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Joint Economic Committee Democrats Chairman - Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)

The Economic Impact of the Fashion Industry

Fashion is a highly sophisticated, $2.5 trillion global industry. In the United States alone, consumers spent nearly $380 billion on apparel and footwear in 2017. The industry, which encompasses everything from textile and apparel brands to wholesalers, importers and retailers, employs more than 1.8 million people in the United States. 

The U.S. fashion industry has evolved from its roots in manufacturing to new high-value design and other creative jobs. As with many industries in the manufacturing sector, the United States now concentrates on the high-value parts of the apparel global supply chain: research and development (R&D), design and marketing.

The twin forces of technology and globalization have had enormous ripple effects in the fashion industry, similar to many other industries, and has created new trends, challenges and opportunities. The impacts of social media, new business models, advanced manufacturing, and changing demographics are leading to significant changes in all aspects of the fashion industry with the potential to reshape it for years to come.

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