Reports Trends

Global Fashion Sector in 2024: Overview and Key Takeaways [RetailX]

Global Fashion Trends

The global fashion industry has never been more vibrant and ever-changing as now. And we’ve got proof of that! Find out what’s happening in the world of fashion with the newest Retailx’s report on the global fashion sector (you’ll find a link to download it at the bottom of this article). This fast-paced industry never stands still, and we’ve got all the fresh insights and trends that are defining its future. 

Ready to see what’s new? 

Stats and facts about the global fashion sector

Let’s start with the numbers that give an overview of the current state and trends in the global fashion industry. 

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  • In 2023, the fashion market reached $661 billion, and showed an 8% growth from the previous year. Apparel makes up two-thirds of this market.
  • Asia generated $325 billion in sales, nearly half of the global total. Consumer spending in this region is quite high despite lower individual spending compared to Western countries.
  • The African fashion market, though small, grew almost 11% from 2022 to 2023, faster than both the Americas and Asia.
  • Over half of the consumers (54.7%) purchased fashion items online in 2023, which is more than those who bought groceries online.
  • The mix of online and in-store shopping is becoming the norm, with 35.4% of global shoppers buying fashion through both channels.
  • Around a third of UK shoppers bought sustainable fashion products last year. Compared to that, a whopping 72.3% of Indian consumers chose sustainable fashion Items, indicating emerging markets’ environmental consciousness.
  • Second-hand clothing accounts for 28.2% of global purchases, indicating a shift towards more sustainable fashion consumption habits.

Why did we pull the key takeaways at the very beginning? We wanted to give a top-down approach – so a general overview of the changes and current situation first, specifics later.

Why should you monitor global fashion sector data?

Before we dig a bit deeper into the details of the fashion industry (biggest companies, consumer habits, and more), let’s check why you should keep an eye on this data.

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Understanding market shifts helps you plan better

The fashion world changes fast, and that’s an undeniable fact. Knowing about such changes helps companies make better business decisions.

Regional trends show new chances to grow

Fashion markets around the world are unique, creating new opportunities. 

Asia stands out with $325 billion in sales, which is nearly half of the global total. The region has a young, growing population eager to spend on fashion. Meanwhile, individual spending in Asia is lower compared to the West. 

Europeans and Americans spend more per person. This opens up chances for brands to introduce premium products in Asia while keeping options affordable.

Africa is also on the rise, growing almost 11% between 2022 and 2023. Though smaller in market size, its growth is notable. African shoppers often choose affordable fashion from places like Shein. 

Knowledge is key – these patterns can indicate new business opportunities. Retailers can then shape or adjust your strategies to fit what each market needs.

Market segments offer clues for better products

The fashion market divides into areas like clothes, shoes, and accessories, and each part has its own trends. Brands that know these details can make products that shoppers want more.

For example, Shein, a brand known for quickly capturing fashion trends, reached revenues of almost $23 billion in 2022 – they focused on what young shoppers are looking for in apparel and accessories. 

What shoppers like guides new fashion items

Customers today want brands that respect their values like green practices. 

Zara, for example, has responded to these consumer values. Working with Greenpeace, the retailer committed to eliminating toxic chemicals from the production of its fabrics. Since 2020, Zara’s entire production process has been free of chemicals.

Economic signs help predict the market’s health

Inflation has a big impact on the fashion industry as well. When the cost of making and moving goods goes up, it affects everything from raw materials to the final price tags on clothes. 

In 2022, big global events like the conflict in Ukraine pushed energy prices up, which made it more expensive to transport goods and caused prices in the fashion industry to rise.

The higher costs led to a drop in fashion sales worldwide as people became cautious about spending. In Africa, where inflation hit hardest, fashion sales fell the most. In Asia, the impact was less severe, but still noticeable.

Mobile commerce is reshaping shopping

People now use their phones not just for calls or messages but also to make purchases. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok play a big role here – consumers can also buy products directly through these apps.

Did you know that TikTok is on track to reach 2 billion active users by 2024?

In 2022, TikTok alone made around $20 billion in sales. There’s no doubt that this is a big deal since it shows us how powerful mobile shopping can be. Lots of young people use TikTok, they watch videos, click on products they like, and buy them right away.

Retailers should know being on social media is key as it helps them talk to customers and sell more. Mobile commerce is becoming a powerful way for brands to reach shoppers and boost their sales.

All you need to know about fashion consumers

Fashion would not exist without consumers, and vice versa. That’s why fashion brands must get to know their target audience inside and out.

Here are some facts about the buyers:

Online shopping leads in fashion

In 2023, 54.7% of shoppers bought fashion items online, more than those who bought groceries online. Fashion shoppers are quickly moving online, finding it easy to compare styles and prices. 

Also, the generation that likes to shop online is Generation Z (ages 12-27).

However, it’s not the only model that’s popular, it’s also…

The hybrid model defines modern shopping

About 35.4% of shoppers buy fashion both online and in-store – thas data shows the rise of hybrid retail. This blend of online browsing and in-store purchasing highlights how consumers prefer a versatile shopping experience, merging the convenience of online with the assurance of physical stores.

Young consumers drive online fashion sales

Gen Z and Millennials are the main online fashion buyers, with younger groups likely to spend more on fashion online. The younger shoppers are digital natives, and are more inclined to use ecommerce for their fashion needs. They often spend up to $320 a month on fashion online.

The global reach of online fashion is expanding

Countries like India and China see over two-thirds of their populations shopping for fashion online. The global expansion of smartphones and the internet has allowed more consumers to participate in online shopping, which made fashion one of the most popular ecommerce sectors.

Sustainability is on the rise

Shoppers around the world are choosing sustainable fashion more than ever. Last year (2024), 46.4% of them bought eco-friendly clothes. That’s more than in any other retail sector. 

Where do people buy sustainable clothes the most? India is the leader in eco-friendly fashion shopping, also South Africa, Egypt, and China.

In contrast, only about a third of UK shoppers chose environmentally friendly fashion. 

Brands are now focusing on sustainable practices from design to disposal. They are using ethically sourced materials and reducing waste to make a difference. It’s a shift that helps both the planet and their sales.

Second-hand fashion facts from MENA (Middle East and North Africa)

Did you know that… 

  • The second-hand fashion market in the MENA is booming. It’s driven by young shoppers who care about the environment and want to save money too.
  • The global market for second-hand clothes will likely hit $351 billion by 2027. A lot of this growth comes from the MENA region, where more people are choosing to buy used clothing.
  • In Dubai, platforms like The Luxury Closet make it easy for people to buy and sell pre-owned luxury items. 
  • Companies like North Ladder in the UAE are growing fast. They got $5 million to help more people buy and sell used fashion items.
  • Online marketplaces are making it easier for people in the Middle East to find and buy second-hand clothes, even for kids and everyday wear.

As more consumers turn to second-hand markets, they not only make eco-friendly choices but also discover unique fashion gems that stand out.

Overview of the biggest fashion brands of 2024

Let’s talk about the industry giants! See how the biggest shopping brands did last year.

ASOS

ASOS sells a variety of fashion items ranging from clothes to shoes and accessories for a young, fashion-forward audience. 

👉 It’s known for: trendy, affordable fashion and free delivery and returns policy, making it a hit among millennials and Gen Z consumers.

👉 It operates: primarily online and holds an extensive collection from over 850 brands along with its own range of clothing and accessories. The UK-based retailer has a significant presence in several major markets, including the US, European Union, and Australia. 

👉 Revenue in 2023: $5.4 billion.

Depop

Depop is a peer-to-peer social shopping app popular with Gen Z. It combines aspects of e-commerce with social media, and it allows users to buy and sell clothes and accessories through a mobile app. 

👉 It’s known for: vintage and second-hand items, catering to a growing interest in sustainable fashion. 

👉 It operates: in several countries, with a strong presence in the UK and the US. The platform’s social features help sellers become influencers, adding a unique twist to the typical online shopping experience.

👉 Revenue in 2023: $2.7 billion.

Gap

Gap is a global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children. 

👉 It’s known for: casual, American-style clothing, Gap has faced significant challenges in recent years with declining sales and store closures. Gap’s focus on staple pieces like denim and t-shirts keeps it relevant in a competitive fashion industry.

👉 It operates in: major retail markets due to its brand recognition and extensive distribution network, including company-operated stores and e-commerce platforms. 

👉 Revenue in 2023: $16.7 billion.

H&M

The Swedish company H&M is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers. H&M is recognized for its quick turnover of fashion trends and collaborations with high-end designers, which continue to draw significant consumer interest.

👉 It’s known for: fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children.  

👉 It operates in: numerous countries across the globe. Its significant retail markets include Europe, the United States, and Asia. 
👉 Revenue in 2023
: $23.5 billion.

Muji

Muji is a Japanese retailer renowned for its simple, no-brand quality goods, with clothing, household items, and food products. 

👉 It’s known for: eco-friendly practices and minimalistic design in its products.

👉 It operates in: Asia, Europe, and North America. It appeals to consumers looking for understated, functional products. The brand’s approach to retail, which is focusing on the quality and utility of its goods, sets it apart in the crowded consumer goods market.

👉 Revenue in 2023: $4.1 billion.

Nike

Nike is a global leader in athletic footwear, apparel, and equipment. 

👉 It’s known for:  sports apparel and heavy influence on fashion trends, particularly with its sneakers and athletic wear. It specializes in sports technology and marketing, frequently collaborating with high-profile athletes and celebrities.

👉 It operates in: North America, Europe, and Asia. 
👉 Revenue in 2023:
$51.3 billion.

Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret might be associated with fashion shows, but it also sells lingerie and beauty products. The company has been working to enhance its image and product line in response to the market dynamics – now, it also focuses on diverse styles and sizes for a wider audience.

👉 It’s known for:  lingerie, sleepwear, and beauty products. 

👉 It operates in: in the United States, although it has faced criticism and challenges in adapting to changing consumer preferences towards inclusivity and body positivity. 

👉 Revenue in 2023: $5.4 billion.

Enjoei

Enjoei is a Brazilian online marketplace that specializes in buying and selling second-hand goods, particularly fashion items. It is popular among younger consumers who are more conscious of sustainability and the environmental impact of their consumption habits.

👉 It operates in: Brazil.

👉 It’s known for: providing a platform for users to recycle their wardrobes and find unique fashion pieces at lower prices. 

👉 Revenue in 2022: $25 million.

Predictions for the fashion industry

What does the future hold? Check out the speculations.

The metaverse will transform fashion shopping

Imagine shopping in a digital world. Soon, you could enter a virtual store, try on clothes with your avatar, and even attend fashion shows online. 

Brands like Gucci and Balenciaga are already experimenting with virtual spaces. They create exciting, interactive experiences that attract young, tech-savvy shoppers.

Artificial intelligence will make shopping super personal

Shopping online may feel like visiting your favorite store. AI will remember your style and size, showing you clothes that fit you perfectly. Polish brand eobuwie.pl has already implemented such a model – customers can scan their feet, and based on that, the system recommends shoes that are an exact fit.

UK retailer Marks & Spencer uses AI to suggest outfits based on your body type and preferences. Buyers can find what they enjoy in no time.

Online fashion market to hit a trillion dollars

By 2025, online fashion sales are expected to surpass a trillion dollars. This growth comes from more people using the internet and mobile phones. They enjoy the convenience of shopping from anywhere. 

Livestream shopping grows in popularity

Get ready for more live fashion events online. Brands and influencers host these events where you can watch, interact, and buy products in real time. It’s almost like a live show but from your couch. 

The trend is catching on because it makes shopping exciting and interactive, and buyers will feel part of a community while finding great new clothes.

Social media continues to shape fashion

Social media is is where you see what’s trending and buy the latest styles directly from posts. Influencer marketing and live shopping events are getting more popular. They make shopping fun and social, connecting you with brands and other shoppers.

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Conclusion

The fashion sector is exciting and full of changes. The newest Retailx’s report on the global fashion sector reveals only a part of them! Knowing about the latest trends, challenges, and what shoppers want can help anyone in the industry succeed. 

The insights here give a clear path for anyone looking to understand or dive into this lively sector. 

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