The apparel industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by convenience, comfort, and flexibility, and the growing importance of technologies such as interlaced yarn fabrics, flat knitting machines, and coated yarn fabrics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 32,000 patents filed and granted in the apparel industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Apparel: Detachable hoods.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

20+ innovations will shape the apparel industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the apparel industry using innovation intensity models built on over 13,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, yarn chemical treatment, embossed protective clothing, and garment laser embossing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Fire retardant garments, antistatic fabrics, and interlaced yarn fabrics are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are flat knitting machines and coated yarn fabrics, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the apparel industry

Detachable hoods is a key innovation area in apparel

Detachable hoods are attached to winterwear, such as jackets, using velcro adhesives and slide fasteners. Detachable hoods are becoming popular with consumers as they make garments suitable for more occasions. For instance, the consumer can wear the same jacket with a detachable hood, according to his/her need. Convenience-seeking consumers prefer such garments that offer flexibility in dressing.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established apparel companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of detachable hoods.

Key players in detachable hoods – a disruptive innovation in the apparel industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to detachable hoods

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
NIKE 27 Unlock company profile
Globeride 16 Unlock company profile
VF 11 Unlock company profile
JAPANGOATEKKUSU 11 Unlock company profile
Zhik 10 Unlock company profile
Carraro 10 Unlock company profile
DuPont de Nemours 9 Unlock company profile
Mehler Vario System 9 Unlock company profile
Original Buff 8 Unlock company profile
Leatt 7 Unlock company profile
Fast Retailing 6 Unlock company profile
Bluecher 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Some of the key players in the detachable hoods space in terms of patents filed are Nike, Globeride, VF, JapanGoatEekkusu, and Zhik. Zhik offers many types of garments such as jackets and smocks. Some of Zhik’s sailing smocks come with detachable hoods to be useful in different conditions. In 2022, Zhik launched its new CST500 jacket that consists of a hood that is re-engineered with a head-lock design. Its inner gusset that consists of a three-point fit system allows the hood to fit snug to the face, enabling continuous protection as the consumer turns his/her head.

The leading players in this market in terms of application diversity are DuPont de Nemours, Bluecher, VF, and Leatt.

JapanGoatekkusu, Globeride, Bluecher, and Mehler Vario System are the top players in this market in terms of geographic reach.

Detachable hoods allow consumers to travel through different weather conditions without carrying extra luggage. These garments are helpful for travellers, as tourism picks up.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the apparel industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Apparel.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.