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Fashion Industry by the Numbers

Fashion Industry by the Numbers
  • Industry size: $2.5 trillion-dollar 
  • 2nd highest user of water worldwide, producing 20% of global water waste.  
  • 1: 2700. The production of 1 cotton shirt requires 2700 Liters, the amount a person drinks in 2.5 years.  
  • 10% of the global carbon emissions are emitted by the apparel industry  
  • 24% of the world’s insecticides and 11% of pesticides are used by cotton farming  despite using only 3% of the world’s arable land  
  • 85% of textiles are sent to landfills, that is 21 billion tons a year globally 
  • 1 in 6 people in the world works in a fashion-related job, and 80% of the labor force throughout the supply chain are women.  
  • The average consumer is now purchasing 60% more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept half as long and on average 40% of clothes in our wardrobes are never worn.  
  • By 2030, there will be 5.4 billion people in the global middle class, up from 3 billion in 2015, the biggest group of consumers in the fashion industry.   
  • If consumption in all industries, including fashion, continues at its current rate, there will be 3 times as many natural resources needed by 2050, compared to what was used in 2000. 

      Source: UNECE, Fashion and the SDGs: what role for the UN?

      Photo credit: Peter Holst for Eco Fashion Week

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