The fashion and textile industry contributes almost £20bn to the UK economy, according to UKFT’s latest report which is exclusively available to members.
This spans everything from designer fashion seen on catwalks around the world, through to luxury knitwear, tailoring, workwear and beyond. It encompasses childrenswear, lingerie and swimwear, as well as military and medical uniforms. It also includes spinning, weaving, knitting and finishing through to carpets, rope and twine, nonwovens and technical textiles for a wide range of end uses including automotive, medical, industrial and protective applications.
UK consumers spend almost £45bn on clothing and textiles, which has been steadily rising over the last decade. Although the pandemic wiped almost £10bn off this figure in 2020, it is expected to continue to grow in the years
to come. Online retail sales for textiles, clothing and footwear increased to an all-time high of 31% in 2020.
The fashion and textile industry in England, Wales and Scotland employs 500,000 people, made up of 88,000 employed in manufacturing, 62,000 in wholesale, and 413,000 in retail.
There were 34,045 businesses operating in the UK fashion and textile sector in 2020, across retail, wholesale and manufacturing. Of these, 16,965 were retailers, 8,825 were wholesalers and 8,245 manufacturers.
After many years of decline, the number of UK garment manufacturers* increased by 13% in the ten years to 2020 to 4,005.
*This figure refers to just garment manufacturers, rather than the 8,245 figure mentioned above which is both fashion and textiles.
The UK exported £8.9bn of fashion and textiles in 2020, down from £9.7bn in 2019, and imported £27.7bn, up from £25.9bn in 2019.
An Executive Summary is available below. The full UKFT’s Compendium of Industry Statistics and Analysis 2020 is available exclusively to UKFT members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.