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Performance apparel markets: clothing at work: providing a better image, 2nd quarter 2006
published in Issue 17, 2nd Quarter 2006
The market for clothing at work is huge. It covers basic workwear, technical wear and protective wear—which is required by law in some cases—and the more image focused careerwear. As many as half of all working Americans wear clothing provided by their employers at work, although penetration rates are not yet as high in Europe or elsewhere. In recent years there has been a blurring of the differences which once existed between the various categories of clothing at work. Such blurring stems partly from innovations in technical fabrics and partly from the influences of fashion and image. Technical fabrics are now used in a wide range of garments and are not limited to the protective categories. Similarly, the focus on image and fashion in careerwear has infiltrated the basic workwear market.
In terms of suppliers, the market is highly fragmented. It is served by many specialist national companies and there are few regional or global players. To some extent, this has suited the nature of the business in the past because local suppliers tend to be especially responsive to the needs of local buyers. Some of the larger suppliers are garment rental and laundry companies which provide garments and cleaning services. The largest buyers, however, are companies which do not manufacture garments themselves. Other large customers include public authorities.
Within the mature markets of Western Europe and the USA, growth sectors include protective wear—which is being driven predominantly by legislation—and careerwear, which is being fuelled by a desire to present a good corporate image. In contrast, the workwear market is stagnant or in decline, in line with the demise of heavy industry in these regions. The biggest opportunities for clothing at work, however, lie in the developing world. Most of the future growth in this market will come from the take up of workwear, and eventually careerwear, in Asia.
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides intelligence, expert analysis and insight on the performance apparel industry.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing markets in the global textile and clothing industry--and market growth is being fuelled by an emergence of new fibres, fabrics and innovative materials. The market's growth prospects are also being spurred by increasing demand for performance properties in mainstream fashion.
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An annual subscription to Performance Apparel Markets is a cost-effective way to keep informed about trends and developments in the global performance apparel industry. Subscriptions are available in printed and/or digital formats. Printed and digital subscribers receive each issue in printed format in addition to a digital PDF file, which is available immediately on publication. Subscribers also receive a complementary digital subscription to Performance Apparel Update, delivered directly by email once a month. This free supplement contains essential information on business news and the latest product developments.
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