Fashion industry statistics reveal that the industry is constantly changing and growing.
Different online influencers and self-proclaimed fashion gurus are swaying their followers into buying new clothes, accessories, and footwear through their unboxing videos, lookbooks, and fashion inspiration posts.
So, what is the state of the fashion industry as of now?
Keep reading to find out!
Top 10 Fashion Industry Statistics
- The US apparel market was worth $368 billion in 2019.
- The second-hand market will reach a projected $51 billion by 2023.
- China is the global leader in established e-commerce platforms.
- Australians buy, on average, 27kg (59lbs) of clothes each year.
- Every year, 85% of textiles end up in landfills.
- It takes about 2,000 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans.
- 74% of 18- to 29-year-olds prefer buying from eco-conscious brands.
- Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions.
- The industry recycles only 15% of consumer-used clothes.
- European fashion companies went from average 2 to 5 collections a year.
Global Fashion Industry Statistics
The industry constantly changing, developing, and growing. Here’s some more detailed insight into the industry as of now.
1. The US apparel market size in 2019 reached a total value of $368 billion.
What’s more, leading retailers like TJX, Macy’s, and Kohl’s accounted for approximately $20 billion in sales each.
Store-based retail brought in $268 billion, compared to e-commerce’s meager $100 million.
This proves that even though people love shopping online, they still prefer the unique experience of in-store retail.
2. Since 2014, the annual fashion industry growth rate has remained a solid 7.5%.
Like with any other industry, there are ups and downs, yet the fashion industry remains strong nevertheless.
Moreover, it’s expected that the men’s wear will be the fastest-growing market with a 16.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
On the other hand, women’s wear reached a record-high 55.7% CAGR in 2018, according to women’s clothing industry statistics.
3. The second-hand market will reach a projected $51 billion by 2023.
As fashion industry statistics for 2021 reveal, the resale trend has been steadily on the rise for the past few years, and both millennials and Gen Zers have adopted this trend twice as fast as other generations.
People want a high-quality product for much less money, so they choose pre-loved apparel.
4. The UK apparel and footwear market was expected to hit €66 billion ($71.2 billion) in 2020.
(Statista, McKinsey & Company)
The UK fashion industry statistics from 2019 show that the fashion industry has been growing steadily over the past seven years and has a bright future ahead.
Moreover, export levels are also high.
55% of the country’s luxury good makers are involved in the export of goods, alongside 63% of designers, and 10,000 EU citizens that are also employed in the industry.
5. Fashion jewelry industry statistics report that the market reached $82 billion in 2017.
Jewelry is by far the oldest form of fashion. Especially when it comes to personal style.
Being the essential accessory to all fashionistas, it’s estimated that the global jewelry market will reach a staggering $480.5 billion by 2025, due to lab-created diamonds being more common.
6. China is the global leader in established e-commerce platforms.
(McKinsey & Company)
McKinsey’s annual State of Fashion (industry) PDF report reveals that the share of Chinese sellers on Amazon with over $1 million in revenue grew from 23% to 45% in the past three years.
This puts China as the leader of online retail.
Taking into account that 70% of vendors on European Amazon websites are Chinese, this is hardly a surprise.
(McKinsey & Company)
Some fashion industry experts fear that this crisis might cause the biggest economic recession since World War II, hitting every sector.
The fashion industry is particularly vulnerable.
Between January and March 24, 2020, the average market capitalization of luxury goods, fashion wear, and apparel plummeted greatly.
Fast Fashion Industry Statistics
As merely a handful of people can afford high-quality apparel, we’re practically forced to buy fast fashion, which is designed to fall apart quickly and get consumers to spend even more money.
It’s cheap to buy, but it comes at high social and environmental costs.
8. Australians buy, on average, 27kg (59lbs) of clothes each year.
When it comes to the fashion industry, Australia statistics tell us that Ozzies are the world’s second-largest textile consumers, right behind North America.
Now, seeing how as much as two-thirds of all clothes and textiles are made from synthetic fibers — in other words, plastic — this is a great cause for concern.
9. Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions.
That’s more than maritime shipping and international flights combined.
Additionally, the ever-climbing fashion industry growth rate has also turned it into the second-largest water consumer.
10. European fashion companies went from average 2 to 5 collections a year.
Some brands are pushing this line even further.
Zara, for example, now puts out 24 collections per year, whereas H&M offers slightly less — between 12 and 16 collections.
Likewise, retail industry statistics also show that these same clothes are thrown away after only seven or eight wears.
11. Every year, 85% of textiles end up in landfills.
That is 21 billion tons of textiles per annum.
To put things into perspective, this is enough to fill the entire Sydney harbor annually.
12. It takes about 2,000 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans.
If you’re not good with numbers, let’s put it this way — 2,000 gallons of water is more than enough for one person to drink eight glasses of water every day for 10 years.
This is because jeans are made from cotton — a highly water-intensive plant.
Sustainable Fashion Industry Statistics
Reducing fashion waste and turning to more sustainable solutions is crucial not only for our budget but for the health of the entire planet.
Less textile waste means less water and air pollution, and it’s not even that hard to accomplish.
13. If we double the amount of time we wear each garment, we could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 44%.
(Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
Furthermore, if the industry started using recycled materials, GHG emissions would decrease even more.
Additionally, fashion industry pollution statistics show that if the industry used renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures, GHG emissions would decrease by a substantial amount.
14. The industry recycles only 15% of consumer-used clothes.
(The Ballance SMB)
Recycling clothes and textiles is beneficial not only for the environment but for society and the economy, as well.
Reusing old clothes and textiles is far (far) better than landfilling.
We already have the technology, all we need now is the power of will.
15. Patagonia was the first-ever brand to make polyester fleece out of plastic bottles.
If we look at fashion industry facts, we’ll see that plastic-based fibers like polyester rely on fossil fuel extraction.
Hence why Patagonia partnered up with Polartec and created the first polyester fleece from recycled plastic.
16. If the prices of clothing grew by only 1%, garment workers would have living wages.
People that make our clothes are trapped in complete poverty with no way of escaping.
Currently, 100% of garment workers are paid below the living wage, and facts on the fashion industry reveal that 9 out of 10 can’t afford enough food for themselves nor their families.
17. Zara pledged to use 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025.
(McKinsey & Company)
Luckily, besides consumers, brands are taking the initiative to save both society and the environment by turning to recycled and sustainable textiles.
Aside from Zara, H&M has also pledged to use 100% recycled or sustainable materials by 2030.
The Fashion Industry Market: Shopping Habits
Shopping habits mainly depend on the consumers’ age, gender, financial background, and professional status, yet all consumers have one thing in common — they love to shop!
18. Customers buy 60% more clothes compared to previous years but keep them for half as long.
(McKinsey & Company, McKinsey & Company)
Long gone are the days when someone wore the same sweater year after year.
Nowadays, people want to keep up with fashion trends, and fashion industry statistics highlight that, for 1 in 7 people, being photographed twice in the same outfit is seen as a fashion faux-pas.
19. 74% of 18- to 29-year-olds prefer buying from eco-conscious brands.
As people become more aware that buying pre-loved items lowers CO2 emissions by 82%, sustainability has shifted from being merely a perk to a priority.
According to fashion industry market trends, 59% of shoppers expect brands to create ethical and sustainable clothes.
20. 31% of Gen Zers would pay more for products that have a less negative impact on the environment.
(McKinsey & Company)
Younger generations are becoming increasingly aware of the consequences of fast-fashion.
As a result, they’re willing to pay more to spare humans and the environment of the negative impacts.
Additionally, 17% of Gen Xers and 26% of Millennials are also willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.
Fashion Industry Statistics on Diversity
For years, diversity in the fashion industry meant occasionally putting a non-white model on a fashion magazine cover.
However, both consumers and workers are pressuring the industry to treat diversity and inclusion as a top priority.
21. Two-thirds of shoppers will boycott, avoid, or switch a brand because of its stands on societal issues.
(McKinsey & Company)
Global clothing industry statistics indicate that consumer backlash is brutal.
Over 50% of 21- to 27-year-olds in the US believe that brands need to take responsibility and address wider societal issues, or they’ll take their business elsewhere.
22. Across fashion companies, there are seven male CEOs for every one female CEO.
(McKinsey & Company)
The fashion industry needs to live up to the message that they’re sending, and this means implementing diversity in fashion companies first.
Fashion industry employment statistics show that Adidas, for example, has less than 5% of the workforce that identifies as black.
In this female-dominated industry, only one woman is a chief executive for every seven male chief executives.
23. The number of models of color on the runways rose to almost 40% from 2015 to 2019, according to the latest fashion modeling industry statistics.
(McKinsey & Company)
Representation in the fashion industry is improving for the better.
The diversity among runway models has grown from 17% to almost 40%, and brands have also started using models of all sizes and ages.
How much is the fashion industry worth?
The demand for clothes and footwear is on the rise, so it’s estimated that the global apparel market reached $1.5 trillion by the end of 2020.
How much is the fast fashion industry worth?
Fast fashion is available to the majority of people on the planet and its worth reached $35 billion in 2018.
Which is the largest fashion company?
LVMH, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, is currently the largest fashion company in the world.
Fashion industry sales statistics reveal that this French conglomerate’s annual revenues made a record €42.6 billion ($46 billion) in 2017.
The company itself was valued at about €122 billion ($132 billion).
The second-largest company is the US-based Nike, with $34.4 billion in revenue, and a $105 billion market value.
Who are the biggest consumers of fast fashion?
Young women are the biggest consumers of fast fashion. As statistics reveal, one in three young women consider garments worn once or twice to be old.
What can I do to reduce fashion waste?
The fashion industry and pollution are closely linked, as we have seen, but everyone can contribute to reducing waste and pollution by making simple changes such as these:
- Swap clothes with friends and family when you no longer want to wear something.
- Shop smart: shop at thrift stores, or buy from ethical and sustainable brands.
- Focus on your style: don’t buy clothes just because they’re trendy or on sales.
- Rent, reuse, recycle: don’t buy an outfit just for one occasion, rent one, or reuse clothes you already have. And when you’re done with them, recycle.
- Choose quality over quantity: quality items will last for longer and save you money.
These fashion industry statistics perhaps highlight the not-so-pretty side of fashion, but that’s just the current state of the industry.
Nevertheless, the aim of this list is not to make you feel guilty for buying fast fashion or spending your own money but to show you that there are ways to make this industry great again.
So, go on, Marie Kondo your closet, swap and recycle what you don’t wear, and raise awareness of the fashion industry for the good of us all!