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How Fashion Could Expand to Hospital Scrubs

January 17, 2022
Author: Jasmine Waters

If there’s one working group that have been the backbone of the last two years, it’s hospital workers. From having to pay to park at work through to clapping on our doorsteps, they’ve been key in shaping the current cultural conversation. One part that’s only just starting to be recognised is the design wiggle room for hospital scrubs, alongside the potential to enhance working life. How are scrubs being seen differently and can they really take off?

Why medical clothing?

Thanks to the shape of the pandemic, our relationship to PPE has forever changed. Now, items like masks are being designed to accommodate self-expression, and it’s this change in thinking that’s in the arsenal of every fashion brand. As a springboard towards fashion’s melding with PPE, some brands have opted to designs scrubs that fulfil a whole new purpose. In a wave of recent experiments, some are citing the joining as fashion’s new frontier, re-considering the role of a neglected yet important sector in line with the industry.

In the global medical clothing market, valuations are expected to grow to $140 billion by 2028, with job growth increasing by 15% by 2029 (according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). We all need clothes for work, so why shouldn’t we all have the same access to professional expression? Many medical workers have not had this opportunity, while the scope of scrubs has now largely expanded. Thanks to the popularity of athleisure, it’s not a huge jump to reimagine scrubs as luxury comfort that fulfils the practical criteria it needs to.

How can fashion make its mark?

Scrubs weren’t commonly used until the 1940s, being made to fit any body and be exactly the same all around the world. Now, individuals prefer to wear their own rather than those provided to them, prompting collections—just like any other wardrobe. They can now be seen as something to feel good in at work, with early initiatives working to bring fashion to the front lines and enlist retail in their supply and manufacturing. There are still specifications, but the design wiggle room is there. Trousers are now being offers in athleisure style joggers, with optional slim fits. New technical fabrications can allow tops to have new breathing room and layering options.

Is it worth fashion buying into? The answer is—most probably. Style difference lie hugely in the details, meaning there’s scope in small changes. Scrubs can help to make a difference a promote new confidence, echoing the appreciation of hospital workers that many of us have. If fashion is always on the lookout for upcoming makers, medical clothing could be the most exciting yet.

Photo source: https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/scrubs

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