In the modern world, taking care of health and fitness is of paramount importance. Considering this, activewear is a dynamic blend of functionality and fashion. Whether you prefer the gym, yoga, running, or simply a leisurely stroll in your active lifestyle, activewear finds space in your dynamic wardrobe.

This blog will dive into the ocean of activewear, discussing its historical context, types, materials, notable brands, and current trends for anybody starting a sportswear brand.

Historical Overview and Trends

Activewear, once a mere workout attire, has now become representative of a healthy lifestyle. As health consciousness prevailed in society, so did the demand for practical, comfortable, and stylish clothing. This necessitated the inception of activewear in the market, which has now become a multi-billion-dollar industry of fitness apparel.

In the 19th century, when women became more inclined towards sports and workout exercises, activewear was first incorporated into the clothes; however, it wasn’t until the 20th century that it gained actual traction.

The trends, however, have been varying in every era. Activewear emerged as fitted leggings, leotards, and sweatbands in the 1980s, and now it has become part and parcel of everyone’s wardrobe, with its global market ever expanding.

Defining Activewear

Merriam-Webster defines activewear as “casual clothing crafted for both exercising and for general use.” In essence, it is the attire that is practical and designed to provide comfort and style during physical activities such as exercising, etc.

However, it is not restricted to a singular purpose, as now it has become a part of casual clothing in daily life, blurring the line between fashion and fitness.

When it comes to terminology, Activewear, sportswear, gym wear, and athleisure all are often used interchangeably yet have distinct meanings, which are as follows:


These are clothing items specifically designed for a sport, like jerseys and shorts for basketball and hockey. Sportswear allow fitness admirers to exercise using special performance clothes like stretchable apparel, dri-fit shirts, and any certain clothing products that are utilized during sports activities.

Gym wear 

These clothes are worn specifically to the gym, also called workout clothes. These workout clothes are made of breathable and perfect fit yet stretchable fabrics to allow accurate and free body movements during the intense gym routines. 


These clothes present a blend of athletic wear and leisure wear; they can be used for athletic activities as well as daily use.  


Activewear is the umbrella term that covers all the above categories of clothing. Activewear is suitable for athletic activities, physical activities as well as casual wear.

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Types of Activewear

Types of Activewear Clothing

Activewear is tailored for the customers to cater to their various needs for different activities, providing a wide range of clothing types:

  • Leggings and Tights
  • Sports Bras and Crop Tops
  • Tank Tops and T-Shirts
  • Hoodies and Sweatshirts
  • Jackets and Windbreakers
  • Shorts and Skort
  • Yoga Pants and Tops
  • Performance Socks and Underwear
  • Running – Boots and Sneakers 
  • Tracksuits


Materials Used in Activewear Clothing

Material Used in Activewear Clothing

Activewear caters to both the comfort and performance of athletes. This is attained through the right choice of fabrics. The materials of the fabric bring fusions that are innovative and enhance the performance of the users. Types of sportswear fabrics and some of the common materials for clothing are:

1. Polyester

This fabric is lightweight, has moisture-wicking properties, and is very durable. However, it can trap odor and is less breathable than some other fabrics.

2. Spandex 

This fabric is stretchable, which provides flexibility and seamless movement during exercise.

3. Cotton Blends

This fabric is soft and breathable and ideal for casual activities, but it lacks the moisture-wicking properties of other synthetic fabrics.

4. Nylon 

This fabric has the ability to dry quickly, and it is abrasion-resistant.

5. Bamboo

Being eco-friendly, this fabric is a sustainable choice as it has moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties.

Global Activewear Market Overview and Leading Brands

According to the statistic revealing the size of the global activewear market,  In 2022, the global activewear market size was estimated at approximately $319.4 billion. The report predicted a further rise of $450 billion by 2028.

The multi-billion market of activewear accommodates many brands with unique identities and styles. Some of the notable brands are Nike, Adidas, Lululemon, Under Armour, Athleta, Fabletics, etc. All these brands offer a range of activewear catering to different inclinations and activities. And expert activewear manufacturer cater to the needs of startups and big brands like the ones mentioned. 

Among the top activewear suppliers, one of the big names is Mega Sports Apparel which specializes in providing all sorts of sports clothing to beginners and giants of the apparel industry. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Activewear Material

Choosing the right material for activewear

When you have to enhance performance while also considering comfort and style, the right selection of material for activewear is crucial. For this purpose, consider the following pointers:

Activity Type

The choice of materials should depend on the type of activity for which the clothes are being made.


If the conditions are humid, choose moisture-wicking materials and thermal materials for colder conditions.

Ease and comfort 

Opt for stretchable and elastic fabrics that provide ease of movement.  


High-quality fabrics ensure longevity and withstand washing in regular use.

Environmental and Ethical Considerations

Sustainable and ethical practices have raised consciousness in people to use and buy more eco-friendly activewear. The activewear industry is also keeping up with the pace to align with such ethical values. It is essential to consider the brands that focus on

Sustainable Materials: The brands that use recycled and organic materials to reduce environmental impact.

Ethical Practices: Support the brands with a safe working environment and fair wages for the employees.

Eco-Friendly Brands: Some of the eco-friendly brands, like Patagonia and outdoor voices, prioritize ethical and sustainable practices and should be supported.


Activewear is a powerful trend that is healthy for society. It transcends the utilitarian origins becoming a blend of style and performance. It symbolizes healthy lifestyle choices and accommodates clothing variety for a wide array of activities and preferences. It covers everything from gym wear to sportswear to athleisure. It is essential to understand the historical contexts as trends of activewear in different eras keep evolving.

The diverse range of materials and activities that it caters to is also remarkable, as it considers the need for style, comfort, and enhanced performance equally. A new dimension of sustainable practices has emerged as importance is now given to ethical considerations in all markets.

The same goes for the activewear industry. Consumers are becoming more conscious and critical of their choices. It does not matter if you join a gym, enjoy yoga, or are simply a sucker for an active routine; activewear lets you do it all in style. It is functional and in fashion.