a man standing beside a brown dog while pointing the screen of a laptop
by John Russel Jones

The numbers are here to support what we’ve all suspected: Looks like comfort is here to stay. Analytics firm GlobalData reports that, as two out of five of us continue to work from home this year, the demand for athleisure apparel remains high. 55 percent of those surveyed say that they wear these styles for more than just sports or workouts, so get ready to rewrite the company dress code, yet again. 

Louise Deglise-Favre at the company says, “People have simply been able to get more wear out of athleisure clothing while working from home over the pandemic. Now, with hybrid working set to continue, people will still want to dress casually and work out on the days they are not in the office. As for in-office working, we expect that to become more casual, too. Trainers at the office and the sweatshirt-under-a-blazer look will be more popular. All of this traction will help the sportswear market grow by an impressive 25.1% to $551 billion between 2021 and 2025.”

The company’s latest report, Global Sportswear Market 2020-2025, reveals that a quarter of all clothing sold in 2020 was (active) sportswear that people wore for both home workouts and for working-from-home. The analysts believe that the share will decline slightly this year as people buy dressier items for social events, but that sportier styles will still remain popular. The company anticipates that athleisure will take up almost 24% of the apparel market by 2025.

“As hybrid working continues and brands embrace the casualization trend, consumers will continue to want more multifunctional, comfortable athleisure pieces that are appropriate for both wearing at home and in social settings. However, technical sportswear — clothing that presents performance characteristics that are used exclusively to practice a sport — will also be important as consumers continue to prioritize their health and fitness, and team sports are due to have their first full year without disruptions,” says Deglise-Favre. The uptake in outdoor activities and cycling started by the pandemic is also expected to continue in 2022 and beyond, boosted by the representation of mountain activities in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.”

Don’t get too comfortable, though: According to Nina Nowak, another researcher at the company, “A growing health awareness following the pandemic has also shaped a new outlook on diet and hygiene, boosting interest in both vegan foods, as well as germ-killing products. These trends are set to stay, since 48% of shoppers opt for plant-based claims when choosing products, while a whopping 84% actively seek products with ‘hygienic’ claims.”

Guess it’s time to clean those clothes off of the Peloton.