Fast Fashion Statistics

Fast Fashion Statistics and Facts


Fast Fashion Statistics: People and the world around them are greatly impacted by fashion, and fast fashion is responsible for a sizable and expanding aspect of this. Fast fashion is, well, growing quickly. The most prosperous fast fashion companies create new apparel lines as frequently as every two weeks while promoting trend-driven items at absurdly low rates via influencers and other strategies. Yikes. All of that comes at a significant cost to the environment and the lives of garment industry workers. Rest assured, after reading the following hard fast fashion facts and statistics, most would put down that US$10 t-shirt and take a cautious step back.

Fast fashion stores have become well-known for enabling consumers to buy inexpensively manufactured goods that pass for designer clothing for very little money. However, their sales strategies are drastically altering the behavior of customers all around the world. In particular, it alters the way customers think about how long clothes last and tries to make a user believe that wearing the same outfit more than once is not sustainable.

Fast Fashions Statistics:

1. According to a Fashion Checker poll, 93% of brands don’t pay garment workers a living wage. (2020’s Fashion Checker)
It is a well-known fact that factories for quick fashion are found in nations with emerging or developing economies. Thousands of workers from India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and other developing countries are used for their cheap labor by fast fashion shops. These employees not only have to put in long, hard hours, but the income they receive is inequitable. Only 5 of the 250 global brands polled in the Fashion Transparency Index 2020 published a measurable, time-bound, roadmap or strategy for how they would achieve a living wage for all workers throughout their supply chains, according to the report.

2. “After the automobile and technology sectors, the manufacturing of clothing is the third largest”.

In terms of climate change, the production of textiles outweighs that of international travel and shipping combined. (Common Environmental Audit Committee of the House, 2019) Reducing production costs is the primary objective of big fast fashion brands. This is the reason why they completely disregard the sustainability aspect of their manufacturing processes, which starts with the use of non-biodegradable fabrics that are chemically processed and ends with the disposal of production waste into rivers, lakes, and seas.

3. “Over US$500 billion in value is wasted annually as a result of underutilization and lack of recycling of apparel.”
When it’s no longer needed, where does your clothing go? According to statistics, tonnes of fast-fashion clothing are discarded each year. This is a result of retail stores as well as people getting rid of wardrobe items. Most fast fashion businesses are frequently seen dumping or burning unsold stock, which results in a terrifying loss of natural and financial resources, rather than recycling or donating clothes that weren’t sold.

Fast Fashion Industry: CO2 consumption

4. According to the Fashion Transparency Index, fast fashion companies including Fashion Nova, Revolve, Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, and Forever 21 all have scores of under 10%. 
Transparency is essential for the existence of sustainable fashion. Transparency is a crucial prerequisite for industrial action to end human rights violations, respect employees and communities, eliminate or minimize pollution, and use unsustainable resources less frequently. Any company that won’t completely disclose where and how the clothing it wants its users to buy is made should raise red flags. Of course, openness on its own is insufficient; in order to determine whether brands and their suppliers are genuinely delivering on their promises, we also need companies to commit to high standards and robust assurance mechanisms.

5. “The largest proportion of consumers, young women, consider clothing worn just once or twice to be old.” 
Our perceptions of what is fashionable and socially acceptable to wear are drastically changing as the fast fashion industry continues to expand. Living in a world where we can update our wardrobes with a few new pieces for less than breakfast causes us to ignore the ugly truth of fast fashion.

6. “Fast fashion businesses employ open-loop production cycles that contaminate the environment.” 
Speaking of sustainability, it’s important to understand how firms avoid or get rid of waste products throughout production. As terrible as it is, the vast majority of fashion stores do not use an “open-loop cycle” technique to clean and reuse water from manufacturing facilities. It implies that all of the trash is dumped outside, where it contaminates groundwater and the soil. So, just the opposite of what we desire!

The Growth Rate of the Fashion Industry:

7. “8% of carbon emissions are attributable to the fashion business.” 
Harvesting equipment, general transportation, and those annoying oil-based insecticides are some of the key sources of carbon emissions alongside fashion supply chains. All of these emissions are undoubtedly enhanced in the infamously overproducing world of fast fashion. Accordingly, we can conclude that buying fast fashion goods directly contributes to the global polluting apparatus that accounts for 8% of global carbon emissions.

8. “Ten to twenty percent of pesticide use still comes from the textile sector.”
When it comes to the fast fashion sector, cotton is one of the fabrics that are most frequently employed. It should be obvious by this point that the traditional cotton fabric used most frequently in the fast fashion business is produced unethically. Surprisingly, the conventional cotton industry uses more than 25% of all insecticides used worldwide. The cultivation of cotton for the fast fashion industry poses a serious risk to the health as well as the well-being of agricultural workers, ecosystems, and ultimately the rest of us when combined with open-loop cycles. To reduce the impact on the fashion industry, alternative, more sustainable fabric solutions must be sought after.

9. “A typical American discards about 81 pounds of clothing each year.”
Since clothing is now more accessible than ever, our consumer behaviors have changed for the worse. We contribute to wasteful spending habits that inevitably result in dramatic climate change by viewing the clothing individuals wear as short-term investments.

Growing Climate Pollution

10. “Emerging markets from the fast fashion sector suffer the most.”
Establishing their factories in developing nations helps fast fashion retailers billions of dollars to save. The influence on the local ecology and breaches of workers’ rights are two of the high costs of having a significant fashion sector in nations such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and many more.

11 “Gender equality is not maintained at production sites by 68% of fast fashion brands.”
As we’ve seen, the majority* of fast fashion companies have their factories in developing nations. Despite the fact that women make up the majority of the 80 million workers in the fashion supply chain, most retailers are very concerned with preserving gender equality in the workplace. Fast fashion is a significant feminist issue as well as a sustainability challenge. *Boohoo is a potentially dishonorable exception because, despite having their final production in Leicester, UK, to shorten their time to market, they have nonetheless been accused of violating workers’ rights.

12. “Fast fashion brands are putting less effort into sustainable production practices.”
To put it mildly, the prevailing trend of fast fashion companies attempting to “do sustainable” is disappointing. In practice, very few shops prioritize transparent and environmentally responsible manufacturing. Recycle responsibly and make thoughtful collections; these small measures could just be greenwashing.

Fast Fashion Market Revenue (Billion U.S. Dollars)

13. Volume-based business strategies just cannot be sustained, according to 2019’s Los Angeles Times.
It’s no secret that the goal of fast fashion is to manufacture as much as possible at the lowest cost. The fast fashion business must put more emphasis on quality than quantity if it is to become environmentally sustainable. Like slow fashion, which is a far nicer alternative.

14. “Less than 11% of brands are putting recycling plans for their products in place.” 
Some fast fashion stores have commenced recycling programs where customers can trade in their used clothes for store credit. A majority of these goods are never recycled. Discounts do, however, operate as a motivator to increase sales.

15. “It is predicted that 14.5 billion pairs of shoes and roughly 107 billion articles of clothing were bought globally in 2016.”

It all boils down to how we handle our clothing in the end. Without giving it any thought, purchasing new clothing is not just money-wasteful but also unsustainable. We have a responsibility as buyers to dig a little deeper to make sure that money is being spent wisely.

Forecast for the Fast Fashion Market and Second Hand (previously-owned) Apparel Market Between 2019 and 2029

16. “Three out of every five fast fashion products end up in a landfill.” 
Unsurprisingly, recycling is a major issue in the fast fashion sector. We hardly ever consider what happens to our garments after we have finished using them. Fixing your clothes rather than tossing them away will significantly lower the amount of pollution produced by humans on the planet.

17. “Fast fashion workers’ labor rights are gravely abused.” 
The general mistreatment of these workers doesn’t sound like breaking news once you learn that more than half of fast fashion workers don’t even receive a living wage. The working circumstances are still important to note and prioritize. Workers frequently face danger in fast fashion manufacturing. The most well-known illustration of this is the 2013 collapse of the garment factory in Dhaka, which claimed 1,134 lives and injured about 2,500 more.

18. Dyeing of textiles contributes 20% of worldwide wastewater.
Around 93 billion cubic meters of water are consumed by the garment industry, much of it tainted with hazardous chemicals. 20% of the world’s wastewater, according to the UN Environment Programme, is generated by the dyeing of textiles. As most production takes place in nations with lax regulations, wastewater frequently ends up in rivers and oceans where it may cause havoc.

The Q1 2020 and 2021 Quarterly Reports Show a Significant Share of Sustainable Clothing Collections from Leading Fast Fashion Retailers in Europe

19. Half a million tonnes of microplastics are produced.
Clothing is a major source of microplastics because so many garments now are made from nylon or polyester. This is strong and inexpensive. Each wash and dry cycle results in the loss of microfilaments. The last one is especially harmful and can end up in our sewage systems. Our estimates are that half a billion tons of these contaminants reach oceans each year.

20. Online purchases are more frequently returned than total purchases.
Online retailers, both large and small, are making it easier and often free to return merchandise. Fashion items account for over 30% of all online sales.
21. Global Emissions from Apparel Industry will Rise to 50 %. By 2030
If things continue in the future, fast fashion’s global emissions will double by the end of the decade. This would mean that no steps are being taken to reduce waste.

22. The average US consumer discards 81.5 pounds of clothing annually.
An estimated 11.3 million tonnes of textile waste, or 85% of all textiles, are disposed of in landfills each year in America alone. This translates to about 2,150 pieces each second nationwide and 81.5 pounds (37 kg) per person annually.

Statistics on the Apparel Industry: Gender Inequality

23. There has been a 36% decrease in the number of times a garment is worn. 15 years hence.
Over time, a throwaway culture has gotten steadily worse. Many products are currently only used seven to 10 times before being thrown out. In just 15 years, that represents a decline of more than 35%.

24. One kilogram of cotton requires 20,000 liters of water to produce.
Fast fashion adds significantly to daily water waste in addition to being a significant source of water contamination. If you have trouble visualizing this, consider that 2,700 liters of water – enough for one person to drink for 900 days – are required to manufacture just one t-shirt. Additionally, a single load of laundry uses 50 to 60 liters of water.

25. According to fast fashion data, Nike continues to be the top apparel brand. 
Nike maintains its dominance with a US$30.44 billion brand value. The second-placed GUCCI, which had a 2021 value of US$15.6 billion, is well behind. Following Chanel (US$13.24 billion), Adidas (US$14.34 billion), and Louis Vuitton (US$14.858 billion), round up the top players.

The Brands That People Wear for Their First Jobs

26. According to figures from the fashion sector, China is the world’s top exporter of textiles. 
China dominated the global textile export market in 2020, with a 43.5% market share. The European Union (18.1%), which at the time included the United Kingdom as a member, was followed by India (4.2%) and Turkey (3.3%). With a share of 3.2%, the US came in fifth place.

27. In 2023, the global market for fast fashion will rebound and reach £28 billion.
Over the past ten years, the fast-fashion industry has expanded significantly, but the COVID-19 pandemic momentarily slowed this growth. One of the major issues for fast fashion in 2020 was the downturn in the global economy, which resulted in a 12.32% decline in market value and a £23 billion drop in revenue. However, according to experts, the market won’t fully recover until 2023, when it’s anticipated to generate up to £28 billion in sales.

28. In 2022, it is expected that sales of women’s clothing would total £622.96 billion. 
Women’s clothing continues to outsell men’s clothing in the market, which is one of the fundamental truths about quick fashion. Both are anticipated to expand in 2022 after showing signs of recovery in 2021. Men’s garment sales should surpass £391.9 billion, while women’s apparel is anticipated to generate £622.96 billion.

Fast Fashion vs. National GDPs (in Trillions).

29. The third-most varied New York Fashion Week season was Fall 2022. 
Major magazines’ articles on fast fashion emphasize the problem of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. Nevertheless, things have improved recently. They received approx. 54% of castings in major city fashion shows in the fall of 2022, which is still less than the 55.5% they received in the spring of that same year. High fashion trends have a significant impact on the later stages of fashion manufacturing, including fast fashion, even though they aren’t strictly a part of the fast-fashion sector.

30. After the pandemic, 48% of Millennials and Gen Z want to purchase more used clothing. 
According to studies on sustainable fashion, consumers are beginning to favor more environmentally friendly options. All generations of respondents said they planned to buy more enduring apparel (65%), retain their clothing for longer (71%), and mend it rather than toss it away (57%). Newness also lost importance as a deciding element when buying clothing. One of the biggest marketplaces for fast fashion in the world, the UK is also home to some of the top brands. In-depth statistics on the UK’s fashion sector and consumer behavior are provided in this section.

31. The biggest retailer of fast fashion in the UK is Next Plc. 

Burberry is the biggest fashion brand in the UK, with annual sales of more than £7.3 billion. Burberry, however, belongs to the category of luxury fashion; Next Plc, with more than £5.2 billion in annual revenue, is the market leader in the fast-fashion sector. With slightly more than £4.5 billion each, Marks & Spencer and ASOS are in third and fourth place, respectively.

Water Consumption by Industry

32. One in six persons worldwide hold a job in the fashion industry. 
The fashion sector, including fast fashion, has a significant impact on the global employment landscape. Although it employs more than 15% of the world’s workforce, the business is intimately associated with poverty issues because it frequently pays even less than the minimum wage. The fact that women make up around 80% of the workforce complicates these fashion statistics even more by introducing the problem of gender inequality.

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