When I was growing up, “clubbing” meant dancing. It was a night of getting together with a group of friends and visiting a nightclub (or several) to lose yourself in music and movement, and there were plenty of places you could go to do that.
In many ways, that’s still what clubbing is all about. As John Harris writes in The Guardian: “the relationship between music and movement remains as indelible as ever, and dancing is hardly in danger of extinction. The problem is that we are losing places to do that in the company of others.”
So when we still want to get together but nightclubs are a less available option, how can we still feed our need to be social and active? Humans being humans, we find a way — and in this case, that means redefining what “clubbing” can look like when it’s not on a dance floor.
Run For It
Running clubs aren’t exactly a new thing, but their popularity has grown since the pandemic, as Alyson Krueger describes in the New York Times. In New York City alone, running clubs have sprung up everywhere. With memorable names like Front Runners, Brooklyn Track Club and the Old Man Run Club, they offer runners from any borough and with any ability level the chance to be part of a community.
“Those who join are finding not only health benefits,” Krueger observes, “but social ones. They are meeting best friends, neighbors, activity partners, even future spouses through the clubs.” They might wind down after a run with a coffee or a beer at a local gastro pub, still in their running clothes.
The Bonds In the Boat
Rowing is another group activity that’s seen growth in recent years, due partially to the popular book by Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat, which was also recently adapted into a feature film. Rowing is good for groups because it’s a sport that requires a coordinated team effort. Rowing clubs like the Whatcom Rowing Association have seen their membership swell with rowers of all ages and backgrounds.
“The Boys in the Boat is about winning, resilience and grit. It’s also about connecting, and finding a place where you belong. Rowing requires a team approach — lone wolves and superstars won’t work moving the big, slender boats on the water.”
Skate Like Nobody’s Looking
You know all about “kidulting,” right? This is another familiar trend that just keeps coming back, with a particular surge during the pandemic, when pretty much everyone needed a positive boost of nostalgic dopamine and “the creative release of carefree play.”
Rollerskating is one group activity that taps into this feeling perfectly, blending the simple fun of movement with a feeling of community. From Talent Skatepark in Vermont to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ upcoming “roller dancing competition series,” more and more people are finding themselves drawn to strapping on some skates and connecting with their best selves, no matter their age.
There are plenty of other activities that fit into this trend, some of which are competitive and others not so much. The popularity of pickleball comes immediately to mind, but also a round of golf on a shortened course, so it doesn’t take an all-day investment to play. The most important aspect is that you have time to play, move and socialize.
The Joy of Movement Makes For Good Business
All this newfound focus on activity and movement is fantastic for business too. Rowing clubs, skating teams and golf enthusiasts all need clothing that enables them to pursue their favorite pastime year-round, whether it’s warm or chilly outside, in sunshine or in the rain.
There’s a wide range of options that fit in with this trend, for any potential buyer. Something as simple as a District Wash tee looks great and is easy to move in, while the Heavyweight Recycled Cotton tee from Allmade fills the same needs for customers looking for a more sustainable t-shirt. Shorts are almost always a good option for any type of activity, like the Repeat Short from Sport-Tek. For a sunny climate, something with UV protection is a must — a Posi-UV Pro Long Sleeve shirt works well.
The new Halftime collection from Sport-Tek is perfect for some of those classic varsity looks for all kinds of activity. And when temperatures drop and the weather gets rougher, you can still go for that vintage look with the District Wash Hoodie or Crew Fleece. Or focus on head-to-toe performance with a Cadet Full-Zip Jacket and Stretch Joggers.
The point of all of this is movement. Whether your customers are getting serious about running or just looking for a way to indulge the kid inside, any apparel that allows your customers to spend time together expressing the joy of movement is going to be a hit. Clubbing might look a little different than it did when I was younger, and I think that’s fantastic.
Movement is going to continue to play its part next month, when we look more closely at the popularity of women’s sports and how movement can bring an organization closer together. I hope you’ll join us!