The Changing Fashion Industry Infographic

Magali An Berthon created the following infographic detailing some of the interesting facts surrounding the fashion industry.

Cooper Hewitt Textile Infographic featured in a blog post by EcoGoodz, a mixed rags supplier

“In the past forty years, the scale and the geographical distribution of production of the textile, clothing and footwear industries have changed dramatically. The per capita world fiber consumption is in constant growth and has increased evenly in developed and developing countries. It was 6.6 pounds in 1959, and has reached 24 pounds in 2011. In response, giants of the global apparel industry are in the race to meet this demand and to produce more new textile items every year.” (source)

Infographic highlights:

  • The global fashion industry was worth $1.44 trillion in 2016. That’s $1,440,000,000,000!
  • 96 million tons of fibers were produced in 2015. Assuming they’re short tons and not metric tons 96,000,000 tons equals 192,000,000,000 pounds. Divided by the roughly 7.4 billion people on the planet, that’s almost 26 lbs of fibers for every man, woman, and child on the planet.  
  • Synthetic fibers outnumber natural fibers 2 to 1.
  • China is the world’s leader in textile production, producing 60 million items of clothing annually. 
  • The USA is the world’s largest garment importer. Considering this, it’s not very surprising to learn that, on average, residents of Manhattan spend nearly $400 per month on clothing!
  • Cotton is still the world’s most popular natural textile fiber.
  • India is the world’s leading producer of jute and cotton. 

Keep in mind that these statistics are for new textiles made from virgin resources. These numbers don’t take into account the secondhand clothing industry (including mixed rags and credential used clothing), which in itself is a multi-million dollar industry.

In our next blog post, we’ll share with you some industry statistics for the global used clothing industry. Thanks for reading!


EcoGoodz is a wholesale used clothing supplier in the US. We supply used clothing bulk both internationally and domestically. We also supply used paired shoes and bulk linens. For more information about our products and availability, please visit our website or contact us directly.