WOPCOM Blog: Product Trends in Textile PPE, by Dr. Geert Böttger

In the advanced ppe markets we can clearly observe that the development has switched from a phase, where workers had to take what they get, if they worked at risky work places. Basically they had to adapt to a ppe workwear concept, which focussed on complying to safety norms. This time is over. Protection according to safety norms is the basis. Differentiation starts from that point and leads to an adaption of ppe workwear to more specific demands of users and buying companies.

Expectations in textile personal protective equipment (ppe) are increasing along the categories fullfilment of safety standards, comfort, styleprice, sustainability and industrial laundry properties. This leads to a couple of recent product trends, which need to be taken into account for a competitive ppe-range. Here are the most important trends:

  • Multi-Norm PPE
    Multi-norm ppe will be also in future a strong driving force in the market.Daily practicality of diverse work requirements and complex risks will further fuel the market.
  • Contemporary Style
    Workweear and ppe workwear are getting closer and may eventually merge in some markets. Thus also style requirements apply to ppe.
  • Correct Fit for Ladies
    The increasing number of women with ppe workwear necessities and also the need for more qualified workers in hazardous working places led to the development of female ppe workwear as a concept
  • Less weight
    Weight of the apparal textiles is a factor of comfort. Lighter ppe workwear gives more comfort than heavy workwear.
  • Moisture Management
    Especially with sweat loaded work or if work needs to be performed in strong heat, a good moisture management facilitates work and allows for better concentration and a better self-controlled performace.
  • Ergonomics
    A very imnportant feature is the support of typical movements and movement clusters by the ppe workwear.This trend will develop in future even stronger, because the number of elderly workers is increasing
  • Corporate Social Responsibitlity
    Ecologic and social responsibility is also in ppe of increasing importance. Reasons the rising sensitivity of wearers and buying companies, but also governmental regulatins and programms like on EU level REACH or „Circular Economy“. Cradle-to-cradle concepts are gaining ground.
  • Digital Connected PPE
    Equipment of ppe with sensors will allow for important and interesting safety features: identifying the location, analysing mobility, recording of vital parameters like heartbeat etc.

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This blog is based on an article of the author, which has been published in WRP 12/2018