Retailers such as Macy's and Columbia Sportswear are expanding their use of "breathable" and "cooling" fabrics in a bid to boost sales as record-high temperatures drive demand for clothing that can help consumers beat the heat.

Other major companies, including VF Corp. and Permira-owned Reformation, are also touting warm-weather styles made with Tencel, a Lyocell fiber that textile manufacturer Lenzing says is more absorbent than cotton.

Clothing retailers, whose sales dipped as inflation-weary consumers prioritized essentials over discretionary purchases, are amping up their marketing of "cooling" garments as heat waves batter at least three continents.