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1.1 Presentation and definition of the market

Work clothes are articles of clothing intended to be worn in the course of a professional activity. This is often done to protect the worker against one or more risks to his or her safety

There are 4 main categories of work clothes:

  • Technical clothing;

  • Image clothing;

  • The uniforms

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE).

Nevertheless, the distinction between these categories is gradually fading as many PPE or technical garments are becoming more and more personalised.

It is important to note that the work-wear sector does not include footwear (such as safety footwear).

The French work-wear market is slightly on the rise with a 4% growth between 2015 and 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has had an overall positive impact on this market as the months following confinement were almost twice the level of the same months during previous year. This increase can be explained by the desire of companies to reassure their employees by providing them with more work clothes or by renewing old clothes to protect them against health risks.

Generally speaking, the work-wear market is deeply linked to the dynamism of the industrial, construction, certain market services (hotel/restaurant, transport), health and public service sectors. Among their main functions are the protection of the worker, communication on the brand or service, or the identification of an employee.

1.2 The world and European market

The global market for work-wear excluding footwear is estimated at $** billion in **** according to a study VF Corporation . The graph below shows the turnover of each industry (***) for a total of $** billion.

    Size of the work-wear market by value, by product type World, ****, in billions of US$ Source : VF Corporation  

Nevertheless, ...

1.3 A shrinking national market

In ****, Antoine Fabre: General Delegate of Synamap estimated the size of the French market at between *.* and *.* billion euros [***].

Depending on the range of estimates, this would result in average annual growth of between *.*% and *.**% over the period ****-****. It should be noted that the representative of Synamap assessed the PPE ...

1.4 Trade balance and foreign trade

France is mainly an importer of work-wear: in ****, total imports of all types of work clothing are estimated at ***.* million euros compared with ***.* million euros of exports - i.e. a coverage rate (***) of **.*%. France therefore imports three to four times more work clothing than it exports.

The amount of imports ...

1.5 The overall positive impact of Covid-19 on the demand for work-wear

In order to facilitate the return to work of their employees, companies have resorted to the purchase of numerous pieces of equipment. Although work clothes cannot be confused with medical equipment such as masks or gloves, they have been secondary beneficiaries of the upsurge in hygiene precautions. Many companies have ordered ...


2.1 Typology of the application

There are two types of demand for work-wear:

Demand from the private sector: this concerns the staff of construction companies, market services (***). Industry and construction alone account for three quarters of total demand; Public sector demand: This includes public officials such as law enforcement, health service personnel or land-use planners.

A ...

2.2 The main determinants of demand

The level of demand for work clothing in France is evolving according to cyclical and structural determinants.

Cyclical factors

On the one hand, national economic growth is a major determinant of demand, as it can stimulate or, on the contrary, slow down the growth in the level of employment and the ...

2.3 Demand trend: between acceleration and deceleration

Demand for workwear is rising in volume. This section aims to characterize this increase in demand.

Acceleration of demand in ****

Demand for workwear has been growing since ****, due to the increased standards in the sector for the protection of workers, such as the european Regulation ****/*** This is forcing companies to renew ...


3.1 A highly concentrated market

The work-wear market in France is highly concentrated: according to data from the Central Agency of Social Security Organisations (***), in **** there were only ** companies with more than one employee in France in the sector. 

  Number of companies in the work-wear manufacturing sector France, ****-**** Source : ACOSS  

A few leading companies ...

3.2 Most workwear manufacturers outsource industrial production

Increasingly Asian world production

A recent study by QYResearch Group published in **** shows that China is the world's leading producer of work-wear and uniforms, with **.*% of global production [***]. More broadly, South Asia is seeing its share of world production increase as Europe continues to relocate production and import most of the ...

3.3 The distribution of work clothing in France

The work-wear market is based on volume, and is mainly aimed at professionals who wish to have standardised clothing, adapted to their activities and in sufficient quantity to equip all their staff.

Thus, the distribution of work clothes is articulated around * main channels:

Direct sales: in business-to-business trade, manufacturers supply directly ...

3.4 More specialized and less durable collections

With the emergence of differentiated needs according to sectors and functions, work-wear collections are becoming increasingly specialized. Whereas a collection used to be renewed every five years, it is now renewed every eighteen months. This phenomenon is causing upheavals in stock management with smaller collections.

The logistical stakes are therefore real, ...


4.1 The different types of products

Personal Protective Equipment (***)

Personal Protective Equipment (***) refers to all clothing and accessories used to protect the physical integrity of the worker, such as gloves, helmets, goggles, etc, which are designed to protect the worker's health and safety.

Nearly half of the turnover of the work-wear manufacturing and distribution industry in France ...

4.2 Slight deflation of producer prices

Average consumer prices for work clothing have fallen by *.*% since ****, which represents a fairly small decline, or even virtual stagnation over the period. This stationary trend is due to a completed relocation movement. In fact, almost all relocatable production units have been relocated, so there has been no noticeable impact on ...

4.3 Product trends

Work clothing now incorporates the notion of image

The primary function of work clothing is to protect the worker, particularly in dirty or dangerous occupations. The aim is to provide the worker with all the comfort he or she needs in terms of functionality and practicality: this is how the "blue ...


5.1 World Customs Nomenclature and Harmonized System

The Harmonized System (***) for the classification of goods is a six-digit code system [***].

The HS includes approximately *,*** item/product descriptions that appear as headings and subheadings, divided into ** chapters, grouped into ** sections. The six digits can be divided into three parts. The first two digits (***).

The Harmonized System was introduced in ...

5.2 Current regulations in France

The work clothing market in France is subject to very precise regulations in order to guarantee the safety of workers and reduce the risk of accidents as much as possible, on three scales: national, European and international. It is notably due to strict standards specific to each country that this industry ...


6.1 Segmentation of players

  • Delta Plus
  • Mulliez-Flory
  • Cepovett Group (France - Adolphe Lafont)
  • Guy Cotten
  • Lebeurre (LMA)
  • Groupe Marck (Marck & Balsan)
  • Armor-Lux Groupe
  • Sioen Industries
  • Fristads Kansas Group
  • Alsico
  • Gedex (Gedimat Gedibois)
  • Rentokil Initial
  • OpenSafe

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The workwear market - France

Publicado en 18/06/2022 by Julian Heras - Iturri

"Bonne relation qualité-prix mais pour un premier approche au marché des vêtements de travail avec des sources intéressants. Pour moi les principaux acteurs en du marché en France par CA(Eur) sont Cepovett, Mulliez-Flory, DMD, Sioen, Molinel, Bétrancourt, Chatard, Kiplay, Blakläder, Mascot... Parmi le marché du vêtements en France que pesse 600 Mios €, la moitie est vêtements EPI, je pense qu'il faudrait développer chaque de ces deux type de vêtements un peu plus. Dans tout le cas j'ai bien apprécié votre étude et j'espère qu'il vous donnera quelque pistes pour la prochaine édition."