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Fashion industry

Research guide

Published: 13 Mar 2019 Updated: 24 Nov 2022 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, subscribers and members.

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Useful links

State of Fashion 2022: An uneven recovery and new frontiers
Report published by McKinsey & Company on the complex mix of challenges and opportunities facing the fashion industry going into 2022. Published in December 2021.

Retail outlook for 2022
White paper from KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank on the outlook for the UK retail sector in 2022. Discusses the impact on retail of Covid-19, the economy, cost pressures, ESG, channel convergence and consumer behaviour and and provides a prediction of retail sector growth in 2022.

Brexit: the impact on the fashion industry
Results of a survey by think tank Fashion Roundtable of industry leaders in January and February 2021. Provides data and insights into the impact of the UK-EU trade deal on the UK fashion and textiles industry. Published in May 2021.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

A full listing of reference products and research reports are available for the clothing and footwear industry from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including the manufacture, wholesale and retail of clothing, footwear and jewellery. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Just-Style (Aroq)
A specialist market research portal from Aroq for the fashion sector, including industry news, analysis and research on the global apparel and textiles sector. Free access to news, jobs and some articles and features. The majority of the site requires registration.

A full listing of reports from market intelligence provider Mintel on the clothing, footwear and accessories industry. Report summaries, table of contents and a sample report are available.

Plunkett Research
Reports on the apparel, textiles and fashion industry including trends, statistical analysis and company profiles. Sample data is available.

Industry news

The Library can carry out industry news searches for ICAEW members and ACA students.

Statistics on the UK

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment – average during the year;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Section C: Manufacturing
    Manufacture of wearing apparel (14)
    Manufacture of footwear (15.2)
    Manufacture of jewellery, bijouterie and related articles (32.1)
  • Division 46: Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
    Agents involved in the sale of textiles, clothing, fur, footwear and leather goods (46.16)
    Wholesale of textiles (46.41)
    Wholesale of clothing and footwear (46.42)
    Wholesale of watches and jewellery (46.48)
  • Division 47: Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
    Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores (47.71)
    Retail sale of footwear and leather goods in specialised stores (47.72)
    Retail sale of watches and jewellery in specialised stores (47.77)

Statistics on Europe


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Manufacture of wearing apparel (C14)
  • Manufacture of footwear (C152)
  • Manufacture of jewellery, bijouterie and related articles (C321)

See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’.

  • Agents involved in the sale of textiles, clothing, fur, footwear and leather goods (G4616)
  • Wholesale of textiles (G4641)
  • Wholesale of clothing and footwear (G4642)
  • Wholesale of watches and jewellery (G4648)
  • Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores (G4771)
  • Retail sale of footwear and leather goods in specialised stores (G4772)
  • Retail sale of watches and jewellery in specialised stores (G4777)

See database section ‘SBS – trade’.

Eurostat also compiles an annual survey of specialist statistics on the production of manufactured goods in the EU. Data within Prodcom includes:

  • Division 13 – Manufacture of textiles
  • Division 14 – Manufacture of wearing apparel
  • Division 15 – Manufacture of leather and related products

Statistics on the Americas

Office of Textiles and Apparel (US)

The Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) compiles regularly updated trade data, which includes links to comprehensive US import and export statistics.

Global statistics


The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collects and compiles industrial statistics known as INDSTAT, which give information on:

  • number of employees
  • number of establishments
  • output
  • value added
  • total wages and salaries.

Statistics by country are available for:

  • Spinning, weaving and finishing of textiles (171)
  • Knitted and crocheted fabrics and articles (1730)
  • Wearing apparel, except fur apparel (1810)
  • Dressing and dyeing of fur; processing of fur (1820)
  • Tanning and dressing of leather (1911)
  • Luggage, handbags, etc.; saddlery and harness (1912)
  • Footwear (1920)
  • Jewellery and related articles (3691)

UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade)

The UN compiles and publishes international import and export statistics in the Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade), giving figures for goods traded by value, quantity and weight for each country.

Statistics are available for:

  • Articles of leather, animal gut, harness, travel goods (42)
  • Fur skins and artificial fur, manufactures thereof (43)
  • Silk (50)
  • Wool, animal hair, horsehair yarn and fabric thereof (51)
  • Cotton (52)
  • Knitted or crocheted fabric (60)
  • Articles of apparel, accessories, knit or crochet (61)
  • Articles of apparel, accessories, not knit or crochet (62)
  • Footwear, gaiters and the like, parts thereof (64)
  • Headgear and parts thereof (65)
  • Umbrellas, walking-sticks, seat-sticks, whips, etc (66)

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, and similar (38)
  • Articles of jewellery and goldsmiths' or silversmiths' wares (38)
  • Articles of natural or cultured pearls (38)
  • Imitation jewellery (38)
  • Textile manufacturing services (88)
  • Wearing apparel manufacturing services (88)
  • Leather product manufacturing services (88)



Average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • clothing cutters;
  • goldsmiths, silversmiths, precious stone workers;
  • sewing machinists;
  • product, clothing and related designers;
  • tailors and dressmakers;
  • textile and garments trades.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation and regulation


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a section on health and safety in the textiles industries, which includes latest regulations affecting this industry.

Moving goods from the EU to Great Britain
Step by step webinars which focus on the process for moving goods between the EU and Great Britain in multiple languages. Covers the movement of auto parts, cosmetics and textiles. The videos cover movements from Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain from 1 January 2022.

Working and touring in Europe - guidance for the fashion sector
Checklist from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport for fashion professionals working, performing or touring in Europe. Includes: important checks; visa/work permits; transporting samples, examples and finished goods; transporting commercial goods; haulage; social security and income tax.

Consumer goods sector and the EU
Guidance from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for the consumer goods sector on working with the EU from 1 January 2021.

Textile labelling
Guidance published by GOV.UK for manufacturers and retailers on textile labelling from 1 January 2021.

Footwear labelling
Guidance published by GOV.UK for manufacturers and retailers on footwear labelling from 1 January 2021.

Import and export

Trade Tariff

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

Business guides

The Start Up Donut from Atom Content Marketing provides practical information on starting up and running a number of small business types. Guides cover a range of areas including market research, current trends, regulations, products and services, promotion and pricing. They include:

UK key players, ratios and trends

A range of reports on this sector are available to ICAEW members and ACA students via the Library.

UK benchmarking

The Library can supply benchmarking reports to ICAEW members and ACA students.


Open Apparel Registry
An open source map and database of garment facilities worldwide and their affiliations.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Further resources

Fashion, footwear and jewellery industry guides: British Library
British Library industry guides provide listings of resources for industry-specific information, including print directories and materials held by the British Library.

Contact the British Library Business and IP Centre for more information.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

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