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The Inclusive Clothing Market Represents a Significant, Largely Untapped Opportunity

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Coresight Research

Key Points

The inclusive clothing and accessories market, which encompasses adaptive, smart and stress-free clothing designs as well as plus sizes and extended sizes, is underserved in retail. In this report, we focus on the adaptive clothing market opportunity and discuss some of the startups, retailers and designers that are working to meet the clothing needs of people with various disabilities and conditions. A future report will take a deep dive into inclusive design and the plus-size market opportunity.

  • Coresight Research estimates that the global adaptive clothing market will total $278.2 billion this year and grow to $325.8 billion in 2022. We further estimate that the US adaptive clothing market will reach $44.5 billion in 2018 and grow to $51.8 billion by 2022.
  • Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and about half of American adults have one or more chronic health conditions. People receiving treatment for diseases such as cancer often have specific clothing needs that have not been met in the past.
  • A number of designers and brands are emerging to solve specific adaptive clothing needs and Target and Zappos are two innovative mainstream retailers that have moved definitively into inclusive design by creating apparel and accessories for the adaptive clothing market.
  • Nearly all the adaptive clothing designers we interviewed for this report said that they had originally set out to solve a clothing issue for someone they knew, and then created their brand once they realized how many others could benefit from their design.
  • Educational teaching platforms such as Open Style Lab are partnering with various communities to help address the wearables needs of individuals with disabilities. Other educational institutions are fostering positivity and discussion regarding beauty and disability through class sessions focusing on self-affirmation and inclusion.
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