20 Key Figures and Facts about Fashion Industry in the UK

Fashion industry in the UK
Image/Christopher Kane LFWAW14


The fashion industry in the UK has always been a major business, and has been well-recognised as a form of soft power in the global market, making the country one the world’s most influential players in fashion designing, manufacturing, retailing and even fashion education. According to the latest report from the British Fashion Council (BFC), the British fashion sector directly contributed £28 billion ($35.2 billion) to the UK’s economy in 2015, with over 880,000 people employed by the industry in roles varying from manufacturing to retail.


Here are some shocking figures and facts about the fashion industry in the UK



1. The total export value of the UK’s textile and fashion products is over £6.5 billion a year.


2. The total import value of the UK’s textile and fashion industry is over £24.3 billion a year.


3. The total sales of footwear, including men’s and women’s, reached £10.3 billion in 2015, up by 6.5% year on year.


4. The sales of luxury goods in the the UK topped £32.2 billion in 2013, and is forecasted to reach £51.1 billion in 2019.


5. Next PLC is currently the largest fashion company in the UK, valued at £8.5 billion in 2015, followed by Marks & Spencer and Arcadia Group.


6. Burberry is the top luxury fashion company in the UK. The iconic British fashion brand has a market value of £5.8 billion pounds, with revenues of about £2.5 billion a year.


7. The menswear market is the fastest growing segment in the UK’s fashion industry. It reached £14.1 billion in sales in 2015 and grew by 4.1% from the previous year, compared to a 3.7% growth in womenswear in the same year.


8. The womenswear market in the UK recorded £27 billion sales in 2015 and is expected to hit £32 billion in 2020, marking a 23% growth in the five-year period.


9. Total fashion accessories sales in the UK reached £2.7 billion in 2015, increasing by 3.4% from 2014


10. In 2015, over half of the female population in the UK purchased a handbag.


11. The UK is the world’s leader in fashion education with 6 of the world’s top 20 leading fashion universities.


12. The UK spent £57.7 billion on garments, footwear, and fashion accessories in 2015. This figure is expected to grow by 12.89% from 2015 to 2020.


13. Online shopping for fashion items in the UK totaled £12.4 billion sales in 2015, increasing by 16% from the previous year. This figure is projected to reach £19 billion by 2019.


14. Clothing and footwear are the most popular products purchased online, representing 29% of the total online spending in the UK.


15. Online footwear sales in the UK increased by 17% in 2015, representing the biggest sales growth across the whole fashion industry in that year.


16. In 2014, 8% of women over age 55 bought clothes online, while this figure had a massive leap to 59% in 2015.


17. London Fashion Week, a vital showcase for the UK’s industry and talent, is one of the ‘big four’ international fashion festivals in the world, and has an audience of over 35 million across different channels and platforms every year.


18. Over £100 million worth of orders are placed during London Fashion Week each season, of which over 70% of the purchases come from abroad.


19. London Fashion Week (#LFW) was mentioned 503,404 times on Twitter and tagged 113,348 times on Instagram during 2016’s spring and summer show.


20. Consumers in the UK have an estimated £37.2 billion worth of unworn clothes in their closets.


(Sources: British Fashion Council, The Telegraph, LFW)


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