The struggle to cram into a pair of skinny jeans is real — and possibly on its way out. Denim sales have been hit hard with the versatility and increasing acceptance of activewear in boardrooms. At the annual P&G Future Fabrics event held in Barcelona last month, industry bigwigs tossed around stats and studies to put the word out there: athleisure wear is secure of its place on the racks (and in the Merriam-Webster dictionary). And Ariel R&D experts are ready with clothing care innovations to match the increasing popularity of sportswear fabrics. Here are the facts to get comfortable with:
Athleisure is everywhere
“It’s not going to go away,” says designer and P&G Fabric Care Global Fashion Consultant, Giles Deacon. The dominance of Yeezy kicks on red carpets and dance floors sound the arrival of a new tribe: confident and active, with just the right hint of nonchalance. Fashion blogger and writer Susie Bubble breaks it down as the “appearance of not trying too hard, even if that’s not the case”.
There’s more to it than yoga pants
The relaxed mood board of athleisure isn’t confined to gym wear. “[Activewear fabrics] extend to all pieces of clothing. For instance, if you have a great suit, you’d want it to be comfortable and perform well,” says Deacon, who unveiled his limited-edition, completely machine-washable atheisure collection at the event.
Even elastane needs love
Every wash takes a toll on stretch fabrics. “Clothing care isn’t seen as a sexy thing to talk about,” says Bubble, who says she’s doing much better with her wash pile after a laundry lesson at the Ariel Innovation Centre in Brussels last fall. Quick tips to combat ‘first-wash anxiety’? Zip up, button up and turn your clothes inside out, avoid chlorine, use a fabric enhancer and always pick the cold cycle. To keep tricky athleisure fabrics in shape, clothing-care giant Ariel has also developed a three-step solution (clean, protect and enhance) to make sure you’re never in want of a good stretch.