• Sourcing Journal

As L.L.Bean Adds Athleisure, Ultracor Dials Up Affordable Activewear Line

By Chuck Dobrosielski

As the activewear market continues to boom, one luxury brand is expanding its market.

Founded in 2014, Ultracor recently launched its spinoff brand Cor. Utilizing the same made-to-order model as its environmentally conscious parent company, Cor currently offers a selection of sports bras, leggings and hoodies—all at a lower price point than Ultracor.

“As a busy CEO and mom of three, I need a legging that can keep up with my active lifestyle,” CEO Asha Kai said in a statement. “The Cor collection is designed to move with you, no matter where the day takes you—and offered at an everyday price point for building your go-everywhere wardrobe quickly.”\\Cor’s collection features “super-soft” leggings and sports bras in five digital prints and a range of deeply saturated colors. According to the new brand, each piece is custom-crafted from specially formulated, silky-smooth material that offers breathable, sweat-wicking comfort for all-day movement.

The entire collection is hand-crafted from start to finish in Los Angeles, relying on a digital print-on-demand process. The brand’s zero-waste/zero-inventory model reduces Cor’s carbon footprint by 95 percent and avoids the use of chemical-based washes or water, it said.

Cor offers a varied selection of scoop neck bras, all priced at $89, more than $40 cheaper than Ultracor’s typical bra. The brand’s leggings, available for $130, are less than two-thirds the price of its parent company’s average legging. Cor also offers a selection of cropped and pull-over hoodies. All items in its collection are 43 percent polyester, 43 percent nylon and 14 percent Lycra.

The activewear craze has led to a range of retailers and brands rethinking their strategies. Kohl’s, which has already doubled its active category since 2013 to 20 percent of its mix, now plans to grow the segment to 30 percent of its business. The shift has seen the chain launch partnerships with names like The Land’s End, Cole Haan and, most recently, outdoor brand Eddie Bauer.