Close this search box.
Close this search box.

How the Fashion Industry is Scrubbing in on Medical Apparel

Medical Apparel

by Camille Chin  |  October 6, 2020

The healthcare sector is booming, medical scrubs along with it. According to an April 2020 Fortune Business Insights report, the medical clothing market was worth US$63.3 billion worldwide in 2019 and is projected to reach US$99.9 billion by 2027. The fashion industry has taken notice and medical scrubs are being revamped in terms of form and function. New brands have launched marketing campaigns to match.

While some hospitals provide scrubs, the majority of medical professionals in the US have to buy their own. (Scrubs are a US$10 billion industry in the US.) For decades that has meant buying big, boxy, unisex garb for women and men, nurses and MDs alike. Besides shapeless, ill-fitting scrubs, traditional fabrics weren’t functional; cotton absorbs liquids and smells.

New-York designer Betsey Johnson is known for her colourful, over-the-top designs; surprisingly, her company also makes medical scrubs. Jesta I.S. client Scrubs & Beyond carries the Betsey Johnson brand as well as dozens of others.

Barco, also carried by Scrubs & Beyond, has been around since 1929. Its “Grey’s Anatomy” brand, which was inspired by the popular fictional TV show, launched in 2006. It has since become one of the top-selling lines of premium medical scrubs in the US. Barco recently extended its deal with ABC to keep licensing the name of the medical drama through 2027.

Another Jesta I.S. client Careismatic Brands, formerly Strategic Partners, controls about 40 percent of the US scrubs market. In addition to scrub collections with modern styles, both Scrubs & Beyond and Careismatic Brands sell products that contain Certainty Protective Technologies. The anti-microbial technology reduces the growth of unwanted bacteria while repelling liquids, and diminishing odors and stains. Cherokee Medical Uniforms and Anywear footwear feature the technology.

Amazingly, even Nike wants in on the healthcare game. In December 2019, the company made its first foray into the medical apparel market with Air Zoom Pulse. The US$120 sneaker was designed for “nurses, doctors, home-health providers and others who work tirelessly to support patients.”

Product testing took place at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. It was there that the designers learned that nurses walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during the course of a 12-hour shift. The Air Zoom Pulse tackles those challenges: the shoe is easy to get on and off, and simple to clean. The fit, cushioning and traction systems work together to secure the foot in all hospital conditions. The shoe sold out of course and there’s no news yet about whether more will be produced in the future.

This year has been demanding on all of us, but more so on caregivers worldwide. Jesta I.S. is grateful to all healthcare providers for their courage and compassion. We’re also appreciative of our clients who are dedicated to bringing comfort, quality and style to medical apparel without sacrificing functionality.

Everyone wants clothes that help them look, feel and perform their best. Healthcare professionals are no exception.

Related Tags: apparel


Most Recent


Want to Learn More?

Skip to content