Interesting Facts About the Rise of the Fashion Industry

1. 80 billion new pieces of clothing are consumed every year, which is an increase of 400% over the last two decades.

80 billion new pieces of clothing are consumed every year, which is an increase of 400% over the last two decades

Did you know that based on the documentary released in 2015 titled “The True Cost,” the world now consumes around 80 billion new pieces of clothes yearly? That is 400% more compared to the consumption twenty years ago. Every year, America generates 82 pounds of textile waste. The production of leather needs large amounts of feed, land, water, and fossil fuels to raise livestock. The tanning process, on the other hand, is among the most toxic in all of the fashion supply chain as the chemicals used in tanning leather are not biodegradable and can contaminate water sources.[1] 

2. In the US, an average person owns at least seven pairs of jeans.

In the US, an average person owns at least seven pairs of jeans

Based on research and survey done in the United States, an average woman owns 7 pairs of jeans, while an average man owns 6 pairs. That sounds too many, but despite that, most people only really wear 4 out of the pairs that they own. There could be a few reasons behind owning this much, such as weight fluctuations.[2] 

3. One of the most popular clothing items is the t-shirt. 

One of the most popular clothing items is the t-shirt

Every year, two billion t-shirts are being sold, making them among the most popular clothing items in the world.[3]

4. The first-ever fashion magazine was sold in 1586 in Germany.

The first-ever fashion magazine was sold in 1586 in Germany

“Gynasceum, sive Theatrum Mulierum” was the first known published fashion magazine in the world. It was published in 1586 by Josse Amman, a Swiss painter. The name of the magazine meant “Theater of Women.” It was reproduced by engraving the female costumes of all the nations of Europe.[4]

5. One of the most popular jeans brands is Levi’s.

One of the most popular jeans brands is Levi’s

Levi’s is a veteran jeans brand that has been able to make a distinctive place of its own in the world of merchandise as people associate the brand with a definite status symbol. It is an American company founded in 1853 by Levi Strauss. Through around 2,800 company-operated outlets with headquarters based in San Francisco in the United States, it was able to spread its network in the international market.[5] 

6. Designer Ralph Lauren’s real name is Ralph Lifshitz.

Designer Ralph Lauren’s real name is Ralph Lifshitz

The original name of Ralph Lauren is Ralph Rueben Lifshitz. He’s an American fashion designer who developed his brand around the idea of an elite American lifestyle. He was able to build one of the most successful fashion empires in the world.[6]

7. The most expensive shoes were sold for $3 million designed by Harry Winston called the red ruby slippers.

The most expensive shoes were sold for $3 million designed by Harry Winston called the red ruby slippers

The original pair of these shoes were worn by Judy Garland in the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz.” It was part of a private collection and is still in good condition. However, even the original was not valued as high as the remake of it, which was titled the “Harry Winston Ruby Slippers.” It was sold at an auction for $3 million.[7] 

8. It is believed that the brand Louis Vuitton burns off excess and old stock to maintain the exclusivity of the brand.

It is believed that the brand Louis Vuitton burns off excess and old stock to maintain the exclusivity of the brand

Louis Vuitton is one of the brands that work with a strict business model. With this, any products that go unsold each year are quite literally burnt to pieces. This practice has actually been adopted by lots of luxury brands. Also, they specifically burn bags in the US owing to a duty drawback law. Apparently, if something is imported into the US with duty having been paid, then afterward destroyed, the duty payments can be reclaimed.[8]

9. New York Fashion Week was first held in 1943.

New York Fashion Week was first held in 1943

The very first press week was held in 1943. The idea behind it was simple – a central location, originally the Plaza Hotel, would be the hub for New York’s most influential press figures to see the latest collections from American designers in one place.[9]

10. An average American in the 1950s spent 11.5% of their income on fashion goods.

An average American in the 1950s spent 11.5% of their income on fashion goods 

Back in the 50s, an average household in the US spent 11.5% of their salaries on clothes. Today, an average American spends 3.5% of their income on fashion goods.[3]

11. The first person to wear a white wedding dress is Queen Victoria.

The first person to wear a white wedding dress is Queen Victoria

When Queen Victoria wore a white dress for her wedding back in 1840, she met with criticism. It was because back then, white was the color of mourning and not a color in which to be wed.[10]

12. The most common material in clothes manufacturing is cotton.

The most common material in clothes manufacturing is cotton

Cotton is known as the most popular material in the world. It is a light and soft natural fabric. It is praised for its comfortableness, durability, and versatility. It is also hypoallergenic and breathes well, making it great for various types of clothes, such as dresses and shirts.[11]

13. Every year, 14 million tons of textiles are wasted.

Every year, 14 million tons of textiles are wasted

The volume of clothes Americans throws away every year has doubled in the last 20 years. From 7 million, it became 14 million tons. In fact, in 2018, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills. That is 5.8% of the total MSW generation in that year. It can take more than 200 years for textiles to decompose in landfills.[12]

14. Gucci sold their ‘Gucci Genius Jeans’ for an astonishing $3,134.

According to the Guinness World Records, the Gucci Genius Jeans is the most expensive jeans in the world. It was a pair of distressed, ripped denim that was priced at $3,134 in 1998.[13]

15. The first designer logo was the Lacoste crocodile.

The first designer logo was the Lacoste crocodile

Did you know that the famous Lacoste crocodile was the very first designer logo ever? Yes, and it was created in 1933.[14] 

16. The bikini was invented in 1946.

The bikini was invented in 1946

A French designer named Louis Reard introduced the bikini at the Piscine Molitor, which was a popular swimming pool in Paris. It happed on July 5, 1946. The bikini was modeled by a Parisian showgirl named Micheline Bernardini.[15]

17. Being pregnant was considered fashionable in the 1600s. So much so that women used to put cushions under their clothes to create a bump.

Being pregnant was considered fashionable in the 1600s.

In the 1600s, the first-ever maternity gown was introduced. It was called the “Adrienne.” The gown featured an empire waist and consisted of folds under the waistline. It is also made of flowing fabric that helped with a growing bump.[16]

18. Manhattan spends the most amount of money on clothing which is $362 per month.

Manhattan spends the most amount of money on clothing which is $362 per month

Among the places in New York City, Manhattan spends the highest amount of money when it comes to clothes. It is the most densely populated place among the five boroughs of New York City. 

19. China is the largest exporter of fashion goods in the world.

China is the largest exporter of fashion goods in the world

China is known to be the largest exporter and manufacturer of textiles in the world, which makes the country the largest exporter of fashion goods as well. The textile industry of China has an export turnover of $266.41 billion.[17]

20. Nike is the largest fashion company in the world by value, followed by Louis Vuitton.

Nike is the largest fashion company in the world by value, followed by Louis Vuitton

For seven years in a row, Nike has been on the top spot on the list of the most valuable apparel companies in the world. In 2021, it had a brand value of $30.4 billion.[18]

21. Handbags were first invented in the 19th century.

Handbags were first invented in the 19th century

The very first modern-day handbag was envisioned in 1841 by an entrepreneur named Samuel Parkinson. He made it when he noticed that his wife’s purse was too small for her belongings.[19] 

22. London, Milan, Paris, and New York hold the Big Four Fashion Weeks.

London, Milan, Paris, and New York hold the Big Four Fashion Weeks

The biggest fashion weeks in the world are Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and Milan Fashion week. They are also the most popular, attracting celebrities, the media, top models, designers, and buyers all over the world.[20]

23. An average American woman will spend approximately $125,000 on clothes.

An average American woman will spend approximately $125,000 on clothes

This will equate to more than 3,100 different items. It may include 185 dresses, 145 handbags, and more than 270 pairs of shoes. Surveys also show that women under the age of 25 are more likely to spend an average of $200,000 during their time, based on their current spending habits.[21] 

24. Over 40 fashion weeks and 100 official events are held each year in the fashion industry.

Over 40 fashion weeks and 100 official events are held each year in the fashion industry

In addition to the big four fashion weeks that are very popular around the world, there are many other fashion weeks that are held in other places. In fact, there are more than a hundred fashion weeks that are happening worldwide.[20] 

25. To be an Official Haute Couture designer, approval must be received from the Chamber of Syndicale.

To be an Official an Haute Couture designer approval must be received from the Chamber of Syndicale

The Chambre Syndicale De La Couture is a regulating body that sets standard and determines which which fashion design houses meet the criteria to be true haute couture houses. There are only 14 fashion houses that are approved by the Chamber of Syndicale, out of the many designers that we consider haute couture. Even great designers like Giorgio Armani are non-approved applicants.[22]

26. Mary Phelps invented the modern bra in 1914.

Mary Phelps invented the modern bras in 1914

On November 3, 1914, the bra officially became part of the world. It was the day that the patent and trademark were granted to Mary Phelps Jacobs, and she called it a “brassiere.” [23]

27. There are more men than women at executive levels in the fashion industry.

There are more men than women at executive levels in the fashion industry

The 2015 survey by Business of Fashion found out that among the 50 major fashion companies out there, only seven were run by women. In another study called “The Glass Runway,” women were 17% more likely than men to become a top executive in the fashion industry. However, as they surveyed people higher up the corporate order, by the time they got to the level of vice president, men were surprisingly 20% more likely to reach for upper management in the fashion industry than women.[24] 

28. The fashion industry’s value is more than the entire GDP of the United Kingdom.

The fashion industry’s value is more than the entire GDP of the United Kingdom

The value of the global fashion industry is 3,000 billion dollars or 3 trillion dollars. It is 2% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the GDP of the whole UK was 2.68 trillion.[25] 

29. Millions of people are employed by the fashion industry.

Millions of people are employed by the fashion industry

The fashion industry is not just big when it comes to revenue but also when it comes to employing people. It hires 60 million people around the world. In fact, in the United States, around 4 million people work in the fashion industry. That is higher compared to other major sectors, such as the fast-food, auto, and gaming industries.[26]

30. The fashion industry’s spending on advertising exceeds $500 billion per year.

The fashion industry’s spending on advertising exceeds $500 billion per year

Since the fashion industry has a huge amount of money available, big fashion retailers and as well as smaller ones, spend a lot on trying to entice consumers to buy their products. Annually, more than $500 billion is spent each year on advertising fashion goods. But did you know that the largest fashion retailer, Zara, does not do conventional advertising? It barely even has a marketing department.[27]

References

  1. https://earth.org/fast-fashions-detrimental-effect-on-the-environment/
  2. https://holebuttoncover.com/blogs/the-hole-story/how-many-pairs-of-jeans-is-too-many
  3. https://www.thefactshop.com/fashion-facts/100-fashion-facts
  4. https://stardum.wordpress.com/storyboard-history-of-magazines/
  5. https://www.marketing91.com/top-18-jeans-brands-in-the-world/
  6. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ralph-Lauren
  7. https://moneyinc.com/harry-winston-ruby-slippers/
  8. https://luxuryviewer.com/does-louis-vuitton-really-destroy-unsold-bags/
  9. https://www.hautehistory.co.uk/a-brief-history-of-new-york-fashion-week/a-brief-history-of-new-york-fashion-week
  10. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/queen-victoria-sparked-white-wedding-dress-trend-1840-180953550/
  11. https://www.picocleaners.com/blog/the-12-different-types-of-fabric/
  12. https://www.roadrunnerwm.com/blog/textile-waste-environmental-crisis
  13. https://www.fashionlady.in/most-expensive-jeans-brands-that-define-luxury-in-a-rugged-demeanor/14244
  14. http://didyouknowstuff.com/the-famous-lacoste-crocodile-symbol-was-created-in-1933-and-was-the-first-designer-logo-ever
  15. https://www.mylifetime.com/she-did-that/july-5-1946-the-bikini-was-introduced-and-soon-became-a-summer-staple-for-american-women
  16. https://www.elle.com/fashion/personal-style/g28423/maternity-style-evolution/
  17. https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/8471/top-10-exporting-countries-of-textile-and-apparel-industry
  18. https://www.thefashionlaw.com/nike-tops-brand-finances-of-most-valuable-brands-rolex-claims-strongest-title/
  19. https://www.loveyourleather.ca/leather-blog/history-of-purses/
  20. https://fashionunited.com/landing/fashionweeks-around-the-world-list/
  21. https://www.prisonerofclass.com/how-much-women-actually-spend-on-clothing-accessories/
  22. https://younghollywood.com/scene/15-amazing-fashion-facts.html
  23. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/11/the-first-bra-was-made-of-handkerchiefs/382283/
  24. https://qz.com/quartzy/1285516/a-fashion-industry-study-finds-that-while-women-prop-it-up-men-run-it/
  25. https://socialmediasun.com/the-business-of-fashion-7-surprising-facts-about-the-fashion-industry/
  26. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/5-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-fashion-industry/
  27. https://socialmediasun.com/the-business-of-fashion-7-surprising-facts-about-the-fashion-industry/