Brought on by a global pandemic and social issues that center around systemic inequality, the future of functionality will be impacted by a changing set of consumer values.
Between December 2019 and October 2020, sportswear brands saw a +7% stock price growth*. Conversely, the pandemic has revealed the fallibility of capital “F” fashion. Appetite for haute couture may never return to pre-pandemic levels, while demand for performance gear is on the rise.
*The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company
The travel industry will face continued challenges as international tourism has been significantly diminished. As a result, we are more commonly making use of the outdoor spaces around us. Parks, forests and woods have become a healthy way to escape the confines of city life. In 2020, the value of getting outside was more recognizable and clear than ever. Sportswear and outerwear segments will continue to thrive, as outdoor recreation becomes more synonymous with personal leisure time.
Responsible consumers may be more likely to consider the lifetime of purchased items, specifically pertaining to physical lifetime (Is this piece created to last?), cultural lifetime (Is this piece part of a passing trend?), and emotional lifetime (Will I be wearing this for years to come?). These questions sit at the core of carefully considered design, and functional clothing. Clothing should not be fast or disposable.
LESS IS MORE
Fashion brands could see the benefits of a “less is more” approach to design. This entails reducing complexity, while by taking a more considered, demand-focused approach when introducing new products and segments. By considering demand and emphasizing longevity, utility and functionality become more critical notions for sportswear-garment design.
The GORE-TEX brand is committed to identifying future opportunities to improve the environmental impact of GORE fabric products, and to prolong the complete life cycle of GORE-TEX footwear and functional outerwear. In short, the longer a jacket lasts, the smaller its annual environmental impact will be.