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published in Issue 10, 3rd Quarter 2004
Major developments in fabric technology have revolutionised swimming and created massive interest in what has traditionally been a low-tech sport. Indeed, the fabric innovations which have grabbed the most attention at successive Olympic Games over the years have been those in swimwear. The performance swimwear market is driven by innovation and technology. In recent years manufacturers of performance swimwear have been competing to produce the world’s fastest swimsuit. At least three companies—Speedo, Tyr and Arena— claim to have done just that.
These companies have discovered that some materials allow swimmers to move faster through the water than would be possible if their bodies were uncovered. New high-tech swimsuits—or bodysuits— reduce friction and can improve swimming times by more than 3%. This is considerable, given that most swimming competition finals are decided by tenths or hundredths of a second. Following the introduction in 1999 of bodysuits, more swimming records were broken in the run-up to the 2000 Olympic Games than in any other pre-Olympic period. Bodysuits have become commonplace in swimming pools used by competitive swimmers, and they have helped elite swimmers to increase their speeds while competing. However, the question of whether or not to allow technology which enhances athletes’ performances in the sport remains a subject of hot debate.
The performance swimwear market is highly concentrated and is dominated by just a handful of brands, by far the largest of which is Speedo. Competition has become more intense over the past decade, following the market entry of global sportswear giants such as Nike and Adidas. Swimwear manufacturers are investing heavily in order to differentiate their product lines. Fabric manufacturers continue to develop new fabrics which allow a snug but comfortable fit, which reduce drag in the water, and which offer performance features such as chlorine resistance and protection from ultraviolet radiation.
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides an overview of the sector for performance apparel and corporatewear. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for performance fibres, fabrics and clothing, and is essential reading for executives who are working in (or supplying) this fast growing sector. It is also an invaluable one-stop-shop where people who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis can find an authoritative source of relevant information which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies in this sector.
Reports in Performance Apparel Markets include:
reports on major developments in the global performance apparel market, focusing on new products and technologies, innovative fibres and key players;
detailed, independently-researched reports on one of the following topics: antimicrobial fibres and fabrics, anti-static technology, flame resistant fibres and fabrics, high strength fibres and fabrics, high visibility apparel, microencapsulation, moisture management fabrics, performance swimwear, seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming technologies, smart and interactive textiles, stain protective apparel, stretch fibres and fabrics, surfwear and surf-inspired clothing, temperature regulation, UV protective fibres and fabrics, and waterproof breathable fabrics;
company profiles, outlining the business, product, market and manufacturing strategies employed by key players in the performance apparel industry; and
business news and developments affecting global performance apparel markets, majoring on innovations, mergers and acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and financial performances.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile and clothing industry – and market growth is being fuelled by the emergence of new fibres, new fabrics and innovative process technologies. The market is also being boosted by changes in consumer lifestyles. People are living longer and spending more time on leisure activities. New high-tech fabrics are being developed for a wide range of active sports such as aerobics, athletics, ballooning, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and windsurfing.
Exciting innovations are emerging in smart textiles and nanotechnology – and the sector’s growth prospects are helped by the trend in increasing demand for performance features in mainstream fashion.
Performance Apparel Markets is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five reports (as above).
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You will also receive "Performance Apparel Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge, every month. This free supplement contains an update of business news as well as the latest product developments and innovations.
A subscription to Performance Apparel Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.
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