The US Adaptive Clothing and Footwear Market Represents a $47.3 Billion Largely Untapped Opportunity
Adaptive apparel encompasses clothing and footwear designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities or health conditions. More brands and retailers are launching adaptive collections but the adaptive clothing and footwear market remains underserved.
- Coresight Research estimates the potential global adaptive apparel market will reach $288.7 billion in 2019 and grow to $349.9 billion in 2023. We estimate that the potential U.S. adaptive apparel market will reach $47.3 billion in 2019 and grow to $54.8 billion by 2023.
- Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., according to the U.S. 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 and diabetes often have specific clothing needs that have not been met in the past.
- Retailers and brands are emerging to solve specific adaptive clothing needs. Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Target, and Zappos were early adaptive innovators, creating collections beginning in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, department store retailer Marks & Spencer entered adaptive fashion with an Easy Dressing line for children and Nike has introduced a new self-lacing basketball shoe that users operate through a smart phone.
- Industry events, such as “Design for Disability Galas,” panel event discussions featuring adaptive design, and educational teaching platforms including Parsons Open Style Lab and Begraniz Couture are helping to build industry awareness around the apparel needs of individuals with disabilities.
- There is an opportunity for retailers to understand adaptive consumers at a macro level and generational level — how and where these consumers want to shop, the technology that they prefer, what their motivations are, and how they wants to be marketed and advertised to.