If it seems to you that everywhere you go, you meet joggers and runners on their way to the next personal record – you’re not wrong. According to Running USA, 18.1 million people had registered for a race in 2018 in the US alone. The numbers become even crazier as we look at the running trend on a global scale. Some races embrace a specific agenda, such as the Lisbon ECO Marathon, which is all about ecology and social solidarity. The race is on, no doubt.

Running is an extremely demanding activity, and it takes dedication, time and faith to make it to the finish line. But what it also takes is the right garments. If you’re surrounded by passionate runners, you probably already know that they absolutely love comparing their latest workout and favorite gadgets and sportswear. It comes as no surprise to see that with the rise of this athletic hobby, the sportswear industry has reached new heights and territories. In fact, research shows that the global sportswear arena was valued at $84.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $108.7 billion by the end of 2025. These numbers are promising, but they also require serious preparation. The following paragraphs will discuss a few important things that retailers should keep in mind when entering the race to win the athlete’s hearts.

Sprint-running a marathon

Creating the perfect garments for runners is no easy task. This audience may be willing to pay for great products, but they really do need to be great and pass several tests. Runners know what they want and need, and their extensive exercising routine will uncover any imperfection your product might be hiding. Since these are returning customers you don’t want to lose, and given the chatty nature of the runner’s community – creating outfits that disappoint is not a smart move at all. You have to get it right, every single time.

The sportswear you manufacture must be cut out for endurance sports and endure the elements and the bodily functions they serve. Keep things stretchy, flexible, robust and comfortable. Think about the specific activity your garment needs to accompany (interval workouts, uphill running, etc.) and create clothes that truly support it. Your athletic customers will appreciate the dedication.

But don’t get confused! Just because there’s a list of functionalities to fulfill, does not mean the outfits need to be any less than beautiful. Fashion plays an important role in the process, with runners constantly looking for bold prints to make them stand out. Just make sure that these gorgeous prints last long, even after many hours of movement, sweat and sun exposure.

This long list of goals may seem to take forever to achieve, but you don’t have forever, as the trends of the field change periodically. Your customers move fast (literally), and so should you.

Off the track

With running becoming such a regular part of our lives, it was only a matter of time before the athleisure trend entered places that have nothing to do with exercising. People now wear their sports outfits as everyday clothing and you’ll find tops and tights wherever you go.

This is yet another reason to make an extra effort and create truly fashionable garments for sports fans.  Covering any color and size and printing on the popular fabrics of the field, such as polyester, are important steps for retailers looking to conquer this lucrative market. When you think of athleisure, think outside the box and off the beaten running track.

Fashion is such an exciting business, and serving different audiences makes it even more thrilling for retailers. With advanced technologies at their service, retailers are now able to make audiences’ wildest dreams a wearable reality in no-time. If you’re looking to print the boldest colors on polyester, overcome the obstacle of dye migration and reach long-lasting, beautiful results – advance to the Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro – the only digital printing solution for dyed polyester. Schedule your Avalanche Poly Pro demo at ITMA 2019.

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