What You Didn't Know About the Fashion Industry
Come on, let’s face it: everyone has at least one opinion about the fashion industry. But we are not here to talk about opinions, unchecked facts or to boast about whatever cool things we know. We are here to talk specifically about what awesome things you did not know occurred in this industry. Until today. Stop anybody on the street, in your local shop or at the bus station and ask them what they know about fashion. Not what they think about fashion, but what they know. You are still going to get answers like “it’s great”, “it’s glamorous” or maybe there will be some people who will say that they know about David Beckham. In the end, not many people know specific things about fashion, so that’s why we are having this little guide done for you today.
If you are just a little bit familiar with Mark Twain, you might have heard about this simple thing he kept saying: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” It’s a little bit harsh, but we can all agree that this is the case. We all fall for the trap of thinking highly of people who dress themselves accordingly. Don’t get this the wrong way. There are a good number of people who dress well and actually deserve it, but some like to pose as well. If you are wearing jeans and sneakers at work every day, try stepping in with a nice shirt, white jeans and white shoes on Monday to make an outlasting impression. You will see what Mark Twain was taking about exactly. What is our point in the end? Fashion affects us all. We cannot run away from it, and even if we could, it would still find a way to bring us back. So why keep avoiding it? Time to embrace it. Here are a few things about fashion that you literally cannot move on in life without knowing.
The Revenue Is Huge
Really, if you have ever thought that people are not investing money into clothes, it’s time to think again. Every year, out of every pocket on this blessed earth comes a relatively small sum of money. It might matter to you whether it’s £100 or £1000, but at the end of the year, when everything is calculated, the result is outstanding: $2.5 trillion go into fashion. Yes, we can even spell that for you: two point five trillion dollars go into fashion every year. It’s a huge mechanism that keeps rolling and rolling and rolling. We cannot stop it, you cannot stop it, nobody can stop it. If we decide to quit fashion tomorrow and try to move on somehow the industry will not feel it. Now taking this fact into consideration, why would you not be interested in fashion? This is officially one of the most profitable markets in the world, perhaps along with housecleaning and selfcare products. It’s important for us to understand that we need clothes no matter what. And as long as there is an entire industry backing us up every step of the way, why would we ever choose to ignore it? Maybe the large sums of money do not interest you, but does the number of employees have any impact on how you think of the industry? There are approximately 60 million people all around the world working so that you can wear the best clothes. In the US, at least, there are approximately 4 million people dedicated to fashion entirely. The fastfood and videogame industries do not have as many employees as this sector has.
There Is a Very High Chance That You Are Wearing Something From Haiti
Oh yes, 88% of Haiti’s exports is centered on clothing. This country makes a lot of money out of exporting clothes that you are wearing. Take a look. Do you have Haiti written on some of your labels? Thought so. But there are other countries that make a ton of profit out of this as well: almost 80% of Bangladesh’s exports rely on the same service, Lesotho prides itself with a relatively high 59% and Cambodia follows up with 52%. And the world did not start and will not end with these countries. Every country in the world has fashion deeply embedded in their culture, whether they realize it or not. This should explain the sudden emergence of “fashion capitals” such as Sao Paulo, Lagos or Mumbai.
Women Reign in the Fashion Industry
Women are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fashion. It’s only natural. The meticulousness, the eye for detail and the love for beauty allow them to have a very tight grip on everything we know related to fashion. Approximately 68% of the workforce in fashion is comprised of women and, if we were to take it locally, there are countries such as Bangladesh in which the workforce can rise up to around 90%. But what about the boarding room? Oh, things get really interesting up there. Suffice it to say that our of the top 50 most esteemed fashion brands of the world only 7 are run by women. One out of four board members in every company is a woman. So suffice it to say that around 25% of boarding rooms are filled with women. Men occupy the rest of the 75%. It makes you wonder what is actually going on. The industry practically depends on women in order to maintain its success. Without them it wouldn’t really exist.
So why aren’t we seeing more of them in the meeting room? These are some of the major facts that dominate the world of fashion, but it does not end here. Did you know that the average American disposes of 70 pounds of clothes every year? Yes, those are clothes that go into the garbage can. Ok, maybe this does not sound as a major waste to you. They are clothes after all, right? Sadly, it’s not all that easy. You need plenty of land if you want to gaze animals, you need a ton of water to grow some cotton and you also need plenty of natural resources if you want to transport all your goods to make money. Still not enough? Ok, then how about the fact that you need 1,083 gallons of water if you want to make one Tshirt? Throw away 70 pounds worth of Tshirts and you pretty much understand how much effort has been thrown away. But this is the bad news. The good news is that people have been noticing these ill trends and movements have started being promoted in order for us to have a cleaner, better and more sustainable wardrobe. Millennials are already showing great signs of improvement, carefully choosing their clothes so that they both feel good and have great impact on the environment if thrown away. Did you know that there is a Fashion Revolution Day? Yes! We have that too! It’s on the 24 of April and its story is quite fascinating. Let’s think of it this way: in a world in which a company is employing several suppliers it can be quite difficult to even remember who what does. Yes, the world of fashion is perceived as being “the world of skirts, dresses and jewels” by many, but it is actually the people who are most valuable in this industry. This is why Fashion Revolution Day was invented. It was because of the Rana Plazza factory incident, in which approximately 1000 people died, that the #WhoMadeMyClothes movement was born. It is a movement in which we all need to recognize that someone is putting in hard work for us to have and wear good clothes. Those people need to be seen, they need to be heard and they need our utmost respect. They work day and night so that we can look well. Now take a step back and look at all these things. Could you say that this is a bad time for you to look at the industry from a different point of view? There are way too many advantages at stake to not at least give it a try.
And the fact that it is constantly growing, from year to year, is a strong statement that this sector will continue to live on and on. Now let’s do a short recap so that you can leave with a clear mind and a better perception about what fashion really is. It is a $2.5 trillion industry that is still growing, it provides a great opportunity for people all around the world to follow their passion and work for the pleasure of mankind, it is also a great opportunity for countries to step up and shine and it is a beautiful industry which is led by the beautiful sex (let’s be honest: women lead the fashion industry from the shadows). Creating clothes takes a lot of resources and the fact that we choose to recognize and cherish the people who work for our wellbeing makes it one of the greatest industries in the world.