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Performance apparel for skiing and snowboarding: making a more comfortable and safer experience
published in Issue 15, 4th quarter 2005
Developments over the last two decades in technical fabrics as well as improvements in equipment have contrived to make skiing and snowboarding more comfortable, easier to learn and safer. Waterproof, breathable fabrics are the cornerstone of the industry’s outerwear but there have also been developments in moisture wicking and odour control for base layers, as well as improvements to the insulating mid-layer.
Fashion is the key driver of sales in the skiing and snowboarding apparel market. The advent of a separate style of clothing for snow-boarders heralded a host of new companies starting up in the 1980s and 1990s to cater to this market. Now, the sport has an expanding range of different styles of skiing, such as free skiing, all with youth appeal and which have been borne out of the 1980s snowboarding phenomenon. These new styles have spurred companies into designing apparel with different features and styles to appeal to each segment of the market. Around 60 mn people worldwide take part in skiing or snowboarding each year. In the USA a total of US$2.25 bn was spent in the 2004/05 season in a country with around 11 mn skiers—representing almost a fifth of the global total.
Future opportunities for ski and snowboard apparel lie in the development of skiing in China. The country now has 200 ski areas but its industry is still in its infancy. Elsewhere, there is interest from manufacturers and consumers in the use of interactive technologies and other smart fabrics in ski wear. Currently, the focus is on the female market and designing products specifically for women. But while innovative firms can take advantage of fashion and opportunities afforded by changes in the sport, they can not take control of one of its biggest threats—global warming. According to a United Nations report, hundreds of ski resorts will go out of business because of global warming.
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.
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