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Fitness had become a daily topic in China and a popular lifestyle choice for years long before the public's enthusiasm for sports was set off again by the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. In addition, this multi-sport event makes a wide array of sports accessible to the public for viewing. These sports demand apparel that can endure the sports' environmental and physical stresses, from snowboarding to biathlons, only the best in class will remain. Technologies are added to gear to enhance performance and provide a winning advantage.

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By its nature, sports apparel and equipment are performance-centric. Features such as moisture-wicking, antimicrobial protection, odor control, and water repellency are now a must-have for end consumers. Seasoned fitness professionals have had a long-standing appreciation for high-performance sports apparel and understand the importance of these features. As more and more people embrace exercise as part of their daily routines, they also embrace the apparel and accessories that complement their sporty lifestyle. The athletic outfits and equipment have become an integral part of identity, self-expression, and aesthetic appreciation. Athleisure continues to be trendy and well-received even by non-athletes.

With more and more females drawn to strength-intensive exercises, sweat secretion and odor concerns also rose. Sweat from workouts penetrates the fabric and forms a humid environment and a food source for bacteria - an ideal environment for microbial growth. As microbes continue metabolizing, an unpleasant odor is emitted from bacterial metabolic processes and attaches to the garment fibers. Aside from the embarrassing body odor, the microbial growth also shortens the life of sports apparel by building up a permanent stink on the fabric that does not go away even after laundering. When textiles or equipment are saturated with this unremovable smell, otherwise known as Permastink, they are likely to end up in the trash. The premature deterioration of materials and products is a severe problem globally with substantial environmental impact.

To help consumers enjoy a quality workout, LiNing recently launched its new INNOLOCK workout leggings. LiNing recognizes that the body should never be a distraction or an annoyance during a workout. LiNing worked with the leader in antimicrobial protection and odor control, Microban, to create products with cutting-edge antimicrobial and odor control technologies to achieve optimal performance.

Microban antimicrobial and odor control technologies are applied to fabric during the manufacturing of the INNOLOCK leggings and form a durable bond with the fabric. When the bacteria come in contact with the treated garment, Microban® antimicrobial technologies create an inhospitable environment for bacteria and inhibit their ability to grow and reproduce. Microban® ZPTech® is a versatile zinc-based solution tailored for use in a wide array of applications. In laboratory tests, Microban ZPTech® remained 99.99% effective in inhibiting the growth of damaging bacteria and fungi on polyester and Lycra even after 50 typical home launderings. In addition, ZPTech®'s high thermal stability – up to 235°C – makes it suitable for use in a variety of textile exhaust and pad finishing applications, including those that must be applied at high heat.

We are honored to cooperate with Li Ning to create innovative fitness apparel, which is a testament to our decades of experience in the antimicrobial field. Based on our expertise and reliability in the industry, we have reached the goal of 1+1>2 product cooperation, using innovative technology to bring consumers high value-added products with desirable performance features. We look forward to cooperating on a more extensive scope in the future and jointly helping transform and raise the standard of the fitness apparel industry.

Michael Ruby, President of Microban International