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Protective Clothing Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Product (Disposable and Durable), By Application (Flame Retardant Apparel, Chemical Defending Garment {Radiation Protection, Particulate Matter, and Others}, Clean Room Clothing, Mechanical Protective Clothing, and Others), By End-Use (Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Firefighters, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: July 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102707



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The global protective clothing market size was valued at USD 12.48 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 34.31 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 14% during the forecast period. The North American market size was 4.34 billion in 2018. North America dominated the protective clothing market with a market share of 37.4% in 2019.

Growing concerns about workplace safety mainly in the chemical, healthcare, construction, food processing, and manufacturing industries along with the substantial rise in mortalities and accidental injuries shall drive the demand for the protective clothing market. This is mainly designed to protect the workers from occupational fatalities such as cut hazards, wear, chemicals, flame & fire, dry particles, and others. There is a variety of protective clothing available for specific hazards. For example, body and skin protection include lab coats, vests, coveralls, aprons, full-body suits, surgical gowns, and aprons. Also, specialty clothing helps to avoid cross-contamination of the substances, while offering protection to the skin and hands. It is mandatory to select clothing based on its ability to withstand permeation and degradation usually caused by various agents. To ensure the worker’s safety, it is important to choose proper and correct protective clothing based on environmental hazards.


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Eco-Friendly Developments in Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) Materials for Reducing Plastic Pollution

As per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), clothes are made up of 9% of the municipal solid waste (MSW) which was produced in the U.S. in 2014. Rapid industrialization along with a rise in health hazards has surged the demand for the personal protective clothing industry. PPC has been steered to high-tech equipment basically made from plastic-based materials, which are developed from non-renewable sources and have a long-life cycle. Growing consumer awareness of the damage caused by synthetic materials on materials has led to the development of eco-friendly materials. A varied range of eco-friendly fibers is produced by animals and plants which can be extensively used for various garment purposes. Natural fiber-based composite protective apparel is environmentally friendly and is deemed to have future prospects owing to its environmental, technological, legal, and economic advantages.


Proper Selection of Apparel in the Medical Industry is Driving the Protective Clothing Market

Healthcare workers are exposed to biological fluids which are capable of transmitting diseases such as the Ebola Virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus, and novel Coronavirus which can pose significant risks to both health and life. Due to the growing concerns of contamination from various sources, PPE is widely used to protect both the patient and the wearer in the healthcare environment. Infection control is important in the healthcare environment and thus, the laundering of uniforms and the correct disposal of the products are mandatory to keep the infection rate manageable and low. Healthcare workers wear clothing including isolation gowns, coveralls, and surgical gowns to protect themselves and the patients from the transfer of microorganisms by body fluids and blood.

Recently, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has led most healthcare workers to wear proper protective clothing to safeguard their life and health. Various measures for protecting the workers from exposure to the virus depend on the work types performed and the related exposure risk, which include the potential for interaction with infectious people and work environment contamination. The World Health Organization (WHO), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Directorate General of Health Services offer various regulatory guidelines regarding personal protective equipment used during the novel Coronavirus disease (Covid-19). These rules are mainly implemented for the health care workers and others working in a hospital, point of entry (POEs), laboratories, quarantine centers, and primary health care centers. Gowns or coveralls are mainly designed to protect the torso of healthcare providers from exposure to coronavirus. A typical coverall provides 360-degree protection as they are designed to cover the whole body, including the lower legs, back, head, and feet. The usage of proper protective clothing is likely to create a barrier to reduce or eliminate contact and droplet exposure, thus protecting the healthcare workers working nearby (within one meter) of the infected persons. For those who are using gowns must use a headcover that covers the neck and head while providing any clinical care to the infected patients, while, hair extensions and hair must fit inside the headcover.

Strict Regulatory Standards Coupled with Rise in Workplace Safety Concerns is Expected to Boost the Protective Clothing Market

The increasing working population due to rapid growth in the healthcare, manufacturing, oil & gas, and chemical industries is likely to show lucrative growth opportunities. An increase in strict government regulations has made it mandatory for manufacturers to take precautions for workers’ safety in order to restrict occupational hazards or mishaps. The U.S. is one of the biggest manufacturers of pharmaceutical and chemical products globally. Also, the country’s huge workforce is involved in mining and oil & gas operations, which demand high- and better-quality protective clothing. Stringent guidelines by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and OSHA are offering protective apparel that aids against various occupational injuries and hazards mainly in the oil & gas, mining, and chemical industries to reduce workplace fatalities, which shall stimulate the clothing market.

Furthermore, in the U.S., ANSI/AAMI PB70 established a classification system for protective apparel such as isolation gowns and surgical gowns, being used in healthcare facilities. Also, it specifies several test methods and labeling requirements for determining the protective apparel compliance labeled with liquid-borne microbial barrier claims or liquid barrier claims.


Wearability Issues of Protective Clothing is Likely to Hinder the Market

Occupational mishaps may cause financial damage to employers and physical damage to the impacted employees. The most effective protection against occupational hazards is the proper usage of PPE. Properties that encourage workers to wear apparel at the appropriate time and in the proper way shall be considered as the key criteria for selecting the protective clothing inventory. An employer must be responsible for selecting appropriate protective apparel that meets the specific workplace hazards and proper training of the employees regarding the usage and disposal of the garments. For instance, the mining industry is in the process of a technological revolution with the implementation of smart technologies that can improve safety and boost productivity. Smart technologies have the potential to address several challenges. However, high investment costs can pose a threat to the widespread adoption of technology. Criteria for wearability include reliable barrier protection and durability, proper fit, ease of maintenance, care, and repair, lightweight & flexibility, heat stress & comfort, ease of cleaning, disposal, and recycling, and ruggedness of construction.


By Product Analysis

Durable Clothing is likely to be the Leading Segment in the Market

In terms of product, the protective clothing market is segmented into disposable and durable. The durable clothing segment accounted for the major market share in 2019 and may continue its dominance up to 2027 owing to the increasing demand for highly durable mechanical wear and advanced utility protective gears in the oil & gas, chemical, automotive, food, and healthcare industries. Durable products are mainly used in industries where the workers are subjected to harsh environments such as radiation, pressure, and high temperature. Increasing consumer preference for durable protective clothing so as to allow uninterrupted work during severe conditions shall foster the overall product demand.

By Application Analysis

Chemical Defending Garment Segment to Account for the Major Share During the Forecast Period

In terms of application, this protective clothing market is segmented into flame retardant apparel, chemical defending garments, cleanroom clothing, mechanical protective clothing, and others. Further, the chemical defending garment is sub-segmented into radiation protection, particulate matter, and others. The chemical-defending garments segment may account for the major share during the forecast timeframe. These are usually worn by workers who are more susceptible to chemical hazards in the chemical industry. Lead shielding wear such as a lead apron can protect clinicians and patients from potentially harmful radiation which affects the day-to-day medical examination. Protective clothing is also worn to prevent severe injury and illness as a result of exposure to radioactive material. Radiation can affect humans through external and internal contamination. Also, many companies are introducing protection strategies that are developed to protect humans from the harmful effects of radiation exposure from a spectrum of sources.

The flame retardant apparel segment may exhibit a significant growth rate during the forecast period. They are specially designed to protect a person from fire-related hazards. They are made of materials that are chemically treated to achieve self-extinguishing and self-burning properties. They are usually more affordable than flame-resistant clothing.

By End-Use Analysis

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Growing Demand for Protective Clothing in the Chemical Industry May Promote Market Expansion

In terms of end-user, this market is segmented into pharmaceutical, oil & gas, chemical, firefighters, and others. The chemical segment constituted the major market share in 2019. Chemical protective clothing is designed to protect a person against several chemical agents. The chemical industry requires high-performance clothing which protects those working with several hazardous chemicals such as paints, degreasers, and cleaning chemicals. In today’s world, workers in different industries and soldiers in the war field are exposed to various chemicals that are hazardous in nature, thus causing health problems. Various occupational health and safety professionals consider chemical protective clothing (CPC) for protecting humans from physical and chemical hazards. They are made up of non-permeable textile fabrics. Chemical protection is accomplished by blocking the permeation and penetration of the chemicals through fabrics in the clothing, which is an effective way for protecting professionals from contact with toxic chemicals.

The firefighter industry may witness substantial growth during the forecast timeframe. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are improvising the protective qualities of the clothing and other protective equipment used by firefighters in operational situations. Firefighter clothing is mainly designed to provide the wearer with protection from burn injuries. It occurs from exposure to the heat produced by fire through contact with hot combustion gas, flames, burning items, and steam.


North America Protective Clothing Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Million)

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The protective clothing market size in North America was valued at USD 4,677.9 million in 2019. The region constituted the key share of the market and is likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period due to the stringent regulations imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for overall workers’ safety. According to a report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in every 24 seconds, the fire department of the U.S. responds to a fire-related incident in the nation. To avoid mishaps, OSHA has made it mandatory for all small- or large-scale manufacturers to provide apt clothing to their workers. Additionally, it has set safety standards related to industrial disasters such as fires, manufacturing machinery failures, and others.

The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market owing to the increasing awareness regarding workers’ safety in emerging economies such as China, India, and South Korea. Due to the relatively higher rate of occupational accidents in this region, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has organized training and campaigns for occupational safety measures. Moreover, the large number of manufacturing bases in the region is driving the demand for the protective clothing market. Also, with growing awareness regarding workers’ safety, various regulatory bodies have significantly urged the usage of such clothing in different industries which has shifted the inclination towards reliable clothing production, further stimulating regional growth.

Europe is estimated to show significant growth accredited to a policy framework that has been set by the European Union. Enactment of the structure directive on Occupational Health & Safety (89/391/EC) which persuade improvement in safety measures had a constructive impact on the consideration of the occupational risk factor. Furthermore, Russia is rich in natural resources and minerals. Mineworkers are prone to various hazards, namely, accidental fires, ground collapse, gas emissions, landslides, and others. The growing mining industries in the European region are playing a fundamental role in driving the market.


Companies are Investing on R&D to Produce Multi-Utility Apparel Which is Likely to Remain the Key Business Strategy by the Players

The global protective clothing market share is fragmented and competitive with key players operating in the industry such as Honeywell International, Kimberly Clarke, Ansell, W.L. Gore & Associates, PBI Performance Products, and DuPont. The majority of the industrial participants are expanding their businesses in the form of acquisition and collaboration to improve their product portfolio and gain a competitive edge in the overall market. Also, manufacturers are investing in research and development to produce multi-utility apparel which would cater to the different end-use industries. For instance, W.L. Gore and Associates are developing textile products that are engineered to protect people from hazards. Gore’s Military Fabrics business includes a lot of textile technologies including GORE-TEX fabrics, a durable cloth that can be worn in a lightweight fire-resistant laminate, and the tropics making the fabric self-extinguishing.

Most of the distributors and manufacturers are taking responsibility for sourcing more recyclable and sustainable materials for the end-use industries in order to demand more environmentally friendly products. Also, manufacturers are adopting various standards with different legislation which shall drive the overall business without compromising the health and safety of the workers. Furthermore, most manufacturers are developing life-extending technologies, self-cleaning materials, durable man-made fibers, and nanotech coatings to mitigate the environmental impact and to increase the usage of sustainable materials.



  • In March 2020 - Protective Industrial Products (PIP) announced the expansion of salesforce in Latin America for industrial protective products. This will help the company in expanding the supply chain and support the growing demand of customers through better distribution network to the local market.

  • In February 2019 - Protective Industrial Products Inc. acquired West Chester Protective Gear. The company specializes in the manufacturing of protective apparel for industrial purposes. This acquisition will help in strengthening product portfolio and complement the customer base.


The protective clothing market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product.

An Infographic Representation of Protective Clothing Market

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Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Million Square Meters)


By Product

  • Disposable

  • Durable

By Application

  • Flame Retardant Apparel

  • Chemical Defending Garment

    • Radiation Protection

    • Particulate Matter

    • Others

  • Clean Room Clothing

  • Mechanical Protective Clothing

  • Others

By End-Use

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Oil & Gas

  • Chemical

  • Firefighters

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S., and Canada)

  • Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 12.48 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 34.31 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the market value stood at USD 12.48 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 14.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).v

Chemical defending garment segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing demand from the healthcare industry shall boost the market.

North America held the highest market share in 2019.

Strict regulations with the rise in workplace safety norms along with favorable certifications ensuring product quality and reducing the risk of product duplication are the factors expected to drive the market.

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