Take a moment and look down at what you’re wearing at this moment in time. Unless you’re in your birthday suit, everything you have on right now is thanks to the efforts of the clothing industry. From underwear to the designer suit, fashion designers, tailors, and other industry experts contributed to the comfort and style that helps to define who you are.
Top Clothing Industry Statistics
Despite increases in revenues, employment opportunities are steadily declining in this industry.
The unfortunate fact for many employees of the clothing industry is that technology allows one employee to be much more productive than in the past. In 1990, for example, over 34 million people were employed in this industry to produce textiles and eventual clothing products. In just 10 years, that number dropped by over 8 million people.
3 Facts You Need to Know Right Now
1. Total revenues generated by this industry cleared over $2.5 trillion for the first time in 2010.
2. The bridal wear section of this industry created $57 billion in total revenues in this same time period.
3. The average American shopper spends more than $100 per month on clothing.
Takeaway: Clothing is a basic need for most cultures. Considering there are 7 billion people that live on the planet today and each one of them just had one set of clothes to wear, that’s 7 billion pairs of pants. That’s 7 billion shirts. That’s 14 billion socks! Now think about how many clothes are in your closet at this very second. The average person has 7 sets of clothes, one for each day of the week. That’s 49 billion pairs of pants that are wearing out from the first moment they are worn! That’s why this industry will always have a presence in the global GDP.
Other Facts to Consider About the Clothing Industry
1. In the United Kingdom, there is estimated to be over $46 billion in clothing that is sitting in closets and has never been worn.
2. For employees in this industry that are employed in the Philippines, their average salary is just $0.88 per hour.
3. Total global apparel exports reached $412 billion in 2011.
4. The market value of apparel in the United States alone is $331 billion.
5. Clothing stores in the United States saw $219 billion in total revenues pass through their cash registers in 2012.
6. Over 119 million bales of cotton were grown for clothing production in 2012. Over 90% of the cotton was grown outside of the U.S.
7. Wool products make up the least amount of clothing products that are sold annually.
Takeaway: There’s nothing like having a very breathable cotton outfit to wear, right? What makes the clothing industry smile is that moment when you wash a cotton shirt the wrong way and it shrinks on you, forcing you to purchase another shirt! All kidding aside, the clothing industry has some very great highs, but it also has some very big lows. Paying people just $0.88 per hour to create goods that are a dollar or two cheaper for major clothing markets is difficult to accept. Everyone deserves a living wage and although standards of living are different globally, true wealth can never be earned on such a low wage.