The protective clothing market for the life sciences industry was valued at USD 3,422.6 million in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 5,190.3 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 6.62%. The global outbreak of COVID-19 significantly impacted the growth of the protective clothing market across various sectors. The impact is primarily characterized by the increasing demand and sales in the healthcare sector. The health effects and economic implications of COVID-19 have been enormous, as the sudden burst of the pandemic across the world created a panic during the initial phase. Within a short period, the demand for personal protective equipment, such as face masks, gloves, face shields, air-purifying respirators, goggles, and gowns, increased significantly.
- The life sciences sector can be broadly categorized into three major segments (based on the applications of protective clothing) - pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical. Generally, the relative growth of the life sciences segments is linked to the expenditure of regional markets for healthcare and innovation. In the current market scenario, almost all economies, especially developing economies, are increasing their spending on healthcare and innovation.
- Owing to the emerging manufacturing activity in the pharmaceuticals sector, the demand for protective clothing to be used in the preclinical and early-phase drugs and in production environments is expected to experience increased demand. For example, the Chinese market is vibrant with preclinical and early-phase drugs, is a growing hub of biotech activity, and creates opportunity in the region.
- According to the World Health Organization, medical devices comprise all the tools used in the diagnosis or treatment of ailments, ranging from surgical scissors to pacemakers and complex scanning equipment. Medical device equipment is classified into Class I, Class IIA, Class IIB, and Class III, based on the risk involved in handling the material.
- Amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic has created an unprecedented proliferation of the demand for protective clothing across the world.
- Additionally, in April 2020, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) mentioned that the Vietnamese garment manufacturers have quickly shifted their production line for manufacturing additional medical face masks and protective clothing for export to countries. The association has also mentioned that it is following the standards and regulations set by the US and European Union (EU) markets.
Key Market Trends
Gloves are Expected to Witness a Significant Growth
- Gloves are among the items that are mostly used as single-use items. Gloves are worn when there is the risk of exposure to bodily fluids, secretions, blood, or excretions or while handling contaminated equipment. Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians, are at high risk of exposure to such hazards.
- Chemical-resistant gloves offer protection from peroxide, rocket fuels, very corrosive acids (nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and red-fuming nitric acid), strong bases, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, and nitro compounds.
- Natural (latex) rubber gloves are a popular general-purpose glove because they are comfortable to wear. Their tensile strength, flexibility, and temperature resistance are all exceptional. These gloves protect employees' hands against most aqueous solutions of acids, alkalis, salts, and ketones, as well as abrasions generated by grinding and polishing.
- In the healthcare sector, increased awareness among the workers regarding the usage of gloves for protection against pathogenic microorganisms has led to their increased adoption. The high demand for gloves and relatively more accessible market entry opportunities in this segment have resulted in multiple vendors emerging in the market.
- Gloves are designed to be changed whenever contaminated, which may be between patients and between different procedures on the same patient. Hands should be sanitized after the removal of gloves. The OSHA Regulation on Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens requires the healthcare institutions to make sure to provide handwashing facilities to the employees and ensure that they wash hands immediately or as soon as feasible after the removal of gloves. It even calls for employers to offer hypoallergenic gloves at no cost, thus, creating opportunities for vendors with such products under their portfolio.
North America is Expected to Witness a Significant Market Share
- The life sciences industry in the United States is one of the leading drivers of employment in the country. The US biotechnology market is led by venture capital investments and job growth in the overall life sciences industry. The biopharma industry also creates substantial jobs, making it an important sector.
- The heightened demand for PPE caused by the pandemic led to major shortages posing a massive challenge to the country’s healthcare system. The country has been at the forefront of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed its unpreparedness in protective clothing infrastructure. This compelled the country to import protective clothing from various other countries and impose a ban on its export.
- Although PPE kits were meant to be disposed of, the importing of these items met with serious issues of being washed and repackaged for re-use. The penetration of such duplicate products led the FDA to an investigation. The FDA released a notice that recommends health care facilities and providers not to purchase imported medical gloves or companies listed in its List of Import Alert to restrict further penetration of used disposable medical gloves and N95 respirators.
- The trade difficulty led the CDC to innovate new strategies to deal with the shortage of protective clothing. CDC developed personal protective equipment (PPE) burn rate calculator, which allows a healthcare facility to be tagged in either of the three general strata based on its surge capacity to prioritize measures to conserve PPE supplies along the continuum of care.
- Suppliers in the market whose reach spreads throughout North America to provide products for health imaging, sterile processing, surgical operations, and patient handling are expected to have better business opportunities, and most of the healthcare centers function as chain and are expected to go for a one-stop purchase that comes with discrete delivery benefits. With field representatives and distribution centers across the countries, the suppliers can be more attentive and provide one-on-one service, making a huge difference in the market.
The protective clothing market for the life sciences industry is concentrated in nature. Product launches, high expense on research and development, partnerships, and acquisitions are the prime growth strategies adopted by the companies in the region to sustain the intense competition. Major companies, like E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Kimberly Clark Corporation, Ansell Limited, and 3M Company, design and manufacture clothes to protect medical personnel from serious workplace injuries.
- September 2021 - Trivitron Healthcare, a medical technology company, launched SpaceD Radiation Protection Aprons, which leverages NASA's Outlast technology to make the protective gear more comfortable and safer for medical practitioners. Phase change materials (PCM) are used in these aprons to absorb, store, and release heat for optimal thermal comfort during medical procedures.
- June 2021 - Ansell announced the opening of its first plant in Russia. Ansell and the Government of the Tula Region signed an investment agreement on the launch of production in Russia. The plant would localize the production of ActivArmr Hycron gloves, designed to protect professionals in severe conditions.
- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
- 3 months of analyst support
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitutes
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.4 Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on the Industry
5.1.1 Strict Regulatory Standards Pertaining to Patient Safety
5.1.2 Growth in Biotechnology and Healthcare Spending
5.2 Market Restraints
5.2.1 Increased Demand for Outsourcing and Automation in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
6.1.4 Facemasks and Hats
6.1.5 Protective Eyewear and Cleanroom Goggles
6.1.6 Footwear and Overshoes
6.1.8 Other Products
6.3.1 Cleanroom Clothing
6.3.2 Radiation Protection
6.3.3 Bacterial/ Viral Protection
6.3.4 Chemical Protection
6.3.5 Other Applications
6.4.1 North America
220.127.116.11 United States
18.104.22.168 United Kingdom
22.214.171.124 Rest of Europe
126.96.36.199 Rest of the Asia-Pacific
6.4.4 Rest of the World (Latin America and Middle-East and Africa)
7.1.1 E. I. DuPont De Nemours and Company
7.1.2 Kimberly Clark Corporation
7.1.3 Ansell Limited
7.1.4 3M Company
7.1.5 Honeywell International Inc.
7.1.6 Lakeland Industries Inc.
7.1.7 Irudek Group
7.1.8 Berkshire Corporation
7.1.9 Kappler Inc.
7.1.10 Tronex International Inc.
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- E. I. DuPont De Nemours and Company
- Kimberly Clark Corporation
- Ansell Limited
- 3M Company
- Honeywell International Inc.
- Lakeland Industries Inc.
- Irudek Group
- Berkshire Corporation
- Kappler Inc.
- Tronex International Inc.