3 Innovative Ways Apparel Brands Are Evolving Comfort clothing is becoming a norm as the work-from-home trend is here to stay.

By Simonetta Lein

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The activewear industry is witnessing a pandemic boom as more people realize the importance of physical activity in maintaining good health. Per Technavio Market Research, the athleisure market is poised to grow by $80.74 billion during between now and 2024. In a recent report, SimilarWeb shared that there has been a "remarkable growth of the athleisure market in the United States over the last few months." Popular clothing brands have returned to basics and are focusin on simpler, more durable and comfortable garments to stay relevant.

In a recent conversation with brothers Gurmer and Robby Chopra, the co-founders of fitness clothing brand YoungLA, Gurmer shared, "With so many people working from home, and with the social side of life being put on ice for a while, more and more people are opting to dress down. Yet dressing down doesn't mean dressing any less stylishly. It just means dressing out of comfort and choice instead of dressing for occasion and ceremony."

The Chopra brothers shared three ways innovative fitness brands have evolved their strategies to survive and grow amidst the work-from-home era.

Related: Erin Andrews Is Learning to Be Patient!

A Digital Shift

"With the world in quarantine, people turned their attention online," says Robby. "Online shopping became a necessity rather than a luxury. People who once would only buy clothes in brick-and-mortar stores were suddenly going online and shopping for new wardrobes."

For many clothing brands, developing their online presence and ensuring their shipping was reliable and able to cope with the surge in demand proved game-changing.

Affordability

It's proven that most consumers are as worried about the economic hit of Covid-19 as their health. In such a scenario, customers need to know they're getting their money's worth when buying products from various brands. As we all know, clothing can be expensive; in some cases, exorbitant.

"We always believed in offering unbeatable prices," Gurmer explains, "and that is one thing we're seeing so many other brands following suit."

Affordability was a much-needed move in the athleisure market, and as brands have paved the way for affordability, the spike in volumes is evident.

Exclusive Offers

It's become more important than ever to get to know your existing customers and cultivate new ones. Brand loyalty is everything. During the pandemic, many companies found that virtual personalized shopping experiences made a huge difference. From sending personalized texts and emails to their client base, to early access to sales and special discounts, a nuanced and personalized approach has made all the difference in scaling revenues.

Related: What It Takes to Launch a Successful Online Clothing Brand in 2020

There's no way of sugarcoating it: The pandemic has negatively impacted the clothing industry as a whole, but every cloud has a silver lining. We've all been forced to reevaluate the way we do things and think outside of the box. Consumers have cut back on their overall spending, so brands have to be creative and original while adding strong value propositions to retain customers. Stores may be closed, but we have, at our disposal, the most valuable tool in history: the internet. Live video shopping, online shop assistants and virtual changing rooms are just a few of the ways the clothing industry has managed to keep ahead of the curve. The future is digital, and brands have already begun embracing change.

Simonetta Lein

Millennial Entrepreneur, Fashion Influencer, Activist

Simonetta Lein is an author, millennial entrepreneur, influencer and activist founder of the Wishwall Foundation www.thewishwallfoundation.org

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