3 major trends outlining waterproof breathable textiles (WBT) market forecast

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Surging demand for high-quality comfort wear coupled with innovative advances in fabric manufacturing is likely to foster waterproof breathable textiles (WBT) market size. Owing to attributes such as excellent moisture absorption, durability and dirt-repellent capabilities, WBT will experience further utilization in outdoor accessories such as rucksacks, tents, and other fabric-based gear. Shifting technological trends in the textile industry have facilitated efficient and faster production of comfortable and odor-free clothing and footwear products, which will stimulate the industry expansion.

U.S. Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Share, By Product, 2018 & 2025, (Mn. Sqr. Mtrs.)

U.S. Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Share, By Product, 2018 & 2025, (Mn. Sqr. Mtrs.)

The technology for designing waterproof breathable fabrics has constantly been evolving and improving since the introduction of Gore-Tex about four decades ago. Garments made from these fabrics are widely used by sports and outdoor enthusiasts as well as professionals in any conditions. Expanding market for active sportswear will certainly escalate demand for waterproof breathable clothing and gear. Increased product demand for medical and military applications will further render positive impact on the WBT industry outlook.

Described below are few global trends expected to reinforce waterproof breathable textiles market share:

Penchant for physical and sports activities

Increased participation in sports and leisure activities driven by growing focus towards improving health and well-being as well as enhancing the quality of life will fuel the demand for waterproof breathable wearables. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared lack of physical activity as one of the major causes of death worldwide and WHO Member States have set goals to reduce insufficient physical activities by up to 10% by 2025.

Performance requirements of many sports garments demand superior moisture and sweat handling properties during workout. Upsurge in the number of people taking up active sports to meet their fitness goals is projected to complement WBT market forecast. Outdoor physical and leisure activities such as camping, and hiking have gained tremendous popularity in the past couple of decades owing to increased focus on maintaining health and fitness. Camping is known to improve emotional and physical well-being while significantly reducing stress, whereas hiking is proven reduce mental health risks by up to 50%.

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Waterproof breathable textiles are used in large-scale production of camping and hiking gear and the increased number of people opting for outdoor leisure activities is set to positively impact WBT industry share over the forecast timeline.

Application in the construction sector: The construction industry offers much needed job opportunities for some of the poorest and most marginalized sections of society in both developed and developing economies. However, the industry has also witnessed an alarming number of fatalities over the years, making it one of the most dangerous fields to work in. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had reported that out of all worker deaths, construction, material moving, and transportation accounted for nearly 47%.

Regulatory bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have enforced enhanced worker safety standards that mandate the use of safety gear such as hard shoes, gloves and vests, presenting enormous opportunities for product manufacturers utilizing WBT. Waterproof breathable clothing is extensively used in various industries owing to capabilities such as protection from rain, snow and wind as well as supreme comfort below the fabric layer. Increasing number of workforce in construction, mining and oil & gas industries driven by rapid industrialization will fuel the demand for worker safety gear.

Constant development of products

Rise in worker safety issues has resulted in enhanced safety standards, which encourages material suppliers to develop improved products for service various industrial segments. Growing consumer focus on adoption of environmentally friendly and sustainable products will also reshape waterproof breathable textiles industry prospects.

Polymer company Covestro had developed a range of products under its Insqin brand in 2018 to enable effective waterproof and breathable coating of fabrics using waterborne technology. The company said the technology enhances the performance of outdoor sportswear and offers robust durability along with supreme comfort. The solution does not use solvents, making the product more eco-friendly and easier to handle. The polymer maker claimed that the fabric performs exceptionally well even in heavy rain and after repeated washing.

Continuous R&D activities aimed at producing high-quality products that are environmentally sustainable will undoubtedly expand waterproof breathable textiles industry share in the near future. Nike, Toray Industries, Inc., Clariant AG, Covestro and Columbia Sportswear are some of the key WBT suppliers. Global Market Insights, Inc., has predicted that global waterproof breathable textiles market size will surpass USD 2.5 billion by 2025.

Author NameDhananjay Punekar

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