What is loungewear and how can your business leverage the new fashion wave?

The fashion industry is revolutionising loungewear. Once considered a formless and lack-lustre product, innovative businesses have reinvented loungewear as a versatile and fashionable wardrobe staple.

what is loungewear
Huda Sharaia
August 23, 2022

What is loungewear?

Loungewear is comfortable clothing, often associated with track pants and oversized t-shirts. Loungewear has become a hugely popular product style, as people have raised the demand for comfortable alternatives to ordinary workwear and daily-wear clothing. 

Us Kiwis’ value durability and comfort as well as style. Largely due to COVID’s influence, we now wear loungewear to work and our Zoom meetings, going from wearing track pants around the house to picking up the kids in matching co-ord sets. With almost four in ten of us working remotely in COVID’s wake, employees have realised that feeling comfortable outweighs traditional workwear expectations. 

Major fashion brands have also picked up on the rising loungewear trend, providing high-end loungewear options (where a single loose fitting shirt or crew neck jumper can cost in the + $500 range!) 

Businesses have profited from leveraging loungewear due to its versatility and easy customisation options. Available in a range of clothing staples, like track pants and jumpers, to on-demand chic pieces like cashmere knit pants, or seemingly endless options for children’s clothing, loungewear is now a go-to wardrobe staple for NZ consumers. 

How can your NZ business leverage the new fashion trend? 

Loungewear is a great option for work wear, office freebies or even merchandise, as loungewear can be manufactured to fit your company's design, colours and ensemble. 

For businesses that import clothing to NZ, loungewear is also an excellent opportunity to source high-quality items to a generation full of professionals wanting to look presentable without sacrificing comfort. Sweatpants,  leggings and hoodies have become viable options for work wear, in large part due to loungewear manufacturers providing elevated options in terms of material, sizing and customisation elements. 

  1. What is loungewear? 

There’s a reason jeans will never be considered Loungewear. Loungewear is cosy clothing! Loungewear pieces often don’t include clasps, prominent zips or any product features that could catch or stick into you.Loungewear pieces like Waffle button-down shirts, Wide Loose Track Pants and  Knitted two-piece sets exude an expensive and tailored look suitable for work, while yoga pants and oversized hoodies are a go-to for running errands days and casual brunches. 

Popular ways to ‘elevate’ your longwear look include adding a structured piece (aka, matching your baggy track pants with a cropped blazer or fitted tank top) or adding jewellery and accessories. 

Popular, daily-wear loungewear products include, 

  • Baggy track pants
  • Oversized hoodies
  • Oversized cardigans 
  • Oversized T-shirts
  • Knit pants
  • Wireless Bras 
  • Seamless Leggings
  • Yoga pants

Unlike activewear, which features many of the same comfortable characteristics, loungewear also prioritises loose silhouettes, oversized shapes and warm, knitted fabrics. 

Although you are more than welcome to wear your loungewear to bed (and I’m sure many of us will), loungewear differs from pyjamas. While matching sets are a popular loungewear staple, they’re not often made of fleece or patterned with cartoons, florals or the Batman logo…

  1. How much does manufacturing loungewear cost?

Manufacturing loungewear can be an affordable way to expand your product line, with a huge range of white label and customisable product options available. 

Money, business size and low production costs

The costs of importing loungewear depend on the scale of your business and are relative to factors like the textiles, MOQ’s and the complexity of your loungewear. Every manufacturer is different. However, you can reduce production costs by expanding your brand with high-quality loungewear products already produced by loungewear clothing manufacturers in China. 

Loungewear products like track pants, hoodies, flare plants, crew-neck sweaters, robes, and fleece jackets lend themselves easily to branding opportunities, such as printed logo designs and basic embroidery. 

Brands looking to take loungewear to the next level should consider small details that elevate and differentiate your loungewear line from the rest. 

Customisation details include: 

Loungewear manufacturers in China offer a wide range of customisation opportunities. Blending exotic textiles like cotton, wool and silk makes your product line sophisticated and luxurious. Neutral colours also exude an expensive and upscale look appropriate to wear indoors and outdoors.

  1. Loungewear fabric options

Cotton, or cotton and polyester blends are popular choices, as both are extremely versatile and relatively cheap to produce. However, if you’re looking to source sustainable fabrics, we’ve outlined some eco-friendly alternatives to help you make the move. 

Sourcing sustainable fabrics

Eco-friendly fabric alternatives have emerged as fashion designers, consumers, and manufacturers are aware of the environmental impact of fabrics production. Sourcing sustainable fabrics is a good option for NZ businesses who want to develop a positive reputation and set the trajectory of their brand. 

Here are our top picks for sustainable loungewear materials:

Material | Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is one of the most affordable, sustainable fabrics for clothing. Organic cotton is a great option for relaxed fit tees, loose wide leg pants and other light clothes for the warmer seasons. 

Material | Hemp

As one of the most sustainable fibres you can use, hemp is an excellent option and is popular for making jumpers, trackpants, t-shirts and more cosy essentials.


Read more: 5 Hemp clothing benefits (for you, your planet and your business) | Epic Sourcing

Material | Organic Linen

Linen is derived from the flax plant. Similar  to Hemp, Linen fabrics are long-lasting, light and breathable. Linen withstands high temperatures and is biodegradable and compostable, making it an ideal material for your summer loungewear line (eg. loose fitted shorts and singlets). 

  1. How can I use Loungewear for my business?

Loungewear is made to fit everyone’s needs; men, women and kids. Importing loungewear from China to New Zealand allows you to target a wide range of potential customers. 

Tips for using loungewear as merch: Hoodies, t-shirts, singlets! The possibilities to use custom or white-label loungewear as merchandise are endless. Loungewear manufacturers in China can print logo designs, touring details or one-off merchandising specials. 

Tip for using loungewear for giveaways: Loungewear staples can be an awesome freebie for business giveaways! Who doesn’t love a free oversized hoodie? 

Tip for using loungewear for brand recognition:  While your business may not be a clothing brand, loungewear is a great way to create awareness. Customise your loungewear with brand logos or employee nicknames, use stand-out colours and comfortable fabric options.

Tips for anyone looking to import loungewear from China to New Zealand

Loungewear is multi purposeful   and presents the opportunity to enter an on-demand market that is loved by everyone!

Loungewear caters to women, men, and kids.

Who doesn’t like being comfortable? 

Popular loungewear products for men include:

  • Joggers
  • Track shorts
  • Vintage t shirts

Ideal customisation options for mens loungewear products include…

  • Adding small adjustments like drawstrings on track pants
  • Popular all-over prints like flannel plaid
  • Adding a half zip on a jumper

Popular loungewear products for women include:

  • Oversized hoodies
  • Oversize t shirts
  • Trackpants

Ideal customisation options for womens loungewear products include….

Popular loungewear trends and products for kids include: 

  • Matching tracksuits
  • Reversible bucket hats
  • Mini crew necks

Ideal customisation options for kids loungewear products include…

  • Adding pockets on crewnecks, hoodies 
  • Fun prints, like designs of animals, colourful patterns and cartoons
  • Adding under chin tie-up’s for hats

Customisation options for loungewear are limitless and range from small details like half-zippers to choosing popular fittings, designs, patterns and colours. 

Going Genderless:

Key staples of the loungewear trend (such as neutral tone track pants, crew neck sweatshirts, matching co-ord sets) are considered gender-neutral.

Being able to market a single item of clothing across a wider range of potential consumers has its benefits. Between 2018-2020, almost 10,000 pieces of consumer-generated content about genderless fashion were published. Zara released their ‘ungendered’ line’ in 2016, including a selection of fleece jackets, comfortable track pants, hoodies, and shirts.

The possibility for loungewear to be marketed and designed as a gender-neutral product poses an excellent opportunity for businesses to market and sell gender-neutral products to a diverse, all-inclusive, conscious target audience, as well as providing opportunities for businesses to minimise their order quantities. While supplying work-wear to employees or travelling with merchandise, having gender-neutral products means saving time and money compared to ordering employee-specific products.

Loungewear manufacturers in China have witnessed a huge rise in loungewear production since the start of the pandemic in 2019. This strong demand has motivated Chinese manufacturers to produce loungewear products in popular materials like cotton, wool, and provide alternatives like silk and merino wool, as well as provide new customisation options. 

Your loungewear line. Easy. 

What are loungewear's key  benefits for you and your business? Whether you want to design your loungewear clothing line from scratch, customise white label or  wholesale garments, or incorporate loungewear to your existing product line, the number of resources available are near limitless. 

If you’re looking to manufacture clothing in 

China, having an expert on the manufacturing ground can make a big difference. We can help you test your designs and see how they translate best on high-quality fabric, printing, stitching and other details necessary for producing your loungewear line. To provide clothes that offer tailored fits, comfort, sustainable and stylish fabrics, and vitality of colours requires purchasing samples from manufacturers.  Give us a call today to hear how we can help you make loungewear that grows your business!

07551 136406