Fashion is a very vast field, it applies on apparel, clothing, accessories, footwear, cosmetics, makeup, hairstyle, lifestyle, body shapes and many more. Something that is form of self-expression and can be selected/chosen basis on individual’s interest or decision at a particular period or place in the context of clothing or apparel or lifestyle or footwear or look & appearance is called fashion. Globally, there is a set of people always prefers to adopt new trends and fashion, vis-à-vis, there is a set of people believes in being or using whatever comfortable for them, not bothered about fashion or trend. Fashion gets change periodically and basis on location or place, for example, Fashions of the 1990s in Europe or Fashions of the 2000s in US or Fashions of the 2010s of Asia etc, sometime, some fashion is being restricted into some timeframe/season in some country/countries, or, sometime, some fashion is forever globally. As this is a vast field and one article is not sufficient, in this article, I am sharing only general information!
Fashion (clothing, apparel & footwear) industry is amongst top 10 economies in the world; according to the sources, before Covid-19 pandemic the global fashion industry revenue was estimated between US$1.7 trillion to US$2.5 trillion, post Covid-19, the industry is growing. China is the largest producers of fashionable items (textiles and clothing) and EU and US are the largest consumers. Womenswear is highest revenue generator in global fashion retail (almost 53%) as comparing to Menswear (almost 31%) and Childrenswear (almost 16%). We can bifurcate fashion into two categories – 1) Luxury Fashion and 2) Mass Fashion. The luxury fashion is made with elite and fine raw materials, limited quantity, expensive products, adopted by celebrities or page # 3 audience, fashion and party lovers, available at very few selected stores, very much customized, time taking production processes, combination of different fine materials. The mass fashion is produced in bulk, available in many stores globally, production is fast, not much customized, cost is less comparing to luxury products. As per the reports, Luxury Segment is expected to grow higher than the Non-Luxury Segment going forward, however, at the end of the day, both options are equally important for industry, producers & consumers and country specific economies.
Fashion industry (textiles, clothing, leather & shoes, accessories) consists of more than 70 million workers globally, there are also indirect workers in a big number. Currently this industry is facing many challenges related to labours such as child labour issue and exploiting workers specifically in the countries such as China, Bangladesh etc. Environmental pollution and un-ethical production processes are also challenges in this industry, due to the fast fashion unwanted clothing is increasing rapidly, fashion industry is responsible for 20% of global waste water. We will read about sustainability and other improvement areas in separate articles going forward. As the sector is growing day by day, potential employment opportunities are also being created and to supply skilled labours and talents to the industry, many educational/learning centres are offering various courses/study plans. In my separate article, I shall share more details about various universities/schools world over those teaches fashion/production/designing etc.