Plato once said that “necessity is the mother of invention”. This same idea updated for today can be re-stated as “necessity is the mother of innovation.” This is particularly so for Athleisure, the fashion trend that hurt jeans retailers across the nation.
More than dogged determination, more than simple hard work, more than legislation and more than financial bailouts, innovation may be the best way to resurrect a dwindling business.
Athleisure is still chugging along and the fad where teens wear active wear as everyday clothing now comprise about 14 percent of their purchases.
But what do these companies do when teens already have their products? Companies like Nike (NKE) and Lululemon (LULU) are now switching to innovation. According to an article in The New York Times high-tech athleisure is the new kid on the block, and the companies are now racing to spice up their products.
They have set their eyes on Cordura, the material found in car seats and suitcases, to make anti-sweat and anti-odor shorts.
“Every season now, or at least two or three times a year, they’re looking for some new story,” said Bob Kirkwood executive vice president for technology and marketing for Invista Apparel.
“Whether it’s the way they’ve constructed the fabric, whether it’s a new fiber or it’s a new treatment on the fabric, that’s the expectation they’ve set.”
Cordura fabrics are very durable. No matter the application, they offer superior strength to weight ratio making them the first choice for durable fabrics.
For example, Cordura fabrics made from Invista air-jet textured nylon are two times more durable than standard nylon, 3 times more durable than standard polyester and ten times more durable than cotton duck.
They are resistant to scuffs, tears and abrasions, the qualities that everyone would expect from a high performance fabric. And that is why it is mainly used in military attires that are usually exposed to worse conditions. The material is also used by many law enforcement agencies throughout the world.
This innovation has come at a time when many customers were wondering what they would buy after they have up to ten pairs of Yoga pants. It shows the creativity of apparel makers in using this fabric to spur up their offering so they are not selling the same stuff year in year out.
This is an example of how as an entrepreneur you can use innovation to make your otherwise old brand or product appear new.
Yoga pants will just remain yoga pants, but the materials used to make them differ. No one would have imagined that the same material used in car seats and suitcases could be used to make these pants.
It shows the extent to which entrepreneurs can go to ensure that their product and services remain relevant.
According to Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman, this innovation is aspirational in a way. Even if it doesn’t take people to the gym it is appealing to the way the people want to look and which is athletic – everyone wants to look athletic.