Global fashion industry statistics - International apparel

General data

Population: 7,260.7 million
Labor force: 3,384.1 million
Unemployment rate: 5.8 percent
GDP per capita (PPP): 16,300 US dollars

Value of the global fashion industry: 3,000 billion dollars (3 trillion dollars), 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Retail value of luxury goods market: 339.4 billion dollars
Value of of the menswear industry: 402 billion dollars
Value of the womenswear industry: 621 billion dollars
Bridal Wear market: 57 billion dollars
Childrenswear market: 186 billion dollars
Sports footwear market: 90.4 billion dollars

Fashion Companies

To cater to the large, 3,000 billion, textile and garment industry new companies are entering the market daily. Most of these companies remain rather unknown to the consumer audience, better known are the individual brands that are part of these global fashion companies.

LVMH, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, a French luxury conglomerate is currently the largest fashion company worldwide. LVMH’s annual revenues reached 42.6 billion euros in 2017 and the company is valued around 122 billion euros. The company operates a chain of independent stores and shops-in-shops for fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Dior. LVMH does not only stand for high-end fashion, but provides for every aspect of a luxury lifestyle, from champagne (Moët) to sailing yachts (Royal Van Lent).

US-based athleisure- and lifestyle brand Nike is the second largest fashion company worldwide. In 2017 Nike’s revenues amounted to 34.4.6 billion dollars and a market value of nearly a 105 billion dollars. Nike offers its products worldwide and its largest markets are the United States, 46 percent of the total revenues, and Western Europe (19 percent). Most of Nike’s income, nearly 90 percent, comes from the Nike brand. The remaining 10 percent comes from Converse, which is a subsidiary of Nike. The brand’s best selling division is footwear, accounting for 63 percent of Nike’s income.

Spanish fast-fashion giant Inditex - with a market value of nearly a 92 billion dollars - is the third largest fashion company worldwide. Inditex owns brands like Zara, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius. The Spanish company is valued at 75 billion euros and its 2017 annual revenue was 25.34 billion euros. Inditex has stores is every major city in Europe, which also account for the majority of the company’s revenue.

Imports & Exports (2016)

Total export of clothing: 1.29 trillion dollars

The most exported apparel products are non-knit women’s suits, knit sweaters, knit T-shirts and non-knit men’s suits.

Non-knit women’s suits: 108 billion dollars, 8.4 percent
Knit sweaters: 79.2 billion dollars, 6.1 percent
Non-knit men’s suits: 74.1 billion dollars, 5.7 percent
Knit T-shirts: 68 billion dollars, 5.3 percent
Knit women’s suits: 28.2 billion dollars, 3.9 percent
Light rubberized knitted fabric: 60 billion dollars, 4.7 percent
Synthetic filament yarn woven fabric: 44.2 billion dollars, 3.4 percent

China is the largest exporter of apparel in the world, followed by India and

Total trade of footwear and headwear: 139 billion dollars

Over 40 percent of all traded footwear are leather footwear. Other products that are traded in large amounts are rubber footwear and textile footwear.

Leather footwear: 56.7 billion dollars, 41 percent
Rubber footwear: 30.2 billion dollars, 22 percent
Textile footwear: 22.3 billion dollars, 16 percent
Footwear parts: 7.77 billion dollars, 5.6 percent
Knitted hats: 4.8 billion dollars, 3.3 percent
Other footwear: 3.9 billion dollars, 2.8 percent
Other headwear: 2.82 billion dollars. 2 percent

Also in footwear and headwear, China accounts for the largest share of all export with 71.1 billion dollars. Therefore it account for over 50 percent of the total world trade. Vietnam and Italy are the second and third largest exports of footwear and headwear, exporting respectively 13.6 billion dollars and 12 billion. The top 3 exports account for 69.6 percent of the total exports in this segment. Rounding off the Top 5 largest exporting regions of footwear and headwear are Indonesia with exports of 5.59 billion dollars and Germany with 3.78 billion dollars.

Country facts and figures

How many pieces of clothing are sold world wide? How many people work in the international fashion industry? What is the total sales of clothing in the world? This is the FashionUnited page with Facts and Figures about the global and US fashion industry. For facts and figures of the fashion industry in other countries and regions, see below.

The International fashion market is a leading industry well known for key players, such as Inditex, LVMH, H&M, Nike, VF Corporation, Richemont, Adidas, Fast Retailing, Abercrombie & Fitch, Prada, Gap, Dior, Urban Outfitters, Burberry.

For the real-time market value and other stock information on these companies, refer to the FashionUnited Top 100.


Population: 66.2 million
Labor force: 30.05 million
Unemployment rate: 9.9%
GDP per capita (PPP): $ 42,726

Domestic market value of fashion: $ 43.3 billion
Employment in fashion: 340,000

Fashion Statistics: France


Population: 80.9 million
Labor force: 42.0 million
Unemployment rate: 5.3%
GDP per capita (PPP): $ 47,627

Domestic market value of fashion: $ 83,6 billion
Employment in fashion: 340,000

Fashion Statistics: Germany

The Netherlands

Population: 16.9 million
Labor force: 9.0 million
Unemployment rate: 6.9%
GDP per capita (PPP): $ 52,139

Domestic market value of fashion: $ 16.5 billion
Employment in fashion: 87,910

Fashion Statistics: The Netherlands


Population: 46.8 million
Labor force: 23.3 million
Unemployment rate: 22.7%
GDP per capita (PPP): $ 29,863

Domestic market value of fashion: $ 31.1 billion

Fashion Statistics: Spain

United Kingdom

Population: 64.5 million
Labor force: 33 million
Unemployment rate: 6.3%
GDP per capita (PPP): $ 46,297

Domestic market value of fashion: $ 94.1 billion
Employment in fashion: 555,000

Fashion Statistics: United Kingdom

See also:

  • Apparel industry statistics - Colombia
  • Fashion industry facts - France
  • Modebranche facts and figures - Germany
  • Textile and apparel sector statistics - Netherlands
  • Clothing industry facts and figures in the United Kingdom
  • Apparel and textiles industry facts - India
  • Fashion statistics - Spain
  • Fashion retail industry statistics - Belgium
  • Apparel industry facts - Canada
  • Fashion industry facts and figures - Russia
  • Textile industry facts and figures - Switzerland
  • Garment retail facts and figures - Australia
  • Fashion industry facts and figures - New Zealand
  • Retail and textile industry facts and figures - Mexico
  • Apparel facts and figures - Peru
  • Clothing industry facts and figures - Argentina
  • Fashion industry facts and figures - Chile
  • Apparel industry facts and figures - China
  • Clothing industry facts and figures - Italy
  • Clothing industry facts and figures - Japan
  • Bangladesh Garment Industry statistics - Bangladesh
  • Chinese textile and garment statistics, export champion of the world - China
  • Vietnam’s garment industry is having its best time - Vietnam
  • Statistics fashion industry Indonesia - Indonesia

The fashion industry statistics pages are a product of FashionUnited Business Intelligence. For other data, such as the FashionUnited Top 100, the FashionUnited Facebook Index and the List of Richestest People in Fashion, refer to the FashionUnited Top 100.


General data

Population: 327 million
Labor force: 161.0 million
Unemployment rate: 3.8%
GDP per capita (PPS): 62,500 US dollars

Market share of the fashion industry: 4 percent
Domestic market value of the fashion industry: 406 billion dollars
Employment in fashion-related industries: 1.9 million

New York: Fashion capital

New York City population: 8.55 million
New York City labor force: 4.2 million
Employment in fashion-related industries (NYC only): 185,000
Wages in the fashion industry (NYC only): 11 billion dollars
Fashion industry tax revenue (NYC only): 2 billion dollars
source: NYCEDC (US Census Bureau)


In the United States an estimated 1.8 million people are in employed in the fashion industry, among whom 232,000 in manufacturing textiles for apparel and other fashion items. (JEC Democratic, Bureau of Labor)

Average annual wages in fashion range from 26,440 dollars, for textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators, to 84,600 dollars for marketing and sales managers in fashion.

About 79 percent of all US employees in fashion work for apparel retailers. The average annual wage at such companies is 26,650 dollars. However in certain occupations the average wages are a lot higher. Marketing and sales managers at apparel retailers have the highest average annual wage of 84,600 dollars. Accountants and auditors receive an average annual pay of 69,960 dollar and buyers and purchasing agents get paid 56,550 dollars, on average.

A smaller amount, 145,000 employees accounting for 8 percent of all employees in fashion work in apparel wholesale and merchandising. The average annual wage in this sub industry is 52,350 dollars. However, some jobs pay less than the average wage. Graphic designers, for instance, receive wages around 48,320 dollars, whereas merchandise displayers and window trimmer receives 35,680. Jobs in production, planning and expediting, with average wages of 47,680, and in installation, maintenance and repair, with average annual wages of 43,430, also pay less than average within apparel wholesale merchandising.

Another 8 percent, 143,000 people are employed in the apparel manufacturing industry where the average annual wage is 34,110 dollars. However, there is a large range within this sub industry of fashion. Whereas computer occupations, such as information analysts, are paid the highest annual wage of 73,220 on average, textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators only receive 26,440 per annum. The wages for tailors, dressmakers and sewers are also in the low range with 27,510 dollars, on average. Maintenance and industrial machinery is paid around the average of this sub industry with annual wages of 36,610 dollars. Other jobs in the high compensation range are in fabric and apparel pattern making and market research and marketing. Respectively these occupations pay an average annual wage of 52,150 and 64,830 dollars.

Apart from the jobs listed before, the United States has room for around 18,000 fashion designers. Their average annual wage is 73,690 dollars, meaning that they receive over 30 dollars per hour.

Apparel manufacturing

  • 14.5 million in 1990
  • 13.1 million in 1995
  • 13.0 million in 2000
  • 24.8 million in 2014


  • 19.7 million in 1990
  • 16.8 million in 1995
  • 13.5 million in 200
  • 33.0 million in 2014

Textiles and Clothing

  • 34.2 million in 1990
  • 29.9 million in 1995
  • 26.5 million in 2000
  • 57.8 million in 2014

Fashion companies

Some of the world’s largest fashion companies are based in the United States. Moreover, the currently largest fashion company globally, Nike, is American. Nike is an athleisure- and lifestyle brand with annual revenues of 30.6 billion and a market value of nearly a 105 billion dollars. Nike offers its products worldwide and its largest markets are the United States, accounting for 46 percent of the total revenues, and Western Europe (19 percent). Most of Nike’s income, nearly 94 percent, comes from the Nike brand. The remaining 6 percent comes from Converse, which is a subsidiary of Nike. The brand’s best selling division is footwear, accounting for 64 percent of Nike’s income.

With a market value of 54.5 billion dollars and 2015 annual sales of 30.9 billion dollars, TJX Companies is the second largest fashion company in the United States. TJX operates the majority of its stores in the United States and is best known for its fast-fashion brand T.J. Maxx. Its US sales account for 86 percent, with 26.7 billion dollars. The company is also active on the Canadian and European market with its brands T.K. Maxx, HomeSense, Winners and Marshalls.

The third largest fashion company in the United States is VF Corporation. VF owns several brands including Lee, The North Face, Timberland and Napapijri. In 2015 VF’s annual revenue rose to 12.4 billion dollars with most of its revenues coming from the Outdoors and Action Sports division. The brands The North Face, Vans and Timberland had combined sales of 7.4 billion dollars, accounting for nearly 60 percent of VF’s total income. Currently, VF corporation has a market value of 27.6 billion dollars.

Close to VF Corporation, with a market value of 25.3 billion dollars is L Brands. L Brands is the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and has most of its sales of 12.15 billion dollars, a near 93 percent, domestically. In fifth place of United States’’ largest fashion companies is sports brands Under Armour. The 20-year-old brand managed annual revenues of 4.0 billion dollars in 2015, with 3.45 billion dollar in North America alone. Under Armour is currently valued at 17.8 billion dollars on the New York Stock Exchange.

Consumer expenditure

In million US dollars

In percent

Imports & Exports(2016)

Exports of textiles and clothing: 22.9 billion dollars

The United States are not one of the largest exporters of fashion-related products in the world, however it still supplies a fair share of several textiles for fashion purpose to overseas markets. The largest export products among textile and clothing of the United States are:

Raw cotton: 4.41 billion dollars, 19 percent
Nonwoven textiles: 1.77 billion dollars, 8 percent
Cotton yarn of over 85 percent: 1.13 billion dollars, 5 percent
Artificial filament tow: 1.04 billion dollars, 4.5 percent
Synthetic fila ent yarn: 1.03 billion dollars, 4.5 percent

Exports of footwear and headwear: 1.14 billion dollar

Footwear, with leather body: 306 million dollars, 27 percent
Parts of footwear: 263 million dollars, 23 percent
Other headgear: 139 million dollars, 12 percent
Footwear, with textile body: 85.4 million dollars, 7.5 percent
Other footwear of rubber of plastics: 76.9 million dollars, 7 percent
Other footwear: 74.7 million dollars, 6.5 percent

Imports of clothing: 105 billion dollars

The United States are the largest importer of fashion-related products in the world. It mostly imports manufactured apparel.

Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, etc.: 14.1 billion dollars, 13 percent
Women’s suits, not knit: 9.37 billion dollars, 9 percent
Men’s suits, not knit: 8.2 billion dollars, 8 percent
Women’s suits: 5.63 billion dollars, 5 percent
T-shirts: 5.2 billion dollars, 5 percent

Imports of footwear and headwear: 28.8 billion dollars

Footwear, with leather body: 12.2 billion dollars, 42 percent
Other footwear of rubber or plastics: 6.64 billion dollars, 23 percent
Footwear, with textile body: 4.7 billion dollars, 16 percent
Hats, knitted or crocheted: 1.34 billion dollars, 5 percent