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New Year’s Resolutions Send Activewear Searches Surging, Lyst Says

With every new year comes a new rash of fitness resolutions, and the fad has followed retail into 2020.

A report released Wednesday by global fashion search platform Lyst assessed the behaviors of more than 104 million consumers across 12,000 brands and retailers over the past three months. The data revealed that searches for active wear items increased by a whopping 59 percent since shoppers rang in the new year just a week ago.

As they dust off the crumbs of holiday cookies past, consumers are looking to flattering, figure-hugging leggings to help them take on their renewed commitment to working out.

Searches for workout bottoms that included words like “shaping,” “lift” and “sculpting” have skyrocketed by 392 percent over the past three months. And fitness aspirants are also looking for practical, functional elements. Searches for leggings with pockets jumped 180 percent over the frame, while queries for zippered versions rose by three-quarters (76 percent).

On average, Lyst analysts said, 35 pairs of leggings are purchased every hour through the platform, and the average item cost has increased 17 percent year over year.

As consumer concerns about climate change continue to grow, eco-conscious active wear has become a key search driver, Lyst said. Searches for “sustainable activewear” have reached an all-time high, up 151 percent from the year prior.

Brands are incorporating materials like recycled plastic bottles, regenerated nylon, organic cotton and recycled polyester to offset the use of spandex, nylon and virgin polyester. The platform’s most popular eco-conscious activewear brands are Girlfriend Collective, Adidas x Parley and Outdoor Voices, analysts said.

Within the active wear category, a few aesthetic trends have emerged as winners and stand to continue into 2020. Demand for one-piece workout bodysuits and leotards grew by 83 percent in 2019, and searches for those items have jumped by more than one-fifth (21 percent).

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Yoga has surged in popularity over the past two years, Lyst analysts said, and the rise in namaste culture has resulted in a 42 percent increase in platform sales related to the practice. Searches for yoga leggings in particular have risen by more than one-third (36 percent) month over month, and 32 percent of yoga enthusiasts shop for colored garments, rather than opting for black.

On the fashion side of the athleisure spectrum, high shine or coated leggings are having a global moment. Searches for “black coated leggings” in particular have increased by 250 percent, just since mid-November.

Metallics are following a similar trend, analysts explained, because Jennifer Lopez made an appearance in a pair of rose gold leggings last month. During the 24 hours that followed her outing, searches for “metallic leggings” increased by a third (33 percent).

Athleisure trends aren’t fully dominated by statement-making finishes, though. Searches for easy-to-match, everyday colors like black, burgundy, dark green and grey were particularly popular over the holidays, jumping 71 percent over the past three months.