Unprecedented Demand Beyond COVID-19 Drives Glove Industry Growth

disposable gloves

The global disposable gloves market is experiencing explosive growth. Today’s overwhelming demand for personal protective equipment is expected to continue unabated as glove manufacturers in Southeast Asia struggle to keep up with orders.

Health-related fears driven by the novel coronavirus are of course a major factor in the industry’s current economic boom. But beyond that, the use of disposable gloves, especially in the industrial safety sector, has been steadily on the rise.

As recently as a decade ago, gloves were not common in automotive, mechanical, and janitorial uses. Even many food establishments tended to bare-hand your sandwich as they assembled it. Disposable gloves were seen as an expensive luxury in the margin-conscious restaurant industry.

But a general increase in safety awareness, more thoughtful sanitation laws, and better glove materials—especially nitrile—have changed the game. That has helped boost the bottom line for thousands of distributors who wisely added gloves to their product catalogs.

Nitrile disposable gloves have become popular in the automotive repair industry as an allergy-free and more chemical-resistant alternative to latex. Nitrile is especially effective at protecting against chemicals that are petroleum-based, as well as brake fluid, transmission fluid, and many solvents common to auto shops.

Even with such international health events over the last decade as the H1N1 swine flu, West African Ebola, the Zika Virus, and COVID-19 generating huge demand for disposable gloves, industrial gloves are expected to have the fastest growth of all segments.

Another avenue for industrial glove growth involves polyvinyl chloride, an economical alternative to nitrile. Latex allergies have also made vinyl gloves an attractive choice for healthcare needs.

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