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Industrial Safety industries - 2 min read - 22 March 2024

What Are Trends in Protective Workwear? Innovation Beyond Seasons

When we think of clothing trends, we tend to think of the cyclical whims of mainstream fashion—what colors, fits, and styles are in vogue as the leaves change or flowers bloom. But in our world, “trend” takes on a less aesthetically based meaning. Rather than runway inspiration, technological innovation leads the way in how protective workwear moves from one trend to the next as our industry continually improves safety, comfort, and functionality. 

At TenCate Protective Fabrics, we monitor these trends closely and compile a global trends report to help our colleagues in the industry keep up with what’s new and next for workwear. Read on for a couple examples of current trends in protective workwear, and download the latest report, 5 Global Trends in PPE-Clothing for the Industrial Safety Industry, through the form at the bottom of this blog for a comprehensive review of the future of the protective workwear industry.

The New Vanguard of Workwear

As trends in protective workwear are less about looks and more about advancements to meet ever-evolving worker safety needs, the most advanced solutions on the market tend to dictate the newest trends. Especially since workers face new risk factors in their own evolving industries, protective workwear producers must continue to push past existing technologies and develop improved materials to protect against those new risks. 

The latest frontier that protective workwear providers like TenCate Protective Fabrics have been making major breakthroughs in? Unprecedented comfort with stretch fabric technology.

Stretching the Limits

Products like the new Tecasafe® 360+ by TenCate Protective Fabrics are defining one of the biggest trends in protective workwear right now: massively improved comfort with stretch. As stretch fabrics eventually become the new standard in protective workwear, workers will benefit from increased range of motion, better fit, and the kind of comfort they are accustomed to in their street and athleisure clothing. 

While some stretch materials have been on the market for a few years, Tecasafe® 360+ is the newest product to launch that is built to withstand the high temperatures and rigorous cycles of industrial laundries. Pants made with Tecasafe® 360+ are not only exceptionally comfortable; they’re extremely durable, giving you more value for your purchase.

Global Trend Report US

For more things to consider before your next FR purchase, download our Budget Strategies Checklist for Safety Managers here, or review our Global Trends Report by filling out the contact form below.


The line between protective workwear and athleisure is only getting blurrier as more safety programs opt for workwear that workers feel so comfortable in, they love wearing them at work, at home, or at play. 

More Modern Aesthetics & Fit

Of course, while not driven by look the same way mainstream fashion trends are, no one is immune to wanting to look good as well as feel good in their workwear. With the development of lighter and more stretchy materials, workwear garment construction is starting to catch up with streetwear aesthetics by allowing for more fitted, slimmer options. 

Stretch fabrics also give workers some allowance for those times of year when they may otherwise need to go up or down a size in their garments. No need to buy a whole new pair of pants just for right after the holidays: stretch fabrics are much more forgiving than stiffer FR fabric options of years past.

How to Incorporate Trends in Your Safety Program

When you’re researching the latest options in FR workwear, it can be hard to decide what to choose based on current trends, your budget, and safety priorities. Here are some tips for ways to determine the best purchase decision for your safety program:

  • Evaluate your current program. When was the last time you upgraded to a newer fabric option? Are you still in 88-12?
  • Get feedback from your workers. Are they happy and comfortable? Would they wear their workwear outside of work?
  • Get samples of new options. Order fabric samples from TenCate Protective Fabrics here.

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