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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI6492
  • Pages :140
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Goods

Global Sustainable Fashion Market size was valued at US$ 7.80 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 33.05 Billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9% from 2023 to 2030.

Sustainable fashion refers to clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry created in an ethical and environmentally friendly manner. It promotes fair wages, safe working conditions, and reduced environmental impact through measures like efficient use of resources and waste reduction, and the use of organic or recycled materials. The market is driven by rising consumer awareness about sustainability, government regulations, and incentives promoting eco-friendly products.

The global sustainable fashion market is segmented by product type, fabric type, end user, and sales channel. By product type, the market is segmented into apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, bags, and others. The apparel segment accounted for the largest share in 2022. The rising demand for sustainable clothing like t-shirts, dresses, and trousers made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and regenerated fabrics is driving the growth of the eco-friendly apparel market.

Sustainable Fashion Market Regional Insights:

  • North America is expected to be the largest market for the global sustainable fashion market during the forecast period, accounting for over 35.6% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to rising awareness about eco-friendly fashion, regulations promoting sustainability, and high spending power.
  • The Europe  market is expected to be the second-largest market for the global sustainable fashion market, accounting for over 25.8% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to high demand for premium sustainable fashion brands and stringent regulations by the EU on sustainability.
  • The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for the global sustainable fashion market, with a CAGR of over 16.5% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to increasing consumer awareness and rapid economic growth in the region.

Figure 1. Global Sustainable Fashion Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Global Sustainable Fashion Market Drivers:

  • Increasing consumer awareness and demand for eco-friendly products: The growing environmental consciousness and rising demand for ethically produced fashion are major drivers for the global sustainable fashion market. Consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are increasingly looking for brands that embed sustainability across their value chain and products that have a lower carbon footprint. Social media and technology have enabled greater transparency into production processes and supply chains, empowering consumers to make informed choices. The market has seen rising sales of products made from recycled, organic, and regenerated fibers. Consumers are also opting for environmentally responsible packaging and supporting brands committed to circular fashion.
  • Favorable government policies and regulations: Governments across the world are introducing regulations and policies to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. The European Union’s Strategy for Sustainable Textiles aims to boost competitiveness and innovation in the sector through circularity. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides help marketers make credible eco-friendly claims. The guidelines by the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion address sustainability across the entire fashion cycle. Such regulations are encouraging brands to integrate sustainability through eco-design principles, resource efficiency, waste reduction, and disclosure. Mandates around the use of recycled plastic, organic cotton, and other materials are also catalyzing the adoption of sustainable materials. For instance, India's policy think tank, NITI Aayog, released the India Textiles and Apparel Report in 2021, providing a roadmap to transition the industry towards sustainability by 2030. It focuses on areas like increasing use of organic cotton, zero discharge of hazardous chemicals, and 100% recycling rate.
  • Technological advances enabling supply chain transparency and circularity: Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data analytics are promoting transparency across fashion supply chains while enabling circularity. Blockchain facilitates traceability, from raw material sourcing to inventory management. Smart manufacturing optimizes use of resources. Digital solutions like virtual sampling and 3D design minimize waste generation. Increased adoption of sustainable materials like bio-based and recycled fibers is being enabled by innovation across polymer chemistry and synthetic biology. Sorting and recycling technologies allow effective end-of-life management of clothing. Such technological advances are critical to the shift towards a closed-loop, transparent, and sustainable fashion sector. For instance, fashion rental platforms have seen surging consumer interest over the past year with reduced environmental footprints. The number of rental transactions globally grew by over 25% between 2020 and 2021, according to a UN report.
  • Commitments by leading fashion brands and emergence of new players: Large fashion companies like Nike, Adidas, H&M, and Inditex are increasing their sustainability targets and commitments. They are launching new product lines made from recycled nylon, polyester, and organic cotton, introducing innovations like plant leather and re-commerce, and heavily investing in circular capabilities. New players like Allbirds, Everlane, Reformation, Christy Dawn, etc. are building sustainability into their business models from scratch. The market is also seeing acquisitions like Gap’s acquisition of Janie and Jack to expand into eco-friendly kidswear. The increasing participation from large and small players in embracing sustainable fashion bodes well for market growth.

Global Sustainable Fashion Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 7.80 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 22.9% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 33.05 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa:  GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Product Type: Apparel, Footwear, Accessories, Jewelry, Bags, Others
  • By Fabric Type: Recycled Fabrics, Organic Fabrics, Regenerated Fabrics, Natural Fibers, Alternate Fibers, Others
  • By End-User: Men, Women, Children, Unisex, Others
  • By Distribution Channel: Online, Offline, Brand Outlets, Multi-Brand Outlets, Independent Boutiques, Others
Companies covered:

H&M, Inditex (Zara), Gap Inc., Kering (Gucci), Nike, Adidas, Levi Strauss & Co., VF Corporation, Fast Retailing (Uniqlo), Prada, Burberry, Hermés, Ralph Lauren, PUMA, Under Armour, Lululemon, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Stella McCartney, Everlane

Growth Drivers:
  • Increasing consumer awareness and demand for eco-friendly products
  • Favorable government policies and regulations
  • Technological advances enabling supply chain transparency and circularity
  • Commitments by leading fashion brands and emergence of new players
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Higher costs and perceptions of inferior performance
  • Complex global supply chains
  • Lack of common standards and regulations

Global Sustainable Fashion Market Opportunities:

  • Growth in developing and emerging economies: Developing economies like India, Brazil, China, and ASEAN countries represent a significant opportunity for sustainable fashion brands. Growing populations, rapid urbanization, increasing disposable incomes, and exposure to global fashion trends are resulting in higher spending on apparel and footwear. The expanding base of ethically and environmentally conscious middle and upper middle class consumers provides a promising target demographic for eco-friendly products. Players can address the mass segment through affordable, sustainable clothing lines. Digital platforms also offer opportunities to educate consumers in these markets and influence purchasing decisions. For instance, according to a 2021 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, India has committed to obtaining 50% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. This will create domestic markets for sustainable materials like organic cotton and encourage the industry to transition.
  • Increasing online and omni-channel retail penetration: The growth in online retail and direct-to-consumer channels provides strong tailwinds for the sustainable fashion market. E-commerce platforms like Farfetch, Lyst, and Whole Foods Marketplace are launching dedicated sustainable fashion verticals. Social commerce through Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube also enables discovery and sales. Digital platforms provide higher visibility for ethical and eco-friendly brands. Analytics-driven recommendations and customization also help to influence buying behavior. Omni-channel capabilities augment the customer experience. Investments in digital retail and e-commerce infrastructure in emerging markets expand the addressable consumer base. For instance, according to a government of India report, omni-channel retail is estimated to grow by 40% annually in the coming years in India.
  • Partnerships and collaboration across value chain: There are significant opportunities for fashion brands to collaborate with suppliers, manufacturers, technology companies, and logistics providers to enhance sustainability across the ecosystem. Partnerships with regenerative agriculture startups allows for the sourcing of eco-friendly raw materials. Tie-ups with green chemistry firms facilitate access to recycled and bio-based materials. Co-creating traceability solutions with blockchain providers enhances transparency. Last mile logistics optimization minimizes emissions. Such mutually beneficial partnerships across the value chain will be critical for large scale adoption of sustainable practices, meeting consumer demand as well as global environmental goals. For instance, as per  the World Bank in 2022, membership in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition has led to a 30% increase in the use of more sustainable cotton and synthetic fibers among participating brands and retailers over the past three years.
  • Circular business models and sharing economy: Innovative business models like clothing rental subscriptions, resale, and recommerce provide additional revenue streams while lowering environmental impact through reuse. Rental allows access to a wide assortment of apparel without ownership. Recommerce platforms like ThredUp and Poshmark are reporting rapid growth. Luxury brands are also entering this space. Partnerships with resale platforms aids effective product recovery and recycling. Clothing repair services enhance reuse and divert waste from landfills. Offering customization and made-to-order also minimizes unsold stock. Circular services help build customer loyalty while aligning with sustainability values.

Sustainable Fashion Market Trends:

  • Material innovation for eco-friendly fabrics: There is a growing shift towards the use of recycled, organic, and regenerated fibers in the textile industry. Compared to virgin polyester, recycled polyester manufactured from PET bottles uses less energy and water.  Regenerated fibers, like lyocell, are made from wood pulp. Fabric innovations include bio-based leather alternatives, pineapple leaf and apple skin, natural dyes, and wool alternatives from plant sources. Adoption of environmentally responsible materials is being driven by consumer demand as well as collaborative initiatives like Canopy’s Pack4Good. Technology innovations in synthetic biology promotes the development and scalability of Next-Gen green materials. For instance, according to data from the Organic Trade Association's 2021 Organic Industry Survey, the sales of organic cotton apparel and home textiles grew by 8% in North America from 2020 to 2021.
  • Supply chain transparency and localization: Consumers increasingly want to know where and how their clothes are made. Fashion brands are leveraging digital traceability solutions to map tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers across spinning, dyeing, and manufacturing. Made in Green by the OEKO-TEX label certifies environmentally responsible supply chains. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags allow inventory tracking. Localized production and near shoring minimize miles traveled. Blockchain facilitates data sharing across supply chain partners. These trends promote transparency while reducing carbon emissions related to global shipping and logistics. For instance, according to a 2021 study by the World Benchmarking Alliance, over 75% of top 50 fashion retailers globally now publish details like supplier lists and audit reports on their websites or in sustainability reports. Greater transparency in raw material sourcing too, like organically grown cotton or recycled polyester, is appealing to the growing base of eco-friendly shoppers.
  • Rental, resale, and recommerce gaining traction: Sharing economy models like rental subscriptions and resale platforms are seeing increasing adoption among eco-conscious consumers. Renting allows temporary use without the environmental costs of manufacturing. Recommerce sites like ThredUp, Depop, and TheRealReal have reported surging sales. Retailers like H&M and Patagonia provide repair services to extend the life of garments. Luxury brands like Gucci and Stella McCartney are entering resale, acknowledging its potential to make fashion more circular. Consumers also increasingly prefer environmentally responsible packaging for delivery using recycled and biodegradable materials. For instance, the European Commission reported that in 2021, EU textile waste amounted to more than 5 million tons annually and that extending the lifetime of clothing by just 9 months of active use per item could reduce the environmental footprint of the EU’s fashion consumption by around 5-10%.
  • Digital solutions for sustainability: Emerging digital solutions provide critical capabilities for enabling transparency, promoting circularity, and minimizing waste in the fashion value chain. Digital product passports using QR codes allow monitoring of sustainability credentials. Virtual sampling and 3D design software reduce material waste. Blockchain facilitates data sharing with suppliers and customers. Big data analytics aids demand planning and inventory optimization to prevent overproduction. Internet of Things sensors enable tracking goods in transit and optimizing logistics. AR/VR can enrich shopping experience and provide trial options, reducing returns. AI recommendation engines can better match supply with consumer needs.

Sustainable Fashion Market Restraints:

  • Higher costs and perceptions of inferior performance: For some product categories, sustainable materials and production processes are costlier, which gets passed on as higher prices to consumers. Despite the willingness to pay a premium for sustainability, higher costs affect mass market adoption. Many consumers also harbor a perception of inferior quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal for eco-fashion products. Addressing these perceptions through technological advancements, process improvements, and effective brand marketing will be crucial. For instance, according to a 2021 study by the World Resources Institute, a global research non-profit, over 60% of American consumers claimed they would purchase more sustainably produced clothing and accessories if the price difference was lower.
  • Complex global supply chains: The fashion industry is characterized by fragmented and complex global supply chains, which pose challenges for coordination, traceability, and compliance. Raw materials like cotton may be traded multiple times across continents before reaching production. Lack of standardization, monitoring capabilities, and common frameworks inhibit transparency. Complex subcontracting and layers of middlemen increase risks around labor practices. Streamlining supplier bases and block-chain enabled traceability solutions can enhance control over sustainability. For instance, as per the International Labour Organization, an estimated 60 million people were engaged in forced labor as of 2021, with the textile and apparel industry being one of the most vulnerable sectors.
  • Counterbalance-Analyze the production, end-of-life disposal, recycling, and procurement of raw materials in the sustainable fashion supply chain. Talk about introducing fair trade labor methods, cutting down on water waste, and utilizing organic fibers as examples of sustainable practices.
  • Lack of common standards and regulations: There is a lack of universally accepted standards, labels, and regulations pertaining to sustainability in fashion. This affects consumer trust and enables greenwashing. Chemical and product safety regulations often vary across markets, creating compliance issues. Progress towards global standards aligned to UN SDGs around eco-design, materials, chemicals, and human rights would accelerate sustainable transformation. Stringent enforcement and auditing of such standards by brands as well as policymakers can help drive change across lagging players.

Analyst View

The sustainable fashion market is poised to grow steadily over the next decade. Major drivers for growth include rising awareness among consumers about the environmental and social impact of fast fashion. More customers, especially millennial and generation Z shoppers, are seeking apparel and accessories from brands that are transparent about their manufacturing processes and use of eco-friendly materials. Another key driver is stricter regulations around textile and clothing production. Many governments are introducing laws to reduce water pollution and curb the use of hazardous chemicals by manufacturers. This will force brands to overhaul their supply chains and shift to more sustainable practices. On the retail side, the convenience of online shopping has made it easier for consumers to research brands and products and make informed, sustainable choices. Key restraints to faster growth include the premium pricing of many eco products due to the higher costs involved. Some mainstream consumers may not be willing to pay more for sustainable items. Also, the lack of standards for what qualifies as "eco-friendly" creates confusion and skepticism among buyers.  Green washing by certain brands is another challenge. The Asia Pacific market, led by China and India, currently dominates sustainable fashion due to its large production bases. However, rapid legislation in the EU is helping propel the Europe market as a major growing region.

Recent Developments:

New product launches:

  • In March 2022, Levi Strauss & Co launched its most sustainable jeans line yet, made with organic cotton and Circulose, a wood-based fiber. The new Levi's jeans line reduces the carbon footprint by up to 17% compared to conventional jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. is an American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's brand of denim jeans. It was founded in May 1853 when German-Jewish immigrant Levi Strauss moved from Buttenheim, Bavaria, to San Francisco, California, to open a West Coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods business.
  • In January 2022, Adidas partnered with Allbirds to unveil performance running shoes with the lowest carbon footprint. The shoes are made using renewable and natural materials as part of the sportswear brand's sustainability initiatives. Adidas AG is a German athletic apparel and footwear corporation headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second-largest in the world. Allbirds, Inc. is a New Zealand and American company that sells footwear and apparel. The company claims to keep its products as eco-friendly as possible and is a certified B Corporation.
  • In November 2021, Kering Luxury Group introduced the first selection of gowns as part of its Chime for Change initiative supporting women empowerment. The collection uses renewable, recycled, organic, and biodegradable fabrics aligned with sustainability goals. Kering is a French-based multinational corporation specializing in luxury goods. The company owns a series of renowned houses in fashion, leather goods, and jewelry, including Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Creed, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, and Ginori 1735.                                              

Acquisition and partnerships:

  • In October 2022, The Gap, Inc. acquired second-hand fashion resale company Janie and Jack to accelerate circular capabilities and children's apparel growth. The acquisition aligns with Gap's Power Plan 2025, focusing on circularity, inclusivity, and climate action. Gap, Inc., commonly known as Gap Inc. or Gap, is an American worldwide clothing and accessories retailer. Gap was founded in 1969 by Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company operates four primary divisions: Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta. Janie and Jack is a children's clothing brand founded in 2002 in San Francisco, California. Their current product range includes clothing for newborns up to 24 months old, as well as boys and girls up to age 18.
  • In June 2022, Ralph Lauren announced a partnership with natural fiber company Earth Colors to introduce a more sustainable cotton dyeing process that uses natural indigo pigment and less water. Ralph Lauren Corporation is an American publicly traded fashion company that was founded in 1967 by American fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Headquartered in New York City, the company produces products ranging from the mid-range to the luxury segments.
  • In January 2022, PUMA partnered with First Mile to increase use of recycled plastic in its sportswear. Under this plastic initiative, First Mile will supply recycled polyester to PUMA subsidiaries. Puma SE is a German multinational corporation that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel, and accessories, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Puma is the third-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. The company was founded in 1948 by Mr.Rudolf Dassler. First Mile is a UK environmental and waste management business based in London. It works with businesses to reduce their climate impact through services such as waste, recycling, and renewable energy.

Figure 2. Global Sustainable Fashion Market Share (%), By Product Type, 2023


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Top companies in Global Sustainable Fashion Market:

  • H&M
  • Inditex (Zara)
  • Gap Inc.
  • Kering (Gucci)
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • VF Corporation
  • Fast Retailing (Uniqlo)
  • Prada
  • Burberry
  • Hermés
  • Ralph Lauren
  • PUMA
  • Under Armour
  • Lululemon
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Patagonia
  • Stella McCartney
  • Everlane

Definition: The Global Sustainable Fashion Market refers to the market for clothing, apparel, footwear, accessories, and jewelry that are manufactured and marketed based on environmentally-friendly and ethical practices. It promotes social and environmental sustainability across the product life cycle from design, sourcing, production to distribution and end-of-life management. The use of organic, recycled or regenerated materials, efficient resource utilization, fair labor practices, and reduction in pollution and waste are key considerations. The market has been driven by rising awareness among consumers about the environmental and social impacts of fashion industry, which is one of the largest polluters globally. Key segments include eco-friendly apparel, footwear, bags, jewelry, made using sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, recycled polyester, alternate bio-based fibers. Leading brands today are integrating sustainability across their value chain through use of renewable energy, sustainable materials, efficient processes, and innovation in business models like clothing resale. The global sustainable fashion market is projected for robust growth in the coming years with increasing demand for environmentally responsible products.

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Frequently Asked Questions

High prices, lack of awareness among masses, fragmented value chain, loose regulations, perception of sustainable fashion as not trendy enough  are the key factors hampering growth of the global sustainable fashion market.

Rising consumer awareness, government regulations and incentives promoting sustainability, growing ethical and slow fashion movement, shift towards circular fashion models are the major factors driving the global sustainable fashion market growth.

The apparel segment accounted for the largest share in the global sustainable fashion market in 2022.

H&M, Inditex, Gap Inc., Kering, Nike, Adidas, Levi Strauss & Co., VF Corp, Uniqlo, Prada, Burberry, Hermés, Ralph Lauren, PUMA, Under Armour, Lululemon, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Stella McCartney, Everlane.

The North America market is expected to lead the global sustainable fashion market.

The global sustainable fashion market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.9% during 2023-2030.

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