A paradigm shift is taking place in the global breathable textiles market as production increasingly moves to Asia Pacific due to lower costs of production and expanding end-user markets. This is causing a decline in the more established and mature markets of Europe and North America.
“The impact of this increasing trend on the breathable textiles market is expected to be very high over the next one to two years,” remarks Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Dr. Elizabeth Duplock. “Strong growth rates, particularly in countries such as China, are attracting many new entrants to Asia Pacific, leading to reduced opportunities in the North American and European markets.”
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicalsandmaterials.frost.com), World Breathable Textiles Market, reveals that this market earned revenues of €620.0 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach €1.03 billion in 2013.
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With growth in established regions likely to be limited, participants will have to focus on emerging markets that offer better opportunities. They can also target applications that have low penetration rates of breathable textiles such as workwear and safety gear. Simultaneously, identifying new applications and improving new products by introducing various innovations will also help participants create new growth avenues.
Since entry barriers to the breathable textiles market in terms of capital investment and technology are low, this is attracting many new entrants, especially small and medium-sized companies. The result of this is a highly fragmented market with intense competition and increased price pressures.
Established participants will feel the impact of this challenge as new entrants will be in a position to offer more competitively-priced products. Companies are also likely to find it difficult to achieve price premiums in the emerging regions and applications. The emergence of soft shell technology poses another threat to the growth of hard shell products.
It is becoming increasingly vital for products to provide superior performance as only this can help companies achieve price premiums and distinguish themselves from the competition. In addition, companies will have to communicate the benefits of product innovations to end users through effective marketing strategies. This will help gain and retain customer loyalty as well as convince them to pay higher prices for such improved products.
Some innovations that companies could consider include enhancing the functionality of waterproof, breathable textiles by incorporating flame retardancy, chemical resistance, antibacterial, or odour elimination properties. They could also focus on addressing some limitations of existing products such as less breath ability compared to soft shell alternatives or reduced performance in low temperature conditions.
“Another way to ensure price premiums through innovation is for companies to focus on very high-tech, high-end applications,” says Dr. Duplock. “Some raw materials participants in Europe have said that, going forward, they will only focus on such applications, as they think they can keep this segment of the market in Europe as well as get a price premium for these products.”
World Breathable Textiles Market is a part of the Chemicals and Materials Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: plastics and polymers; coatings, adhesives and sealants; packaging; and personal protective equipment. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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