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Work clothing: combining performance, comfort and image
published in Issue 219, June 2023
Work clothing encompasses three distinct categories--basic workwear, corporate wear, and protective clothing--which cover a broad and diverse range of garments and accessories. As a result, the market for work clothing represents one of the largest single segments of the performance apparel industry. In the face of numerous threats in recent years, the major players in the work clothing market have shown themselves to be remarkably resilient. Two such threats are disruptions in supply chains and sharp increases in costs and these have put pressure on earnings. At the same time, there have been sharp shifts in the way people dress for work and these shifts have posed a key challenge for designers of work clothing. Many companies have overcome these threats by introducing products which fulfil the changing needs of customers and, more specifically, meet growing demand for garments which combine comfort and durability with a fit and style which allow for individual expression. There is strong evidence that clothing which meets the needs and preferences of employees can have a powerful impact on employee confidence and morale. It can also have an impact on the image of the employer. Consequently, companies which offer such clothing stand to reap rewards. The companies most likely to gain the biggest rewards, however, will be those which are able to respond to the needs and preferences of employees in a way which is environmentally sustainable.
List of contents
TYPES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF WORK CLOTHING
Types of work clothing
Key performance criteria for work clothing
AESTHETIC ASPECTS OF WORK CLOTHING
Increasing emphasis on visual appeal
Dress codes for work
Growing importance of style and flair
FABRICS AND TECHNOLOGIES USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF WORK CLOTHING
Workwear and uniforms
SUPPLY AND PURCHASE OF WORK CLOTHING
Supply of work clothing
Garment rental and laundry
Purchase of work clothing
MARKET FOR WORK CLOTHING
Key geographical markets
Relationship between the market for work clothing and the labour market
Prospects for growth in the work clothing market
Market for workwear in China
Market for workwear and uniforms in North America
Market for general workwear, corporate wear and uniforms in Western Europe
Impact of adverse external factors on the market for work clothing
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