlock stitching in base-layer garments to help with stretch.

The Collection

A collection is typically made up of 8 to 15 garments in varying styles and designs. But the important thing about a collection is that it is all united by common elements. Choose a range of garments such as sports bras, shorts, t-shirts and leggings to appeal to a wide demographic. Pick well-established and popular silhouettes, colours and trends that will help influence sales.

Marketing

When you’re ready to take your collection to market, get going with your marketing plan. Build your brand online with digital marketing techniques and connect with your audience via social media. Utilise the relevant social media sites that your target market can be found on. Look at other activewear accounts for ideas and use their comment sections to read what your audience likes and doesn’t like about competitors. Use this research to fuel your own marketing.

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When you’re ready, you can set up an e-commerce site and start making some sales. We wish you the best of luck with your activewear line. If you need industrial sewing machines for your new business venture, contact Stocks today.