2020 and Covid-19 have changed our lives in ways that would have been unimaginable at the beginning of the year. Among the most profound of these changes is in the way we dress. Whereas for generations style was the primary consideration for people in their choice of clothing, the pandemic has turned that tradition on its head. While style is still an important criteria, the work-from-home phenomenon has made comfort override everything else. Even a pair of jeans once thought to be the most casual of clothing, has been discarded at the altar of discomfort.

This lockdown-induced change in people’s dressing choices has brought to prominence clothing brands that had the foresight to anticipate this shift in sartorial taste. Like for example, Sporto Flexiwear, India’s very own athleisure brand set up in 2014. Its wide range of products include joggers, track pants, t-shirts, gym-vests, jackets, hoodies, full sleeves to bermudas, capris, and boxers.

For Sporto founder Navinn Seksaria though, the changes brought about by the pandemic go beyond the growing popularity of his product range. For him, a bigger positive to come out of the lockdown is that men have become more responsible at home, taking on household chores, bringing out their `flexible’ side — becoming both mentally and physically more flexible. “It took a pandemic to smash the patriarchy,” he says.

Seksaria’s sentiments are best seen in the four commercials that Sporto recently released as part of their campaign called #MenBeFlexi. In one, a young man is shown breaking an egg while cooking in the kitchen, while the girl in the voice-over satirically compares it to Newton’s epochal discovery of gravity in 1687. In another, the young man’s cleaning of the home toilet is compared to the historic landing on the moon in 1969. The underlying theme in all the ads is about big changes in the male attitude during the lockdown. “It was time men did their part at home,” says Seksaria, “It’s never too late for men to become homemakers. Our ads are a reflection of what is happening in society at large.”

The #MenBeFlexi campaign is in line with the company’s belief that the world is moving towards comfortability and flexibility in every aspect of life, including clothing as seen in their embrace of flexiwear clothing. It defines `flexiwear’ as clothing that is targeted at a ‘boundary-less generation with boundless energy’. “Flexiwear,” it says, “is a breath of fresh air as well as a statement of their identity. It is that kind of clothing that always operates in a stealth mode when it comes to how it feels on the body but at the same time transforms the wearer into a style statement. Flexiwear is for those amazing people who believe flexibility is as much in the mind as it is in the body. If you are running from a college lecture to a coffee date, Flexiwear is for you. If you are running from a business meeting to a tennis match, Flexiwear is for you. If making impromptu plans to a weekend destination is your idea of a quick getaway, Flexiwear is for you.”

Sporto Flexiwear is part of the 40-year-old J.G. Hosiery group whose other brands include Macho, Amul Comfy, and Zoiro. The company’s social consciousness extends to the way it does business. Its products are made using eco-friendly dyes, international standard machines, anti-bacterial superior quality cotton, and eco-washable fabrics. Besides flexibility, Sporto’s stylish clothes stand out for their densely woven fabric, a modern slim fit, wide range of trendy colours, and durable stitching.

“Sporto,” the company says, “was born with an intention to make Flexiwear accessible to the large but discerning Indian market that had specific needs. Our products have stood the test of time and in terms of styling and product quality, can compete with not just the other players in the Indian market but some are at par with global best. All this at a price that is super accessible and within the reach of most consumers.”

Check out Sporto’s collection here.