Clothing Industry Outlook : 2024 Industry Data & Insights

How are technological advancements like smart textiles and sustainable practices shaping the clothing industry? This Clothing Industry Outlook provides insights into key industry data, emerging trends such as smart fabrics and sustainable clothing, and innovative startups in the industry.

The Clothing Industry Outlook shows an analysis of an industry balancing both innovation and tradition, influenced by sustainability and technology. It sheds light on how evolving consumer values and emerging technologies are creating new directions. The report explores the growing trends such as eco-conscious fabrics and smart textiles altering fashion standards. It also provides insights and firmographic data that are shaping the future of the apparel market.

This report was last updated in July 2024.

This clothing industry report serves as a reference for stakeholders within the industry, investors, policymakers, and economic analysts, providing a snapshot of the industry’s health to map its trajectory for innovation and growth in the coming years.

StartUs Insights Clothing Industry Report 2024


Executive Summary: Clothing Industry Outlook 2024

This report is created using data obtained from the Big Data and AI-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering more than 4.7 million global companies, as well as 20K+ technologies and emerging trends. We also analyzed a sample of 6000+ clothing startups developing innovative solutions to present five examples from emerging clothing industry trends.

  • Industry Growth Overview: The clothing report indicates a marginal decrease in annual growth of -0.76% with 313000+ companies listed.
  • Manpower & Employment Growth: Despite market fluctuations, the industry has added over 856000 new jobs to its global workforce of 17.7 million.
  • Patents & Grants: The sector continues to innovate with over 68000 patents and 2592 grants, highlighting a consistent focus on research and development.
  • Global Footprint: Its influence spans major hubs in the US, India, UK, Germany, and Canada, including major cities such as New York City, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Melbourne.
  • Investment Landscape: The industry sees an average investment value of USD 28 million per round, with participation from over 12000 investors and over 41000 funding rounds.
  • Top Investors: Notable investors like Tiger Global Management, SoftBank Vision Fund, and more are at the forefront with significant investments totaling USD 9 billion across various companies.
  • Startup Ecosystem: It highlights startups such as The New Black (AI for Clothing Design), MIRRARME (Virtual Try On), Chaininitaly (Supply Chain Transparency), Apparel Robotics (Autonomous Clothing Manufacturing), and Solena Materials (Sustainable Fibers).
  • Recommendations for Stakeholders: Support investment in sustainability and smart technologies, leverage emerging markets, and foster innovation through strategic partnerships to steer the industry’s future.

Explore the Data-driven Clothing Industry Report for 2024

The Clothing Industry Outlook Report 2024 uses data from the Discovery Platform and encapsulates the key metrics that underline the sector’s dynamic growth and innovation. It shows a minor decrease of 0.76% in industry growth over the past year. Our database comprises 313000 clothing companies, with a total of 6000+ clothing startups listed. The global manpower stands at 17.7 million, and there were over 856000 new jobs added in the last year.

The United States, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada are recognized as major country hubs, acting as the industry’s centers of activity and innovation. City hubs such as New York City, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Melbourne are also significant nodes for clothing business and innovation. The industry holds over 68000 patents and has received 2592 grants, indicating a consistent focus on R&D and intellectual property.

What data is used to create this clothing industry report?

Based on the data provided by our Discovery Platform, we observe that the clothing industry ranks among the top 5% in the following categories relative to all 20K topics in our database. These categories provide a comprehensive overview of the industry’s key metrics and inform the short-term future direction of the industry.

  • News Coverage & Publications: The clothing industry has been the subject of over 36000 publications in the past year.
  • Funding Rounds: Our database has more than 41000 funding rounds, showing solid financial activity and investor confidence.
  • Manpower: The clothing industry’s workforce is large, with more than 17 million workers, and it added over 856K new employees last year.
  • Patents: The sector owns over 130K patents, highlighting its focus on innovation and creativity.
  • Grants: It received 2592 grants, demonstrating support for research and development within the sector.

A Snapshot of the Global Clothing Industry

The clothing industry is a significant part of the global economy, with a considerable workforce of 17.7 million people. This workforce is evolving and expanding with an addition of 856K new employees in the past year. Further, the industry’s size is reflected in the number of companies operating within it, amounting to 313K.

Explore the Funding Landscape of the Clothing Industry

With an average investment value of USD 28 million per round, the clothing industry draws significant capital and also reflects investor confidence in its growth potential and profitability. The participation of over 12000 investors demonstrates a wide base of support and interest. Further, the completion of more than 41000 funding rounds showcases the competition and the ongoing hunt for the next big innovation.

Moreover, the investment in over 16000 companies reveals the depth and diversity of the industry. These businesses range from startup ventures focusing on sustainable fashion to established brands exploring the limits of technology and design.

Who is Investing in the Clothing Industry?

The clothing industry has received notable investments from leading investors, collectively exceeding USD 9 billion. Here’s the list of top investors:

  • Tiger Global Management, investing in 34 companies with a total of USD 2.2 billion, demonstrates its dedication to growth and innovation within the sector.
  • SoftBank Vision Fund has invested a total of USD 1.1 billion across 13 companies, showing its confidence in the industry’s potential to disrupt and lead.
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has invested USD 882 million in 6 companies, emphasizing its strategic focus on high-potential opportunities.
  • General Atlantic has channeled USD 856 million into 19 companies, reflecting its belief in the sector’s continuous growth.
  • Lone Pine Capital, with investments of USD 764 million in 5 companies, highlights the value they place on innovative fashion ventures.
  • Accel has invested USD 749 million across 37 companies, indicating a broad and deep commitment to supporting promising startups.
  • Tencent’s strategic investments total USD 704 million in 10 companies, showing its focus on the intersection of technology and fashion.
  • L Catterton has committed USD 704 million to 23 companies, demonstrating its expertise in identifying and scaling high-growth ventures.
  • Temasek Holdings, with a focus on sustainable and innovative models, invested USD 699 million in 7 companies.
  • Lastly, D1 Capital Partners has invested USD 656 million in 6 companies.
  • The Sustainable Clothing trend is making progress in the fashion industry, as shown by the presence of 1000+ companies committed to environmentally friendly practices. These companies collectively employ 39K+ individuals, with an addition of 3K+ new employees in the last year. The annual trend growth rate of 7.15% highlights the rising consumer demand for sustainable fashion options.
  • Microfibre technology, with 3000+ companies identified, has a considerable presence in the clothing industry, employing 261K individuals. The sector has added 12K+ new employees over the past year, reflecting steady growth with an annual trend growth rate of 0.78%. This trend underscores the material’s popularity due to its durability, versatility, and efficiency in performance wear and everyday clothing.
  • Smart Fabrics integrate technology into textiles to enhance functionality, such as through health monitoring, temperature regulation, and improved physical performance. It encompasses a smaller, niche market with 125 companies identified. These companies collectively employ 12K+ individuals, with 300+ new employees joining the sector in the last year, reflecting targeted growth with an annual growth rate of 5.20%.

5 Top Examples from 6000+ Innovative Clothing Startups

The five innovative startups showcased below are picked based on data including the trend they operate within and their relevance, founding year, funding status, and more. Book a demo to find promising startups, emerging trends, or industry data specific to your company’s needs and objectives.

The New Black leverages AI for Clothing Design

French startup The New Black develops AI tools to improve fashion design. The platform generates a variety of design ideas and explores different design variations. It visualizes designs in 3D and refines any potential design issues. The startup’s platform also provides a creator panel to foster collaboration among designers. It enhances creativity and efficiency, streamlining the design process. Further, the platform supports trend analysis, ensuring designs align with current fashion norms.

MIRRARME provides Virtual Try-On Technology

Australian startup MIRRARME provides a Virtual Try-On (VTO) solution for online fashion retailers. This solution employs augmented reality and 3D mapping to offer a more engaging and realistic experience. The platform creates a 3D representation using AI, which is then verified by experts. The startup’s VTO solution transforms 2D clothing images into 3D virtual garments using cloth simulation. This feature enables customers to visualize how a garment would appear on their body. The process, which takes a few seconds, results in a 3D avatar wearing the selected item of clothing.

Chaininitaly improves Supply Chain Transparency

Italian startup Chaininitaly develops a platform that uses blockchain to ensure transparency and traceability in supply chains. The platform provides real-time tracking of products from production to delivery. It determines the degree of ‘Italianness’ of a product and provides certification, offering reliable and objective information. The startup’s technology is useful in various industries, including the clothing industry, where it verifies the authenticity of products. Further, Chaininitaly’s solution encourages ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices.

Apparel Robotics develops Autonomous Clothing Manufacturing Solutions

US startup Apparel Robotics develops solutions for handling deformable objects with robots for improving clothing manufacturing. Its hardware includes grippers and end-effectors that are specifically designed for handling flexible materials. Further, it uses machine learning and computer vision tools to assist in accurately perceiving and manipulating fabric-like materials. Apparel Robotics caters to a variety of industries, including apparel, textiles, aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

Solena Materials creates Sustainable Fibers

UK startup Solena Materials develops a biomaterials platform that designs proteins to produce sustainable fibers. These fibers are derived from non-oil sources and are biodegradable. The development of these custom materials is expedited by computational design, machine learning, and automation. The startup focuses on creating sustainable materials while maintaining fabric performance. Its technology applies to various sectors, including fashion apparel and medical textiles. Through its solutions, Solena Materials reduces the environmental footprint of the fashion industry.

Gain Comprehensive Insights into Clothing Trends, Startups, or Technologies

The clothing industry report shows a sector crafting a future where sustainability and technology are core principles. Trends like microfiber innovation and up-cycling practices represent the industry’s dedication to a more environmentally friendly and adaptable future. The industry’s path suggests an ongoing mix of tradition with high-tech, signifying a period of mindful creation and consumption. Get in touch to explore all 6000+ startups and scaleups, as well as all industry trends impacting clothing companies.

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