China Leads The Global Apparel Clothing Manufacturing Market

22 Oct, 2019

China was the largest country in the clothing and apparel market and was worth $206.8 billion in 2018. The market accounted for 1.52% of the country`s GDP. In terms of per capita consumption, the market accounted for $148.8, $47.1 higher than the global average. The clothing and apparel market accounted for 74.68% of the country’s apparel and leather products market in 2018.

The market in China is supported by the presence of large populations, well-established apparel manufacturing and retail industries, and high investments in the apparel industry in the country. China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of apparel in the world. China accounted for 37.1% of world textile exports in 2017. China plays a critical role as a textile-supplier for many apparel-exporting countries in Asia. China’s favorable economic policy, high textile production, and the availability of low-cost and abundant labor support the apparel manufacturing industry in the country. China accounts for nearly 54% of the world’s textile production. Short lead-times, large manufacturing capacities and well-developed infrastructure, and the manufacturers’ flexibility in product offerings also contribute to the market. The Chinese apparel industry is not only profitable for domestic players but is also attracting international players. Fast fashion retailers such as C&A, Forever 21, GAP, H&M, Hollister, Mango, New Look, Uniqlo, and Zara have established a strong presence in the Chinese online apparel retail market.

Relocation of the population to urban areas and increase in the disposable incomes are also accelerating the growth of the apparel manufacturing industry in China. Consumers in the country are conservative and purchase new clothes when there is a seasonal change or a replacement needed. Many buyers in the country are attracted by discounts, sales, and offers. At present, the Chinese are embracing casual wear unlike in the 90s, when a uniform style dress code was preferred.

China is also continuing to dominate apparel manufacturing sourcing. According to the annual “State of Sourcing” global survey conducted by, an online news, insight, and research portal, in December 2017, China’s dominance in the apparel sourcing industry would remain the same. Among all respondents, less than one-third have plans to reduce the amount of apparel sourcing from China, while others planned to increase the sourcing or leave it at the same level. The majority of respondents also stated that “no other country can match China regarding the size of its supply base, its range of skills, its quality levels, its product variety and the completeness of its supply chain”.

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