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Sports Clothing Manufacturers - Creating Bespoke Fitnesswear (Top Tips)

by Boris Hodakel  • April 25, 2019 • 5 min read

sports clothing manufacturers

The sports apparel market has seen significant growth in the past decade. Recent statistics have indicated that this sector will continue to flourish in the coming years, in both discounted and high-end sportswear niches. This trend not only offers garments for working out, but it also provides a casual streetwear vibe for fashion-conscious individuals.

Sportswear takes many forms and caters to both high-performance and fashion sectors.

Whether you are considering starting up a new fitness clothing line or looking for customised designs for your sports team, finding the right sportswear manufacturer is essential.

Clothing factories can assist as much or as little as you require, and understand the budget limitations of small businesses. With this in mind, there are several options to create bespoke lines with clothing manufacturers that offer lower minimum order quantities. This enables you to focus on delivering a unique product suited to the fitness market.

If you’re ready to get started on your creating your sports clothing line, check out some of the things to think about before production.

Bespoke sports wear production options

Similar to fashion clothing production, brands can choose from Full Production Package (FPP) or Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) production. Each has benefits for sportswear brands but if you’re new to the industry, check out a little more on each option below:

Full Package Production (FPP) – If you’re looking for a clothing factory to help with everything from designs to final production, this is a perfect solution. It is often more expensive than other manufacturing options but can help get new brands off the ground.

Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) – For brands that have technical specifications, designs and fabric ready for production, this option is best for you. By using this production method, essentially the factory just produces the final product, and creative control remains with you.

To learn more about how each option could benefit your sports clothing business, check out – Cut and sew manufacturers (CMT) or Full Package (FPP manufacturing: Choosing what’s right for you.

Types of performance fabric

If you are designing performance sportswear and require fabrics that have a range of technical attributes, take a look at some of the most popular options for your next fitness line.

  • Nylon – This popular synthetic fabric is breathable, quick drying and is soft against the skin for a comfortable and flexible fit.
  • Polyester – This fabric is great for outdoor sports gear and provides a durable and lightweight barrier against the elements.
  • Polypropylene – For complete water-resistant sportswear, this synthetic fabric is a great option.
  • Spandex (Lycra) – If you’re looking for flexible and breathable fabric, spandex is a top choice. It also has tons of other benefits including moisture wicking capabilities and quick-drying attributes.

For brands looking for eco-friendly alternatives, take a look at some top sportswear fabric options below:

  • Bamboo – Fabric made from this plant has tons of natural attributes such as UV protection, temperature regulation and odour repellent. Plus it is silky smooth on the skin.
  • TENCEL – This fabric is created from wood pulp and has a luxury feel. It’s great for performance wear due to its breathable and moisture wicking properties, plus it’s also biodegradable.

Design details

Many consumers opt for practical sports and fitness clothing yet as trends change and working out becomes integral to modern lifestyles, the fashionable aspect of this sector is ever more important in clothing choices. To be successful in this fashion-conscious market, the devil is in the detail.

sports garments manufacturer

Crafting a brand identity

When you consider the sports clothing brands in the market, the first thing that generally comes to mind is the logo. Effective branding in the sports and fitness sector is essential, and this is what will get your customers returning time and time again.

Creating a brand identity will help to showcase your brand message to consumers, and often sets the subtle and straightforward design aspects of your fitness line. Most customers don’t want to be decorated with branding in their gym wear so focusing on the performance aspect of the clothing with clever placement of your logo will ensure it caters to the market.

If you require customised fitness wear, there is also the option of printed or embroidered designs to complement your branding. Check out which option could be best for your sportswear.

Printed clothing

Not all printed clothing is created equal, and if you’re looking for a high-quality product, it is advisable to research the types of printing available. You’re going to need a print that will stand rigorous wear and numerous washes otherwise this could reflect on the perceived quality of your brand.

Check out some of the printing techniques available:

  • Sublimation print – This technique is durable and is a quick way to print full colour onto fabric. However, you will only get the desired effect on lighter materials.
  • Direct to Garment (DTG) – If you’re looking to produce excellent results in small batches, DTG is a great option.
  • Screen printing – This is the most popular option for garment printing. Colour matching is possible, plus it offers a professional finish. However, if you’re not looking to place a bulk order, it could prove an expensive printing method.

For more information in garment printing, take a look at – Direct to garment printing and other apparel printing methods.

Embroidery

clothing embroidery machine

Embroidered designs are also another option for sports clothing businesses. This method can give sportswear a luxe feel and works well for fitness wear worn during downtime such as hoodies, caps and sweatshirts.

Athleisure and fashion sportswear

Athleisurewear has enabled sports brands to expand into the fashion sector with comfortable and casual daywear options. This niche sector is set to stick around and with the latest report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. forecasting that the sports and fitness apparel sector is set to reach approx. $231.7 billion worldwide by 2024, it has never been a better time to start a clothing line in this market.

There’s not really anything new about sports luxe or athleisurewear in general but getting it in front of the right audience is vital. Alongside your fitness clothing, creating fashionable hoodies, sweatshirts, joggers and loungewear with your signature branding might seem easy, but the competition from big brands is fierce. There are a few areas to target though that could help expand your product offering.

athleisure manufacturers

Sustainability

A significant aspect to explore for sportswear brands is sustainable options. As mentioned above, numerous eco-friendly alternatives could provide a specialised element to your brand.

Inclusivity

Historically, fitness brands have been portrayed as clothing only for athletic types. However, inclusivity is vital to secure a place in this competitive market. People of all shapes and sizes love working out, so having a sportswear line to reflect this will ensure long-term success in the sector.

Partnering with fitness clothing manufacturers

Selecting a clothing factory that understands the sports and fitness industry is helpful for new brands. They will provide an invaluable resource in areas such as sourcing sportswear fabric suppliers, assisting design aspects and producing high-quality garments.

It’s easy to find suitable clothing producers in the UK and overseas. All you need to do is create a free account on Sewport, and our handy filter enables you to tailor your requirements and gain speculative quotes based on your design brief.

Join the Sewport community and start your sportswear clothing project today!

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About the author:

Boris Hodakel is the founder and CEO of Sewport - an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former founder of various clothing manufacturing services. He is passionate about e-commerce, marketing and production digitisation. Connect with Boris on LinkedIn.