Italy might be a well-known spot for tourism and fine dining but there is one more thing Italy excels at. It is the Garment Industry. Being a nation of creative people with diversified fashion tastes and selections, the garment industry of Italy is one of the most “open” ones we can talk about. It has a vast variety of different types of clothing and is a highly dynamic one because it keeps on changing, improving, and adapting to the latest fashion trends. Let’s dig deeper into the garment industry of Italy.
Overview of the Garment Industry in Italy
As of 2022, Italy had $49.25 billion in revenue for the apparel sector . Statistics forecast that this sector is going to grow at a rate of 4.81% CAGR between 2022 and 2026 . The most significant part of Italy’s garment and apparel market is the women’s sector which makes up about 48% of the market at $23.3 billion . Italy ranks among countries which has one of the highest average volume per person in the apparel market going up to as many as 32 pieces per person . One reason for this is the high sales of luxury clothing items.
While many countries such as India, China, the USA, Germany, and others have less than 4% of the luxury apparel market, Italy has 9% of the apparel market revenues coming from the luxury sector . This indicates that there is a trend of branded clothes, as well as designer clothes in Italy as a significant population of the country, is focused on luxury clothing. It also shows the spread of the garment industry in Italy. As stated earlier, the culture and trends of the country are open and adaptable to multiple ethnic backgrounds and fashion tastes, Italy’s garment market comprises a mix of conventional as well as modern clothing with mass variation at times.
Garment Industry of Italy | Detailed Analysis
One of the major reasons why the average volume of clothing per person is quite high in the case of apparel is because they wear so much in Italy. One report suggested that Italian attire is all about tailored outfits and precision. You must be looking unique to be able to look attractive. In different parts of Italy, different clothing styles are preferred. For example, Rome has a more traditional approach to dressing while Milan has people who want to focus on fashion most. Some of the most known luxury clothing brands in Italy include Gucci, Prada, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, and Versace .
The garment industry of Italy has shown an increasing trend in sustainable clothing practices. Customers are more focused on attaining clothing made by sustainable producers. Environmental awareness as well as a focus on sustainability has changed the trend from regular clothing.
People in Italy prefer vegan clothing over regular clothing for this reason. Many NGOs are working to limit the harmful impact on the environment created by the garment industry. Owing to the rise in demand of customers for vegan clothing, the manufacturers are also focused on sustainable practices which include utilizing resources more efficiently, going green, using renewable energy, as well as sourcing raw materials in an environment-friendly way.
One survey conducted in 2019 got the results that 40% of consumers wanted their clothes to be cruelty-free . This means that if a brand labels itself to be cruelty-free, they are getting themselves an added competitive advantage and gaining a better part of the market with increased revenues too. A 2019 survey results showed that around 45% of the customers in Italy prefer that the fabric is sustainable .
Fashion retailers are now quickly adapting to the new trend of sustainable clothing products. According to the report of Sustainable Cotton Ranking 2020, Italian fashion retailer Benetton is one of the most active ones in the country . In 2020, out of 23.7 thousand tons, Benetton used 19 thousand tons of raw material that was renewable and sustainable .
The employment in the fashion and garment industry of Italy is quite high. Over 460,000 people are currently employed in the industry making it one of the most important industries in Italy . This figure is a slight decrease from the figures of 2014 when the sector had employment of 503,000 people. However, the industry has become much wider, diverse, and adaptive to technology which is why employment has reduced to an extent. Statistics show that the average annual salary of employees in the apparel and textile industry earned around 30,000 Euros or 30,700 USD approximately .
One of the most important trends in the garment industry of Italy is related to manufacturing. Italy is a country where garments are all about being artistic and creative. For this reason, the trends in fashion rapidly change. Therefore, the country does not focus on volume production rather the manufacturers are mainly focused on the quality of the apparel as well as the final design.
The fashion industry of Italy is on consistent growth. However, there are some speculations associated with the increase in value-added tax. As a result of this, the luxury clothing brands as well as the non-luxury clothing brands will have to increase their sales price . Many brands in Italy have requested the government to not take a step in the current circumstances where inflation is already high . In addition to that, it will also reduce spending on extra clothing products such as coats, jackets, and other items which are a major industry in Italy .
For this reason, many of the world’s leading garment brands are manufactured in Italy. In addition to that, Italy enjoys a good reputation in terms of clothing and fashion globally for its immense focus on quality products . Reports have also highlighted that Italy has limited costs or tariffs for garment manufacturing which helps the producers in manufacturing garments without skyrocketing their costs .
The garment industry of Italy has grown in various other ways as well. Statistics show that in 2018, there were about 12.6 thousand enterprises producing textiles in the country while 29 thousand enterprises were manufacturing apparel . By 2022, more than 65 thousand businesses were focusing on the retail of apparel and clothing . This indicates that more businesses are entering Italy’s garment market leading to year-by-year growth.
Lastly, there has been a sharp rise in the role of online shopping in the garment industry in Italy which indicates that the trends are going to change in the future. Prior to 2012, there was not much roles in online shopping, and people used to shop from physical retail outlets. However, by 2021, there were over 19 million users of e-commerce interested in clothing purchases . The forecasted revenue from the garment industry in Italy for the e-commerce sector is USD 3 billion . However, one survey suggested that a third of Millennials are worried about their credit card information being misused online .
Women’s Garment Market in Italy
Italy is one of the leading producers of women’s garments. As a matter of fact, this sector is the most diverse one because women tend to adapt to fashion and style much more quickly compared to men. Statistics show that women’s apparel in Italy amounted to $23.3 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.65% between 2022 and 2026 . In 2023, the volume growth of women’s apparel in Italy is expected to grow at 18% . Statistics also show that the average volume per person in women’s clothing is 12.8 pieces in 2022 which is one of the highest for any women’s garment market .
In summers, women in Italy prefer wearing skirts, capris, or shorts . These are to be combined with a top or a blouse. Women also wear hats in Italy .
In the women’s apparel market of Italy, outdoor clothing and outdoor knitwear accounted for most sales at about 89.8% . Shirts made up 8.9% and leather wear made the least at about 1.3% of the total market .
Most manufacturers in Italy are focused on producing more garments for women due to the high demand as well as high per person volume. One reason why this is becoming difficult is that the fashion in the women ‘s garment market changes much more rapidly as compared to fashion in the men’s or children’s garment market. As a result of this, mass production is not possible for women’s clothing in Italy.
Women’s garments accounted for 8.979 billion Euros or 9.213 billion USD of exports in Italy in 2019 which is quite a high number . For the same year, the imports were 5 billion Euros or 5.14 billion USD . However, this indicates that there is a positive balance of payments for the women’s garment sector as the exports are more than the imports of the country.
Men’s Garment Market in Italy
The men’s garment market in Italy comes at the second position with yearly revenue of $19.75 billion in 2022 . This market also has bright chances for growth with a CAGR of 5.14% between 2022 and 2026 . The volume of the men’s apparel market is expected to grow to 595.4 million pieces by 2026 . This brings down the average volume per person in the men’s apparel segment at 8.2 pieces in 2022 . Men’s garments account for 5.858 billion Euros or 6.011 billion USD in terms of exports . Data also shows that the import value of menswear clothing in 2020 was 3.8 billion Euros or 3.9 billion USD .
Italy is a country known for its fine dining. Likewise, Italian clothing is often fine clothing, especially if one is going to a fine place for a pleasant evening. In general, apart from the basic pant and shirt attire, a blazer is considered essential if a man wants to look like a true Italian . Long black coats and jackets are also very popular in Italy . For this reason, there has been a sharp rise in the demand and production of casual jackets, blazers, and coats.
As of 2022, the revenue generated from Coats and Jackets in Italy was $2.83 billion while it was $2.54 billion for the case of shirts  . The market for Coats and Jackets in Italy is expected to grow at a high rate of 6.12% CAGR . In addition to that, the per person revenue generated from the sale of coats and jackets is $47.03 which is again high and shows a trend for this segment in particular . 1 in every 3 people wears a coat or jacket in Italy .
Children’s Garment Market in Italy
Children’s garments are also one of the most important markets in Italy. They made up revenue of $6.21 billion in 2022 and are forecasted to grow at a rate of 4.31% CAGR between 2022 and 2026 . One of the most shocking facts about this market is that per person revenue is $103.1 which is quite high for children’s garments . However, this indicates the trend that parents tend to spend more on their children in Italy and get them better clothing. For this reason, the average volume per person in the children’s apparel market in Italy is 11.1 pieces as of 2022 .
The children’s garments are also exported from Italy to other countries. They account for 1.215 billion Euros or 1.247 billion USD. In contrast, the imports are higher for Italy in the children’s garment market . In 2013, they were at 1.6 billion Euros or 1.64 billion USD while in 2021, they reached 1.9 billion Euros or 1.92 billion USD . This means that Italy has a negative balance of payments for the case of the children’s garment market.
Items that are highly popular in the children’s garment market include suits, blazers, coats, t-shirts, denim jeans, suits, trousers, shirts, and even swimwear.
Italy ranks among one of the leading garment manufacturing countries in the world. The country has immense potential for growth in the garment sector and is likely to go up a few places in the coming years. With the increase in demand for quality clothing as well as sustainable clothing practices, the trends in the garment industry of Italy, as well as other countries, is likely to change in the near future.
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