Fashion Industry Review: Sectors, Roles, and Opportunities to Explore in 2023
It’s not all fun and games, frills and ruffles in this industry. For context, the fashion industry is a multibillion-billion industry in whatever currency you choose. It is larger and more profitable than most industries. It has been growing at a positive rate of 5.46% since 2017 and is valued at $1.7 trillion globally. The fashion sector’s leading product and methodology is one of the oldest ever. Whether you believe in the tale of Adam and Eve or evolution, humans have needed and produced clothes since the beginning of time.
The “industry” part of fashion is relatively modern and didn’t exist until the mid-19th century. The fashion sector blossomed fully in the 20th century. Prior to that, clothes were handmade specifically for individuals on order from dressmakers or tailors or personal home production.
The beginning of the 20th century set the wheels in motion for what we know to be the fashion world today with the development of new technologies, such as the sewing machine came with the rise of new technologies, the emergence of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production. The rise of retail outlets developed the “custom production of clothing for individuals” model into mass production of clothing for standard sizes sold at fixed prices.
What is the Fashion Industry?
There is no single definition for fashion itself because it can mean different things to different people. To some people, it is an art of self-expression through clothing; to the early earth dwellers, it was simply a tool of survival through harsh weather and rough terrains. At its core, fashion refers to clothing. Fashion is a universal language spoken globally.
“Industries” would be more fitting to describe this sector because fashion itself involves a myriad of services and subsectors that are larger than other industries and employ millions of people globally. Let’s give weight to that assertion below:
The fashion industry encompasses the design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, advertising, and promotion of all types of apparel for humans and animals alike. That’s about six different industries that could exist rightfully on their own under the fashion industry. It involves the most rarefied and expensive haute couture (literally, “high sewing”) and designer fashions to ordinary everyday clothing—from couture ball gowns to casual sweatpants.
The process may take a global village to execute. For instance: a Nigerian fashion company might source fabric in China, manufacture clothes in Vietnam, then make shoes in Italy, and ship to a warehouse in Nigeria for distribution to retail outlets internationally.
How Can I Get Into the Fashion Industry?
There are many roles available in the fashion industry. From fashion design and apparel manufacture to retail, marketing, and more. Fashion designers are key players within the fashion industry because they countermine or validate the trend and direction of the industry. The retail industry is a large sector that acts as a key player in many industries outside of fashion. The marketing industry is a sizeable industry with fashion marketing as a sub-sector.
It is an industry where demand will never run out; hence there will always be career opportunities to explore
Fashion Industry Sectors
- Raw material industry
- Fashion design and apparel manufacturing industry
- Retail industry
- Marketing industry
Raw Material Industry
The raw material industry encompasses the design and production of fabrics for clothing apparel, such as natural fibres like wool, cotton, silk, and linen, as well as synthetic fibres such as nylon, acrylic, and polyester made by weaving, knitting, bonding, felting, or tufting. The industry’s main product, fabrics, is an essential material used in the fashion industry, making fashion industry players its largest consumers and customer.
Indexbox estimates that the global textile industry is worth $1.3 trillion and employs over 60 million people worldwide. The industry is also forecast to grow at a rate of 3-4% per year over the next few years. The latest trends within the industry include Digital printing to create complex and intricate designs on clothes, the creation of fabrics with technology such as AI, tracking tech etc., embedded within them, sustainable materials and 3D printing.
Fashion Design and Apparel Manufacture Industry
Fashion design is the art of constructing clothing and lifestyle accessories created within the cultural and social influences of a specific time or inspired by personal affiliations. Manufacturers complete the design process by creating the design concept from raw materials.
The retail industry is a large sector that acts as a key player in many industries outside of fashion. It has evolved to include another sub-sector, e-commerce which gave rise to digital stores alongside physical stores for the sale and distribution of manufactured clothes.
The marketing industry is a large industry on its own, with fashion marketing as a sub-sector. Fashion marketers are involved in idealizing and creating ways to make clothing apparel attractive and enticing to the target audience. They essentially aid the sale and distribution of clothes.
The fashion sector is entering a new phase where sustainability to improve our climate is at the forefront, and ethical labour is of consideration for production and manufacturing. It is now crucial for the fashion houses and brands of the 21st century to be socially conscious and inclusive of all persons. The current trends of the fashion industry, Technology connected fabrics, Sustainable materials, Inclusive Creativity, Ethical labour, etc., must be studied and understood thoroughly by anyone building or starting a career in the industry.
A fashion exporter is a vital link in the clothing manufacturing and retail chain. To become a successful fashion.