People matter – now more than ever. This is underscored by the huge interest taken by exhibitors and visitors at A+A 2017, the world’s largest trade fair for the Health & Safety industry, held in Düsseldorf. A+A very much underlined the huge importance of H&S not just in the workplace but also in our daily lives.

The good investment climate as well as the interest from trade visitors in high-quality PPE and protective workwear was confirmed by a current study conducted on the German market that was published during A+A 2017 by market research firm Macrom. This study supported the world wide trend and showed that the volume of the

entire PPE market grew significantly in the last few years, with Germany alone seeing growth of 9.2% to a total of Euro 1.97b. Leading with the largest market share is protective workwear that is increasingly also being worn in the private sphere.

Birgit Horn, Director A+A 2017, comments: “While protective workwear in the past was generally uncomfortable and not particularly fashionable, people today are fairly willing to show themselves in public wearing this clothing. Thanks to the development of high-tech clothing in the sports

and outdoor sectors we no longer have to deprive ourselves of top design and optimum performance”. This was also confirmed by the over 200 Corporate Fashion exhibitors and rounded off by newly designed fashion shows.

CAT is a prime example of taking workwear from being a brand not only fit for purpose with innovative and pioneering technologies, but they have also created a brand name and style that is seeing increased growth in the fashion market.

That said, CAT are keen to strongly retain their core business values, and tech advancements in workwear was at the forefront of their new 2018 product range. At Frontline we were privileged with early sight of these, allowing us to create a tech driven experience for visitors to the CAT space.

CAT were not alone in showcasing a look that transfers from work to home, with the flexibility of comfort in all uses. Dickies showcased its new, exclusive collection named DickiesPRO. “It has everything that the challenging environments

facing craftspeople and installation companies demand – exceptional quality, durability and comfort with ergonomic fits,” says Marcel Hlawatsch, Director Sales at Dickies. “In order to ensure that all of these demands are met to the

fullest, we use the most resistant high-tech materials. Dickies used a series of moving/running mannequins to show their product in action.

Another top identity brand, Dassy, keenly demonstrated Dassy DNA which stands for durable workwear that’s also incredibly good-looking, hence “extremely irresistible workwear”.

This complete, innovative collection was specially designed for self-assured professionals who value durable workwear that also allows them to make a good impression.

In short, Dassy DNA equals workwear that’s both tough and easy on the eyes, adaptable to the specific needs of the professional.

And it wasn’t just industry specific brands making a statement. Well known high street name Lee Cooper, with its heritage jean range is a brand that has gone full circle from being the original

British denim brand with beginnings in workwear since 1908 to becoming known as a global style innovator in the fashion world. Lee Cooper has created a durable range of workwear garments,

presenting a modern take on the brand history. Delivering a workwear range at this years A+A that would look in place in any high street fashion outlet.

In some zones, the safety show looked more like a sports show. Airtox, a Danish innovator, presented an all-round sporty collection packed full of safety features allowing you to look great and remain comfortable throughout the entire workday.

Workwear boots brand Perf were also showcasing the latest trendiest sporty style. They’ve teamed up with performance brand Reebok to market their new range into France, UK & Ireland, Spain and Italy.

To cap off the type of changes we are seeing in this market, Safety Footwear now fits into the current trend for Athleisure products and were seen in abundance throughout the event. We are expecting to see reports of significant growth for many brands in performance fashion footwear and apparel over the coming year.