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Consumer awareness is resulting global apparel market decline

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Textile industry is moving on transformation including environmental issues and consumer awareness. Increasing consumer awareness about the negative impact of the clothing and textile industry on the environment is one of the reasons volumes have started to decline. Consumers have been buying clothes in ever-increasing quantities over the past 20 years as fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara and budget retailers including Primark and Walmart cut prices after shifting production to Asia. So apparel markets in many developed countries may now be entering a lengthy period of structural decline.

Earnings forecasts for the world’s largest clothing retailers – led by Asos, Zalando, Macys and Marks & Spencer – have been downgraded by almost 40 per cent since the beginning of 2016. If clothing volumes are plateauing in developed countries, the only way the apparel markets there can grow is if clothing prices go up. But these are likely to fall as production continues to shift from China to lower-cost countries in the region such as Vietnam and Bangladesh.

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