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The figures you need to know about the fashion industry

And why it is so important to commit to Slow Fashion Season


By Justine Muraccioli

Ready to take a pledge and not buy any new clothing for three months? Subscribe to Slow Fashion Season here:

In the past couple of years, slow fashion has been growing dramatically, especially thanks to the Generation Z's activism and the millennials' wake-up call that they are helping to destroy the planet they want to let to their children. Conscious buying behaviours is not anymore the characteristic of privileged yuppies living in urban areas. It is a state of mind of the masses, a realisation that every aspect of our lives, including our clothes, can make a difference.

Thred Up, the famous resale online platform, released recently their Annual Report where we found the best news !

  • Resale has grown 21X faster than the retail apparel market over the past three years

  • The second-hand apparel market should reach $51 billion in 2023

  • Secondhand is projected to grow to nearly 1.5x the size of fast fashion by 2028

  • 1/3 people from the Gen Z generation (15-23 years-old) will buy second-hand in 2019

  • Sustainability is now a priority for consumers with 74% of 18-29 year olds preferring to buy from sustainably conscious brands

The entire report is fascinating and can be found here :

But why all these numbers on consumers behaviours are so important? Why committing to Slow Fashion Season, resale & thrift-shopping?

Well, the Thred Up report is truly encouraging and a confirmation that change is coming and that new generations are leading the way. The reason why change needs to happen is because of these less encouraging numbers (Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future)

  • 2,700 liters of water are necessary to produce only 1 single cotton tee-shirt. When you know that only 1% of the water on Earth is available for consumption and human usage, it sounds like a lot, doesn't it?
  • The production of clothing has doubled between 2000 and 2015 but the numbers of time clothing are worn have decreased by 36%
  • Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing
  • In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production totalled 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
  • 20% of industrial water pollution globally is attributable to the dyeing and treatment of textiles
  • Textiles production (including cotton farming) also uses around 93 billion cubic metres of water annually, equivalent more than 1 million Olympic pools
  • Over 50% of workers are not paid the minimum wage in countries like India or The Philippines (Source: Pulse of Fashion Report 2017)

  • In Pakistan’s garment sector, 87% of women are paid less than the minimum wage, while the figure is 27% for men (Source: Pulse of Fashion Report 2017)

If these numbers show us one thing, it is that our way of consuming currently is not helping us getting anywhere. It is not sustainable, it is not good for the planet nor its people. But it is not our type, at Slow Fashion Season, to blame anyone or make anyone feel guilty. From any challenge rise opportunity !

Opportunity to reuse, recycle, re-wear and make the second-hand market a bigger one or not buy any new clothes for a long period of time like we encourage 😉

And opportunities for the textile industry to lead to way to more sustainable options, and a fairer treatment of workers.

The Pulse of Fashion Report 2018 shows that compared to the previous year, more companies have started the groundwork by setting targets on sustainability and the volume of sustainable materials has increased significantly in the last year. Good points, for example, go to Hugo Boss who stopped samples and only use digital showrooms as of end 2018, or GAP who developed an Engagement at Work program to enable factory workers in Bangladesh, China, Guatemala, India or Vietnam to provide anonymous feedback on key issues to create systemic change.


There is a long way to go but we believe that every one has the power to make a change.

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