Do you enjoy shopping for clothes? If so, you might find these fashion industry statistics to be an eye-opener.
New York, London, Milan, and Paris—all of these cities embody the glamorous fashion weeks. Everything about the runways and fashion shows speaks glitz, style, and perfection. But behind the glamour and the limelight, the industry has a warped side that many people turn a blind eye on.
So we’ve scoured the internet to give you the latest available statistics about the industry that will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly side of the business.
Surprising Fashion Industry Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- Fashion executives project a 20% growth in online businesses this 2021.
- 39% of fashion experts expect the luxury sector to get worse this year.
- American women aged 35 to 44 spend an average of $960 on clothes each year.
- Women wear only 20-30% of their clothes in their wardrobe.
- Ten million tons of clothes are sent to landfills every year.
- 23% of all chemicals produced in the world are used in the textile industry.
- An average American dumps 81.5 pounds of clothes annually.
- The fashion industry is the source of 8% to 10% of carbon emissions.
General Apparel Industry Statistics
1. The global apparel and footwear market is projected to rack up to $3.3 trillion by 2030.
The sportswear market has hugely contributed to the growth of the global apparel business. In fact, in 2019, it was a $265 billion market, with Nike alone generating over $39 billion in revenue. The pandemic has restricted people from traveling, but on another side, it has spurred people to consider living an active lifestyle—one that includes all forms of physical activities. The intention may have led to multiple purchases of shoes, shirts, and other athletic wear in 2020.
Impressive clothing industry statistics forecasted that by 2030, the global apparel and footwear market would hit $3.3 trillion.
2. 71% of fashion experts project a 20% or more growth in online businesses in 2021.
During the pandemic, digital adoption happened in a flash. Some businesses were quick in pivoting their strategies to fit the online market. Fashion brands that were able to adapt to the abrupt change in demands are most likely to stay in the game as the rest are closing down. Fashion industry sales statistics state that brands with digital channels will gain at least 20% revenue this year.
3. The fashion market revenue will roll in at $759 billion in 2021.
Thousands of both small and major fashion retailers suffered a substantial loss last year. The underlying cause was that clothing items became the least priority, while people’s need for food and other equally essential commodities has multiplied.
Nike Inc., for example, has lost $790 million in revenue, and it's just one of the thousands of companies that have taken a massive toll from the pandemic. But despite the grim situation, the current outlook for the fashion industry is still positive. As economies worldwide start to pick up the pace, the fashion industry growth rate will also begin to recoup and is expected to exhibit a 7.2% annual growth.
4. In 2020, the decline in the worldwide personal luxury goods market was between 20% to 35%.
During the first quarter of 2020, the luxury industry fell by 25%. It was further declared that the luxury sector could end up with a significant drop between 20% to 35%, driven by challenges associated with the pandemic.
The rapid shift to online channels has helped minimize the economic impact in the fashion industry, including luxury brands. According to fashion industry statistics, recovery will not happen until 2022 or 2023. Nevertheless, the overall industry evaluation is still looking optimistic.
5. 45% of fashion executives identify COVID-19 as the biggest challenge, and 30% see going digital as the biggest opportunity in 2021.
A group of fashion executives and stakeholders believe COVID-19 to be the biggest challenge the industry will face in 2021. On the other hand, fashion industry facts also reveal that 30% of experts see digitalization as a key opportunity to bounce back from losses.
6. 39% of fashion executives expect the condition of the luxury segment to get worse this 2021.
The pandemic has transformed people’s buying behavior. Consumers are holding up buying luxury goods, and the effect of this has been apparent in the current state of the luxury segment.
To add, 39% of the fashion experts expect the condition of luxury fashion brands to get worse this year. Meanwhile, 31% were hopeful that things would get better.
Women's Clothing Industry Statistics
Women’s wear is a huge market that millions of fashion brands capitalize on. Compared to men, women are expected to project a better physical appearance by wearing new and fashionable clothes.
7. Women's fashion industry will register a CAGR of 4.7% until 2025.
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the women's fashion industry is attributed to several factors. Some of them include women empowerment, the increase in women workforce, and the rapidly evolving women fashion trend.
Interesting fashion industry employment statistics associate the rising employment rate of women with the growth of the women’s fashion segment. As more women get jobs, the spending on clothing and other women’s products is also amplifying.
8. The women's apparel industry is predicted to hit over $165.4 billion in 2021.
In fashion, men and women are two opposite poles. Unlike men, women are more physically conscious creatures. They click the checkout button as soon as they see the newest line of clothes online.
No wonder that revenue in women's fashion has been increasing, except last year where it took a plunge from $187.8 billion in 2019 to only $133.6 billion in 2020. Nonetheless, the US apparel market size for women is projected to expand to $165.4 billion this year.
9. American women aged 35 to 44 spend an average of $960 yearly for clothing—the highest among all age groups.
Trends in women's fashion have always been more volatile than in the men’s industry. Generally speaking, men can wear the same suit more often than women, who are expected to have varying sets of work wardrobes. These are just a few factors contributing to an expensive price tag on women's apparel, leading them to spend more.
Surprising money spent on clothes statistics cited that women aged 35 to 44 are the highest spenders in clothing. On average, they spend $960 every year on clothes that fill their wardrobe.
10. Women wear only 20-30% of the clothes in their wardrobes.
Most clothes sold in the US are made abroad, and they are way cheaper than clothes made in the country. To be more precise, it is estimated that the percentage of clothing made in the USA is only about 2%, and the rest are imported from other countries with the cheaper labor force.
The cheaper price tags are one reason why women can afford to buy new sets of clothes regularly and toss aside older wardrobe pieces. Due to this buying cycle, only about 20-30% of women's clothes are used. What’s staggering is that people wear clothes only up to seven times before getting rid of them.
Fashion Jewelry Industry Statistics
A necklace, ring, or pair of earrings are absolute must-haves for fashionable people. They complement the overall look and make the wearer feel confident. Let’s take a glimpse at some fascinating jewelry industry stats.
11. By 2027, the costume jewelry market will reach $59.7 billion.
Many women are obsessed with costume jewelry as the pieces are more fashionable but affordable compared to fine jewelry. An elegant-looking necklace can complete the overall outfit-of-the-day for women. For men, wearing costume jewelry leaves a stylish impression. The love for costume jewelry will lead to tremendous market growth.
Even in 2019, the costume jewelry market was worth $32.9 billion. Fashion industry statistics 2020 projected that the costume jewelry market would increase by 7.8% annually. Furthermore, it’s expected to reach $59.7 billion in 2027.
12. The global jewelry market will be worth $291.7 billion in 2025.
While costume jewelry is set to hit a remarkable figure by 2027, the global jewelry market is showing impressive numbers, too. In 2019, the market’s value was $229.3 billion. Fashion industry trends predict that by 2025, the worldwide jewelry market will skyrocket to $291.7 billion.
The growing adoption of wearing jewelry in men and the changing consumer lifestyle are the most notable factors that will expand the market.
13. Spendings on jewelry in the last quarter of 2020 reached a whopping $73 billion.
It seems that the impact of the pandemic in the jewelry market is short-lived. The US fashion industry statistics disclosed that consumer spending on jewelry scaled to over $73 billion in the third quarter of 2020. In comparison, it’s nearly two times the spending in the second quarter.
Amidst the pandemic, fine jewelry is selling. It turns out that some people decided to spend their travel money on jewelry, which made the market bounce back from the losses at an incredible pace.
Fast Fashion Industry Statistics
In the late 1990s, fast fashion entered the industry. Companies marketed trendier clothes at a more affordable price. People bought the idea of fast fashion immediately as it meets the demands for runway-like clothes.
14. Today, 400% more clothes are produced than 20 years ago.
While producing more clothes sounds attractive to consumers, things are not that great. For instance, the issue of underpaid workers is nothing new in the industry and is just one of the many faces of fast fashion.
Fashion industry facts revealed that the number of clothes created today is four times higher than 20 years ago. While it’s critical to keep their customers hyped up through “fast” fashion, finding the balance between business and social responsibility is equally essential.
15. The fast fashion market is expected to recover by 2023 and will reach $38.21 billion.
Analysts previously projected that the largest clothing retailers that made up the fast fashion market would see a tremendous 12.32% decline. Some of the big names in the market include Zara (Inditex), Fast Retailing (Uniqlo), and H&M Group. Despite the plunge, the fast fashion market would break even and reach $38.21 billion in 2023, securing a 6.7% CAGR annually.
16. On average, 700,000 tons of used clothes get exported, and 10 million tons are sent to landfills.
Many people would agree that fast fashion is the reason why the entire fashion industry is considered a major polluter in the world. Countless fashion market research, analysis, and trends were published to encourage people to rethink fast fashion, mainly due to its effect on the environment.
Retailers like Forever 21, Zara, H&M are making clothes week after week. While spoiling people with options for cheaper yet trendy clothes seems a good idea, these clothes contribute to destroying the environment. In reality, 10 million tons of used clothes are sent to landfills, and only 700,000 tons are exported.
Fashion Industry Pollution Statistics
The environmental impact of the fashion industry is well-known. Despite some companies having pledged to use more sustainable materials in creating clothes, there’s still a long way for real changes to happen.
17. The fashion industry is responsible for 8% to 10% of carbon emissions globally.
People love buying and wearing new clothes. We hail fashion brands and manufacturers for making our favorite everyday clothes at affordable prices. Everything would be perfect if the industry wasn’t accountable for up to 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, according to fashion retail industry statistics.
Apart from that, it's also the second largest industry that consumes water the most, generating nearly 20% of the world's wastewater and releasing several tons of synthetic fibers every day that destroy the ocean.
18. An average American throws away approximately 81.5 pounds of clothes annually.
Textile recycling hasn't garnered the level of popularity as plastics, glass, and paper do. Currently, it’s not a well-explored concept.
The US retail industry statistics specified that each American throws away 81.5 pounds of clothing, translating to over 11 million tons of textile waste in just one year. Can you imagine the amount of toxic chemicals this waste brings to the environment? Unfortunately, the idea of textile recycling is still not as popular, and so people continue to buy clothes that produce more waste and harm to the environment.
19. Fashion industry stats divulge that 23% of all chemicals produced in the world are used in the textile industry.
Did you know that you need 1 kilogram of chemicals to produce 1 kilogram of textile? Precisely 23% or over 3,000 different chemicals used in the world go into your jeans, shirts, robes, and other garments.
This is why some people develop allergic reactions to particular clothing. Glues, dyes, tanning agents, and chemical additives used in garment processing cause allergic contact dermatitis for other wearers.
Sustainable Fashion Statistics
Over the years, the number of people participating in reforming the current fashion industry has grown. We can’t expect to see immediate change, but the cooperation of some brands is a good indication that the industry is transforming.
20. The global ethical fashion market is projected to reach $8.2 million in 2023.
Since 2015, the ethical fashion market has been growing at a steady rate of 8.7%, hitting $6.3 billion in 2019. As a matter of fact, the sustainable fashion market size is expected to expand to $8.2 million in 2023 at a stable rate of 6.8% and nearly $10 billion in 2025 at a 9.1% growth rate.
Social media and government initiatives have been instrumental in spreading awareness for ethical fashion.
21. By product materials, the organic segment is projected to have the fastest growth at 16.2%.
The ethical fashion market is divided into four segments: product, type, end-user, and geography. Sustainable products can either be organic, man-made or regenerated, natural, and recycled.
Among the four, the fashion industry revenue for the organic segment will demonstrate the fastest growth at a CAGR of 16.2%. This implies that the fashion market will use more organic alternatives to produce clothes, like wool or silk.
22. 52% of consumers want the fashion industry to be more sustainable.
A commissioned survey revealed insights about sustainability and how people feel about it. Out of 2,000 respondents from the US and UK, more than half declared that they want the fashion industry to be more sustainable. Moreover, the concept of retail sustainability is a little higher in men at 55% than women at 50%.
23. Fashion industry advertising statistics shared that 32% of consumers prefer to pay more for sustainable clothing.
Not only is sustainable fashion good for the environment, but some fashion brands also capitalize the concept as part of their marketing to get more supporters. Today, approximately three out of ten consumers would rather pay more for sustainable clothes from ethical brands.
On top of this, 43% of consumers want fashion brands to be more aggressive in marketing or showing sustainable products.
Global Fashion Industry Statistics 2020
The fashion industry took a huge blow from the pandemic in the US, but what’s the situation in other countries? Here are some stats published in 2020 that illustrate the state of the fashion industry across the world before and during the pandemic, as well as the state of employment.
24. China accounted for 90% of the total sales growth of the personal luxury goods market in 2019.
There's been significant analysis of the consumption of luxury fashion in China. One of the shocking fashion industry trends published in 2020 confirmed that 90% of the total industry sales in 2019 was attributed to Chinese consumers. They even outshine the Americans and Europeans in buying luxury goods.
Analysts shared that younger Chinese consumers had enough spending power that averages $6,000 per person before the pandemic. Even if the Chinese aren't typically extravagant spenders, they prefer purchasing goods that boost their social status.
25. Nigeria imports $4 billion worth of ready-made clothing and textiles every year.
One of the surprising Nigerian fashion industry statistics tells how the country used to be the home of Africa's largest textile business. Between the ‘70s and ‘80s, Nigeria was employing over 450,000 people in its over 180 mills. During this time, the textile, cotton, and garment subsector were the largest employer next to the public sector, employing more than 25% of the manufacturing workforce.
Today, Nigeria is still one of the important players in the textile industry in Africa. The amount of ready-made clothing and textiles it imports amount to a colossal $4 billion.
26. Canada's apparel market is one of the largest globally, with sales amounting to $28.04 billion in 2019.
Canadian fashion industry statistics highlighted the country's robust apparel market. By retail sales, Canada's clothing market was 40% to that of Germany and 80% to that of France. This proves how well-established the industry is in the country.
Canada Goose, a winter clothing company, is one of the key brands in the market, manufacturing jackets that can cost up to $1,550. According to Statista, the global revenue of this company alone amounted to nearly CA$958 million.
27. Revenue in the Philippines' apparel market is expected to reach $2.11 billion by the end of 2021.
The fashion industry in the Philippines published statistics that reveal an optimistic outlook for the domestic fashion market. Generally, the market is set to hit $2.11 billion. Women's apparel will remain the largest segment, with a market volume of $975 million.
There will also be an increase of $19.04 per individual revenue in 2021. Overall, people's affinity to fashion and the growing number of middle-income families will contribute to the booming industry.
28. Australia's clothing retail industry saw an 8.5% decline because of the pandemic.
A previous fashion industry Australia statistics revealed that the clothing retail industry experienced a minuscule 0.4% increase between 2019 and 2020. With the onset of the COVID-19, the predicted slight growth was adjusted to an enormous decline of 8.5%.
Even if things start to get better for other nations after the pandemic, analysts believe that no significant change would be occurring in the industry this year for Australia. Therefore, the market will most likely be moving sideways as it continues to deal with the pandemic’s impact.
What Do These Fashion Industry Statistics Mean to You?
There are always two sides to a coin, and you can’t expect both sides to be positive. Just like in the fashion industry, the ugly side that ruins the environment can be heartbreaking. However, more brands are taking strides into going green, so it may not be too long before we see reformation in the current industry.
For consumers, may these statistics be a reminder to rethink how even a pair of new jeans can adversely impact the environment. There’s nothing wrong with buying new clothes, but simple initiatives like shifting to more sustainable items and being more responsible with our purchases can contribute a lot in protecting the planet.