With the increasing prevalence of life-threatening lifestyle disorders, consumers across the globe are becoming more health-conscious. This is leading to an increasing number of individuals participating in a variety of fitness activities to maintain good health. Swimming is an excellent way to maintain physical health, while continues to be one of the most popular competitive sport among individuals across the world. An increase in the global participation in swimming is boosting the sales of swimming gear across the world. However, while purchasing various types of swimming gears, such as swimsuits and swimming goggles, safety and comfort remain the most important features of swimming gear for consumers. As comfort remains the first priority for end-users to make a purchasing decision, the manufacturing strategies of market players operating in the swimming gear market are influenced by the need for ensuring the comfort of swimming gear and safety of the wearer.
An ever-growing number of stakeholders, such as manufacturers, distributors, and swimming gear suppliers, entering the global market for swimming gear is leading to intensifying the competitive landscape of the market. In addition, increasing concerns about the environment as well as the safety of the swimmer are the primary factors that are influencing the strategies of leading market players in the swimming gear market. As a result, manufacturers are making use of non-toxic and environmentally friendly raw materials to manufacture swimming gear that won’t pose harm to the environment as well as to the swimmer. Furthermore, the swimming gear market is characterized by the emerging trend of introducing technological features of popular types of swimming gears. Subsequently, a majority of leading manufacturers of swimming gear are expected to establish a partnership with tech-giants across the world.
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‘Swimmer Comfort’ Gaining Center Stage, as Manufacturers Focus on Countering External Compression Headache
The swimming gear market continues to be influenced by a range of macroeconomic and industry-specific factors. In addition to aesthetics, manufacturer focus has shifted to enhancing swimmer comfort, with effective solutions against external compression headache (ECH), colloquially known as “swim goggle headache”, gaining considerable attention and investments. The growing focus on swimmer comfort is not only limited to goggles, with flexibility and lightweight among the reigning trends in the broader swimming gear market.
‘Environmentally-Friendly’ Swimming Gear Goes Mainstream
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the textile industry is one of the leading contributors to CO2 emissions in the USA. Increasing awareness about the environmental impact of manufacturing processes, combined with strong government regulation, is promoting the use of eco-friendly fibers to produce most performance apparels, which includes swimsuits as well.
Sensing the end-use demand and in a bid to ensure compliance with regulations, majority of the swimwear brands are investing in renewable fibers and recycled textiles to manufacture eco-friendly swimsuits. Notable examples include,
- SwimAware – a start-up swimsuit company – is making efforts to establish a brand that produces environmentally friendly swimwear that is made of ocean wastes and 100% recycled plastic.
- Zoggs – a leading market player in the swimming gear market – recently announced the launch of its new Ecolast range that includes eco-friendly swimwear. The company uses Econyl yarn, which is made out of industrial waste, and abandoned fishing nets, to manufacture jammers and swimsuits. Zoggs also announced that 40% of its swimsuits and jammers will be from the Ecolast range and it will also reduce the use of plastic in goggle packaging by over 57% by the end of 2019.
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Collaboration with Tech-giants – An Emerging Trend in the Swimming Gear Market
Taking into account the evolving needs of end-users, swimming gear companies are adopting advanced technologies to produce high-quality swim essentials. Considering the rising health concerns and increasing indulgence in swimming as a fitness activity, manufacturers are integrating advanced health tracking features to the swimming gear they produce. Swimming gear manufacturers are partnering with tech-giants to introduce smart, next-generation add-ons for their existing swimming gear product ranges. Notable examples include,
- Speedo International, a leading manufacturer in the swimming gear market, recently partnered with Samsung Electronics to introduce its Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro with advanced swim tracking capabilities. With this partnership, the Speedo On swim tracking app will appear on Samsung’s Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport to measure measures key swim metrics.
- Swim.com – a leading swim tracking platform – partnered with Spire – a manufacturer of health tracking wearable devices – to produce a smart swimsuit. The swimsuits manufactured by the Swim.com are integrated with Spire Health Tags by Spire can log, track, as well as analyze swimming activities of the swimmer. Also, the data collected by this swimsuit can also be synced to a mobile phone through Bluetooth to provide an easy access to the advanced swim workout analysis by the Spire Health Tag.
In order to alleviate swim goggle headache, manufacturers in the swimming gear market are incorporating advanced techniques to reduce the pressure caused due to goggle straps. For instance, Smack Swim LLC recently introduced ‘Smack Strap’ – an elastic replacement goggle strap, which is designed to provide even pressure distribution and perfect fit. The company uses a highly-durable, braided composite material with excellent mechanical properties, which can meet the comfort needs of the wearer.
THEMAGIC5 Inc., a leading market player in the swimming gear market, has developed a technology to produce custom-fit goggles according to the wearer’s facial structure. Using a 3D animation technology, THEMAGIC5 produces custom-fitted swim goggles that are comfortable as well as 100% leak proof. Also, Adidas unveiled its new range of swim goggles that can offer comfort and protection to swimmers in competitive waters as well as in local swimming pools. The new Persistar range by Adidas includes over five distinct goggle designs that can provide distortion-free vision and the highest level of comfort with adjustable straps and nose piece.
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Overall, the outlook on swimming gear market is bullish, and it is highly likely that increasing participation, and focus on swimmer safety and comfort, will drive uptake during the assessment period. Considering the significantly fragmented nature of the market, and presence of several unorganized players, it is highly likely that pricing pressures will continue to influence manufacturers into offering value for money products.
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