Fashion is a means of expressing oneself. Without it, we would be just another cog in the wheel, largely indistinguishable from one another. And as you’ll find out in our in-depth fashion industry statistics, it can also exhibit one’s beliefs and values — particularly about the environment.
The fashion industry represents numerous niche industries that are constantly growing, especially in the era of the internet, bloggers, and influencers.
Hence, in this article, we’ll delve deeper into the very core of the fashion industry, including its overall market share, demographics, future market trends, and more!
10 Most Interesting Fashion Industry Statistics for 2021
- The average fashion designer in the US makes around $18.62 per hour.
- Companies that promote diversity attain 19% higher revenues than those that don’t.
- The fashion industry is accountable for 8%–10% of overall greenhouse gas emissions.
- The global fast fashion market witnessed a -12.32% decline in 2020.
- Fashion industry statistics confirm the global apparel market should reach $635.17 billion in 2021.
- Womenswear is the best-selling apparel category globally. Its 2021 revenue amounts to $876,710 million.
- 35% of Millennial and 36% of Gen Z consumers prefer buying “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” clothing.
- Professional models in the US earn an average salary of $108,000 per year.
- In the Spring 2021 season, there were 41.3% of nonwhite model appearances.
- Ford is the company that gives the highest salaries to professional models — $217,298.
To learn all about this, and more, just keep on reading!
General Fashion Industry Statistics
How much is the fashion industry worth, and how much do designers earn?
1. The average fashion designer in the US makes around $18.62 per hour.
The fashion industry presents a lot of job opportunities. From design, marketing, and publicity to styling and retail, most of which are well-paid. When it comes to design itself, the average annual salary is $51,780, or $3,666 per month.
On that note, if you’ve ever wondered what are the highest paying jobs in fashion, the answer is design directors. Design directors make $9,048 per month or $127,798 per year.
2. In 2019, over 1.8 million people were employed in the fashion sector in the US.
Just how much is the fashion industry worth in 2019?
Two years ago, the fashion industry reached a mind-boggling $2.5 trillion. In fact, almost $380 billion was spent solely on apparel and footwear in the US alone.
3. In Europe, as much as 15kg (33 pounds) of textile is wasted per capita.
Fast fashion is presenting a huge ecological problem for the entire planet. Namely, in this industry, clothing products are manufactured so rapidly, focusing on quantity rather than quality. Hence, a few problems arise.
For instance, fashion waste statistics show that most of the discarded textiles end up in landfills instead of being recycled, which is not the most environmentally friendly approach. Yet another problem is the use of cheap labour, as well as child labour, to develop said products.
4. Companies that promote diversity attain 19% higher revenues than those that don’t.
It wasn’t until the world-renowned singer Beyoncé pointed out how representation was important that brands started paying more attention to diversity.
For example, U.S. fashion industry statistics report that Kering is one of those brands. By 2018, 56% of managerial positions were filled by women, 33% made up the executive committee, and a whopping 64% of the company’s board of directors were, in fact, women.
5. Amancio Ortega is one of the world’s wealthiest clothing retailers with a net worth of $81.5 billion.
Facts on the fashion industry show that the co-founder of Inditex (Zara fashion chain) owns 60% of the company (Madrid-listed). That means Ortega is the owner of eight big brands, like Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, and 7,500 stores worldwide.
6. The fashion industry is accountable for 8%–10% of overall greenhouse gas emissions.
If we integrate international flights and maritime shipping, the fashion industry will still be more harmful when it comes to gas emissions. Indeed, the apparel industry is the world’s second largest consumer of water.
Keep in mind that the fashion industry is also accountable for 24% of insecticides and 11% of pesticides.
7. The fashion industry is worth $759.5 billion when we look at the e-commerce market. It’s predicted to be worth over $1.002 trillion by 2025.
(Common Thread Collective)
Apparel, footwear, and accessories are the number one e-commerce sector globally. China has the highest revenue in the fashion market—$284.3 billion, followed by the US ($126.5 billion), UK ($32.5 billion), Japan ($23.9 billion), and Germany ($22.5 billion).
8. Tuition fee for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City will set you back $2,645.00 per semester.
Based on the Fashion Institute of Technology admissions statistics, this school’s tuition fees are quite high, i.e., $2,645.00 per semester for State residents and $7,935.00 per semester for out-of-state residents. If you belong to a bank that offers good savings and loan options for students, you should be at ease with the fees.
As we already noted, the fashion industry jobs are highly paid, so it’s no surprise that many young people decide to pursue a career in the mentioned sector.
Riveting Fast Fashion Industry Statistics
Fast fashion is associated with the newest styles produced rapidly to follow the latest trends. What do shoppers need to know about the fast fashion industry?
9. Boohoo is the most popular fast fashion app among US customers.
Other popular fast-fashion retailer apps among American customers are Shein and PrettyLittleThing, fashion industry statistics reveal.
In addition to that, in the fourth quarter of 2020, Shein.com was the most popular fast-fashion retailer website. In terms of website visits, Shein.com witnessed an increase of 121%.
10. The global fast fashion market witnessed a -12.32% decline in 2020.
According to the fashion industry statistics from 2019, the fast market was worth $35.8 billion that year. However, due to the pandemic, it witnessed a significant decrease, making it worth $31.4 billion in 2020.
On a positive note, it’s expected that the market will recover by 2023, reaching a CAGR growth of 6.7%, amounting to $38.21 billion.
11. Coronavirus pandemic inspired 28% of the British to recycle or reuse their clothes.
The pandemic changed the beauty and the fashion industry. 28% of the surveyed started using reused clothes more than before, whereas 35% of women plan to buy fewer clothes in the future. Moreover, Gen Z is big on reducing waste and individuality. Gen Z might be responsible for the fast-fashion decrease in popularity soon enough.
Exciting Apparel Industry Statistics
The apparel industry is made of brands that sell and design clothing, footwear, and accessories. How much is it worth, and what are the newest trends you should be aware of?
12. The global apparel market should reach $635.17 billion in 2021.
The market will witness a CAGR growth of 20.5% in 2021 due to the pandemic and increased online shopping. Furthermore, the global apparel industry statistics predict that by 2025, there will be a CAGR growth of 7%, amounting to a whopping $842.73 billion.
The Asia Pacific is the region that accounted for the highest percentage of the market—33%, followed by Western Europe that made 28% of the global apparel market.
On the other hand, the African market is the smallest regarding the global clothing industry.
13. Womenswear is the best-selling apparel category globally. Its 2021 revenue amounts to $876,710 million.
When it comes to sales, the US managed to generate $187 billion in womenswear and $86 billion in menswear sales. The Sports apparel market also witnessed significant growth. In 2020, it was worth about $185.2 billion.
It seems that retailers know how to keep their bookkeeping services in check, even amidst the pandemic.
14. Sustainable fashion statistics reveal that 35% of Millennial and 36% of Gen Z consumers prefer buying “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” clothing.
Not to mention that 38% of Millennials and 40% of Gen Z consumers report that they would pay the full price for a sustainable or environmentally friendly piece of clothing.
15. 37% of buyers said they find environmental protection crucial when buying clothes.
People don’t just buy clothes to show off their refined taste and empty their credit cards. In fact, a lot of people exhibit their beliefs and values specifically through their clothing.
For example, statistics about sustainable fashion report 33% of surveyees stated that they bought clothes only from brands that paid their workers a regular, living wage. Another 29% were concerned with animal welfare, local production (14%), and so on.
16. In 2020, the apparel market grew roughly by 6.16%.
(Statista) (Statista) (Statista)
When it comes to apparel, the US and China markets are the largest on the planet. Likewise, fashion statistics show that one of the largest apparel brands on the planet is none other than Nike, which has a brand value of about $34.79 billion. In addition, Nike’s market cap is $180.2 billion.
Gucci takes second place on the list of the most valuable clothing brands globally. Its total value is approximately $17.6 billion.
17. The retail sales of clothing in Europe witnessed a significant drop in sales by 43.5% due to the pandemic.
Based on the apparel industry statistics, the pandemic hit the sector pretty hard. By the time coronavirus reached its peak between April and June of 2020, the production went down by 37.4%, and the retail sales went down by 43.5%.
For example, H&M’s weekly sales witnessed a massive drop in sales (-70%) within the 13th week of 2020, compared to the first week when there was a 10% increase in sales.
Amazing Fashion Model Statistics
How much do fashion models earn, and what’s their impact on the industry?
18. Professional models in the US earn an average salary of $147,126 per year.
Keep in mind that the overall number will also be affected by the location. For example, professional models that work in San Francisco, CA, will have the highest salary (about $187,796 per year). In comparison, the beginner models will earn about $64,000 per year.
States like California, Mississippi, Missouri, Alaska, Nebraska, North Dakota, and New Jersey offer higher salaries than Texas, New Mexico, and Virginia, which grant the lowest wages.
19. According to the France fashion industry statistics, by 2025, Paris will surpass New York by becoming the leading fashion capital.
France’s apparel market will be worth some $38,220 million in 2021. As expected, woman’s clothing makes the biggest part of the market. A fine CAGR growth of 3.08% is expected between 2021 and 2025.
Following Paris and New York, London will most likely overtake Milan in third place.
20. The Fall 2020 season marked only 27 appearances by plus-size models.
(The Fashion Spot)
The Spring 2020 season reached a record high of 68 plus-size models. Yet, just one season later, the percentage fell from 2.92% to just 1.4%. Namely, only 16 shows featured a plus-size model in Fall 2020, whereas the previous season had 19 shows with plus-size models,.
21. Cole Sprouse was the top fashion influencer in 2020, as highlighted by fashion industry statistics from 2020.
Cole Sprouse is a versatile individual. He’s an actor, a photographer, and a fashion influencer. You might know him from his role in the Suite Life of Zack & Cody, where he portrayed Cody Martin. This fashion influencer currently has 33,374,026 Instagram followers, and his average likes count is 2,763,536 per Instagram post.
22. Merely 0.52% of models that appeared on the Fall 2020 runways were aged 50 plus.
(The Fashion Spot)
As global fashion industry statistics from 2019 show, Fall 2019 featured 15 models aged 50 and above over 13 shows, which accounted for 0.68% of the total number of models. In the Spring 2020 season, the percentage slightly decreased to 0.65%, with 15 models over 10 shows.
However, the number kept decreasing even further, reaching just 10 models on 9 runways the previous season.
23. Kendall Jenner is currently one of the highest-paid fashion models on the planet.
It’s no secret that fashion supermodels make a ton of money. In fact, most high fashion models’ salaries reach astronomical figures. For instance, Kendall Jenner’s net worth is estimated at a mind-boggling $22.5 million! Not bad for a 25-year-old.
Honorable mentions include Karlie Kloss ($13 million), Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington Whitely ($11.5 million), and Cara Delevingne ($10.5 million).
24. Wilhelmina International is the company that gives the highest average salaries to professional models — $154,787.
Based on the fashion industry statistics, professional models that work for Wilhemina International get paid the highest and spend an average of 3.1 years with the company. In most cases, their previous employer is the Ford Models agency.
X Factor Management is the second company that offers high salaries for professional models —$134,173 per year.
25. In the Spring 2021 season, there were 41.3% of nonwhite model appearances.
(The Fashion Spot)
Facts about the fashion industry show that, compared to the Fall 2020 season, when there were 40.6% of nonwhite model appearances, in the 2021 Spring season, there was a slight increase of 0.7%.
Keep in mind that the pandemic might be responsible for the mentioned decrease. While in the 2020 Fall season, there were 6,879 model castings across 194 shows, in the 2021 Spring season, the number was significantly smaller due to the pandemic — 2,293 model castings across 180 presentations.
Fashion Industry Facts and World Markets
How high is the fashion industry valued in the world?
26. India’s ethnic wear market has a $17.18 billion market share.
Among the four segments — men’s ethnic wear, women’s ethnic wear, boys’ wear, and girls’ wear — the women’s ethnic wear segment takes the largest share with 81% in total.
Combined, men’s ethnic wear and women’s ethnic wear make up most of the market — a staggering 90%. According to ethnic fashion statistics, kids’ ethnic wear is estimated to have a CAGR of 8%.
27. In 2019, fast fashion accounted for nearly 66% of all online fashion traffic for the first half of the year.
As retail statistics show, 56.9% of US gains in 2019 were covered by online retail sales. Nevertheless, this is but the beginning. Namely, the fast fashion statistics from 2019 project that the peak is yet to come in the years that follow.
28. The global bridal wear market is expected to reach $7.63 billion by 2023.
The global bridal wear market includes only the online and offline sales of clothing that brides wear at the wedding ceremony. Other accessories such as jewelry and attires are not included in the mentioned market.
29. The UK fashion industry was worth £26 billion ($36.07bn) in 2020.
(Fashion Capital) (Statista)
The UK fashion industry statistics from 2020 also show that £10 billion ($13.87bn) was accounted for manufacturing alone.
When it comes to the footwear and apparel market, the predictions imply it could have a market revenue of £62.2 billion ($ 86.29bn) in 2021.
The most popular British brands with the highest values on the UK market are New Look, Primark, Next, and numerous online shops that became popular in recent years. In fact, in 2019, 60% of Brits preferred buying clothing online.
30. The European Union imported textile worth $67 billion in 2020.
Global fashion industry statistics from 2020 imply that, apart from the EU, the US and China are the world’s largest textile importers. The US imported around $31 billion worth of textiles, whereas China and Vietnam imported another $16 billion.
31. Today, modern society consumes 400% more clothing than it did 20 years ago.
(The True Cost)
In other words, approximately 80 billion new pieces of clothing are produced every year. What’s more, Americans generate about 82 pounds of textile waste annually. People spend money on new clothing every year because it’s cheap. Therefore it quickly becomes disposable.
How much is the UK fashion industry worth in 2019?
In 2019, the UK fashion market was valued at around $69 billion. As such, the UK took sixth place on the list of the world’s largest apparel markets for the previous year. China was the largest one, followed by the US, whereas India ranked fifth on the list.
The situation was quite different in 2020. Due to the pandemic, the UK fashion industry was worth £26 billion ($36.07 billion).
How much is the global fashion industry worth in 2019?
Based on the pre-covid era data, the fashion retail market’s total value was $1.78 trillion (without the jewelry, but with footwear). Compared to 2018, there was an increase of 14%.
To be more precise, the apparel industry alone was worth $1.4 trillion, whereas footwear sales were worth $366 billion.
How much is the fashion industry worth in 2020?
In 2020, the global fashion industry was worth $1.5 trillion. As shown above, it’s estimated that the global apparel market will be worth $2.25 trillion by 2025 due to the high demand for clothing and shoes. The largest apparel markets in 2020 were the US, China, and Japan, while the best-selling retailers were TJX Companies, Inditex, and H&M.
When it comes to the most valuable individual brands, Nike, GUCCI, and Adidas were the pack leaders.
Is the fashion industry growing or declining?
Despite the pandemic, the fashion industry kept on growing. Numerous popular brands reported a significant growth in e-commerce sales. The highest increase was noted in athleisure clothing, where Nike and Lululemon were the leaders.
Despite the predictions that the global fashion e-commerce industry will witness a drop in numbers compared to 2019 ($531.25 billion vs. $485.62 billion), the market is expected to recover by 2023, when it should be worth $672.71 billion.
Who has the largest market share in the clothing industry?
The Asia Pacific is the region with the largest apparel market—33%. The second region is Western Europe, which makes 28% of the global apparel market. On the other hand, Africa is the region that has the smallest shares in the global apparel market.
It’s expected that the apparel market will continue to grow due to the high interest in online shopping, which will expand the overall number of customers.
Is fashion the biggest industry?
It depends on what we mean by the term. If we talk biggest revenues, then the global life and health insurance carriers industry takes first place. Their global revenue of $4.384,3 billion is quite a hefty sum.
The global pension funds industry comes in second place ($3.564,4 billion), followed by the global commercial real estate ($3.167,8 billion), global car and automobile sales ($3.138,5 billion), and global car and automobile manufacturing ($2.689,0 billion).
Fashion industry statistics reveal a lot about our lives, as do our clothes. Yet, from a purely financial standpoint, the fashion industry plays a major role as well.
Namely, this industry is simply huge and employs people from all across the world of various genders, races, and ages. Without it, the world would, quite literally, be worse for wear.
- Attention Trust
- Common Thread Collective
- Fashion Capital
- Fashion Revolution
- Ibis World
- India Retailing
- Market Watch
- Sourcing Journal
- The Guardian
- The Fashion Spot
- The Fashion Spot
- The True Cost
- Vogue Business
- Vogue Business