Identifying the global fashion industry statistics is dizzying to imagine the impressive power of this seemingly endless collection of apparel items. So let’s find out what you should know about this promising industry!
It could be overwhelming just to count the existing items in closets worldwide. That’s why the fashion industry is such an extensive, unique, and profitable business. But it’s not just about how we always feel obsessed about shopping.
Though massive and lucrative, the apparel market has been environmentally damaging. It’s hard to put a research summary to find out all aspects of the global fashion industry. However, we’ve gathered all the most interesting trends and facts according to many sources to understand well what this industry brings to the world economy.
Before we start, let’s have a look at the takeaways you need to check out before diving deeper into this study:
- The global fashion industry is valued at nearly $1.7 trillion as of 2022.
- The global fashion market hit 6.2% in 2020.
- The fashion industry is responsible for 2% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- The fashion market in the United States hit 12.4% in 2022.
- The US fashion industry is valued at roughly $369.39 billion.
- The UK’s fashion segment revenue reached $51.47bn in 2022.
- The British fashion market is valued at under 55 billion British pounds.
But what are the most interesting global fashion industry statistics?
We have something for you too. Let’s see!
- Womenswear ranks globally as the best-selling apparel section; its 2022 revenue is estimated at $888.60 billion.
- The global fast fashion market introduced a 12.32% down in 2020.
- Companies that promote diversity achieve 19% higher profits than those that don’t.
- 36% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennial consumers prefer buying “environmentally friendly” and “sustainable” items.
- ASOS is the most popular fast fashion app among UK consumers, while Boohoo is the most used in the US.
- The fashion industry has been accused of generating a lot of greenhouse gas emissions (accountable for 8% to 10%).
- The professional models in the UK earn an average salary of £40,000–£50,000 per year and $84,000 in the US.
- In the sparing 2021 season, 41.3% of nonwhite models presented different brands.
- Click Model Management gives the highest average salaries to models— reaching $211,625.
- The biggest brand value is Nike, amounting to $36.8 billion, followed by Louis Vuitton.
Global Fashion Industry Statistics: General Numbers
We break these statistics into different scopes to make it easier for you to disgust the information. So, we start with some general statistics before separating them into more specific areas.
The Labour Force Works in the Fashion Industry
“The fashion industry employs over 300 million people worldwide, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.” – Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “Fashion Industry Charter for Sustainability,” 2019.
“The fashion industry is a major economic driver, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year.” – Source: The World Bank, “The Fashion Industry: A Global Economic Force,” 2017.
“It is also a labour-intensive industry, with a large number of people employed in all aspects of the supply chain.” – Source: The International Labour Organization, “The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Sector: A Global Overview,” 2018.
In the United States:
“The fashion industry employs over 1.8 million people in the United States, according to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States.” – Source: Joint Economic Committee of the United States, “The Economic Impact of the Fashion Industry,” 2019.
“This number includes people who work in all aspects of the fashion industry, from design to manufacturing to retail.” – Source: The Fashion Industry Guild, “The Fashion Industry in the United States,” 2018.
“The fashion industry employs over 1.3 million people in Europe, according to Euratex.” – Source: Euratex, “The European Textile and Clothing Industry: Facts & Key Figures 2022,” 2022.
“This number includes people who work in all aspects of the fashion industry, from raw material production to manufacturing to retail.” – Source: The European Commission, “The Textile and Clothing Industry in Europe,” 2019.
Global Retail Fashion Sales Statistics
Global retail sales were expected to reach $48.2 trillion in 2023, up from $45.8 trillion in 2022. “Global Retail Sales to Reach $48.2 Trillion in 2023,” Statista, 2023.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the fastest-growing retail market, with sales expected to reach $21.7 trillion in 2023. “Asia-Pacific Retail Market to Grow at 7.4% CAGR from 2022 to 2027,” Grand View Research, 2022.
The United States is the largest retail market in the world, with sales expected to reach $6.3 trillion in 2023. “U.S. Retail Sales to Reach $6.3 Trillion in 2023,” Statista, 2023.
The European Union is the third-largest retail market in the world, with sales expected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2023. “European Union Retail Market to Grow at 4.5% CAGR from 2022 to 2027,” Grand View Research, 2022.
US Consumers Are the Heaviest Buyers in the World
According to the Joint Economic Committee, customers in the US spent approximately $380 billion on footwear and apparel.
Regarding per capita spending, the country that consumes the most fashion products is the US, where the average amount that every household member spends on shoes and clothing on average $819.
In 2019, the US purchased approximately 17 billion apparel units based on a report by the State of US Textile and Apparel Manufacturing. However, we can not overlook another huge fashion consumer, China, where approximately 40 billion units were purchased in 2017.
But it is still below the average as per capita clothing spending is about $257.
Asian and Western Regions are the Most Extensive Markets in Fashion
The fashion industry continues to achieve positive growth, especially in the Western and Asian regions (emerging markets) and some European areas.
Regarding the Asian market exclusively, it was expected to have a 38% share of the entire apparel demand in the past year, according to Statista.
The Average Fashion Designer Makes Around $25 per hour
The fashion industry presents many job opportunities, running from design to publicity, marketing, styling, and retail. Most of which offer a really well-paid job.
On that note, if you’re wondering what the highest-paying fashion jobs are, the answer goes to design directors.
Absolutely right, Indeed reported that design directors make around $8.400 per month or $100,663 per year as their only base salary— not to mention gifts, bonuses, and other incentives.
As Much as 15kg (33 pounds) of Textile is Wasted in Europe Only
It’s one of the shocking statistics by Statista. That’s why fast fashion presents a critical ecological problem for the entire planet.
Namely, clothing products manufactured so rapidly. The main goal of almost all factors is producing more, not the best. Hence, a few problems arise. The quantity is enormous. The quality is low. So, we consume more.
For instance, fashion waste statistics announce that most discarded textiles never get recycled and end up in landfills, which is not the best environmentally friendly approach we should take.
Instead, it makes the problem more complicated.
Beyoncé Was the First Singer to Call for Diversity
Kering was one of the brands that responded to Beyoncé’s call for brand diversity. By 2018, 56% of managerial positions were run by women, 33% filled the executive committee, and a whopping 64% of Kering’s board of directors were women.
Amancio Ortega Has a Net Worth of 81.5 billion.
This Spanish businessman is one of the world’s wealthiest clothing retailers and the co-founder Zara fashion chain- and now he owns 69% of Amancio Ortega.
According to Forbes, this tycoon owns eight big brands like Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear and has more than 7.500 stores worldwide under his administration.
The Fashion Ecommerce Industry Fashion is Worth $759.5
E-commerce is overgrowing, no doubt about that. And while some people don’t feel comfortable when shopping for something they don’t try in a fitting room, the majority enjoy it.
Not just that, Common Thread Collective reported that It’s forecasted to be worth over $1.002 trillion by 2025.
For instance, accessories, footwear, and apparel are the number one e-commerce sector around the world.
Regarding which country dominates the market, China has the lion’s share with the highest revenue in the fashion industry – $284.3 billion, followed by the US ($126.5 billion), then the UK ($32.5 billion), Japan ($23.9 billion), and, finally, Germany ($22.5 billion).
The 1# Fashion Company is LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
However, Nike has a total revue worldwide of 47.23 billion, representing a growth of 19%. The #1 fashion company is LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton— which defines what fashion is all about.
The Tuition Fee for the London College of Fashion will Set You Back $3,616 Per Year
You can find many institutions to study fashion, but the London College of Fashion is the most reputable place to start your fashion path.
Otherwise, you can pay $2,645.00 per semester for the Fashion Institute of Technology based in New York City for US residents and $7,935.00 per semester for others, which is relatively high.
The Global Fast Market Showed a -12.32% Down in 2020
According to global fashion industry statistics in 2019, the fast fashion market was worth $35.8 billion. However, based on a report by GlobeNewswire, this market witnessed a dramatic decrease, making it worth less than 31.4 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic.
However, on a positive note, it’s forecasted that the market will recover by 2023, hitting a CAGR growth of 6.7%, totalling $38.21 billion.
Global Fashion Industry Statistics By Sectors
As we see, the global fashion industry is ever-evolving and dynamic. As a result, it is constantly changing with the latest trends and styles, which affects the market size.
Let’s see what this industry will tell you if we separate it by sectors:
- The women’s apparel segment has an estimated revenue of $804 billion.
- The women’s clothing segment is expected to grow by 4.81% annually.
- Since 2015, the women’s clothing market has grown thanks to e-commerce platforms. Women consumers have been positively influenced by the convenient shopping these platforms provide.
- The men’s apparel market has a value of $483 million as of 2018.
- The value of the menswear segment is projected to rise by $740.8 million by 2025.
- The value of the children’s wear market amounted to $169 billion in 2018.
- The children’s clothing market is forecasted to hit $239 billion by 2023.
- The bridal gown market totalled approximately $32.5 billion.
- The bridal attire market is expected to reach $61.1 billion, rising by $69.9 billion in 2026 and growing 3.9% over the analysis period.
(Source: Research and Markets & GlobeNewswire)
Global Fashion Industry Statistics By Companies
To have a broad picture, more than 3000 billion garment and textile companies are coming to the market daily. However, most of these companies are still unknown to the bigger part of consumers. Even though they absolutely impact the world’s economy and thrive in the community and circle.
Based on global industry statistics, Louis Vuitton has a global revenue of $46.91 billion in the first nine months of 2021, followed by the Christian Dior Group, a tight competitor with almost the same revenue with a market value of $194 billion and assets worth more than $108 billion. The group is run by the French billionaire Bernard Arnault.
All these numbers make the brand the 73rd largest publicly traded company in the world.
Meanwhile, the shoemaker Adidas also has an advanced rank among the top 400, hitting more than $25 billion in sales, according to Fashion Innovative.
Canada-based Luluelmon comes in the 1209th on the overall list, with a similar rank to last year, recording approximately $4 billion in sales. The brand has a strong balance sheet, with some analysts expecting the company might do better than before the pandemic.
But what are the top 10 biggest fashion companies?
Based on Companys Market Cap, we have narrowed them down to this list; let’s see:
- LVMH ($362.15 B)
- Nike ($181.88 B)
- Dior ($130.04 B)
- TJX Companies ($91.86 B)
- Inditex ($82.77 B)
- Fast Retailing ($61.07 B)
- Ross Stores ($39.76 B)
- Luluelmon Athletica ($39.72 B)
- Adidas ($24.37 B)
- H&M ($17.51 B)
Global Fashion Industry Statistics: History and Future
- The mass production of clothing started in the mid-nineteenth century, specifically when garment manufacturers found that pieces could be made without personal fittings.
- The first fashion designer in the globe was Charles Frederick Worth, a prestigious English dressmaker within the half of the ninth century.
- The global fashion market is projected to have an annual growth rate of 5.5% in 2025.
Fashion Industry Statistics: Job Market
The fashion industry employs professionals in many positions ranging from the highest technical level and training to those with a creative sense without even a degree.
Fashion designers are among the highest-paid employees in the apparel industry. The creative roles of the sector earn an average of $78,870 annually. This force is concentrated in apparel industries such as wholesale merchandising and manufacturing.
However, employment in the industry still contains traditional occupations associated with apparel manufacturing, such as collecting, sewing machine operating, tailoring, textile machine operating, packaging, and so.
Furthermore, the job market in this sector is vast. It ranges from the people who idealise the pieces to those who organise the production, take care of distribution processes, and handle communication and advertising tasks.
Not to mention other non-direct opportunities, such as fashion journalists and other agents who contribute to the constitution of the fashion industry as we know it.
However, there is a meaningful discussion concerning workers’ health, especially those making clothing.
Yes, the fashion market creates a bunch of opportunities. But, undeniably, there is an apparent denunciation of workers falling into the trap of unbelievable stress in sweatshops worldwide.
Yet another problem is using cheap, even child, labour to develop said products fasted with fewer costs.
Global Fashion Industry Statistics: Environment Implications
Some parts of our modern life are widely known to accuse environmental damage at some point. From using disposable plastic items to polluting water, flying overseas, and even driving to and from work, you can write down an endless list of how our planet is suffering in silence.
But when it comes to who our daily clothes double this harm, the impacts might be less obvious.
For example, the circle of shopping is itself not healthy for our environment.
As consumers worldwide buy more, the growing market for cheap items is taking a toll on the environment— even we can’t seemingly notice it. We’ll want new styles. On average, we purchased 60% more garments in 2014 than in 2000.
- Fashion production makes up around 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, causing more complicated problems such as drying water sources and polluting streams and rivers.
- These emissions are more than maritime shipping and international flights put together.
- The apparel and textile market is the second-biggest consumer of the world’s water supply.
- It takes 3.781 litres of water to manufacture jeans from start to finish. Producing a single pair of jeans generates around 33.4 kilograms of carbon equivalent. As simpler as it sounds, as harmful as it is. That’s why the fashion industry uses nearly 93 billion cubic meters per year.
- 85% of all textiles end up in the trash every year, which is enough to fill Sydney harbour yearly.
- 57% of all discarded apparel eventually makes its way to the dump.
- The equivalent of one trash truck filled with discarded clothes is either dumped in waste or burned every second.
- In Europe, fashion organisations went from an average offering of two collections annually in 2000 to five in 2011. Some brands offer even more. For instance, Zara puts 24 exhibitions per year, while H&M launches between 12 and 16.
- Synthetic materials in clothing account for 35% of all plastic microfibers thrown into the ocean. These types of synthetic materials are used to lower the overall cost of production to double profits for clothing manufacturers.
- Materials used in manufacturing also produce more carbon emissions, like cotton, taking a long time to degrade. If these compound items eventually break down in the ocean, it becomes toxic substance that distress the aquatic ecosystem.
Eventually, if the sector continues on its current trajectory, global fashion industry statistics show that the share of carbon could jump to 26% by 2020.
(Source: World Economic Forum)
Fashion Industry Statistics in the UK
The retail market in the United Kingdom has faced many challenges over the last months and years for many reasons. Still, we can focus on these— the coronavirus pandemic causing supply chain issues and, more recently, rising energy, inflation, and sourcing costs.
Also, the apparel manufacturing market in Great Britain has seen a lot of changes recently.
Here are some facts you need to know:
- Clothing retailing in the UK market in 2022 was valued at $40.8 billion.
- Global fashion industry statistics showed that the UK market growth is 24.7% in 2022
- The market size of the fashion retailing industry in the UK has reduced by 2.6% per year on average during the last five years.
- The apparel market’s revenue in the UK was projected to be just under $66 billion, marginally less than the previous year.
- The market is projected to recover, reaching more than $78 billion by 2026.
- Women’s apparel generates higher revenues than men’s and children’s.
- The value of retail clothing sales in Great Britain rose by nearly 12% in 2021
- Many well-known brands and retailers in the UK market are generating billions of dollars and taking a high position among other global brands, including high street retailers like Next and Primark and online shops like ASOS.
- Growth in internet clothing sales has been booming, accelerated by store closures and national lockdowns during the pandemic.
- E-commerce is projected to account for 60% of total apparel sales in the UK in 2025.
- Despite the number of apparel manufacturing enterprises growing over the last few years, the annual turnover of this industry in the UK has steadily fallen since 2015.
- The value of clothing exports from the UK fell dramatically in 2021, reaching just over 4.8 billion dollars, with exports to the EU worth less than half the year before.
- Revenue in the fashion segment is estimated to hit $51.47bn in 2022, showing an annual growth rate of 11.60%, resulting in a market volume of $89.09bn by 2027.
- Approximately 4,433 employees are working in the textile manufacturing industry in the UK.
- The design industry offered around 171,000 jobs in 2019 in the United Kingdom, making it one of the most challenging creative sectors to find a job.
- Over 5.500 fashion designers currently live in the UK, and many designers have chosen to settle here because of the quality of education and innovation support.
- On average, a fashion designer makes $32.748 a year in the UK, earning $10 to $24 an hour without bonuses which are pretty common in the industry.
- The coronavirus pandemic inspired 28% of the British to reuse and recycle their clothes. The pandemic has changed the fashion and beauty industry, as 28% of the correspondent of a survey said they started using reused clothes, whereas 35% of women plan to sop fewer clothes in the future.
Global Fashion Industry Trends in 2023
The previous data offer a wealth of growth opportunities for apparel and fashion retailers- despite the huge shifts in global trade, consumer behaviour, and even our normal day-to-day lives for millions around the globe.
Due to the pandemic, increasing inflation rate, and other factors, you can assume that people might stop shopping- which is not precisely the case.
Instead, many trends have been evolving, and we expect to see more!
Below are some of the recent e-commerce trends that you can work into your future fashion sales and marketing strategy.
- Explore more about the metaverse
- Customisation is a balancing act
- Social commerce
- Brand-building over paid ads
- Sustainability at the forefront
- Reevaluating brick-and-mortar business
Yes, the market might witness some transition back to old schools mixing with high-tech models.
But what does it mean for you as a business owner?
Here, we will talk more about what you should consider in your long-term plan based on global fashion industry statistics.
The Rise of Reselling
Well, secondhand appeal has become a global phenomenon. It might happen because of the reasons above (inflation and the reduction of production during the lockdown)- or it might be for an environmental aspect.
Anyway, the resale market grew 24% in 2022 alone and is projected to reach a $218 billion market value by 2026, based on a report generated by ThredUp.
The same report showed that secondhand displaced nearly one billion new clothing purchases during 2021 that generally would have been bought new.
How has it started?
North American consumers are leading this trend, where the used apparel market has grown nearly eight times faster than the overall apparel market.
And now it’s booming thanks to technology and online marketplaces, as 70% of consumers are saying it’s easier now to shop secondhand than before- say, five years ago.
Not just that, fashion brands are taking notice to take a position in this emerging market. For example, Dôen, a California-based premium fashion and beauty brand, is launching a new release program, Hand Me Dôen. This program will enable customers to send in pre-owned Dôen products in exchange for points or store credit.
Not just that, Dôen will launch flash sales throughout the year when collecting enough resoled products. In addition, the mega-store hosts other events to embrace this trend with the goal of not making resold items available all the time to prevent customers from checking out the site and finding all pieces already picked over.
Also, one of the fast fashion stores, Shein, launched a resale platform to respond to criticism about its labour practices. Some experts find this move is a wake to react against negative claims— which is great! But others are sceptical about the fashion manufacturer and believe it’s simply an absurd way for the company to greenwash its reputation.
Anyway, it remains to be seen as a friendly initiative, and we will explore whether fast fashion brands will continue to capitalise on the resale market with the same momentum as premium and luxury brands. However, one thing is 100 per cent sure: the resale market is coming to stay, and it will get bigger.
More Brands Book a Place at Metaverse
Metaverse is more than just a virtual world where we will communicate through avatars. Actually, the definition is open to interpretation.
The not-quiet-ultimately-defined promise of an entire virtual society remains in development. However, the idea is that people will be able to conduct daily activities such as playing games, connecting with friends, travelling everywhere, and, most importantly, purchasing products for actual cash.
One type of item will function both in and out of metaverse daily transactions, non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
They are unique digital tokens that will be the only currency there owned by one person- usually paid for virtual operations like crypto.
And don’t think it will be in the far future.
Not at all!
Based on global fashion industry statistics, $87.03 million was spent on NFTs in January 2022 alone.
This world will build upon augmented reality (AR) combined with virtual reality (VR) concepts.
Brands in the new era have a real challenge to experiment with this fantastical world.
Celebrities like Resse Witherspoon commented sarcastically about the whole situation, saying, “in the (near) future, every person will have a parallel digital identity!”
Yes, we will! We will have avatars like us, crypto wallets, and digital goods. It will be the norm.
In terms of what brands should make to be ready for the future, Kevin Doa, co-founder of ORO LA, said, “we’re helping customer image. We want them to imagine being the man in every picture.”
Brands should be stuck with it in everything we’re usually doing. Fashion brands need to imagine how to be virtual stylists for users and how they could wear those clothes to show up in their unreal space.
It has started for a while; fitness apparel brands like Under Armour have launched their new payment method to experiment with NFTs in the retail space.
Digital NFTs were announced alongside the physical product launch.
Owners of the NFTs could virtually wear Armour shoes in three metaverses: The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Gala Games.
Fast-fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing also lastly started offering products on virtual models. The brand recently posted the news to its Instagram page, announcing its new “avatar in the metaverse” concept to take a seat among its competition to spark conversation.
Fashion companies are using Roblox to create an immersive user experience and reach a new Gen Z audience.
That is just the beginning for the fashion industry in the metaverse. Since our world is becoming more and more digitised, we’ll probably see even more companies officially use NFTs and be part of other virtual reality experiences.
And we love to conclude it in Doa’s words, “we’re not so much curating content as curating imagination.”
There is no more exciting time to be a fashion fan than this moment, and we can’t wait to experience what brands come up with for our virtual appearance.
Investing in Social Commerce
Social media dominates the e-commerce marketing strategy of many online fashion companies. As a result, it plays a leading role in directing our purchasing decisions.
That’s hardly surprising; we all are dedicated to our smartphones- sometimes, it might be out of control.
Data shows that the typical social media user spends about 15% of their waking life browsing online networking apps.
We are glued to the screen, which is an unmissable chance for brands.
However, the truth is: social media is no longer the best place for shoppers to find out about fashion trends.
Many social media platforms develop different business models to meet brands’ needs and facilitate in-app shopping. It helps online readers actively get their customers and push them through the sales funnel by designing a purchasing frame of mind.
Social commerce sales are most likely to nearly triple by 2025, taking into consideration that more than one-third of Facebook users desire to place their order directly through the platform in 2022.
Unfortunately, most brands are not ready yet for this step.
A single sin plagues them, as Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media, described.
If you have a look at the advertising ways optimised by brands, you can see all of them go under a thin layer of entertainment or information.
They need to find out new ways for social commerce. Thankfully, fashion and social media can be matched beautifully to make an e-commerce heaven. It’s a place for branded content, especially on Instagram.
Regarding the global fashion industry statistics, social media engagement rates for brands are abysmal; let’s have a look at Statista’s findings:
- Instagram: 0.68%
- Facebook: 0.03%
- Twitter: 0.03%
It’s horrible, right?
So, what types of content are working for fashion companies?
Based on video marketing statistics, 46% of consumers prefer to watch product videos before they make a purchase. That’s why platforms like Instagram and TikTok are praised for driving sales even for big fashion brand names since shoppers can visualise the product and see what it looks like on a real person.
Another tip: brands should rely more on social media influencer marketing— but they should be picky and choose who people trust.
Customisation of the Customer Journey
Customisation has long been hailed as the core of modern e-commerce. By showing items a buyer was previously interested in or retargeting them based on users’ activities, like websites they have visited recently, you have powerful information to use for a tailored online shopping experience. That will be enough to convince them to buy from you.
Based on a survey by Shopify, 44% of users are ok with brands if they retarget them using personal information for more customised messaging and enhancing the shopping experience— such as product recommendations and marketing emails.
But wait? Too much personalisation is not what we’re talking about. It seems creepy most of the time, and online shoppers have become more concerned about privacy.
It’s a fine line that some brands overpass by over-personalising, and the result is a nightmare: abandoned by shoppers.
So, the challenge faced by more brands now is to balance between under and over-customisation to remain competitive— something as simple as pricing in local currencies and offering local product shipping.
The global fashion industry is a dominating force in today’s market. Its statistics demonstrate its immense growth and the potential for further success. Small enterprises and start-ups can take advantage of these trends in the fashion industry by being creative and mindful of their resources.
Apparel organisations can succeed in the fashion market by focusing on their target audience, checking out new technologies, and staying ahead of the competition.
Need any help with your marketing strategy on how to run a successful fashion business?
Contact us now!