This is the FashionUnited page with Facts and Figures about the fashion industry in the United Kingdom.

Facts and Figures about the Fashion Industry

United Kingdom fashion industry statistics, London retail facts and figures

The U.K. fashion market is a leading industry well known for key players like Burberry, Marks & Spencer, Next, TopShop, Asos, Mulberry, Supergroup and French Connection.

Fashion Statistics - United Kingdom

Fashion Statistics - European Union (EU-27)

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Map

Population63 million (2012 est.)

Population growth rate0.6% (2012 est.)

Labor force32 million (2011 est.)

Unemployment8.1% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)$36,600 (2011 est.)

Fashion Statistics - United Kingdom

  • UK Consumption Expenditure

    Total UK household consumption on clothing and footwear is € 59 billion.
    Thus, British consumers spent about € 900 on fashion, this is slightly above the EU-27 average of € 700 per year.

    Employment - number of employees in the fashion retail industry

    The UK fashion and textiles sectors as a whole employ an estimated 600 thousand people, making the United Kingdom the third-largest fashion employer in the EU-27 surpassed only by Italy and Germany.


  • UK Employment in manufacturing of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods

    A strong rise of emerging markets (China, India, ...) and upcoming EU-27 member state industries like Bulgaria and Romania have a strong impact on UK Fashion manufacture.

    Within a decade UK employment in the production of textiles, apparel, footwear and leather products decreased from 285 thousand to 99 thousand people in 2009.


  • UK Employment in retail of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods

    Employment in UK fashion retail remains stable over time, approximately 435 thousand people are active in the retail of textile, clothing and footwear.
Fashion Statistics - European Union (EU-27)
European Union (EU-27)
In 2009 the overall size of economic activities of the Clothing & Textile sector (textile, apparel, footwear and leather goods) in the EU-27 represents a turnover of € 562 billion. 870 thousand enterprises involved in the wholesale, retail and manufacture, generated a total of € 135 billion gross value added.

These enterprises together employed 5.4 million people, approximately 2.4 % of the total 223.8 million men and women employed in the EU-27. Despite a strong downward trend the Clothing & Textile sector still employs 2.2 million people who are active in the manufacturing of textiles, clothing and leather goods.

EU-27 household consumption slowed down or even reduced in 2009 as a response to the global economic recession and lowered consumer confidence. However 2010 estimations seem to reveal small signs of recovery.

  • EU Consumption Expenditure

    Clothing and footwear spending swing around € 370 billion, 5.3% of total household consumption. Italy, Germany and the UK remain Europe's largest fashion markets in terms of consumption. Average spending on Fashion in the EU-27 is about € 700 per year per capita.


  • Number of people employed in the fashion industry within the European Union

    In terms of total persons employed in the fashion industry, the European Union (EU-27) is characterized by a strong downward trend. Employment in the manufacturing of textiles, clothing and leather sector decreased from approximately 3.4 million people in 2004 to about 2.2 million people in 2009.

    This trend is most notable in the production of textiles which halved in a 5 year time frame from 1.2 million to 0.6 million workers in 2009.


  • Number of people employed in the fashion retail within the European Union


Fashion industry statistics United Kingdom
14 February 2014

At a press conference to open London Fashion Week Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, announced updated figures showing substantial growth in the UK fashion industry over the past five years.
- The direct value of the UK fashion industry to the UK economy is £26 billion; up from £21 billion in 2009. Showing an increase of 22% in nominal terms (source: Oxford Economics 2014)
- The UK fashion industry is estimated to support 797,000 jobs (source: Oxford Economics 2014). This is a decrease of 2.3% from 2009
- Whilst employment figures have dropped overall the increased contribution to UK GVA reflects higher productivity within the fashion sector. The British Fashion Council is committed to supporting growth in the sector which it hopes will lead to more employment opportunities
- Fashion’s total contribution to the economy via both indirect support for supply chain industries and induced spending of employee’s wage income is estimated to have risen to over £46 billion. An increase of 23% since 2009 (source: Oxford Economics 2014)

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘These latest figures are clear evidence of the hugely important contribution that fashion makes to our economy. It is a dynamic industry whose value is increasing thanks to the dazzling creativity of our designers, the brilliant colleges that bring up the next waves of talent and a fast moving retail sector, which covers the spectrum of great style from bespoke to high street. My office will continue to work with the British Fashion Council to ensure that London remains on the front row in the international fashion stakes.’

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: 'London is about to host one of the central events in the fashion calendar, but more importantly it is about to showcase the world class talent we have in our fashion industry. It is testament to the designers, large and small, of the United Kingdom, and to all those who work in the wider retail industry.’

Sam Moore, COO, Oxford Economics, added “Our research underlines the continued and growing importance of the fashion industry’s contribution to the UK economy. Despite, the severe economic headwinds that have confronted British industries since 2009, the growth of the fashion industry is a testament to the popularity of the UK’s fashion industry.”

Fashion Figures UK 2010
Great Britain remains a leading center for the manufacturing of clothing and high- quality fabrics, with the clothing and textile industries combined producing £8.5 billion- worth of goods and employing 150,000 people in 2007. The UK high street fashion industry is worth an estimated £44.5 billion.

In 2009 UK retail sales were over £285 billion, compared to the £450 million per annum that designer fashion makes to the UK economy. The retail sector generates 8% of the Gross Domestic Product of the UK.

In 2009 there were 293,510 retail outlets in the UK. The average British household whole expenditure in 2008 was £471.0 per week, compared to £459.20 from same period in 2007.

Number of employees in the fashion retail industry:
The retail industry employed over 2.9 million people as at the end of December 2009. This equates to 11% of the total UK workforce. The Textile and Apparel sector employs more than 35 million people directly, while the Apparel sector alone having over 6 million employees.

£41,054m was the total spent in clothing and footwear in the United Kingdom in 2009. Thus, British consumers spent £46.2 billion in 2009 on clothing and adornment products, which represented per capita annual spending of £753. For the past years, spending on clothing and footwear has fallen to a record low-down to an average of 21.60 pounds per week..."

Overseas sales of apparel and textile industry combined are worth £7.3 billion at manufacturers’ prices, being major export sectors USA, Japan, Russia, France, Italy, Middle East, Hong Kong, and China.

Despite more than a third of consumer spending goes through shops, the online fashion market continues to boom and reached nearly £4.1 billion in 2009, up by 26% on 2008. Internet retailing was the channel least affected by the economic slowdown towards the end of the review period.

Consumers continued to use the internet in order to seek out bargains and compare prices at the click of a button. However, in 2009 retailers were more cautious in entering internet retailing. Most apparel companies based in the UK opted either to offer only a portion of their products online, or sold goods via an established online retailer.

As household penetration for internet retailing grows during the forecast period, non-store retailing is set to contribute most to growth in retailing during the forecast period. Shopping on the go, as a result of iPhone applications and hand held PDA’s, will also drive growth.



- British Retail Consortium

- National Statitistics Office (on UK business bysector and location)
- University of Southampton on Retail Recruitment and Graduate Schemes
- 'Retailing in the UK', by the Euromonitor
- Clothing Retailing in the UK, by Mintel
- Verdict Research: UK Value Clothing Retailers 2009
- British Council of Fashion Industry's Facts & Figures 2009
- British Lifestyles, by Mintel