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A Quick Guide to Sportswear Packaging


A retailer, wholesaler, or sportswear supplier knows that packaging is integral to any product launch. Packaging can be a missed opportunity to delight customers or help create brand recognition and result in higher sales. Sometimes, it can also disappoint the shoppers and negatively impact profits. The future of retail looks drastically different than we’ve seen before, but enticing packaging can inspire customers and compel them to keep coming for more.

Check out the best sportswear packaging trends and stay ahead of the game!

Table of Contents
Factors affecting sportswear packaging
5 best sportswear packaging trends
Key takeaway: sustainability is the way to go!

Factors affecting sportswear packaging

Packaging is the first point of contact with potential customers. It should be compelling, attractive, and adhere to cultural and social norms.

The aim of sportswear packages, like other apparel, is to entice prospects and push them into the buyer’s funnel. Further, packages should be as airtight as possible, so little to no extra air is left inside oversized boxes, which would take up more space than necessary and lead to increased freight costs and unnecessary reliance on natural resources.

In addition, the composition of these packages themselves needs to be considered — opting for biodegradable material over other synthetic substances will result in greater sustainability. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their decisions, especially regarding product packaging.

A whopping 72% surveyed by the Billerud Consumer Panel expressed an eagerness to pay extra for environmentally friendly materials used in a product’s packaging — showing that sustainability matters!

Hence, sportswear retailers and wholesalers should consider turning towards advanced packaging solutions that could prove incredibly beneficial.

Athlete with a ball in his hands

5 best sportswear packaging trends

1. Minimalist boxes

Minimalism has gained much significance in packaging designs. It takes design to its simple and basic form, where bold colors and intense details are traded for balanced harmony. They create a unique look with immense modern appeal.

Intensely busy schedules drive consumers to look for convenience and portability in their purchases. They prefer minimal packages that are functional but not too loud.

Keep in mind simple packaging isn’t only about reducing the design elements. It is also how a brand can efficiently pack the product without disrupting its packaging budget.

For retailers and wholesalers looking for a way to present their sportswear, why not try using classic boxes with lids?

These make great choices due to the simplicity of style, excellent material quality, and signature bow closure. The visible logo stands out against an elegant background pattern, while the box color can be whatever suits your product best.

Navy blue elegant and stylish box

2. Paper packages

Paper packaging is essential to protect, preserve, and transport many products. And the sportswear industry is no different. Paper packages are affordable compared to other forms and can be tailored specifically to product-specific needs.

Aesthetics are an essential factor to consider when designing paper packages for sportswear. For instance, luxury sports apparel often opts for modern and elegant packaging. The graphic elements are simple and appeal to the taste of the target customers.

Given how paper packages are lightweight and flexible, more fitness brands are utilizing them to pack their products. It is up to the sellers to understand the current market preferences and stock sportswear packages that meet this criterion.

Paper boxes are a classic example of crowd-favorite sports apparel packaging. These boxes can hold multiple rolled-up items, like a complete tracksuit, making them ideal for selling paired items.

Paper package neatly tied with a rope

3. Bold patterns

After years of muted tones, brash colors are making an emphatic comeback. Perhaps this is why 2024 is anticipated to be a fun year for the packaging industry. So dust off your brightest hues!

The pendulum has swung back in favor of vibrant shades. Apparel brands will continue attracting customers with eye-catching packaging and labels.

Minimalistic designs, bright colors, creative use of inks, and unique finishes will rock the packaging world. Custom holography or high-shine effects are proven to grab the most eyeballs. They are all set to become increasingly popular as they look to make a splash amongst the competition.

Further, sportswear companies aim to create a sense of vitality and excitement. Neon colors and funky pop of shades on the packaging are the best way to do so.

Eight cups with multiple colors

4. Customized fabric bags

Sportswear packaging has reached a new level of sophistication with customized fabric bags. With airtight seals and zippers for maximum protection, these lightweight packages offer the perfect solution. They can keep items safe during transportation or storage without taking up too much space.

Fabric bags are especially suited for thinner materials such as sports underwear and leggings. Plus, they can easily be customized according to brands’ needs. Not only this, but their eco-friendly nature is sure to meet customers’ demands for sustainable shopping experiences.

Retailers have shown a liking towards fabric bags for sports as they are affordable and enhance the lifespan of clothes. Their travel-friendly nature allows buyers to carry the bags around without much hassle.

Garment bag inside a cardboard box

5. Compostable packages

In the quest to become more sustainable, a recent trend of compostable or biodegradable packaging has emerged as an alternative solution. This packaging material for sportswear reduces waste and pollution, but it also provides another use once its original purpose is complete — gardening!

Plastic products can remain intact long after their disposal. Eventually, these materials can end up in places they don’t belong, like beaches.

To combat this problem, some retailers are now providing packages with embedded flower seeds that grow into plants once discarded into the garden. It is meant to provide an eco-friendly second life for those pieces of polluting material while increasing biodiversity at home.

Compostable bags with double-sided tape bands are another variant of packages available for sports apparel companies. Even though they have limited space, they work best for accessories and lightweight items.

Person packing clothes in a compostable package

Key takeaway: sustainability is the way to go!

Consumers are increasingly taking note of environmental issues and making purchasing decisions that reflect their values. Sustainability has become a necessity for businesses dealing in activewear packaging.

Shoppers seek to know not only what products they are buying but where they came from. They are willing to know how green the production process is. And so it is clear – when shopping today, consumers want the full story of each product before deciding whether or not to buy.

As businesses and consumers become more conscious of their environmental impact, the packaging industry is following suit with a shift toward sustainable materials. Expect to see an increased use of recycled items that can be reused or biodegradable components when making future purchases.

The market for sportswear packaging is undergoing significant changes, and the stakeholders must keep an eye on trends to maintain their competitive edge.

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