Size of the fashion market

All three levels of the market have shown some growth in domestic clothing demand in recent years. Growth of the total UK market for

Fashion Market Growth

Figure 2.2 Fashion flow chart.


tD 3

Figure 2.2 Fashion flow chart.

clothing has grown by over 16% from 1994 to 2004 and retail sales for 2006 are predicted to be nearly 50 billion (Table 2.2).

UK imports now greatly exceed exports, having increased from £9.1 billion to £11.5 billion from 2001 to 2005 with the main traders being Hong Kong, China and Turkey (see Table 2.1). UK exports have remained steady at about £2.5 billion per annum over the same period with about 73% of this output going to other European countries. As less UK manufactured clothes are sold in the home market the proportion of goods being exported is actually increasing. The figures become more complex as UK manufacturers are developing their own production facilities overseas to take advantage of lower wages and production costs (Table 2.3).

Table 2.2 Some major developments in fashion

Pre-nineteenth century

1918 onwards 1930s

1939-1945 1950s and 1960s

1970s to 1990s


2000 onwards 2002 onwards

Fashions only for the rich and powerful

Start of mass fashion

Film personalities influencing popular clothing

World War II - raised hemlines

Freer styles, fewer control garments

Growth of multi-nationals and mass media influence Increase in branded and designer label goods Growth of electronic shopping

Increasing influx of cheap foreign manufactured clothing

Table 2.3 Consumer spending on clothes

Consumer Expenditure at Current Prices in £ Million

Table 2.3 Consumer spending on clothes

Consumer Expenditure at Current Prices in £ Million








31 048

32 103

33 927

35 689

37 112

38 067


4 431

4 719

5 165

5 466

5 680

5 661


35 479

36 822

39 092

41 155

42 792

43 728

% change on


+ 3.8




Source: Consumption, The Blue Book 2006.


Source: Consumption, The Blue Book 2006.

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