P&G global brand Ariel has embarked upon a journey to redefine clothing care, to help keep like new for longer the fabric qualities that define the style, comfort and performance of the growing global athleisure trend in fashion.
Exploring athleisure with leading fashion designer, GILES DEACON, the athleisure trend looks set to continue into 2016 and beyond, and according to experts is on its way to establish itself as one of the fastest-growing fashion segments by 2020. In fact, to many it is more than a trend, but rather a cultural and lifestyle shift that reflects the changing attitudes, and for some, an obsession with healthier lifestyles and wellbeing.
Ariel alongside renowned designer and P&G Fabric Care Global Fashion Consultant, Giles Deacon, explored the athleisure trend and the fabrics associated with it, in a limited edition washable capsule collection, revealed exclusively at the P&G Future Fabrics event in Barcelona, 2nd December 2015.
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Giles commented: “I’m inspired by women that dress with confidence, that exude self-assurance and poise in their style. Here, I wanted to create designs that take this spirit and meet it with an athletic, energetic attitude. This collection is about being unique and individual, about women feeling comfortable in themselves and their clothes, never restricted and always ready to perform at their best”
By merging style with the comfort and functionality of sports clothes, athleisure is setting new standards for ready-to-wear fashion, resulting in clothes that celebrate the best of both worlds: body-aware but not constricting, high stretch and comfort, washable and versatile, stylish and casual.
A recent global survey commissioned by P&G Fabric Care*, on behalf of Ariel, Lenor and Downy, explored the popularity of the athleisure trend, revealing that: Nearly three out of four consumers (71%) consider active-inspired clothes as part of their “normal” everyday clothes. Over one in four (27%) say leggings are their most favoured article of clothing for day to day wear. Many wear active-inspired attire to run errands (56%), to travel (47%), to go shopping (41%) and even when going out to dinner (16%).
This new trend brings a challenge when it comes to clothing care. Today, 60% of loads contain laundry garments other than cotton. Athleisure garments include knitted fabrics, polyester, Lycra™, new wools, and many other fabrics, meaning that laundry loads are now more varied than ever. People are currently faced with 900+ wash combinations, factoring in the diversity of fibres, fabric construction, load size, soil and staining and water quality.
Understanding the relationship between the wearer and their clothes is key to the redefining clothing care. P&G Fabric Care brand Ariel has embarked on a series of studies with leading Cognitive Psychologist, Dr Lawrence Rosenblum of the University of California Riverside, to delve deeper into the phenomenon of “Enclothed Cognition”. This term describes the subconscious effects of our clothes on the way we perceive ourselves, the way we think, our moods and behaviour.
Existing research shows that people perform better when they are wearing clothes that are associated with the important aspects of the task they are performing. In addition, early experiments suggest that cognitive performance is improved when wearing clean clothing. A massive 70% of people claim wearing fresh, active-inspired clothing can make them feel more energetic, and 62% say it increases confidence*, demonstrating the true importance of caring for clothes properly.
Dr Lawrence Rosenblum, Cognitive Psychologist, University of California Riverside comments: “There are definitely cognitive consequences of wearing formal clothes versus casual clothes. Our clothing changes the way we perceive ourselves, but it also changes the way the brain works, how it forms concepts, and the kind of decisions we make as a result. Our clothes affect us on an entirely different level that exists without other people telling us how we look and feel.”
Comfort, style and performance, have become the ubiquitous qualities associated with athleisure, and retaining a “like new” quality is at the forefront of research and development of all Ariel and Downy/Lenor clothing care products.
Ariel also helps protect the feel of comfort of athleisure clothes through FibreSCIENCE technologies specialized in optimising the wash conditions to help protect fibre integrity and preserve that “like-new” feel.