Protective clothing is used by various end industries including manufacturing, oil and gas, automotive and construction to provide protection against work hazards for its workers. Increasing focus on employee wellness and safety has led to the evolution of protective clothing market in North America. The industrial protective clothing market is a mature market in North America covering high visibility, heat and flame, chemical, antistatic, and chainsaw protection. Major end users are the various industries that face potential workplace hazards in their day-to-day operations.
The market is expected to grow on the basis of growth of end-user industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, automotive and construction, as additional employment opportunities boosts the number of users for protective clothing. The market for heat and flame clothing is buoyed by a turnaround of the oil and gas industry in North America. Construction industry growth augurs well for high visibility clothing. Chemical protective clothing has witnessed stable growth in the last few years and is expected to grow 3%-4% in the future. The antistatic clothing market is buoyed by increasing electronics and pharmaceutical market growth in North America. Chainsaw clothing is a niche market serving the forestry industry and arborists.
The market is highly regulated with ANSI, ISEA, NFPA setting the regulations pertaining to the design, usage and wear and tear of protective clothing. OSHA in the US and OH&S in Canada act as the enforcing bodies. Standards are evolving on a continuous basis, pushing compliance across industries and this will lead to higher revenue growth for the protective clothing market.
The market is highly competitive with presence of both large and small manufacturers in the region. The market is further challenged by presence of distributors who have introduced their own private labels in the market. Branded suppliers are tackling the competition from private labels by providing value- added services to end users. Such services comprise customization and supplying multifunctional suits to fight multiple potential hazards at one go. For example, FR suits also include high-visibility properties to tackle potential fire hazard coupled with low visibility emanating from the smoke.
The market is expected to witness increasing consolidation in the future as players look to broaden their portfolio and their market share.
The market is also impacted by Mega Trends such as the US-China trade war, coronavirus, and oil prices. Revision in oil prices have led the region to pursue its ambition of producing its own crude oil and natural gas and be energy independent. The trade war and coronavirus has affected the market in terms of availability of critical raw materials such as polyester which are sourced from China.