Sportswear: Between fashion, mass customization and innovation
The driving force in this new marketplace is the consumer. The driving factor is technology
Mass customization is a futuristic concept for the fashion, sportswear included. There are already some initiators firms, which have started customized fashion but have not combined all the existing components. This is due to very high price implementations of this new technological equipment (Vignali, 2004). Mass customization is a broadly-based term encompassing vast changes in manufacturing, distribution and delivery of products. To succeed at it, companies must harness technologies that revamp their speed, flexibility and efficiency at minimum expense. Sport is an important part of many people’s lives – as both recreation and entertainment. It is also a sizeable industry with political and economic ramifications in today’s world. Within the last half-century or so, sportswear has become a driving force for new trends in fashion and for textile innovation. Today, textile materials are used in all sports as sportswear, and in many games as sports equipment and sports footwear.
The driving force in this new marketplace is the consumer.
Sportswear is subject to unique demands, problems and concerns. Its main goal is to be used in extreme physical and environmental performance conditions with necessities for protecting and “assisting” the active body from the impurities connected with extreme bodily exertion. (Langkjaer, 2016) Such concerns are among those addressed by new tailoring and textile technologies. Likewise, the need to satisfy the desire for a heightened aesthetics of sports and sports-recreational activity. Since the mid-twentieth century, sportswear has become everyday wear, whether off the rack or couture. And gradually with the styling and aesthetics mattering. Up to the beginning of the twentieth century sportswear looked almost indistinguishable to work clothes or everyday apparel. This changed, however, in the first decades of the twentieth century, when sportswear design detached itself from general fashion design due to its practical function and a propensity towards a uniform look clearly distinguishing one sport from another. Aesthetics progressively entered the picture with colours and patterns utilized to differentiate players and teams seeking the attention of the spectators.
The driving factor is technology.
Sportswear is promising to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the textile industry. New and innovative fabric technologies are being used to help the wearer improve his performance. Fibers that are lightweight, soft, easy to maintain, do not shrink, and dry quickly are normally used. Polyester remains a universal favourite component of all sportswear manufacturers, owing to its high resistance to moisture and increased durability, which form the basic requirements of fabrics used in sports apparels. The need to stay fit and innovations in functional microfiber fabrics are driving the expanding share of sportswear in the global textile industry.