The global fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar enterprise dedicated to the creation and sale of clothing. Although the fashion industry first sprung up in America and Europe, it has evolved into an influential global powerhouse.
We’ve compiled some of the most recent global and Canadian fashion industry statistics to get you up to speed on what’s hot in this lucrative market.
Top 10 Fashion Industry Statistics
- The average Canadian household spent $3,344 on clothing and accessories in 2019, according to the most recent data.
- Gen Zers in Canada are buying second-hand fashion 2.5 times faster than any other generational cohort.
- The value of the Canadian clothing market is projected to reach about $28.5 billion in 2024.
- Fashion statistics from 2020 confirm that 27% of Canadians are Style Seekers.
- Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are farmed for their fur in Canada.
- Manufacturing a pair of Levi’s produces greenhouse gasses at the same rate as driving 128 km.
- According to 2020 research, Quebec accounts for nearly half (48%) of Canada’s manufacturing jobs in the fashion industry.
- Clothing industry trends note that in April 2020, Canadian clothing store sales dropped by 86.8%.
- Victoria’s Secret closed 250 stores in the US and Canada in 2020 due to the pandemic.
- As of August 2022, Canadians planned to spend 29% of their online shopping budget on clothing and footwear.
Noteworthy Fashion Industry Trends and Statistics
Due to the pandemic and accompanying cultural shifts, the fashion industry faced many challenges over the past couple of years. In this first section, we’ll look at some habits of the average Canadian consumer.
1. The average Canadian household spent $3,344 on clothing and accessories in 2019, according to the most recent data.
(Statistics Canada, Statista)
When it comes to the money spent on clothes, statistics show that the average annual spending on clothing and accessories in Canada has remained steady at around $3,300 to $3,500 per household over the past couple of years.
2. Gen Zers in Canada are buying second-hand fashion 2.5 times faster than other generations.
Fashion industry statistics for Canada provided by Thread UP indicate that Gen Z is the fastest-growing segment. However, baby boomers and millennials spend the most on second-hand clothes.
3. The value of the Canadian clothing market is projected to reach about $28.5 billion in 2024.
According to fashion retail industry statistics, the fourth quarter has historically seen the highest retail sales of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, most likely due to the upcoming winter holiday season sales.
Fashion Industry Statistics for Canada
Although Canada has one of the largest clothing markets in the world, the effects of COVID-19 were felt in 2020, when clothing retail sales in Canada totalled around $25.9 billion, down from $35 billion the previous year.
But with figures gradually returning to their pre-pandemic levels, Canada certainly has the potential to be an excellent base of operations for global manufacturers, fashion brands, retailers, and wholesalers.
4. According to 2020 research, Quebec accounts for nearly half (48%) of Canada’s manufacturing jobs in the fashion industry.
The most populated city in Quebec, Montreal is considered the fashion capital of Canada. There are 82,540 jobs in the fashion sector in Quebec, of which around 58% are in the Greater Montreal region.
Furthermore, fashion industry sales statistics from 2017 showed that the total sales for manufactured goods and wholesale distribution in Quebec, excluding retail sales, reached $8 billion.
5. Fashion statistics from 2020 confirm that 27% of Canadians are Style Seekers.
Canadian fashion industry statistics reveal that of this fashion-obsessed group, 95% follow fashion trends, 90% have the latest fashion available, and 76% give fashion advice to others.
Canadian Style Seekers are primarily female, under the age of 45, have a household income surpassing $100,000, and are university graduates.
6. Canadian retail apparel sales totalled $27.8 million in 2021.
When restrictions on shopping due to the pandemic were lifted in the first half of 2022, retail sales in Canada jumped by 10%. Sales of clothing alone increased by 48.9% during the same period. Moreover, women’s clothing industry statistics show that sales of women’s clothing alone increased at a slower rate of 38.3% compared to sales of men’s clothing.
7. The first half of 2022 saw an increase in clothing sales of 5.7% compared to the same period in the pre-Covid year of 2019.
(Retail Insider, Trendex)
Sales of activewear and loungewear stagnated in the first half of 2022, while sales of dress apparel increased dramatically, according to a report by Trendex North America.
8. Luxury apparel retail sales in Canada are predicted to keep growing strongly in the years ahead, with a 15.2% year-over-year increase expected in 2022.
Experts predict that by 2026, sales of luxury clothing will top $3.2 billion. Furthermore, Trendex North America’s recent report predicts a 4.75% increase in sales owing to the high-end fashion industry market growth between 2023 and 2026.
9. In Ontario, clothing and accessories sales dropped by 2.6% in 2021.
In January 2021, the volume of sales at clothing and accessories stores decreased. However, fashion industry statistics from 2021 reveal that eCommerce sales were up over 100%.
Indeed, the lockdown and social distancing restrictions had a lot to do with these numbers.
10. In 2022, revenue in the eCommerce fashion segment in Canada could exceed $21.1 billion.
According to fashion industry market trends, the market will be worth $33.1 billion by 2025, representing an annual growth rate of 16.19%. In line with this data, the eCommerce fashion industry is expected to have 22.7 million users by 2025.
11. According to industry forecasts, the apparel market will reach 15.7 million users by 2025.
Moreover, trends in the fashion industry indicate that each user will generate an average of $1,030 in revenue per year. Women’s apparel will continue to bring in the most revenue, followed by men’s apparel.
12. In June 2022, the most popular fashion app in Canada was Shein, a marketplace app well-known for its fast fashion practices.
Second in line was Poshmark, a reselling app that saw around 111,000 downloads that same month.
Fashion Industry Facts and Environmental Impact
Unfortunately, big business has a cost, and fashion, like many other hugely profitable industries, is no exception. In the following sections, we will go over some of the harsh realities of garment production and consumption.
13. Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are farmed for their fur in Canada.
When it comes to the usage of fur in the fashion industry, facts indicate that the two most common animals farmed for their fur are foxes and mink. Moreover, in 2018, there were 98 mink farms and 27 fox farms in Canada, with over 260,000 minks killed that year.
On a positive note, between January and March 2021, more than 7,000 people signed a federal petition to end fur farming of all animal species in Canada.
14. Trends in the fashion industry show that manufacturers use 93 billion cubic meters of water per year.
Amazingly, that’s enough water to satisfy the needs of 5 million people. What’s more, fashion and apparel industry statistics reveal that the fashion industry is accountable for 10% of the yearly global carbon emissions.
This percentage is higher than all maritime shipping and international flights combined. If these practices don’t cease, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 50% until 2030.
15. Cotton is responsible for 30% of all textile fibre depletion.
Fast fashion industry statistics indicate that producing one cotton shirt requires 2,700 litres of water. To illustrate, this amount of water can meet the daily drinking needs of the average person for two and a half years.
Additionally, global fashion industry statistics from 2020 showed that people worldwide use 5 trillion litres of water to dye fabric every year — the equivalent of 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
16. Manufacturing a pair of Levi’s produces greenhouse gases at the same rate as driving 128 km.
Moreover, clothing industry statistics report that those same jeans take about 3,781 litres of water to make, on average. This amount of water is certainly not negligible, as it can cover a household’s water needs for three days.
COVID-19 and Fashion Industry Statistics
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has taken a toll on the fashion industry. During December 2020, around 15% of retailers were closed. In fact, the only thing that kept many companies afloat was the massive rise of online shopping.
17. In line with clothing industry trends, Canadian clothing store sales dropped by 86.8% in April 2020.
Even though the most significant drop happened in April, a steep decline also occurred in March (-52%). Thus, it’s safe to say that 2020 was a challenging year for the Canadian apparel market.
18. In 2020, Canadian retailers saw their largest annual decline since 2009.
Retail apparel industry statistics imply that half of the retailers in this sub-sector were closed for an average of six business days in December 2020. And in April that same year, 70% of them were closed for an average of 20 days.
To make up for these losses, many stores started or expanded online sales. As a result, eCommerce sales increased by 70.5% in 2020.
19. Victoria’s Secret shut down 250 stores in the US and Canada in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Facts about the fashion industry show that the total sales of Victoria’s Secret fell by 46% to $821.5 million. In addition, the total sales of its parent company, L Brands, also decreased by 37% to $1.65 billion in May 2020.
20. According to post-Covid research from 2021, 65% of surveyed Canadians planned to buy new clothes once the pandemic was over.
According to an NPD Group online survey from March 2021, which included 1,034 Canadian adults who were 18 and older, 28% of those aged 28-34 planned to buy and wear only new clothing.
These apparel industry trends show that even in times of overwhelming uncertainty, people are eager to remain fashionable.
21. As of August 2022, Canadians planned to spend 29% of their online shopping budget on clothing and footwear.
Meanwhile, Canadian consumers planned to spend 35% of their online shopping budgets on electronics, whereas only 11% would be allocated to online grocery shopping.
Canada has a diverse apparel market that includes some of the best-known international brands. Although a few of the statistics above have shed some light on the destructive side of the business, we remain optimistic that regulations will be put in place to monitor and limit the amount of environmental degradation caused.
After reading these fashion industry statistics, we can see that the sector has faced tremendous challenges as a result of the pandemic. Although post-Covid ramifications continue to be felt, data and trends indicate that the fashion industry is gradually returning to normal while simultaneously becoming more sustainable.
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Is fashion the biggest industry?
Clothing isn’t just about throwing on something casual or staying warm. It’s a statement of individuality and style. Fashion industry trends clearly show that the industry is one of the biggest in the world and still growing. Moreover, it is responsible for contributing 2% to the global GDP.
How big is the clothing industry?
According to the latest data, sales in the Canadian apparel market reached around $23.85 billion in 2020. Moreover, facts on the fashion industry corroborate that Canadian shoppers opt for private label apparel items over national brands.
How big is the fashion industry globally?
In 2021, the global apparel market was worth US$1.5 trillion, and is expected to grow to approximately US$2 trillion by 2026, according to global apparel industry statistics.
Furthermore, global clothing industry statistics tell us that the three largest markets are China, the US, and Japan.
What age group buys the most clothes?
Research conducted in 2018 showed that millennials make twice as many clothing purchases as baby boomers per year. However, the amount spent per transaction increased with age. For instance, millennials spent US$101.1, Gen X paid US$160.5, and baby boomers invested US$172.6 in their attire.
Nike is one of the largest and most recognizable brands worldwide and was valued at approximately US$32.4 billion in 2019. According to fashion industry statistics from 2017, Nike also held 2.8% of the global apparel and footwear market, which was the largest market share at that moment.