Levi's Jeans

Could the trend of sportswear, such as yoga pants and sweatpants, be impacting the decline of denim?

A report by Bloomberg hints at just this, noting that sales of jeans have plummeted from $7 billion to $4.8 billion USD in recent years… while the sales of athletic pants matched those of jeans in 2014 for the first time in the U.S.

Despite the shift in style, heritage brand Levi’s is making changes. Bart Sights, Levi’s Sr. Director for technical innovation, told Bloomberg that the company is looking to create new products with modern fabrics and an eye on comfort.

“The trick is to get a look like this on a very modern fabric — a fabric with a lot of stretch in it,” he explained. “There’s not another piece of apparel in the world — probably in the history of mankind — that has remained virtually unchanged and still provides function.”

Whether or not Levi’s can recover and compete in the sportswear market remains to be seen, especially with numbers like a 62 percent growth in sales of athletic pants from 2010 to the summer of 2014.

Bloomberg notes that women, across the board, are going for the comfy yoga pants over jeans. Actress Eva Mendes said just this spring that if she is seen wearing jeans, it could only mean that her softer pants were dirty.