11 Fashion Industry Facts That Will Surprise You

fashion industry facts

The fashion industry remains relevant even if generations and trends change because clothing always is a necessity. Most often, it is viewed as only the production and retail of clothes and accessories. However, this is not the case for it involves conceptualizing, producing, promoting, and marketing products. Today you will learn 11 surprising fashion industry facts that you are not expecting.

Although it is wild, colorful, full of potential, and bottom-line thrilling, the fashion industry is full of surprises, and these facts may creep you!

5 Facts about the Fashion Industry

1. The fashion industry releases more CO2 (carbon dioxide) than aviation and shipping combined

Only 5% of the contribution came from flights and maritime transport, while 10% came from the fashion industry! An estimate of 8-10% of global carbon emissions is from the fashion industry, which involves material sourcing, supply chains, washing, and waste.

2. An estimate of $500 billion is lost due to a lack of clothes recycling

Most often, consumers are to blame for the lack of reusing and repurposing of clothes, however, stores and corporations are guiltier for this since burning and disposing of unsold and faulty stocks are evident.

3. 2% (3 trillion dollars) of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from the global fashion industry

The top three contributors to that 2% are (1) retail value luxury goods market — $339.4 billion, (2) value of the menswear industry — $402 billion, and (3) value of the womenswear industry — $621 billion.

4. Companies promoting diversity have 19% more revenue

Brands became more attentive to diversity when Beyonce pointed out the importance of representation. Kering was reported to be one of those companies, where that had 56% managerial positions headed by women and 64% of its board of directors were women.

5. Washing is the second-biggest contributor to the garment carbon footprint

There is an estimate of 728,789 microfibers released into bodies of water from acrylic garment washing.

Since fast fashion focuses on mass production, it oftentimes leans on tendencies that harm the environment. It affects, but is not limited to the following environmental factors:

Fast Fashion Environmental Impact

fashion industry facts


The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide. It uses approximately 700 gallons of water for one cotton shirt. Additionally, textile dyeing was also reported to be the second-largest polluter of water, which is evident in irresponsible waste management due to improper handling of the water leftover from dyeing. 

Water sources also remain to be contaminated due to the production of leather, specifically the tanning process. It is considered to be the most toxic in regard to the fashion supply chain since chemicals such as mineral salts, formaldehyde, oils, and dyes are non-biodegradable and affect water quality.

Evidence of Microplastics

Every year, it was reported that 80 billion new clothing pieces are made, which is 400% more than what was produced twenty years ago. This is made worse by synthetic fibers such as nylon and acrylic that are evident in the ocean. 

These take hundreds of years to biodegrade. What causes them is the laundering of synthetic textiles.


Large amounts of petroleum are used in the production of textiles from plastic fibers. In the process, hydrogen chloride is also released, which is a volatile matter. Aside from microplastics, cotton is also cost-effective and is not environmentally friendly.

As much as these environmental deteriorations are present in the fashion industry, there are steps that we, consumers, can take for its rehabilitation. One of those is to thrift. Thrifting has been a practice that became more common today since consumers look forward to having unique pieces of clothing whilst buying them at a relatively cheaper price. It also gives an element of thrill and excitement while thrift shopping. 

Clothes found in thrift stores are also hardly-used. Not to mention that there are numerous times that there are designer items found in the bulk. Additionally, most thrift stores are open to helping communities through charities and community-based programs. Supporting them also means supporting their beneficiaries.

Aside from thrifting, a minor change in clothes washing compasses a big difference. That practice is by utilizing open-air drying instead of using the dryer. Oftentimes, there are lazy afternoons where drying clothes is not a rush. These are the days that the sun can be of its best potential for clothes.

Lastly, a behavior that consumers can slowly practice is to leave fast fashion shopping behind and invest in long-term and non-trendy clothing. At this age, trends easily come and go. With this, trendy outfits and accessories easily go out of style. Nevertheless, it is never harmful to shop, but it should be cost-effective and should be of use for a long time. Long-term pieces are at least likely to go out of style.

         With this, there are sustainable fashion facts that may help consumers along the way!

6 Sustainable Fashion Facts

fashion industry facts

1. Clothing and textiles are almost 100% recyclable

If not reusable, clothes and fabrics can definitely be repurposed. A pair of old pants can be repurposed into a handbag, or if not, then it can be some sort of house décor!

2. Secondhand is presumed to have a double market share in ten years

According to thredUP, the rapid growth of second-hand shopping is to be assumed and will have a double market share by 2029. Vintage shopping became a bop in this generation. It is assumed that this will continue in the years to come.

3. Sixty-six (66%) of fashion companies already have sustainability projects

According to the 2020 Pulse of the Fashion Industry, a 10% increase from 2017’s 56% is evident concerning fashion companies’ targets for sustainability.

4. Seventy-one (71%) of consumers are involved with investing in high-quality garments

More consumers start to become interested in reselling, rental, and refurbishment.

5. Seventy-five (75%) more Google searches regarding sustainable fashion are evident

As sustainable fashion becomes more trending, more and more people invest their time in research in regards to sustainability and long-term clothing.

6. Younger generations are reportedly leading the switch from fast fashion to sustainable fashion

Sixty (60%) of millennials say that they are more than willing, and they are currently shopping for sustainability.

Surely, the fashion industry is full of practices that are not environmentally friendly. Not to mention that it is not kind to all its workers behind the racks. Nevertheless, consumers may opt to do environmental and social practices to make up for their contributions. As much as fashion is seen to be a statement, it also is a representation of who the consumers are ethical.

See Also:

High Fashion: What It Is and How It Is Different

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