Marfa Stance is transforming activewear one modular garment at a time
The popularity of activewear has been on a steady rise over the last five decades.
From wearing velour tracksuits and leotards in the '70s and '80s to bike shorts and yoga pants in the '90s and '00s, there’s a theme: People want to dress comfortably. One problem is how do you dress for an active (or leisurely) lifestyle and still look polished?
What’s athleisure exactly? It’s a category of clothing that can be worn casually, as well as for light workouts. Think Lululemon, Nike, and Athleta, for example.
In 2020, the activewear industry in the United States was already pulling in $80 billion annually in sales and $160 billion globally, according to Fortune Business Insights. That was before most of the population started working from home during the pandemic and opting for activewear over traditional office attire.
As the world moved through various waves of the pandemic, so did the demand for athleisure. In fact, orders jumped 84% from the previous year.
What’s more, All in Motion, the activewear line featured at Target, hit $1 billion in sales – a collection for the retailer launched in January 2020.
For clothing that’s expected to do more for a consumer (be acceptable for workouts as much for weekend errands or lounging around the house), activewear brands are looking for new ways to be sustainable and continue to push the envelope in terms of fresh styles and options.
Jill Sando, chief merchandising officer and the executive vice president has this to say about All in Motion: “We’re proud that our brands are meeting guests’ evolving needs and sparking moments of daily comfort and joy for the entire family when they need it most.”
Sando adds that some features that keep customers returning to the collection are the size inclusivity, sustainability, and affordable price points.
Similarly, a brand like Marfa Stance is making strides in the activewear and athleisure space. But what does the future of this industry look like?
Why do so many love activewear?
Ask someone why they might prefer activewear over traditional garments, and they might say something like this:
- They’re more comfortable.
- Pieces can be worn in various seasons.
- Garments wick away sweat and stay wrinkle-free.
- Complements a lifestyle that requires movement and daily activity.
There’s just something so comforting about throwing on a pair of leggings (or joggers, if leggings aren’t your thing) and a hoodie to go out for the day.
While activewear and athleisure of the past were designed mostly for function, the move toward style has been a big step. Millennials and Gen Z don’t just want the comfort associated with joggers and t-shirts. They want them to look good, too.
The chances of yoga pants being worn exclusively to the gym are slim to none.
Brands like Lululemon are embracing this demand by offering lifestyle apparel in addition to athletic wear.
Instead of designating comfortable clothes just for lounging or workouts, why not embrace that essence throughout the rest of the day?
Lululemon’s ABC Pant and Commission Pant for men offer all the design features of relaxed wear but with a more tailored approach. From skinny to relaxed fit, hidden pockets, and trouser-like inspiration, one might be hard pressed to think ‘gym fit’ when seeing these pants on the street.
Activewear is no longer one-style fits all.
Activewear brand Marfa Stance is about creating pieces suitable for all-year wear.
Instead of feeling the need to buy clothing for each season, consumers of Marfa Stance can create a wardrobe that’s customizable and easily adapted for different climates.
The added appeal of Marfa Stance’s collection is that it’s more minimal and modular.
By creating a foundation of timeless pieces, brand shoppers can update any piece throughout the years by adding new colors of textures to the basics. The brand's mission is to offer an assortment of activewear pieces that don’t “feel dated after a few years.”
In a recent episode on The Glossy Podcast, Georgia Dant, CEO and founder of Marfa Stance, elaborated on the brand’s positioning.
“To me, ‘modular’ is a way of unlocking your creativity,” Dant explains. “You [get to] design your piece for your lifestyle or for whatever functionality or occasion you’re going to.”
Launched in 2019, the goal for Dant was to create a collection that could be adaptable and enhanced as desired by consumers.
Because, for the most part, consumers are always on the hunt for something new or fresh.
Offering a foundational silhouette with the option of customizing various stylistic aspects of a look, it’s a win-win for customers and the brand.
Plus, there’s this: aside from accumulating excess, the added environmental strain that comes with the garment industry is also starting to catch mainstream attention.
Sustainability is a popular buzzword in fashion. And depending on who you ask, could mean something entirely different from one person to the next. For Dant, she shared her take on the podcast and how it translates to Marfa Stance:
“There are so many brands wanting to be sustainable and so many different facets of sustainability that, as a brand, you have to pick your lane on that. For me, it was about offering a solution to people to be able to keep something for a really long time. And my solution to that was being able to update it constantly and having it made to a luxury level so that it did actually last.”
This is important as clothing brands like Shien or Amazon continue to pump trendy garments at low prices.
Of course, there’s a privilege associated with being able to afford luxury-made garments, but there’s also a growing awareness of the negative impact of fast fashion. Brands wanting to reach that elusive middle will need to look for the gray area between affordability and quality-made garments.
“The conscious consumer is definitely finding us for our [sustainability]. To buy less, these things have to do more for you. Otherwise, you’re just going to buy more. And [the brand] is also for the understated, very discerning customer looking for something that’s really beautifully made – that has an identity, but isn’t screaming a brand. It’s offering that discerning customer something they can make their own. And that’s what’s unique about this brand.
As more consumers look to sustainable options, Dant is encouraged that consumers will appreciate the brand messaging of Marfa Stance.
Five different people can be wearing the same thing, but they’re all wearing it in different ways with different accessories.”