The global fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar enterprise committed to the business of creating and selling clothes.
Although the fashion industry started in America and Europe, it is now a highly influential global powerhouse. We’ve compiled some of the latest worldwide and Canada-centric fashion industry statistics to get you caught up on what’s trending in this giant market.
Top 10 Fashion Industry Statistics
- The average Canadian household spends $285 on clothes per month.
- Gen Zers in Canada are buying second-hand fashion 2.5 times faster than any other generational cohort.
- Canadian retail clothing sales are highest in the fourth quarter.
- Retail clothing industry statistics reveal 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 for 128 km.
- Nearly half (48%) of Canada’s manufacturing jobs in the fashion industry are in Quebec.
- In April 2020, Canadian clothing store sales dropped by 86.8%.
- In 2020, Victoria’s Secret closed 250 stores in the US and Canada.
- When the pandemic is over, 65% of surveyed Canadians plan on buying new clothing.
Noteworthy Fashion Industry Trends and Statistics
Due to the pandemic and following cultural shifts, the fashion industry faced many challenges over the past couple of years. In this first section, we’ll look at a few of the habits of the average Canadian consumer.
1. The average Canadian household spends $285 on clothes per month.
(Chango) (Statistics Canada)
This number includes clothes washing and represents 4% of the total average household bills in Canada.
However, many Canadians plan to change their pre-pandemic spending habits. When it comes to the money spent on clothes, statistics showed that 32% of surveyed Canadians wanted to cut back on their clothing expenses.
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. Canadian retail clothing sales are highest in the fourth quarter.
This fourth-quarter surge in sales is likely due to the holiday season. Based on fashion retail industry statistics, these profit-boosting holiday sales include women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing.
Fashion Industry Statistics for Canada
Canada represents one of the world’s largest women’s clothing markets, with retail sales totalling $33.87 billion in 2019. Therefore, Canada could make an excellent base of operations for manufacturers, fashion brands, retailers, and wholesalers worldwide.
Jobs in Design & Manufacturing in the Greater Montréal Area
4. Nearly half (48%) of Canada’s manufacturing jobs in the fashion industry are in Quebec.
Montreal is the most populated city in Quebec, and it 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 the manufactured goods and wholesale distribution in Quebec, excluding retail sales, had reached $8 billion.
5. Fashion statistics 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 people.
Canadian Style Seekers are primarily female, under the age of 45, have a household income over $100,000, and are university graduates.
6. Canadian retail apparel sales totalled $30.9 billion in 2018.
Women’s clothing industry statistics for Canada uncovered that women’s apparel was responsible for around 55% of total apparel sales in 2018. Furthermore, the 2018 growth was driven mainly by an increase in e-commerce and luxury apparel sales.
7. In 2018, Canada’s fashion industry growth rate saw a 3.5% increase in men’s clothing sales.
That same year, women’s sales increased approximately 1.4%. By comparison, juvenile apparel sales decreased by around 0.8%. Moreover, according to Randy Harris, president and owner of Trendex North America, there were no new trends that year.
8. Between 2019–2023, the Canadian luxury apparel market may increase by 3.6% a year.
There are forecasts of an 18% increase in the previously mentioned period. Moreover, based on Trendex North America’s 2019 Canadian Luxury Apparel Market report, the overall yearly fashion industry growth rate will range from 1.6% to 1.9% during that same timespan.
9. In Ontario, clothing and clothing accessories sales dropped by 2.6% in 2021.
In January of 2021, there were lower sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores. However, fashion industry statistics from 2021 reveal that e-commerce sales were up over 100%.
Indeed, the lockdown and social distancing restrictions had a lot to do with these numbers.
10. Revenue of the e-commerce fashion segment in Canada could reach over $11 billion in 2021.
Fashion industry market trends estimate revenue to increase at an annual growth rate of 6.20%, totalling a market volume of around $14 billion by 2025. Additionally, by 2023, approximately 16% of the total market revenue in the fashion segment will be generated through online sales.
11. The Canadian e-commerce market’s largest segment is apparel.
This segment’s estimated market volume for 2021 is approximately $7 billion. Moreover, trends in the fashion industry indicate that the average revenue per user in the e-commerce apparel segment will be $374.61 in 2021. At the same time, the number of users could climb to 25.7 million by 2025.
Fashion Industry Facts & Environmental Impact
Unfortunately, big business comes with a price, and like many other hugely profitable industries, fashion is no different. Below we will discuss some of the hard truths of the manufacturing and consumption of our clothing.
12. 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 most common two animals farmed for their fur are foxes and mink. Moreover, in 2018, 98 mink farms and 27 fox farms existed in Canada, with over 206,000 minks killed that year.
On a positive note, between January and March of 2021, more than 7,000 people signed a federal petition to end fur farming of all animal species in Canada.
13. 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 consumption needs of 5 million people. What’s more, the 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 this continues, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will reach 50% by 2030.
14. Cotton is responsible for 30% of all textile fibre depletion.
Fast fashion industry statistics indicate that producing one basic cotton shirt requires 2,700 litres of water. 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.
15. Manufacturing a pair of Levi’s produces greenhouse gases at the same rate as driving for 128 km.
Moreover, clothing industry statistics report that those same jeans take about 3,781 litres of water to make, on average, translating to three days’ worth of a household’s water needs.
COVID-19 and Fashion Industry Statistics From 2020
COVID-19 has undoubtedly 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.
16. Clothing industry trends note that in April 2020, Canadian clothing store sales dropped by 86.8%.
Even though the most significant drop happened in April, steep declines also occurred in March (-52%) and May (-68.7%). Thus, it’s safe to say that 2020 was a challenging year for the Canadian apparel market.
17. 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 year, 70% of them were closed for an average of 20 days.
However, many stores started or expanded online sales, and as a result, e-commerce sales increased 70.5% in 2020.
18. Victoria’s Secret closed 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, and nearly all stores have closed as of March 2020.
19. When the pandemic is over, 65% of surveyed Canadians plan to buy new clothes.
According to an NPD Group’s online survey from March 2021, including 1,034 Canadian adults 18 and older, of those aged 28–34, 28% reported planning to buy and wear only new clothing.
These apparel industry trends show that people are excited to get back to normal and do so in style.
Canada is home to a diverse apparel market, including some of the most popular international brands. Although a few of the stats above have shed some light on the destructive side of the business, we’re hopeful that things will change for the better.
After reading these fashion industry statistics, we can see it has faced tremendous challenges and hardships due to the pandemic. However, with vaccines becoming more available, there is cause to be optimistic about the future.
Is fashion the biggest industry?
Clothing isn’t just about being covered 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 reported, the Canadian apparel market is worth around $33.09 billion. Moreover, facts on the fashion industry affirm that Canadian shoppers opt for private label apparel items over national brands.
How big is the fashion industry globally?
In 2020, the global apparel market was US$1.5 trillion, and global apparel industry statistics expect it to grow to approximately US$2.25 trillion by 2025.
According to global clothing industry statistics, the three largest markets are Japan, China and the US.
What age group buys the most clothes?
Research from 2018 showed that Millennials make twice as many clothing purchases as Boomers per year. Even more, the amount spent per transaction increased with age. For instance, Millennials spent US$101.1, Gen X paid out US$160.5, and Baby Boomers shelled out US$172.6.
Nike is one of the largest and most recognizable brands worldwide and valued at approximately US$32.4 billion. According to fashion industry statistics from 2017, Nike also held the largest market share in the global apparel and footwear market, at 2.8%.