Functional Apparel Market 2023 – 2030 By Material: Conventional Fabric and Specialty Fabric,Type: Sportswear, Outdoor Clothing, Innerwear, Footwear, and Socks - Partner & Customer Ecosystem (Product Services, Proposition & Key Features) Competitive Index & Regional Footprints by MarketDigits

Industry : FMCG | Pages : 180 Pages | Published On : Dec 2023

Functional Apparel Market Outlook 2030

  • The global functional apparel market reached a value of US$ 360 billion in 2021.
  • It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2023 to 2030.
  • The global functional apparel market is expected to reach a value of US$ 638.7 billion by the end of 2030.

Analysts’ Viewpoint on Global Functional Apparel Market Scenario

Functional apparel, known for its waterproof, breathable, quick-drying, and lightweight properties, is driving the growth of the market. The COVID-19 pandemic presented opportunities for the global medical clothing segment, leading to increased demand for medical-grade gloves, masks, and PPE kits. Companies in the functional apparel market are also focusing on research and development activities to explore growth prospects in performance apparel made from natural fibers such as bamboo and corn. Government initiatives like India's ""Make in India"" campaign are expected to boost the demand for locally-produced functional apparel, contributing to the overall market growth.

Overview of the Global Functional Apparel Market

Functional apparel refers to clothing worn during various activities that offer functionality and protection to the wearer. These garments are designed using advanced fabrics and technologies to meet performance and adaptability needs. While functional apparel was initially limited to the military, sports sector, and technology workers, it has now expanded to urban and casual clothing. The increasing popularity of outdoor activities, adoption of western lifestyles, and the growing millennial population are key drivers of the global functional apparel market. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, over 160.7 million Americans participate in outdoor recreational activities, highlighting the market's potential.

Rise in Demand for High-performance Application-specific Apparel to Drive Global Market

The growth of the functional clothing market is supported by the rising demand for high-performance clothing and footwear tailored to specific applications, driven by increased participation in sports and fitness activities. Advanced technology enables the production of smart and functional apparel, often made from polyester or microfiber fabric that effectively absorbs sweat, keeping athletes dry and comfortable. The growing interest in sports is a key factor fueling the demand for active clothing.

Furthermore, changing fashion trends and the growing number of working women contribute to the need for non-athletic shoes. Increased awareness of health and fitness also drives the demand for sportswear and footwear. As people become more health-conscious, they engage in exercise and physical activities to stay active and fit. Globally, the prevalence of work-related stress and unhealthy diets has raised awareness of health issues, leading individuals to choose functional fabrics for exercise and everyday wear.

The demand for stain removal solutions has also been increasing. Fluorocarbon coatings provide strong resistance to both oil and water-based stains, but they can make the fabric stiff. To counter this, the use of softeners is often required. However, certain softeners may negatively impact stain-removing properties. Ongoing research aims to develop compatible softeners and explore the synergistic effects of new silicone chemicals on stain removal and fluorocarbon performance. These advancements in fabric technology are expected to drive the growth of the functional apparel market.

Key players in the market are making significant investments in research and development activities. While hi-tech fabrics have traditionally relied on chemicals that are not environmentally friendly, there is a growing consumer demand for eco-friendly performance clothing. In response, manufacturers are conducting R&D to introduce innovative performance apparel made from natural fibers such as bamboo, soy, and corn-based fibers. Some companies have already launched green functional apparel using organic and recycled fabrics, with recycled polyester being a popular choice. The combination of recycled polyester and organic cotton is also utilized to produce eco-friendly performance apparel that performs well in extreme climates.

Over the past two decades, there has been a notable increase in sports participation and fitness activities, leading to a higher demand for superior functional apparel. Prominent brands like Adidas and Mizuno sponsor sports events, further driving the need for high-quality performance clothing. Hi-tech apparel not only enhances athletic performance during training sessions but also helps prevent injuries and infections.

High Investments in R&D Activities by Key Players to Drive Functional Apparel Market

The use of chemicals and other methods to create high-tech fabrics in the functional apparel market is not environmentally friendly. However, with today's consumers being highly conscious of the environment, there is a demand for eco-friendly performance clothing. In response, players in the functional apparel market are conducting research and development activities to introduce innovative performance apparel made from natural materials. Some apparel manufacturers are harnessing the potential of natural fibers such as bamboo, soy, and corn-based fibers.

Manufacturers are also experimenting with organic and recycled fabrics, leading to the launch of green functional apparel made from organic and recycled materials. Recycled polyester is predominantly used for this purpose. Additionally, a combination of recycled polyester and organic cotton is utilized to produce eco-friendly performance apparel that performs well in demanding conditions, including extremely hot and humid climates and extremely cold climates.

Over the past two decades, there has been a significant increase in the participation rate of people in sports and fitness activities. Prominent brands like Adidas and Mizuno sponsor sports events, driving the demand for superior functional apparel. This increased demand is expected to boost the production of functional apparel. Hi-tech apparel not only helps athletes perform better during training sessions but also aids in preventing accidental injuries and infections.

Preference for Conventional Fabric Due to Strength and Sustainability

Conventional fabric, known for its strength and sustainability, is widely used in the outdoor clothing industry. Natural fibers derived from plants and animals, such as cotton, silk, linen, wool, hemp, jute, and cashmere, are commonly utilized. Polyester and cotton are extensively used fabrics in functional apparel worldwide. Cotton, in particular, is a major cash crop in the Asia Pacific region, leading to increased production of functional apparel. Blended fabric varieties are also gaining popularity due to their significant features, combining artificial and natural yarn and creating new market opportunities.

Prominent Regions in the Global Functional Apparel Market

The apparel industry is a prominent labor-intensive manufacturing sector in Asia, with China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India being major exporters. Apart from China, apparel production has been rising in low-cost alternative destinations like India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Pakistan. Economic and demographic transitions in the Asia Pacific region contribute to the increased production of functional apparel. Asia Pacific holds a significant presence in the active clothing market, being a global manufacturing hub that provides employment to millions of people in the sector.

Functional clothing, such as life jackets and life-saving suits, is widely used in tourist attractions in countries like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia, further driving the adoption of such products.

In North America, the apparel industry was one of the first to be lost to offshore manufacturing as companies sought cheap labor. Currently, only a small portion of North America's consumption is domestically sourced, but the domestic industry is beginning to recover. The functional apparel market in North America is mainly driven by numerous local brands, such as American Giant, which have manufacturing facilities in countries like Canada and Mexico. Despite larger brands like Nike having their production facilities outside of North America, the market is dominated by small domestic players, fostering the production of functional apparel in the region.

In the global functional apparel market, the footwear segment holds a significant market share and is expected to grow at the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period. The non-athletic footwear segment has a more prominent share compared to the athletic footwear segment. In Mexico, functional footwear manufacturing is focused in the city of Leon, with factories and workshops in Leon accounting for about 68% of all shoes made in the country. Other important manufacturing areas for footwear in Mexico include Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Analysis of Key Players in Global Functional Apparel Market

The report provides detailed profiles of functional apparel providers, offering insights into their financials, key product offerings, recent developments, and strategies. Leading players in the market are investing substantial amounts in comprehensive research and development, with a focus on developing environmentally friendly products. Prominent players adopt strategies such as diversification of product portfolios and mergers and acquisitions.

Key players operating in the global functional apparel market include Adidas AG, Asics Corporation, Calvin Klein, HanesBrands Inc., Head Icebreaker, Jockey International, Mizuno Corporation, Nike Inc., Puma SE, Russell Brands, LLC, Skechers USA Inc., Umbro, and Under Armour Inc., among others.

Key Developments in Global Functional Apparel Market

Here are some significant developments and strategies implemented by manufacturers in the global functional apparel market:

  • In February 2021, Hanesbrands Inc. and Belle International formed a licensing agreement to introduce a line of footwear and accessories under the Champion brand, catering to consumers in China.
  • In July 2020, Loyal Textile Mills partnered with Reliance Industries and HeiQ to launch an operational clothing line, offering reusable personal protective equipment.
  • In February 2019, Adidas launched the Nite Jogger, a modern version of the original silhouette from the late 1970s. This 2019 iteration incorporates advanced technology and is designed for morning and evening runners. It features details such as a tab pull system, an extended heel counter across the middle of the shoe, and a white BOOST midsole.

Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • MEA
  • South America

Market Segmentation

  • Type
    • Sportswear
    • Outdoor Clothing
    • Innerwear
    • Athletic Innerwear
    • Non-Athletic
    • Footwear
    • Athletic Footwear
    • Non-Athletic
    • Socks
    • Athletic Socks
    • Non-Athletic Socks
  • Material
    • Conventional Fabric
    • Polypropylene
    • Cotton
    • Bamboo
    • Wool
    • Polyester
    • Specialty Fabric
    • Neoprene
    • Spandex
    • Others
  • Functionality
    • Protective- Functional
    • Environmental Hazards Protection
    • Biological, Chemical, and Radiation Hazards Protection
    • Injury Protection
    • Medical Functional
    • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Clothing
    • Bio- sensing clothing
    • Vanity Clothing
    • Others
  • Specification
    • Chemical Resistant
    • Flame Resistant
    • Water Resistant
    • Heat Resistant
    • Extreme Cold Resistant
    • Radiation Resistant
    • Moisture Resistant
    • Others (Sweat Absorbing, etc.)
  • Size
    • Small
    • Medium
    • Large
    • Others (XXL, XS)
  • End-user
    • Men
    • Women
    • Kids
  • Price
    • Low
    • Medium
    • High
  • Distribution Channel
    • Online
      • Company-owned Websites
      • E-commerce Websites
    • Offline
      • Hypermarkets/Supermarkets
      • Others


Table and Figures


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